Robert Dickinson lives in Brighton and his life to date has been shockingly uneventful. His two previous novels were published by a small press. The Tourist is his third novel.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A breakthrough book by a relatively new British science fiction author, THE TOURIST is a time-travel tale with a difference and features a complex, layered plot and engineered structure that might take some time for the reader to get to grips with but ultimately more than rewards him. Time travel is now possible and the principal character is a tour guide for excursions into the past who, on an a routine assignment to a pre-cataclysm London, inadvertently loses one of his tourists who then turns out to be a key factor in a chain of conspiracies and threats to the nature of the future. Multi-layered, with the tale told through two different voices (or are there actually more?), we get a glimpse of a far future where city states and a class-based society dominate, a near future on the brink of an unexplained catastrophe and a slew of timeline loops that will have you scratching your head with perplexity. If science fiction is expected to have you thinking in overdrive, this certainly does the job. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
THE FUTURE HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. It's expected to be an excursion like any other. There is nothing in the records to indicate that anything out of the ordinary will happen. A bus will take them to the mall. They will have an hour or so to look around. Perhaps buy something, try their food. A minor traffic incident on the way back to the resort will provide additional interest - but the tour rep has no reason to expect any trouble. Until he notices that one of his party is missing. Most disturbingly, she is a woman who, according to the records, did not go missing. Now she is a woman whose disappearance could change the world. With breathtaking plot twists that ricochet through time, The Tourist is the most original conspiracy thriller you will read this year.
"e;A rare treat: a time travel tale that brings something new to the subgenre....A wry social commentary and an uneasy tale of escalating paranoia."e; GuardianTHE FUTURE IS ALREADY WRITTEN."e;As fresh and compelling as it is high concept....Immensely enjoyable."e; SFX****THE FUTURE HAS ALREADY HAPPENED."e;Welcome to the 21st Century. Please don't feed the natives....Echoes of Bradbury and Orwell, in the service of a crackerjack conspiracy plot; a seductively intriguing work of speculative fiction."e; KirkusTIME TRAVEL IS CONFUSING."e;Leaps of time, identity, and chronology create a dark, chillingly claustrophobic atmosphere."e; Publishers WeeklyPROCEED WITH CAUTION.WHO WILL SOLVE THE PUZZLE OF THE TOURIST?
An Orwellian dystopia in the guise of a fast-paced thriller, this is a coolly satirical novel laced with humour, suspense and intrigue. Welcome to Brighton, a city ruled by a combination of patronage and armed force. The departments have kept their old names but now Transport imposes order and exacts tolls; Welfare processes the undesirables; Audit collects information about everybody, and Parks and Libraries is supposed to stop the flow of contraband. After years of civil conflict, gated communities separate government workers from the Scoomers cruising the streets in their battered Fiats. But in a secure area four couples from the town's elite keep up a tenuous version of middle class life. They attend each others' dinner parties and drink and gossip. Margaret and Alan think things are getting better; Jack and Denise work long hours and hardly talk to each other; Louise thinks Tim is plotting something, while Siobhan cannot tell her friends the truth about the husband they all think is harmless. Outside, beyond their security gates, the rival Council militias keep an uneasy truce while an underclass forages for survival or waits eagerly for the end of the world. Meanwhile a faction within the Council is planning to make the changes that will give them absolute power. And then, driving home from a party, Jack and Denise witness a fatal car crash involving one of the Councillors. As the inevitable by-election approaches, they and the people they know are increasingly enmeshed in the town's political manoeuvring and the violence of the streets outside begins to touch even their lives. Through conversations between the characters, leaked tapes of official meetings, transcribed phone calls, fly posters for prayer meetings, and provocative articles in an illegal newspaper, this haunting vision of corruption and surveillance in a city on the brink of chaos is at once deeply unsettling and frighteningly familiar.
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