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Back to the Future on Steroids - an Editorial Review of "Timepath"

Book Blurb:

This tale of time travel, romance and confused genealogies is from the author of The Viking Princess: College Romance in 1970.

Greg learns that his romantic interest, Anne, is actually his sixth great-granddaughter and joins an experimental time travel project to save her from cancer. Although his official mission is to be temporarily transported to 1810, his personal mission is to remain there and administer a cancer preventative. The time travel team is baffled by Greg’s disappearance and attempts to discover the reason. Anne remains in 2022 and defends Greg’s reputation. Greg must learn to live in the early 1800s. Will they ever meet again?

Timepath received a four star rating from The Historical Fiction Company who called it Back to the Future on steroids! The reviewer said, “I was impressed by the amount of research the author delivered within the story line itself in order to connect the dots with his characters and for the reader. And it is done so with novel-like success instead of a rendition of a scientific dissertation.”

Author Bio:

SANDLIN IS THE PEN NAME for Gordon Sandlin Buck, Jr., a retired mechanical engineer with various technical publications over the years. He also has self-published genealogy and photography books. Gordon lives in southern Louisiana, where his hobbies include photography, genealogy, and woodworking. Contact Gordon at

Editorial Review:

Today, out of the clear blue sky, there came a brilliant flash of light. It must have been lightning, but there was no thunder. Mama thinks it was a sign of something about to happen. I certainly hope it was a sign of something good. I need for something good to happen.

Back to the Future on steroids! Greg Burke, a very likeable and brilliant young man whose future appears secure as he takes top honors at his college in 2022, is swept up in a world of tangled geneologies and string theory which set his feet on a path of destiny. When Greg's path crosses with another brilliant student, Anne Calmes, who is studying cancer research and genealogy, little did he know of the real connection the two of them shared until they dig deeper into their own family histories. Not only do they start falling in love, but after numerous tests, they discover that they are closely related... yep, kissing cousins... or are they?

And while spending more and more time with Anne, Greg is also pursuing the opportunity presented to him of being the first time traveler in history. Funded by someone who is very much like Elon Musk, this time travel experiment uses the extraordinary theory known as 'tangled string' in which time is not a straight line but folds over onto itself at various points which make “jumping” through time easier. The year 2022 touches to the year 1810, which pops up on Anne's genealogical radar as the year her 6th great-grandmother marries a mysterious man named, coincidentally, Greg Burke.

The time travel theory I prefer is the simple analogy that time is like a length of string growing at one end. The growth is not always in a straight line. There are curves, loops, and even tangles. Just like a tangled string, sometimes the timepath touches back on itself. Time travel is possible, even easy, at these junctions, but there are few of them.”

Come to find out, it is no coincidence, and Greg tells Anne goodbye and sets off on this adventure, all equipped with the ability to save Anne's and her ancestors from cancer. He remains in 1810 permanently, giving up his modern life to pursue a goal of living a good life by utilizing his knowledge of the past, and of the future, to ensure good investments and inventions, thus providing him and his family with a comfortable life.

In the past, he meets and marries Letitia Calmes, Anne's 6th great-grandmother, and secures his place as Anne's 6th great-grandfather. What starts off as an awkward romance between Anne and Greg, result in a love which bonds them through time in a more filial way... thank goodness, as I wasn't too keen on a 'Deliverance'-type story line with related family members related to each other in more than one way.

The author works out all of this very successfully, as well as relaying how time travel works in relation to string theory. As I am a huge fan of this genre, not to mention having studied extensively about the 'grandfather paradox' and 'string theory' for my own time travel novel, as well as immersing myself into H. G. Well's ideas of the phenomenon; I was impressed by the amount of research the author delivered within the story line itself in order to connect the dots with his characters and for the reader. And it is done so with novel-like success instead of a rendition of a scientific dissertation.

My only caveat to all of this is that the story before Greg “jumps” is a bit more compelling and clever than his actual life in the past. All of his life in 1810 felt too put together, worked out a little too well with very little conflict. I kept waiting for something to happen to send him on another unexpected tangent or for the 'paradox' to cause more conflict than just the discover of some misprinted promissory notes from the future. Or perhaps, more conflict for Anne who remained stuck in 2022 while the authorities search for Greg after he is reported missing. Most of all of that just drifted away in the story.

However, the tale is a good afternoon read and gives the reader some insight into the world of time travel. The premise is clever and the writing is good; worthy of a read.


“Timepath” by Sandlin receives four stars from The Historical Fiction Company


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