It seems as if our entire lives revolve around the concept of time. For most of us, the clock dictates when we wake up in the morning, when we eat our meals, when we leave for work, and when we return home. If you don’t think your life is ruled by time, consider how often you’ve thought things like:
- “I don’t have time to do that.”
- “I need to be there on time.”
- “It’s time to leave for work.”
- “We ran out of time.”
- “I wish we had more time.”
Merriam-Webster defines time as “the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.” When we calculate time based on seconds, minutes, and hours, it seems like a foolproof system that all of us can agree upon. But if you look into the further implications of time and how humans measure it, there’s a lot we still don’t understand.
“The meaning of time has become terribly problematic in contemporary physics,” says Simon Saunders, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford. The way we measure time in our daily lives is not a universal rule, and there’s a possibility that time itself is merely a mental construct that humanity has agreed upon. Some people argue that it’s entirely possible that there are alternate realities where versions of ourselves are just as real as we are. Others contend that our lives are experienced like a movie reel, where it seems as if we’re progressing through time, but it’s actually happening all at once.
Brilliant minds like Einstein and Newton both agreed on one conclusion about time: it’s constantly moving forward, never backwards. But what could happen if humans could harness the power of time itself to progress humanity through decades of transformation in a few seconds, or slow time down so that 5 minutes feels like a century?
Time Control in Science Fiction
These are the kinds of time questions author Razi Imam explores in his first novel, Masters of the Broken Watches, which won the 2020 American Fiction Award and the 2021 Readers’ Favorite award. In this fast-paced sci-fi adventure, readers get to consider the possible ramifications of humans having the power to speed up or slow down time, and what tragedies could happen if this great power fell into the wrong hands.
Marine biologist Sebastian Miles is part of an advanced team of researchers who are striving to learn more about the hidden underwater world. Sebastian discovers a new, rare species that appears to alter their perception of time, or defy the laws of time altogether. Sebastian and his team are deeply fascinated by the creature, but when they finally finish studying the species, they emerge from the lab to find that the world had jumped ahead in time by nearly 22 hours.
Despite the researchers’ best efforts to keep their discovery quiet, news of this time-defying creature spread quickly. Soon, Sebastian and his team are on the run from world leaders who want to have the ultimate advantage over their enemies: the power of time itself.
This exciting tale will hold readers captive while raising important philosophical, humanitarian, and political questions along the way.