Tunnels of Time and Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink

I popped into the Red River Used Books store next to Artspace, where I was supposed to be attending a meeting of the Writer’s Guild. A miscalculation on how long it would take to maneuver through traffic and around road construction, allowed me about half an hour to spend strolling through the many crowded rows of books. Normally I’d head straight to the Mystery or SciFi section, but wasn’t really in the mood to focus on book titles in the hopes of finding something that would appeal to me, so I wandered to the back and found the YA section. One title nearly jumped off the spine at me: Tunnels of Time by Mary Harelkin Bishop.

Tunnels of Time

How perfect! Anyone who has been following me for awhile will probably guess why this would attract my attention. The title simply screamed TIME TRAVEL! Since The Time Tunnelwas one of my favourite shows growing up, I had to take the book off the shelf and read the blurb at the back. (Here’s part of what Amazon tells of the book:

At a family dinner party in a local restaurant, Andrea agrees to look at what she thinks is just a phony tourist attraction: the tunnels beneath the streets of Moose Jaw. Legend has it that in Prohibition days the tunnels sheltered crooks, maybe even the notorious Al Capone! Andrea scoffs, until she has a small accident at the tunnel entrance and wakes up in another time.)

Even more perfect than I first thought! It was about the old bootlegger tunnels in the town of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Most of you will not know that, during Prohibition, Al Capone is said to have set up shop in central Canada to sell booze, using tunnels beneath the town of Moose Jaw to avoid revenuers. For more information, you can check out the tunnels here.

A couple of times, we’ve taken road trips out west to visit family and friends in Alberta and B. C. and have passed through Moose Jaw. The first time, while having lunch at a roadside cafe, I noticed the brochure for the tunnels and had hoped that the next time we passed through Moose Jaw we would visit them, since they  have  reenactments of some of the things that went on back in the 1920s. Unfortunately, on our second trip, there were delays in our departure that made time too short to spend there. So, that is why I was so excited to see Tunnels of Time on the bookstore shelf. I can’t wait to dive into its pages. I’ll review it at a later date.

Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink

The other book I picked up was also of interest to me, as I have always loved the reenactments at our own Lower Fort Garry historical site. Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm is about a 17 year-old who gets a summer job working in a ‘living museum’. The book claims it’s ‘A story of crushes, corsets, and conspiracies.’ Sounds like a fun summer job, don’t you think?

Here is the Amazon blurb: Libby Kelting had always felt herself born out of time. No wonder the historical romance-reading, Jane Austen-adaptation-watching, all-around history nerd jumped at the chance to intern at Camden Harbor, Maine’s Oldest Living History Museum. But at Camden Harbor Libby’s just plain out of place, no matter how cute she looks in a corset. Her cat-loving coworker wants her dead, the too-smart-for-his-own-good local reporter keeps pushing her buttons, her gorgeous sailor may be more shipwreck than dreamboat — plus Camden Harbor’s haunted. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, Libby learns that boys, like ghosts, aren’t always what they seem.

I’ve always thought it would be fun to take part in the summer program at Lower Fort Garry, so I think this story will be fun to read, too. I’m glad I had the time to spend at that used book store. It’s never a waste of time. 🙂

Have any of you picked up some special finds in a used bookstore lately?

Time Travel

borrowed from howeswho.blogsot.ca

Time travel seems to be a popular theme for writers. It’s a topic dear to my heart, too, so I thought it would be an interesting topic for today’s post.

I think my obsession with time travel began when I saw the first Time Tunnel episode back in 1966 (Yes, I know I’m dating myself!) Although the series only ran for a year, I loved it.

Quantum Leap: The Complete First Season




Then, when Quantum Leap came out several decades later, I was enraptured with the concept of ‘making right what once went wrong’. For me, Quantum Leap is the definitive series about time travel. Mind you, I still liked watching Primeval and Flash Forward (I had to go and read the book, when it ended). The new series, Continuum, was what prompted me to explore this topic, today. Is anyone watching it? It’s got me hooked.

Product Details

Although I haven’t actually read many books that used time travel as their plot, I looked them up on Wikipedia. I discovered that the first ever time travel book was called Letters from the Twentieth Century by Samuel Madden. It was written in 1733! Even Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol from 1843 had an element of time travel – to Scrooge’s past and his future. Mark Twain’s 1891 story A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court was about a 19th century American citizen who travels back to King Arthur’a time of 528 AD. In the late 1800s, H. G. Wells wrote two time travel tales, The Chronic Argonauts and the more famous The Time Machine. C. S. Lewis, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov all wrote stories about time travel, The Hideous Strengths, A Sound of Thunder, and The End of Eternity, respectively. Of course, I could not help but mention Diana Gabaldon’s books beginning with Outlander. (I absolutely LOVE her books!)Outlander (20th Anniversary Edition): A Novel

Almost 150 books are listed on Wikipedia, not including over 500 Dr. Who novels, and there were a couple of blatant omissions on the list – A Wrinkly In Time  and The Olden Days Coat by Margaret Laurence – so there may be many more. Maybe Wikipedia didn’t bother to list kids books.

The Final Countdown [Blu-ray]

Also listed on this site are 100 movies that use time travel as the plot. Many are based on the books listed above. Of those hundred, I have seen A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court  and The Time Machine, both versions, and I must say that I prefer the original black & white versions. Hubby and I have watched all of the Planet of the Apes movies many times as well as the remake and, again, found the original better, although I have to admit the special effects were better in the remake. We’ve also watched Time After Time, where H. G. Wells and Jack the Ripper travel to the future. I loved The Final Countdown, where a warship goes back to the bombing of Pearl Harbour, as well as The Philadelphia Experiment. Then, of course there are the Back To The Future movies, the first one being the best, in my opinion. We’ve also watched Time Cop. (What can I say? I had a thing for Jean Claude Van Dam movies in my youth AND it involved TIME TRAVEL!)


Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)

Others we’ve watched include Masters of the Universe, Millenium with Kris Kristopherson and Cheryl Ladd (I LOVED this one!), the 3rd Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles where they went back to ancient Japan (We only watched it because our kids were into TMNT at the time!), Groundhog Day, 12 Monkeys, Frequency (another one I’d recommend), Kate & Leopold (a sweet love story with Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman), The Time Traveler’s Wife, and, of course, our time travel repertoire wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the Star Trek movies, The Voyage Home (THE BEST!) and Next Generations First Contact and the recent Star Trek movie by J. J. Abrahms. There’s also the Stargate movie Continuum.

No discussion of time travel would be complete if we didn’t mention the ‘butterfly effect’. It was coined by Edward Lorenz in 1969 and its far-reaching consequences were first explored in Ray Bradbury’s short story A Sound of Thunder. According to Wikipedia: “The name of the effect … is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane’s formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before … The butterfly effect is a common trope in fiction when presenting scenarios involving time travel and with hypotheses where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes.”

When using time travel as a plot, one must consider the ‘butterfly effect’. For the purpose of the story, do we WANT to change the future if we go to the past? Do we want the character to inadvertently change the future, thus creating a conflict that must be resolved? When traveling to the future, there isn’t such a great concern, unless the sudden absence of the person traveling ahead in time causes a major disaster. These were some of the things I had to consider when I decided to use time travel in my novels.

In Withershins, when Michelle broke down and decided to tell Dr. Buchanan and Duncan MacRae where she was really from, she was very careful not to reveal too much, although she had to show them her modern things to make them believe she was from their future. She had heard about the butterfly effect and worried that her presence in the past might change her future, so once she had revealed her items, she hid them, hoping no one would find them.

In Spirit Quest, I used the last device so that the sudden disappearance of Michelle when she returned to her present time, caused suspicions in the nosy and bigoted Mrs. Wilson. As a result, the doctor and her love interest were arrested and Michelle’s mentor was hanged because Mrs. Wilson accused them of murdering Michelle.


What about you? Have you read any of the books or seen any of the TV series or movies that I’ve mentioned? Did you like them? Would you recommend any other books, movies or TV shows involving time travel that I haven’t mentioned?