Where are our jet packs? Where are our flying cars? Why aren’t you reading this review on your holographic computer while commuting to Mars as a nimble-fingered cyborg administers a soothing massage to your perfect, genetically-enhanced skin? In short, whatever happened to the bright, shiny, Jetsons-style future we were promised back in the ’50s and ’60s?
One answer is offered by this debut novel from screenwriter Elan Mastai (What If, Alone in the Dark). We start in 2016 — or a 2016 anyway, one where those technological advances did occur, as our hero-narrator Tom Barren explains: “Flying cars, robots maids, food pills, teleportation, jet packs, moving sidewalks, ray guns, hover boards, space vacations, and moon bases… It all happened, more or less exactly as envisioned.” All Our Wrong Todays reveals how Barren, the underachieving son-of-a-genius, travels in time back to 1965, accidentally alters history, and winds up in our own comparatively backward reality. The remainder of the book entertainingly mixes thrills and humor as our protagonist attempts to set things right — or, the very least, not make them worse — while adjusting to a world where windows “don’t do anything cool.”