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Paradox Resolution Paperback – May 29 2012
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"Bedford is funny in a crazed, Rudy Rucker kind of way. While Rucker writes of gonzo theorists, Bedford writes of the gonzo mechanics who keep the machines running."
— Fred Cleaver, Denver Post
"It's hard to do anything fresh with time travel, but ... K. A. Bedford delivers by focusing less on the "wow" factor than on the social-implications factor."
— Dru Pagliassotti, The Harrow
"I have to say I really liked this book, and think K. A. Bedford a writer easily capable of taking his place with better-known contemporary sf authors like Alister Reynolds, Ken McLeod, and Paul McAuley."
— New York Review of Science Fiction
"The mastery of the projected technologies is dazzling, far more so than in most military space opera, and it is not there simply for display. These technologies have consequences. The vocabulary associated with them is credible and vital. Setting and complication are real strengths for this writer, and the pacing and action keep the reader fully occupied."
— Dave Luckett, reviewer - The West Australian
From the Author
K. A. Bedford interview:
1. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?
It's PARADOX RESOLUTION, the second Spider Webb book. The idea for which came a long time ago, and changed so much in the development process that the original idea was completely forgotten, and I went with what you now find in the book.
2. What is the book about?
It's a book about how time travel leads to nothing but trouble and strife. There's a bit where Spider thinks that the so-called "E-mail From the Future" which had the original instructions on how to build a time machine, the sender of whom has never been found, was a terrorist plot to destabilise the world. Because it's obviously working.
3. What genre does it fit into?
Science fiction adventure.
4. What is different about the book?
It's set in Perth, Western Australia, in the near future. It's the least exotic, least futuristic, least whizzy place there is on Earth. Trust me. I know. The book is also big on its characters, because I think compelling characters make for a compelling read. Plot alone doesn't do it for me. I don't want to read about lifeless people following plot directions as if they were baking a very suspenseful cake. This is probably the one big lesson I've taken from reading classics and literary fiction: characters you can genuinely care about, and who grow and change.
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5. Who is the book for?
People who liked the first one. Science fiction readers generally. Anyone with a pulse? :)
6. Why did you write the book?
I thought Spider still had some life left in him after the first book. And I keep getting these ideas, see.
7. When did you start writing the book?
I wrote the book during 2009-2010.
8. Where did the inspiration ideas come from for the book?
I have no idea. They just turn up out of nowhere. It's the nearest thing to magic there is, I believe. You're minding your own business, driving along, or doing the shopping, or trying to sleep, etc, and suddenly there's this thing in your head that hadn't been there a few minutes earlier. Sometimes these are so compelling that you have to drop everything you're doing and go and start writing notes. I've had entire novels come to me during long drives in the countryside. Not *good* novels; none of those have ever made it to print, but they do keep turning up. Then of course you can go for ages and have nothing turn up, and you start to worry and get neurotic about it. Until one day three turn up at once, like buses. It's weird.
9. There are six elements in writing fiction and often fact: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. The first five often lead to the sixth, which is the plot. What's your take on this?
I'm more into the Character is Plot school of thought, that plot emerges from what the characters are like, and what they're about.
10. How do you create your characters? Your plot? Do you have a specific process?
My characters tend to turn up, unannounced. I do write a *lot* of notes, though, once I've got a gaggle of characters. Especially with time-travel stories, where you've got things happening out of sequence, etc. That kind of thing you have to sketch out. And most often I don't have names for these characters. Names are hard. In notes they're usually just "Protagonist", and "Love Interest", "Sidekick", "Robot Buddy", "Woman Who Means Trouble", "Sad Dog", "Major Villain", "Minor Villain", etc.
11. Do you know how the story will end before you begin?
In a general way or a specific one? Not a freaking clue in the world. Mostly I'm writing the way I would read, to find out what happens next. Most times I sit down to write, I have no idea what the characters will be doing that day. I have broad aims and goals for them, and, sort of, limits within which they can do what they like. If this sounds like keeping a puppy in a play-pen, then you're probably right.
12. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
No, I just make stuff up. On occasion I will consult maps of places where I haven't been, and similar sorts of information (Google Maps/Earth is brilliant) to get more of a sense of things.
13. Where do you do your research? On line or books?
Mainly online. I've read a boatload of popular physics books. And I have some very brainy friends I consult from time to time when I've got a particularly knotty problem. For matters pertaining to, say, local police, I ask the local police. They've been very helpful, and answer my queries, even though they know I'm a science fiction writer. I'd love to go and sit down and talk with a detective sometime, but I doubt they'd go along with that.
14. Do you write in more than one genre?
I write science fiction, but also like detective fiction (and spy fiction — Alan Furst, John LeCarre and Charles McCarry). In detective fiction I love the Scandinavian stuff (not so much Larsson, but the other guys are great) most of all. I often try to blend the sf and the detective elements. The detective story often provides a useful frame around which to tell a good sf story, I've found.
15. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
I was born into the Space Age, and the Cold War. I saw the Apollo 11 moon landing when I was 6. STAR TREK and DOCTOR WHO and lots of other TV sf shows all turned up as I was growing up. I grew up absolutely soaking in futurity. :) It's just a shame it hasn't worked out the way we thought it would.
16. Are there villains in your book(s) and how were they created?
Yes, though they don't and would never think of themselves as villains, just as the villains of the real world never think they're villains. Bashar al-Assad, of Syria, thinks he's saving his country from foreign interlopers and terrorists (mind you, he also does think of Syria as *his*, as in his actual birthright, that he owns it). Hitler thought he was doing the world a huge favour. Breivik, in Norway, shot all those kids, etc, and thought he was not only doing the country a huge favour, but that he was performing a vital service, and that he should be given a medal for taking the initiative, and being a good citizen. Villains see things differently. They make different choices.
Some are obviously evil and crazy, but they don't worry about things like that. Or they have yes-men who reassure them that everything they're doing is just and proper. Villains in my books, like Dickhead McMahon, believe they're doing the universe a great service. There's also the matter of gaining exclusive knowledge. Dickhead is crazy. In Spider 3 he has come to realize this, and has gotten treatment for it, and is now full of terrible awareness of what he's done. He's still Dickhead, though. :)
Top Customer Reviews
I particularly enjoy Bedford's portrayal of a hero with absolutely no heroic qualities fighting overwhelmingly superior powers. He's flawed, human, and easy to identify with.
Bedford builds a mystery right from the first chapter, teases with hints and clues, and weaves the threads together satisfyingly. Through all of it, a uniquely Australian rough-and-tumble sensibility stands out.
Action, mystery, romance, monsters, romance, time machines, and a goldfish. I highly recommend this latest installment and look forward to the next!
Paradox Resolution is the second book in what I hope will be an ongoing series. The first was Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait and I highly recommend you read it first if you haven't already. Without giving anything away (I hope), Paradox Resolution picks up Aloysius "Spider" Webb's story a short time after the conclusion of Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait. Once again, circumstances conspire to tie Spider's already fragile existence into knots. Fortunately, Spider's sidekick Charlie (my namesake, if you must know) is there to whip up a nice strong cuppa just when it is needed most, giving Spider the impetus he needs to soldier on. Without Charlie's timely intervention, all might have been lost....
Okay, all self-aggrandizement aside, Paradox Resolution is every bit as mind-bendingly fun as its predecessor, if not more so. All our favourite characters are back, along with some new ones that only add more spice to this series. I don't need to jump ahead in time to know that like the aforementioned Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait, Paradox Resolution is sure to be shortlisted for -- and may well win -- more than one of science fiction's prestigious awards in the not-too-distant future.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Spider is an ex-policeman, a man who quit the force after blowing the whistle on police corruption. He lives in a cheap motel while his wife Molly waits for him to sign divorce papers. He still hopes they will get back together, while she continues to use him as a cheap handyman.
Spider's mundane existence changes one day when he opens the fridge at work and discovers a head. A head that asks to be saved. Spider is then reunited with a loyal police colleague, Iris, as they investigate the murder.
Life becomes more complicated for Spider when his new boss asks him to investigate the disappearance of his young son and friend in the employer's supped-up time machine. And thus an adventure begins that takes Spider millions of years into the future.
Like the previous novel, readers will be struck by the Australian-ness of Paradox Resolutions. Anyone who was not aware of the Australian vernacular before reading the novel will be afterwards. This is such a change from the pseudo American English that seems to be the universal language of science fiction.
The novel is written with underlying amusement as its reluctant hero fails to see the truth behind many of his relationships. The story flows between action sequences and a physically and emotionally bruised Spider trying to figure out what the hell is going on.
Paradox Resolutions is for readers who like time-travel novels where a character's ethics and motives change with each future version of themselves. The sequel is every bit as enjoyable as the original.
If you liked Time Machines Repaired While U Wait, you'll love this book. If you've never read the first book, make a spot for it in your future timeline.
Audiobook version published in 2013 by Post Hypnotic Press
Read by Cameron MacDonald
Duration: 9 hours, 45 minutes.
Time travel science fiction can be tricky. Do you play it straight and have time traveler affecting the time line like Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis? Or, do you play fast and loose with time travel and timelines like the Dr. Who series does?
Personally, I like the stricter interpretation of time travel. I think the loose interpretation is like Robert Frost's famed comparison of free verse poetry to rhyming/metered poetry to "playing tennis without a net." I guess it comes from to many years of playing Role Playing Games as a kid - I tend to put myself in complicated plots and think about how I would get out. Unfortunately (for me at least), this book plays by a set of fast, loose and rather arbitrary rules about time travel and leaves its own plot open to its own internal inconsistencies - the entire story could have been undone with judicious use of any of the thousands of time machines that exist in this story at any point in almost any of the main characters' lives.
I have not read the first book in this series but I think that Bedford does a very good of catching the reader up to the events that transpired in the first book. I was drawn to the book because of the back of the book description of Spider Webb - a down on his luck ex-cop who fixes time machines at an Australian franchise location of the Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait chain. Spider is a likable guy who wants to get back with his ex-wife, can't see that another lady is practically throwing himself at him and has a very strong sense of right and wrong.
The story starts out with a bang but in the middle of the book there are long, long often repetitive passages of discussion and thought (and thoughts about the discussions that we just heard) that bog the book down. Sadly, the book never picks up the quick pace again and prone to shorter (but still repetitive) discussions and thoughts about discussions.
I enjoyed the reading by Cameron MacDonald. He had a nice command of Australian and Canadian accents and portrays the clueless yet committed Spider Webb quite skillfully. Plus, he made the long bouts of discussion and thinking listenable.