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Initially, he vows to never use the machine, but finally relents when he realizes he could use it to help his mother.
He goes back to Germany, just before World War II, to carry out a ‘harmless’ tinker, but returns to his own time zone to find a world ravaged by global nuclear war.
Praise for the Time Split:
“As well as time travel, there’s a strong human element in Time Split. Patricia describes with startling clarity how life during post-nuclear fallout might be. I really picked up on the forlorn sense of survival, being alone and left to fend for yourself. Lessons on the worse side of human character hadn’t been learned, and groups of self-appointed leaders made life even more miserable and desperate for those ‘lucky’ enough to survive the blast and the time afterwards.” Paul W
“I’ve always been interested in time travel stories, and this one is a good one. It is hard not to like the characters in this, and sympathize with them as they go about trying to solve all the problems one well-meaning but very costly decision created. There is darkness in this, following a nuclear war, but there is light too – and hope. And without giving away the ending, you are left wondering what happens to everyone after the events described – which is surely the mark of a good story.” Amazon Customer.
40 minutes into the war most of the northern hemisphere was destroyed. A cycle of annihilation, which once started became impossible to stop.
The launch of missiles, detected by satellites, set the wheels in motion for the retaliatory strikes to begin.
No nation escaped the cascade that followed; even those neutral in the war.
Detonation was the only warning for most that things had escalated beyond reason as the use of thermo-weapons had never been discussed. A huge electromagnetic pulse, which fried all electrical equipment inside the strike zone, shut down power grids and plunged the region into darkness. A microsecond later there followed a flash of intense white light, which filled the sky, as a small sun erupted within the city.
As the glare burned the corneas from their eyes, it simultaneously cauterized their optic nerves, but the blindness and pain only distressed for a nanosecond. Superheated air, expanding at a rate of 400 meters per second, dwarfed all previous torment. Skin was seared and lungs disintegrated as a last agonized breath choked in the furnace.
On the fringes of the inferno, fires erupted in every direction whilst in the center, where temperatures reached millions of degrees centigrade, everything was vaporized in a millisecond. The scorching, dust-filled air tore upward in a fiery plume, looking, to all at a distance safe enough to witness the madness, as though hell had broken loose. Seconds later it hit the stratosphere where, cooling, it began to fan outwards, forming the terrifying calling card of man’s most destructive weapon.
There was no hope on January 28th. The mercy for most was death came swiftly.
On a worldwide scale, billions died immediately following the initial strikes, and in the weeks after, millions more from radiation and starvation.
None of this had to happen; none of this should have happened; and it wouldn’t have happened had it not been for the good intentions of one man.
Time Split is also available in paperback.
Also by Patricia Smith: Time Split – Briggs, Distant Suns, Distant Suns – The Journey Home, Distant Suns – The Silexous, Islands – The Epidemic and Nebathan.