Monday, June 4, 2012

The Didymus Contingency

The Didymus Contingency by Jeremy Robinson Breakneck Media, 2007
Print Length: 296 pages
ISBN-13: 9780983601739

If you could go back in time...and witness any event...where would you go?
When Dr. Tom Greenbaum faces that question after successfully discovering the secret to time travel, he knows the time, place and event he will witness: the death and failed resurrection of Jesus Christ. Dr. David Goodman, Tom's colleague and closest friend follows Tom into the past, attempting to avert a time-space catastrophe, but forces beyond their control toss them into a dangerous end game where they are tempted by evil characters, betrayed by friends, pursued by an assassin from the future and haunted by a demon that cannot be killed.

My Thoughts:
In The Didymus Contingency by Jeremy Robinson Dr. Tom Greenbaum and  Dr. David Goodman discover the secret to time travel. Their future selves send back watches that are actually devices that make time travel a reality. After a drunken celebration, Tom, whose wife was killed for her Christian beliefs, ends up traveling back in time to prove that Christianity is a farce and Jesus was just another man. David follows trying to help his friend, but, unknown to either of them, other malevolent forces are at work. Even while they are living in a historical past right out of the Bible, they are being pursued by an assassin from our time.  

Even though The Didymus Contingency  could be construed to be strictly a Christian novel, it actually nicely blends science fiction into a traditional time travel format. While the events in the book follow the Biblical account of Jesus' life, the story is also a well executed science fiction/action-adventure novel.
The format I read was the newest re-release on my Kindle, so, as far as I saw, the original typos and errors spoken of concerning earlier editions were all corrected. I actually have enjoy other books by Robinson so I was expecting the writing to be good and the story to be compelling and full of action.
I really enjoyed The Didymus Contingency. Admittedly I also appreciated the tie in to the Biblical account of the life of Christ, but I really think this novel could be appreciated by most science fiction fans. It was also a great airplane/vacation read.  Very Highly Recommended  
1985 2:35 P.M. Zambia, Africa
Tom Greenbaum was captivated. Herds of blue wildebeest and zebra scattered in all directions as Mpundu, the dirty, mild tempered pilot of the small Cessna rental, took Tom down for a closer look at the flora and fauna of the Zambian plains. It would have been easy for most people to lose track of time, staring at the creatures, whose lives and deaths played out on the brown tinged grass below. But Tom wasn’t most people. As a quantum physicist with an IQ of 167, the calculations needed to time a quick jaunt over the African plains were as easy as clipping fingernails. Tom had planned this distraction well. opening
Tell me, why do you come to Zambia? You have seen the animals, but where you are going now has no animals.” “Visiting my wife,” Tom explained, his voice softening with the thought of her face and smile. “She’s been here two weeks, but she’ll be staying another two after I leave.”
Mpundu’s face became visibly confused. “You say your wife? Here in Zambia for two weeks without her husband?”
Tom nodded. “It’s the longest we’ve been apart.”
“And you let her come here?”
“I would have stopped her if I could,” added Tom, “Trust me. Since she found religion, it’s been impossible for me to get through to her. I swear the whole lot of them has a death wish.”
Mpundu’s smile faded. “This is the worst place to come with a death wish.” Page 2

Megan wasn’t the type of woman to run from a fight, but this was slaughter and she knew Tom was flying into a deathtrap. She had to warn him. Page 2
Before Tom could launch toward Megan, Mpundu’s firm grasp on Tom’s shoulder held him in place. “Do not enter the grass, Mr. Greenbaum. There are predators.” Tom looked back at Mpundu, whose eyes were locked on a flock of birds bursting from the jungle on the opposite side of the field.
“Lions?” Tom asked quickly.
“Worse.” Page 5
Boom! A second shot pierced the air as Tom and Megan came within ten feet of each other. Megan’s body arched back. Blood exploded from her chest, covering Tom’s body and face. Page 5
“Do you balieve as dis wuman deed? Do you balieve en her God?” The man’s voice seemed deeper, more demanding. “Ah you not a disciple?” Tom’s lip began to bleed as he bit down. “Tell us! We want to know!” the man screamed.
“No, damnit! I don’t believe what she did! I never will!”
The four men instantly lowered their rifles. Page 7

Tom pressed the rifle into the man’s head. “Do you believe as she did?”
“No! No! We do not!”
“Then, maybe I’ll see you in Hell.” The gunshots could be heard for miles away. Three. And then three more. That was all twenty years ago…today. Page 8 

David Goodman knew what day it was. Tom told him the story ten years ago and David had since learned how to treat his partner on this day: just like every other day. As David threw away the soggy cereal he never got around to eating, he thought about Tom and wondered how a man who had no hope for the future, could bear the burden this day represented. Page 9

“It will work. It’s our design,” David replied.
“That’s what concerns me.” A small device, disguised to look like a knot of pine, lowered over the Land Rover’s hood from the shack’s ceiling. A shimmering green laser investigated the vehicle from top to bottom, front to back. The laser passed across the windshield and into the SUV. Tom and David looked forward, eyes wide open, allowing the laser to scan their facial features and retinas. Page 13

Tom’s smile faded, but not completely. “Ah, one of your religious curse replacements. Fudge, shoot, gosh darnit, Jiminy Cricket. It’s all the same, you know. You still mean the curse, even if you don’t say the actual word. Changing bitch to witch might alter the sound, but the emotion behind it is still the same.” Page 17

A sound like the popping of popcorn began to fill the air. Something was happening. Scientists around the room began checking their equipment, recording the sound and preparing for more. The sound grew louder, crackling through the thick glass, and causing the control center to shake. A metal cabinet at the back of the room popped open and its contents crashed to the floor. There was a flash of light inside the receiving area and then everything went black. Sparks exploded into the air. No one noticed. All eyes were transfixed on the tears in time-space opening up in the next room. Page 19-20 
Tom and David gleefully spent the next eleven hours sorting through piles of documentation, equipment and tools that had been sent back in time from their future selves. Page 22 

“Why did we send back watches?” Ten watches were lined up on the table next to Tom, but before the issue could be further addressed, Tom asked another question, “Whose handwriting?” Page 23

A thought struck David and he yelled over the increasing noise, “The watches… They’re the time devices. We triggered the event with the watch!” Page 25

And look at this! Anywhere in the world you want to go to. After picking the year and time you can enter global coordinates, which are then automatically adjusted for continental shift. Just push this button and poof, you disappear…to another time…another place…another way of life, in the blink of an eye.” Page 27

“I’m going to prove it to you once and for all. I’m going to prove it to the world. My wife is dead and so is your God, dead and buried,” said Tom, “Don’t worry. I won’t change anything. I won’t get involved.” Page 29

“Uh, well, closer inspection of the data sheets from the time of incursion shows two additional time-space distortions,” explained Spencer.
“Meaning?” Sally asked.
“Meaning two or three people—” David said.
“Or objects,” Spencer added.
“—traveled through time in that room at roughly the same time,” David finished. Page 31
Given what is at stake, we believe it necessary to implement a few safety precautions, a few…failsafes.”
“Meaning?” Sally asked, seemingly unfazed by this information.
“Meaning, Director McField,” the stranger said, in a voice that screamed military, “if the situation cannot be contained, it must be eliminated.” Page 44

“Didymus? Is that supposed to be a nickname?”
David replied with a grin, “I think so.”
“What does it mean?”
“The twin.” Page 72

No comments: