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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time travel for the romantic
It may seem to be a contradiction in terms, to use a time machine to travel into the future to pour over the details of one's past. But that's exactly what Ronald Wright accomplishes in his marvelous novel A SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE. Part futuristic travelogue, part nostalgic reminiscences of the past, ROMANCE is a thinking person's science fiction, a completely enthralling...
Published on Feb. 4 2003 by Stone Junction

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise but falls down on the follow-through.
Since a synopsis of the plot is already printed, I won't bore you running through it here. Unfortunately, I was bored running through the book. What a great premise -- H.G Wells' Time Machine exists and an archeologist is going to take a ride into the future! What a let-down. There's no denying that this is a well-written book, but I like books that are plot and...
Published on April 30 1998


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time travel for the romantic, Feb. 4 2003
This review is from: A scientific romance (Hardcover)
It may seem to be a contradiction in terms, to use a time machine to travel into the future to pour over the details of one's past. But that's exactly what Ronald Wright accomplishes in his marvelous novel A SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE. Part futuristic travelogue, part nostalgic reminiscences of the past, ROMANCE is a thinking person's science fiction, a completely enthralling apocalyptic dystopia that reveals more about the present-day human heart than one would expect.
Taking a page from H.G. Wells's classic THE TIME MACHINE, Wright has fashioned a fiction based on the 'reality' of a fiction. Wright's protagonist David Lambert, archaeologist and devotee of Victorian machinery, discovers that Wells based his novel upon a factual incident. Lambert subsequently discovers the time machine, intact but riderless, and decides to travel to 2500 A.D.. What he discovers raises more questions than answers about the fate of humanity, but it also raises questions as to what events led Lambert to this point in his life. As he travels the futuristic England countryside, he retraces his past with his friend Bird, and the woman they both love, Anita. The farther Lambert treks through England, the farther his despair over past actions becomes.
Not having perused Wells's classic, I am unable to compare his and Wright's styles. I can reveal that there is a deeply pleasing antiquated feel to Wright's tale; something in his style evokes the nostalgic prose style of Jules Verne. The font also seems charmingly old-fashioned (and for anyone who doesn't believe a font can affect a story, please discover Chip Kidd's terrific novel THE CHEESE MONKEYS, which covers just such a format consideration).
Wright has penned several travel books, and his knowledge of the mechanics of travel shows through; Lambert is nothing if not prepared for his journey, and his time machine seems plausibly real. It is to Wright's credit that ROMANCE reads not as a tour book, but rather as a full-fledged story. His future England is left appealingly vague; jungle covers the land, manmade flora has taken root in an unexpected manner, and humanity has all but disappeared. Clues are revealed as to what occurred, but that is all they remain, clues. Mankind's ultimate fate is left to the imagination; what Wright reveals is frightening and confusing enough.
Wright is not only concerned with a 'what-if' scenario; he also is a curious traveller of the human conscience. His intention is not to simply provide the curious with yet another post-apocalyptic landscape; like the best of the genre (SWAN SONG by Robert McCammon, THE STAND by Stephen King, and THE POSTMAN by David Brin, to name but three), Wright wants to explore the human condition through the genre stereotypes. Lambert, despite his intention to map out the future, is plagued by his past. His love for Anita, his regret over Bird, haunt his every move. Wright may be attempting to show that we are the sum of our past actions, and no matter how far you travel, the past will never fail to judge your present actions. You cannot outrun yourself.
A SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE is not the novel for the reader who demands fast-paced action. Wright lays out his tale deliberately, with care and precision given to each step. Lambert's journey is highly unlikely, yet completely believable. His ultimate destination is heart-breaking in its simple acceptance of what makes a person happy. Wright's novel, despite the absence of characters, is a very real romance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great premise but falls down on the follow-through., April 30 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A scientific romance (Hardcover)
Since a synopsis of the plot is already printed, I won't bore you running through it here. Unfortunately, I was bored running through the book. What a great premise -- H.G Wells' Time Machine exists and an archeologist is going to take a ride into the future! What a let-down. There's no denying that this is a well-written book, but I like books that are plot and character driven. This book is a great idea. There is little "story" and the characters are poorly developed. Such interesting people and I never got to find out more about them! It's a great hook, but when I expected the book to really take off, it just ran out of gas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story unclearly written, July 3 2012
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This review is from: A Scientific Romance (Paperback)
This novel is a great idea that was complicated by it's execution. There are multiple letters to different characters over many pages. Complex language dilutes the clarity of the concept. It is written in British style, North Americans might have trouble with certain references.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Three-quarters a perfect sci-fi novel, Nov. 27 2007
By 
Don Eglinski (Edmonton, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Scientific Romance (Paperback)
If you live by the philosophy that the real joy of any experience is in the journey towards its conclusion, then this book is for you. While I can't speak for everyone, the book is comprised of four parts, and while I thought the third part lost this book its five-star rating, the remainder I will proudly exalt as breathtaking.

Taking an archaeologist and sending them to the future to dig up our era (where we have unfortunately come to an untimely end), fares as one of the best sci-fi plots to date. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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3.0 out of 5 stars ........, Feb. 4 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: A Scientific Romance (Paperback)
I came across this book when my english teacher was handing out a list of novles for us to choos from for our ISU, and I somehow ended up with this. I have to admit that I didn't really enjoy it. I found that while the concepts presented were quite interesting and got me thinking, the characters were dry. I aboslutely hated the fact that the main character kept going on about his love for some girl who came across as quite shallow. Also, the ideas in this book are very similar to A Short History of Progress, by the same author. I would definately reccomend this author's non-ficion works, but this one left a bit to be desired.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy Plot Devices, Nov. 15 2003
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This is an interesting concept novel used to drive home a point about technology and scientific hubris run rampant that eventually chokes our planet and all but destroys the human race.
In 1999 David Lambert, really a rather wandering soul, is a museum curator who has lost the love of his life to Mad Cow disease and his best friend in a falling out over a nasty love triangle involving the same woman. Unbelievably a letter falls into his hands that purports to be from H.G. Wells informing the reader of the return of the time machine to London-a fiction that turns out not to be fiction. So off he goes on his jaunt into the future.
This is a poor attempt at using the time travel concept as a plot device. There are just way too many coincidences and way too many convenient plot devices to move the story along. And it drags on unrelentlessly in the middle with some very tedious slogging as the author gets carried away over describing the future he finds.
At times, the novel is very good and it does have some merit. But frankly, the plot devices used, especially in the end, undermine the novel.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good Concept, Boring Writing, Dec 2 2002
First the concept - A man with an uncurable disease, discovers a time machine created by an associate of H.G. Wells. He decides to go to the future to seek a cure.
Unfortunately the writing style to this book was excrutiatingly boring, written in the first person. The narrator (the man with the incurable disease) jumps from concept to concept, without anything interesting to say. There is virtually no action. When he gets to the future, everything is destroyed and you keep waiting for him to encounter people, which never seems to happen. I found H.G. Wells Time Machine to be vastly more interesting and that was written over 100 years ago.
Many other readers have given this book very high marks for writing and I wonder how they can? I know I kept finding myself skipping over a lot of paragraphs throughout the book and had to fight with myself to keep from just jumping to the back of the book and reading the end so I could get on with it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Using the future to examine the past, Aug. 26 2002
This review is from: A scientific romance (Hardcover)
It may seem to be a contradiction in terms, to use a time machine to travel into the future to pour over the details of one's past. But that's exactly what Ronald Wright accomplishes in his marvellous novel A SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE. Part futuristic travelogue, part nostalgic reminiscence of the past, ROMANCE is a thinking person's science fiction, a completely enthralling apocalyptic dystopia that reveals more about the present-day human heart than one would expect.
Taking a page from H.G. Wells's classic THE TIME MACHINE, Wright has fashioned a fiction based on the 'reality' of a fiction. Wright's protagonist David Lambert, archaeologist and devotee of Victorian machinery, discovers that Wells based his novel upon a factual incident. Lambert subsequently discovers the time machine, intact but riderless, and decides to travel to 2500 A.D.. What he discovers raises more questions than answers about the fate of humanity, but it also raises questions as to what events led Lambert to this point in his life. As he travels the futuristic England countryside, he retraces his past with his friend Bird, and the woman they both love, Anita. The farther Lambert treks through England, the farther his despair over past actions becomes.
Not having perused Wells's classic, I am unable to compare his and Wright's styles. I can reveal that there is a deeply pleasing antiquated feel to Wright's tale; something in his style evokes the nostalgic prose style of Jules Verne. The font also seems charmingly old-fashioned (and for anyone who doesn't believe a font can affect a story, please discover Chip Kidd's terrific novel THE CHEESE MONKEYS, which covers just such a format consideration).
Wright has penned several travel books, and his knowledge of the mechanics of travel shows through; Lambert is nothing if not prepared for his journey, and his time machine seems plausibly real. It is to Wright's credit that ROMANCE reads not as a tour book, but rather as a full-fledged story. His future England is left appealingly vague; jungle covers the land, manmade flora has taken root in an unexpected manner, and humanity has all but disappeared. Clues are revealed as to what occurred, but that is all they remain, clues. Mankind's ultimate fate is left to the imagination; what Wright reveals is frightening and confusing enough.
Wright is not only concerned with a 'what-if' scenario; he also is a curious traveller of the human conscience. His intention is not to simply provide the curious with yet another post-apocalyptic landscape; like the best of the genre (SWAN SONG by Robert McCammon, THE STAND by Stephen King, and THE POSTMAN by David Brin, to name but three), Wright wants to explore the human condition through the genre stereotypes. Lambert, despite his intention to map out the future, is plagued by his past. His love for Anita, his regret over Bird, haunt his every move. Wright may be attempting to show that we are the sum of our past actions, and no matter how far you travel, the past will never fail to judge your present actions. You cannot outrun yourself.
A SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE is not the novel for the reader who demands fast-paced action. Wright lays out his tale deliberately, with care and precision given to each step. Lambert's journey is highly unlikely, yet completely believable. His ultimate destination is heart-breaking in its simple acceptance of what makes a person happy. Wright's novel, despite the absence of characters, is a very real romance.
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2.0 out of 5 stars "Scientific Romance" has little of either., June 6 2000
By 
V. Mike Smith (North Ranch, California) - See all my reviews
Truly a fascinating premise...I've always wanted a time machine of my own, but the protagonist wastes his opportunity. So does the author. The style is quite true to the characters, though, right down to the you-have-to-have-been-there-to-know England. Particularly fascinating were the fragmentary documents discovered along the way...mind-blowing concepts like a brochure for the Zooseum owned by Disney-Vatican; a final message by a desperate medico to her family recommending a particular METHOD of suicide (not if, just how), followed by the arrest report made by the military. If you're into postapocalyptic imagery (especially if you've been to England) and liked Shute's On The Beach, you'll enjoy this one. If not, just take the two incidental concepts I've spoiled for you and pen your own version of what could happen if the world doesn't realize that eight billion people can't all live the California dream; you'll probably have more fun, and you'll certainly save time!
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5.0 out of 5 stars a real page turner, April 24 2000
By A Customer
This is an enthralling read, beautifully written, and the story has stayed with me since I read it last year. A haunting story of an apocolyptical world that seems all too real and possible. The chill bump factor is very high. I could not put the book down.
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A Scientific Romance
A Scientific Romance by Ronald Wright (Paperback - July 7 1998)
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