In the year 2042, Sierra, a young graduate student in Classics, is shown a new dialog of Socrates, recently discovered, in which a time traveler tries to argue that Socrates might escape death by travel to the future! Thomas, the elderly scholar who has shown her the document, disappears, and Sierra immediately begins to track down the provenance of the manuscript with the help of her classical scholar boyfriend, Max. The trail leads her to time machines in gentlemen’s clubs in London and in New York, and into the past–and to a time traveler from the future, posing as Heron of Alexandria in 150 AD. Complications, mysteries, travels, and time loops proliferate as Sierra tries to discern who is planning to save the greatest philosopher in human history. Fascinating historical characters from Alcibiades to William Henry Appleton, the great nineteenth-century American publisher, to Hypatia and Socrates himself appear.
Targeted Age Group:: adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Ever since my first philosophy class in college, I never believed that Socrates, when given a chance to escape, elected to stay and drink the hemlock. This novel tells what really happened back then, and draws on my favorite genre of fiction: time travel.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Socrates of course was an obvious character. I have a PhD, and wanted the time traveler to be a doctoral student. I also wanted to make the time traveler a woman, because women have more sensitivity than men, and would therefore be better time travelers. Other historical characters, ranging from Heron to Alcibiades, were chosen based on such as factors as their proximity to Socrates (Alcibiades) or possible knowledge of time travel (Heron).
She ripped the paper in half, then ripped the halves, then ripped what was left, again, into bits and pieces of history that could have been….
Sierra Waters had read once that, years ago, it was thought that men made love for the thrill, while women made love for the sense of connection it gave them. Sierra had always done everything for the thrill. She had no sense of connection, except to her work. Which should have made her an ideal person for this job.
Still … an ideal person would have followed the plan. It was written on the only substance which could survive decades, maybe longer, without batteries, which required only the light of the sun to be read, or the moon on a good night, or a flickering flame when there was no moon. Paper. A marvelous invention. Thin and durable. And she had just torn it into pieces, opened her palm, and given it to the wind to disperse in irretrievable directions.
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