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Carol Lay

My Time Machine: A Graphic Novel

On sale date: September 24, 2024

My Time Machine unfolds across the socially and politically confused landscape of early 2020, where Carol Lay’s middle-aged female protagonist (who bears a suspicious resemblance to the author), embarks on a time-hopping odyssey that takes her from the addled and anxious “contemporary” America to the farthest reaches of time.

Finding the blueprints belonging to the eponymous Time Traveler of H.G. Wells’ novel, our reluctant and all-too-human heroine enlists her ex-husband Rob’s engineering genius in constructing the same kind of machine capable of the same awesome power. With a (more or less) functioning time machine at her disposal, she decides there’s no better time to do her part to save humanity from itself and starts looking for (figurative) butterflies to pin down in hopes of altering the history of human civilization and averting the impending effects of climate change.

Wary of causing unintended consequences by traveling into the past to change history, she heads into the future —alone— to see if she can gain any insights she can bring back to 2020 that could help change the course of a world suffering from the reckless consequence of the Anthropocene. She anticipates the worst, but that’s not quite bad enough: Not only is there the ecological collapse she feared, but by 1935, America has devolved into a fascist state and by 2050 or 2060 to full blown totalitarianism. It appears as though environmental havoc is ineluctably accompanied by political disaster. In another nod to H. G. Wells, she decides to visit the year 802,701, where she becomes temporarily stranded due to a glitch in her cell phone which controls the time machine (some things never change). Rebooting is the eternal solution, of course.

My Time Machine is both a sly, cautionary political satire and a rollicking time travel story, full of playful time travel paradoxes, edge-of-your-seat suspense, breezy badinage, and a deeply felt wonder at the universe. It is serious and funny, timely and timeless (literally).


7.5" × 10.5"