Friday, October 30, 2015

Larry the Horrible Time Traveler / Andrew Coltirn

Reviewed by: Sam Waite

Genre: Comedy/Science Fiction

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

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Andrew Coltrin is on the young end of Generation X. He ends up hanging out with Millenials quite a bit, even though he doesn't always understand them. Andrew used to work in bookstores and coffee shops. Now he works in schools. In his spare time Andrew writes bizarre fiction, belts out oldies at working class karaoke bars, and every now and then steps up to a comedy open mic. He keeps busy.”

For more, visit his website.


Larry doesn’t know he’s a time traveler, but that doesn’t stop him. Stumbling through time and space, under the power of special tacos and sheer chutzpah, Larry’s pretty sure there’s a great party right around the next corner. What’s in front of him is another story. From high seas kidnapping, to gangs of velociraptor time smugglers, to the robotic legions of the Grand Cyberian Imperium”


Load up a diesel-engine, maybe even steam-engine, driven freight train with inane silliness the likes of which have seen Charlie Chaplin slip on a banana peel, Kurt Vonnegut create microscopic Chinese and Douglas Adams do whatever it is that Douglas did.

Then, prep the Large Hadron Collider with masses of intelligent wry wit the likes of Charlie Chaplin doing Hitler, Kurt Vonnegut pondering Dresden and Douglas doing whatever it is that Douglas has done.

Next smash all that together at nearly the speed of light.

What do you get?

Chaos for sure, in some kind of white-hot ether. Then when it cools and the chaos gets lumpy with bits of coherence, one of those bits most likely will be identified as Larry the Horrible Time Traveler.

What’s it all about, this time travel? Check out Michael Caine with his big ole Alfie question. (Not Caine really, just the question.) I’m not sure what Alfie thinks, but for the rest of us there it is, the answer anyone who passed puberty already knows, but it’s cool to have it reaffirmed after a totally scary battle the outcome of which the fates of mankind, fashion conscious dinos, and robot ninja monkeys, hinge.

Who wins? Is it no one, or everyone, or did some group of sentient folk make out better than others? Battles of that magnitude can be confusing.

Then there’s the question of time travel as it applies to naturals who don’t need a device to skip about. Larry is a natural, sort of. All he needed was a taco to roam hence and thence. Is he really so horrible at it? He came out OK.

I’ve had a taco or hundreds in my time. Could I be a time traveler too? Am I horrible at it, or not so bad?

That’s a question each reader of Larry the Horrible Time Traveler needs to answer in quietude after, of course, coming to terms with the Orb, a dinosaur invasion beyond the concierge desk that normally stops that sort of thing and a gang of Gonzo-Destrocto Mechs.

Andrew Coltirn works with a mind in creative overdrive but manages to maintain discipline in the crafts of writing and storytelling.

Among tons of coal in the world of publishing, including major, indie, and self-produced works, there is the occasional diamond.

This is one of them.

Format/Typo Issues:

As a professional unpaid reviewer, I’m obligated to point out that there are a noticeable number of misspellings. Really, though, when you’re facing a hungry allosaurus that talks, the prospect of being burned alive as a Christmas ornament, and racing through sewers filled with what sewers are filled with--who cares?

Rating: ***** Five Stars

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