by Richard Matheson
Richard Collier, recently diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and given a few months to live, decides to pack up and spend the rest of his days traveling. On a whim he flips a penny to give him direction and ends up at the Coronado Hotel in San Diego, a “monument to the past” and “the last of the extravagantly conceived seaside hotels.”
During his stay he notices the striking image of a 19th century actress who stayed and performed here a century ago, and he is inexplicably drawn to her. This grows into obsession and he begins researching everything he can about the actress, falling deeply into his construction of her. He conceives of a plan, based in part on modern philosophy, to embrace the period of the hotel, remove from his presence any reference to the modern world (1971), and join her in the past.
At its core the book is a tragedy, but it also contains no small element of science fiction and even a bit of horror. The romantic in you will rejoice as the inner philosopher pores over this particular idea of time. Somewhere in Time has got to be one of the best time travel stories ever written and is one of those great novels everyone should read.
“Sure, it’s possible. Who am I to deny anything at this point?”