The Chinese Time Machine by Ian Watson
(NewCon Press, 2023)
Reviewed by Stuart Carter
Despite my last review of an Ian Watson book being Mockymen in 2005, I still have fond memories of that book. So, I jumped at the chance when offered a copy of The Chinese Time Machine, his latest short story collection.
Of the eleven stories here, four are set in the near-future and involve the voyages of—you guessed it—a ‘Chinese Time Machine’. What you probably didn’t guess is that the eponymous craft is based in Oxford, and crewed by two English academics, Mason and Sharma. Although invented by an ascendant Chinese government, it is the British who pilot her back in time, to rescue a famous tragic figure here (Oscar Wilde) and tweak a timeline there (by delaying the adoption of Arabic numerals).
Review from BSFA Review 21 - Download your copy here.