That syncing feeling

At first I wasn’t sure if Syncing Forward by W. Lawrence was a time travel novel.

The main character (Martin) is injected with a drug which slows his metabolic rate to such an extent that a few moments for him are several hours for everyone else. When he’s back to his normal self, time has marched on, carrying his family and world with it.

Then I thought a bit more. In effect this is similar to time dilation, and whilst not strictly time travel it does sort of fall into my own self-defined version of time travel in that the time traveler experiences time at a different rate to the normal ambient rate…albeit with no control.

And so, at least for now, I’m calling the main character a time traveler (as do some of the characters within the book) and I feel justified in writing this post on a time travel blog!

I’m only on page 156 but it’s freaking me out!!

Syncing Forward is a powerful novel and it’s really touching me. I’m fearful of medical things and biology and as a protective husband and father of two young daughters all of my sensitivities are getting mashed through the grinder.

Time travel? Make it horror.

This is the human side of time travel. Not the “feeling dizzy” stuff from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, but that of zooming forwards in time and missing time spent growing up with your family. The emotional stuff. The stuff which makes us human and not robotic drones.

I’m on the train coming home from work. Nothing unusual in that, except that I’m 2 hours early because there’s going to be chaos on the trains and I’m heading home quickly before that nonsense begins and I get stranded without my family and get stuck in some random spot wherever the Dutch train service sees fit.

I’m reading how Martin is slowing down and how he’s missing his family. It’s nearly bringing tears to my eyes…I can understand his pain. He sees messages and photos his family leave him, but of course it’s nothing compared to the real thing. To actually being with them.

I need to take to a break from the emotional strain and let my wife know I’ll be home early. I send her a message on my phone and the reply comes. She’s looking forward to seeing me. “Wifey typing…” I wait for an eternity for the message.

love from my wife, hearts from my daughter
love from my wife, hearts from my daughter

It’s a little similar but I guess nothing close to the intensity Martin is experiencing. He’s separated from his family not by some 45 minutes of travel time but by months or years of difference in metabolic rate.

I get my message. Love from my wife, and various characters of hearts and other things – which ultimately mean the same thing – from my youngest daughter.

I’m missing them – and my eldest daughter who right now is learning how to swim. I can’t wait to see them. And to misquote W. Lawrence’s dedication…I pray that nothing will ever separate us.

30 minutes to go…


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  1. Sounds very much like “The Sleeper Wakes” by H. G. Wells provided the original idea for this story. Which makes it ‘Rip Van Winkle’ time-travel to my mind, the most plausible form of time-travel, but also the least fictional satisfying as it really happens for people who lose years to coma.
    Very sad sounding stuff.

    1. I think I even have “The Sleeper Wakes” though I haven’t yet read it. I nearly slept through Wells’ “The Chronic Argonauts” – very slow and very dull. Perhaps credit should be given to it though as it pre-dates his more famous “The Time Machine”.
      Yep – definitely harrowing stuff if you have something to live for in the present.

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