Authors Showcase: Features the novels of Greg Enslen and Bert Carson
May 11, 2013
The Book: The 9/11 Machine
The Author: Greg Enslen
The Story: Dr. Donald Ellis lost everything on 9/11. He lost his wife and daughter in the south tower of the World Trade Center. But while others grieved, or plotted revenge, Dr. Ellis threw himself into a long-dormant research project.
He traded his lab at the University of New York for an ugly riverfront warehouse in Brooklyn. What is he working on? And why does he spend every free moment at the warehouse standing by the river, staring across the water at Ground Zero?
Because Dr. Ellis has a plan: he’s going to make 9/11 “unhappen.”
Review by Patricia Austin: Author Greg Enslen tweaks an interesting set of alternative scenarios in this novel. His theory is that 9/11 could have been much much worse and he creates a set of alternate time lines to illustrate. His jumping off point is not what actually happened (in this time line) but what might have occurred – with ten times the dead, political upsets and the US as a near totalitarian state ten years down the road.
Using protagonist Don Ellis (who is determined to undo 9/11) and his trusty time machine, Enslen takes us back to before and warns the powers that be. As politicians are wont to do, they drop the ball and the death toll rises. Ellis goes back further in time, warns a different set of politicians and guess what…this time it’s Armageddon! Ellis tries again, determined to warn no one and do things his own way. The outcome: read it and find out.
I enjoyed the book and think others will, too.
Review by Cara’s Corner: Lately I have been reading books by my friend, Greg Enslen, The 9/11 Machine being the latest. It is truly fascinating to read a book written by someone you know. In Black Bird, he wrote about a serial killer who collected body parts from his victims. In this book, he wrote about time travel.
I had no idea that Greg was so creative, techy and dare I say (referring to Black Bird) creepy!
So, I see Greg after finishing The 9/11 Machine and my first comment was “you blew my mind.” Now I feel I need to clarify that. In The 9/11 Machine Dr. Ellis has lost both his wife and daughter in the south tower of The World Trade Center on 9/11.
He then throws himself into figuring out how to go back in time and hopefully change the outcome. However, he doesn’t just go back in time but he goes back in time many times – the description of the events that unfolded in each “new” timeline is what “blew my mind.”
From President Bush loosing his mind and Mr. Chaney becoming President to a plane crashing into the Capitol to Mr. Gore becoming president…all of these things gives that could have happened gives the reader lots to consider. These timelines are very imaginative on the part of my friend not to mention that the book is technically strong!
The Book: Another Place Another Time
The Author: Bert Carson
The Story: Leonard Jacobson’s life changed the day he met Whispers. Thirty years later he wrote the story. It began this way, “The day I met Whispers, I was nineteen and he was one. From the day we met, we were not apart for a single day for almost fifteen years. I cannot imagine what my life would have been without Whispers, and frankly, I don’t even want to think about it. This is our story, my dog, Whispers’ and mine.”
Half way through the book you’ll meet Luke Jenson, a professional truck driver. Luke’s life changes when he meets Traveler. He described it this way, “Daddy always said that I was a “riding fool,” usually adding, “Luke, you’d rather ride than eat.”
He should have met the dog. I have never known a man, woman, child or animal who liked to ride any more than Traveler. I guess I knew when I walked into Frank’s office, the dog was going to be my new partner; it just took a while for me to admit it. First, I had to put myself through all the arguments against having a big dog in a truck twenty-four hours a day.
Another Place Another Time is about men, women, dogs, love, war, and oh yes, time travel.
Review by Lana L. Higginbotham: Bert Carson’s characters in Another Place Another Time capture the reader. The unique aspects of Leonard Jacobsen, later known as `Jake’, intrigue from the first introduction. By the time we meet the first canine in the story, Jake’s journey from school and into the military has the pages turning at regular intervals.
Then Whispers, a black German Shepherd, joins him and the heart-connected duo is ready to brave Vietnam. They join a specialized group of scout dogs and their handlers, outshining them all. Without giving the story away, it shifts to new characters, and expands the stories of others as the book progresses. Initially, this becomes a little disconcerting, until the author weaves their stories together with expert precision. The second, key, canine-man duo is Luke Jenson and Traveler.
The story of Luke’s relationship with his truck driving father is enough to put him on the same level as Jake. Mixed in with the multi-faceted vignettes within this unusual story, is a trace of the feeling of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. The inter-connection of the characters leaves the reader satisfied as the last period is placed.
The author stirs anticipation, tears, and smiles throughout the story. The decisions of the characters to exercise high-integrity with a humanitarian spirit glows. The importance and gift of animals in our lives resounds. I recommend Bert Carson’s Another Place Another Time.
Review by J. H. Sked: This was a sweet read – a delightful tale with slight paranormal/sci-fi elements. It’s rare that you read a book with main characters that are just down-to-earth nice people; conflict always sells. This book chooses to deal with situations that need to be resolved, rather than personal conflict, and while unusual in that respect I absolutely loved it.
My favourite characters were definitely the dogs, especially Whisper, but the others were also great.
The book is told from multiple-viewpoints in the first person, and while I would have liked to see a slight change in tone when the character changed, I put this one done feeling like I’d just had a great chat with a new friend.
Since I normally like a darker tinge to my reading, I was surprised at just how much I loved it, and the strong belief through this writing that there are people out there who do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do.
This book is grandma and kid friendly – although the first part is set heavily in the Vietnam war, there is no graphic violence despite a couple of woundings, no bad language (this is the politest bunch of soldiers I’ve ever encountered, on or off paper) and no sex scenes. The entire family could sit down and enjoy this. Highly recommended.