We’ve asked authors Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika to talk with us about their time travel books.
Lisa Mason is the author of Summer of Love, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and on Kindle. Summer of Love was a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book. Locus Magazine said, “Remarkable. . .the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.” The Gilded Age was a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book. The New York Times Book Review called The Gilded Age, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.” Visit Lisa on the web at Lisa Mason’s Official Website or Lisa Mason’s Blog.
Laura Vosika is the author of Blue Bells of Scotland, on Kindle, Nook, itunes, and at Smashwords, lauded as a book in the vein of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and earning many five-star reviews. Nan Hawthorne, author of historical fiction, called Blue Bells of Scotland one of her favorite books of the year. The praise was echoed by Robert Mattos of Book and Movie Reviews, adding that it is a must-have for the book shelves of any serious reader. The Minstrel Boy, Book Two in The Blue Bells Chronicles is also out. Visit Laura on the web at www.bluebellstrilogy.com or www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.author
Q: Do you employ time travel as social commentary or as a way to point out how daily life has changed?
Lisa: Not all time travel authors write about social commentary, but a lot have and I’m one of them. What struck me about 1895 and 1967 were the pervasive sexist and racist attitudes, which Chiron and Zhu each rail against. My time travelers also take aim at the huge effects of the consumption of resources, pollution, and overpopulation.
Each year in the past I chose was a true time marker. 1895 was a pivotal year for the woman suffrage movement, movements to recognize racial minorities and to protest cruelty to animals, advances in medicine, like the germ theory and antiseptics, and technology, like the telephone, telegraph, horseless carriages, and moving pictures. 1967 was the birthplace of the women’s rights movement as we know it today, the equality of racial minorities, the gay movement, the space race, and the first computers. Both my time travelers stand as witnesses to those historic moments and add their encouragement.
It is one of the delights of time travel fiction to point out how daily life has changed. Yet in both Summer of Love and The Gilded Age, my time travelers eventually have to admit that those retrograde attitudes resurface even in their enlightened future and those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. Both come to realize that, despite the wonders of far-future technology, in many ways the quality of their lives is poorer than in simpler, more natural times.
I should add there’s also plenty of fun and romance in both books.
Laura: I definitely focus on social commentary and daily life. In Blue Bells of Scotland, Shawn starts out as real womanizing, self-centered player. In medieval Scotland, where he is mistaken for Niall, he finds that what he considers having a little fun, what he considers fairly normal, is heavily frowned on by fathers and sometimes by the women themselves. Coming from an age where we express our displeasure with words and lawsuits, he is shocked to find that people have no hesitation about physically harming him. And they don’t ask questions afterward, either.
One idea The Blue Bells Chronicles touches on is that of respect for women and women’s strength, as Shawn sees the contrasts between the lives of medieval women who appear very sheltered and protected in many ways, but must be very strong to get through a hard life full of work, famine, war, and disease; and the modern women he knows who are in many ways more independent, but suffer from their own problems and societal pressures.
Thanks to Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika for a lively and thought-provoking discussion. If you, the reader, wish to join the discussion or have any questions or comments for our authors, feel free to contact them. And please buy their books!