An honest endeavour at giving a decent and rigorous work out to the limits of imagination, “Time Crawlers” by Varun Sayal is an interesting combination of Quantum Physics, Philosophy, Ethics and Introspection. In this where Matrix-meets-Back to the Future-meets-The Tao of Physics, time travelers, nay time crawlers and Four Dimensional human beings combat to gain the attention and approval of the readers.
“Time Crawlers” is a collection of six short stories dealing with peculiar realms and esoteric outer space. The book begins with the story “Nark-Astra”, in which a lone ranger prince, Prayaschakit seeks to avenge the death of his near and dear ones at the hands of the evil, narcotics imbibing King Dushtaminhas. Prayaschakit is aided in his endeavour by the exemplar of weapon innovation GuruTrikalacharya. One of the potent weapons, as the reader may have guessed by now is the one bearing the name of the title to the story. This deadly weapon is a “cutting-edge bio-chemical weapon with each arrow being a voice-activated missile that only a specific warrior can invoke by reciting a specific mantra.” Containing millions of small vials of a very potent poisonous chemical called nark-rasayana, this arrow releases the chemical onto the enemies thereby creating a cataclysmic transformation by which they become blood thirsty monsters devouring one another before disintegrating themselves.
In the story titled, “Genie”, there transpires a humourous albeit technical discussion between a genie and Marco, a man whose rubbing of the proverbial metal leads to the appearance of a genie. Unlike a normal subservient genie exuding gratitude to its new master for having liberated her, this genie dwells eloquently about concepts such as Higgs bosons and wormholes!
“Time Crawlers” is an interesting bouquet of flowers whose beauty could have been even more appreciable, but for the complex introduction of and elucidation of hard core quantum mechanics. Just when a story begins to envelope the reader in its thrall, the spell is shattered by a convoluted discourse on the complications of Science. By the time the reader is drawn back into the story a great part of curiosity and eagerness is unfortunately, spent.
“Time Crawlers” a candid mix of space, science and spirituality.