One review on 05 Nov 2023

First Published: 2022


The Sea of Tranquility

Author: Emily St.John Mandel 

Summary: Time travel with the simulation hypothesis and a hi-tech future

Date first read: Sun 5th Nov 2023

Format:   Kindle

Catalogued: 6th Nov 2023


Across about 4 different timelines an anaomoly appears and is investigated by the future Time Institute.  Edwin, a remmittance man at the end of the 19th century, vVincent as a child in the early 20th, Olive, a novelist in the early 21st, and Gasparry a layabout and later a time investigator of the 22nd all witness the event. Gasperry's role is to go and find out if it really was evidence of a glitch in a simulation.


Enjoyable but flawed

by rogerco on Sun 5th Nov 2023.

It was a good read, and I liked the way a couple of characters from her previous book, The Glass Hotel which I read recently, were woven in. 

But...there is a problem with writing fiction dealing with the next 300 years in that the tech fanatasy of space travel, moon colonies and beyond, seem now so unlikely on that horizon as to be unbeliveable. If you want that stuff for your plot it has to be set millenia in the future when the survivors of our current situation, or a replacement species, have had time to rebuild a civilization which can suport that stuff.

There also seems to me a problem with the whole simulation hypothesis as a hook for a plot. It's an entertaining idea to play with but at the end of the day its actually not very convincing - and if it were then so what. We experience life as being valid which is all that matters at the end of the day. And if you do pursue the simulation idea then the interesting question is not whether or not it is valid, but why, and to what end, are the future time lords running this simulation, or these simulations. what are they trying to achieve here.

So ultimately an unsatisfying book although very enjoyable in itself.

xbBooks by CrOsborne