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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. David Anderson
    February 27, 2014 @ 8:24 am

    Pedant point: Time's Arrow, by Amis, was nominated for the Booker (sic – not the Man Booker at the time) but lost to Okri's Famished Road.


  2. David Anderson
    February 27, 2014 @ 9:11 am

    Looking at the extracts from the Reversible Man, it seems to me that an obvious trick is that the narrator has no decision making powers – his memory works forward, but he doesn't have the corresponding backwards hopes and fears. As a result he's presented as tramelled along his timeline with no real agency, a spectator of his apparently conventional life. Something that might have felt like a reasonable symbol of real experience to a young man in Thatcher's Britain.


  3. Daibhid C
    February 27, 2014 @ 9:51 am

    Following the Parenthesis That Would Not Die, I hesitate to assume anything isn't a stylistic choice, but I notice the part number is missing and there's no opening quote.


  4. Elizabeth Sandifer
    February 27, 2014 @ 11:26 am

    Ah, that also helps explain why this didn't post on time – Blogger didn't save my last couple of edits to the post, including putting those in.


  5. Elizabeth Sandifer
    February 27, 2014 @ 11:26 am

    Pedantry accepted. Thanks.


  6. Matthew Blanchette
    February 27, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

    …how do you mention Time's Arrow and not mention its most-immediate predecessor and influence, the backwards war film from Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five?

    For the record, this is it:

    "Billy looked at the clock on the gas stove. He had an hour to kill before the saucer came. He went into the living room, swinging the bottle like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this:

    American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.

    The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.

    When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.

    The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.

    Billy saw the war movies backwards then forwards-and then it was time to go out into his backyard to meet the flying saucer. Out he went, his blue and ivory feet crushing the wet salad of the lawn. He stopped, took a swig, of the dead champagne. It was like 7-Up. He would not raise his eyes to the sky, though he knew there was a flying saucer from Tralfamadore up there. He would see it soon enough, inside and out, and he would see, too, where it came from soon enough — soon enough."


  7. ferret
    February 27, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

    Incidentally, the temporal car crash on the 1997 flyover in Chrono-Cops backs up all sorts of traffic, including the T.A.R.D.I.S. of the infamous Dr Who: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_8ie37mgxIXA/RzqA9E-uypI/AAAAAAAACFY/bJW9GSCm3wY/s1600-h/cc2.jpg


  8. BerserkRL
    February 28, 2014 @ 6:36 pm

    In the 60s (I believe) there was an actual antiwar short movie (my mother recalled seeing it) that was just a backward sequence of bullets coming out of bodies and back into guns and then back into factories and so on.


  9. BerserkRL
    February 28, 2014 @ 6:38 pm


  10. Frank Cost
    June 26, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    You're missing something with Chrono-Cops because, while it is a parody of Dragnet, it is specifically a pastiche of Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder's parody of Dragnet, "Dragged Net!" in Mad #3: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/bartsol/6475127763/in/photostream/

    As a Moore and Gibbons work that heavily relies on the EC style, it prefigures Watchmen in a number of ways.


  11. Daru
    February 17, 2015 @ 5:23 am

    Great stuff. That story The Time Machine is quite sad and somehow beautiful and I really remember its impact on me as a kid.


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