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Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Thrice upon a Time

Categories: [ Books ]

ISBN: 0671319485

© Amazon.fr

December 2009. Murdoch Ross and his friend Lee travel from California to Scotland to visit Murdoch's grandfather Charles Ross, a physicist. He reveals that he had been working on a device that allows to send messages back and forth in time up to 24 hours. They quickly discover that a message sent to the past telling someone to do something doesn't have to be obeyed, and if such, the future history will simply change and the previous future will never happen. While out for a beer, Murdoch meets Anne, a doctor working at the nearby fusion energy research facility, and they eventually start dating. At some point, Murdoch postpones a date with Anne because of a software bug that was nagging him. He soon decides that it was a mistake to let her down, sends a message to himself about the solution of the bug, and changes History slightly. Some months later, all over the world, people are being victims of injuries provoked by millions of micro-blackholes orbiting Earth. Murdoch and his team quickly discover that they are caused by the fusion research experiment that had taken place a couple of days earlier; current theories do not take into account the energy sent back in time, which causes the blackholes to be formed. Some amount of calculations later, they learn that the blackholes are not going to evaporate, but grow and eventually absorb Earth. Moreover, a strange disease appears among some employees of the research facility, and affects Lee as well. Murdoch and Anne decide to send themselves a message five months back in time (by 1 day hops, using the time machine as a relay) to prevent the experiment from happening. History changes again, and because of low-probability fluctuations, in this new timeline, Murdoch and Anne never date. The experiment is canceled, and Charles Ross now has to unveil his research to allow his theories to be taken into account in the fusion experiments. Although no blackholes are created, people however continue to get sick from this mysterious viral disease which affects people who had been in California some months earlier; the virus seems to have an incubation period of several months. After some amount of investigation, they discover that it is caused by a virus resulting from experiments conducted in secret in a satellite which had crashed on Earth at that time. The US and British authorities, who had been working jointly on this project already have a vaccine and start to inoculates the population. But one batch is defective and kills hundreds of people, stopping the vaccination campaign. Charles and Murdoch decide to use the time-machine to warn one official about the defective batch, thus convincing him that it can be used for preventing the disease from spreading. With the agreement of officials from all over the world, now convinced that it can be done, they send to themselves in the past the list of the persons who first got sick in order to vaccinate them all and prevent the outbreak. In this new timeline, meets Anne again.

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