How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe: A Novel

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe: A Novel

Charles Yu

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0307739457

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


From a 5 Under 35 winner, comes a razor-sharp, hilarious, and touching story of a son searching for his father . . . through quantum space-time.
 
Every day in Minor Universe 31 people get into time machines and try to change the past. That's where Charles Yu, time travel technician, steps in. He helps save people from themselves. Literally. When he's not taking client calls, Yu visits his mother and searches for his father, who invented time travel and then vanished. The key to locating his father may be found in a book. It's called How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, and somewhere inside it is information that will help him. It may even save his life.

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Living like this means that it all runs together, a cold and bright December morning with your father or a lazy evening in late August, one of those sunsets that seem to take longer than is possible, where the sun just refuses to go down, where the hour seems to elongate to the point that it doesn’t seem like it can stretch any farther without detaching completely from the hour before it, like a piece of taffy, like undersea molten lava forming a new island, a piece of time detaching from the

something else in the book that caught my attention. Way in the back of the comic, in the advertisement pages, in the lower left-hand quadrant of the second to last page, a little box, there was a rectangular ad, maybe four inches by five, that read at the top, in bold all-caps: CHRONO- ADVENTURER SURVIVAL KIT There were no exclamation points or any squiggly lines indicating weirdness or jokiness, or any other graphics to signify, This is for kids, this is a toy, this is just make-believe.

ever were. Everyone’s always questioning themselves. Am I doing this right, is this how I’m supposed to look? Am I good enough to be a good guy, am I bad enough to be a bad guy? Up the street a song cloud floats by, sagging a bit, but still intact. I walk faster and catch up with it just in time to hear the ending, a symphony orchestra, the sound full and resplendent, and it is one of those times, you know those times every so often when you hear the right piece of music at the right time, and

reaction to some inexplicable thing he saw in the future. I’d like to imagine even that his ideas, which seemed to come to him from nowhere, could have been just a kind of unknowing comprehension he gained from studying the ghostly contours of my TM-31, that somehow in these future-past-memory interactions he perceived the ineffable, the intangible architecture and shape of an invention he had not yet created, that by some mechanism, in trying to learn something from this private museum of their

My theory. Is it, did I take a wrong turn somewhere in the equations? Did I get it wrong?” My father had begun asking my opinion about the world. He was admitting, in his way, what he didn’t know, what confused him, what frustrated him in this country, at work, in this town, both close and far from the center of everything. He was asking me if I was ready to be part of our family, ready to help him, ready to be a numerator. I remember feeling small, unprepared, like I had to help him, feeling

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