The Chronocar by Steve Bellinger.
Imagine being born the son of a slave with the mind of a genius. That was Simmie Johnson in the years following the Civil War. After a perilous escape from lynch mobs in Mississippi, he manages to earn a PhD in physics at Tuskegee, and in his research, discovers the secret of time travel. He develops a design for a time machine, called a Chronocar, but the technology required to make it work does not yet exist.
Fast forward a hundred and twenty-five years. A young African American Illinois Tech student in Chicago finds Dr. Johnson’s plans and builds a Chronocar. He goes back to the year 1919 to meet the doctor and his beautiful daughter, Ollie, who live in Chicago’s Black Belt, now known as Bronzeville. But, he has chosen an unfortunate time in the past and becomes involved in the bloodiest race riot in Chicago’s history.
Geniuses and polymaths like Leonardo da Vinci and Charles Babbage have sometimes dreamed of fabulous inventions that would theoretically work but could not actually be built by the technology of their own era. In his novel The Chronocar, Steve Bellinger imagines a similar story involving a time machine. Simmie Johnson, a brilliant and gifted young man who happened to be the son of slaves, escapes the lynch mobs and segregation of Mississippi in 1888 to study at the Tuskegee Negro school. Inspired by Newton’s Principia, Dr. Johnson goes on to write a paper about how a time machine known as a “Chronocar” might be built…. Read More click here
The Chronocar by Steve Bellinger has something for just about everyone as it takes you for a ride through time. When Illinois Tech student, Tony Carpenter, finds an old publication by Dr. Simmie Johnson on time travel, he is able to create the machine Simmie dreamed of but did not have the technology to make. Tony’s first stop is to visit the man who made the machine possible, so he, and you the reader, head back to Chicago of 1919.
After meeting his idol, and his daughter Ollie, Tony gets to experience history first hand as tensions build that would lead to a race riot for the history books. Though disturbed by direct racism he’d never witnessed personally, Tony remains cocky enough to think he has this time travel thing under control. He doesn’t think a black guy wearing a Spiderman T-shirt in 1919 could make any significant change. He then finds out how little he really knows… Read more click here
Reviewed by Francine Zane for Readers’ Favorite
In The Chronocar, science fiction meets history in a dynamic tale of time travel. When Tony finds a science journal about time travel, he combines this new found knowledge with his own near genius talents to design a Chronocar. His first trip is to meet the gentleman who wrote the paper, a Dr. Semmie Johnson who was once a slave but escaped a harrowing ordeal in search of an education. Through trial and error, Tony learns the true dangers of time travel on both history and the future…. Read more click here
Quite simply, one of the best sci-fi yarns I’ve encountered in years!, September 22, 2015
The Chronocar is perhaps the most compelling yarn of time travel that it has been my pleasure to experience. Now, I’m in no way an expert, or as well versed as others certainly are, in the history of such stories. Yet, as these things go, stories this well-conceived and constructed usually find their way into more contemporary forms of storytelling like video. So, as one person who has read, watched, or listened to fantasies of wonder since I was a small child, I can readily say that no story has had me squirming so much or forced me out of my seat and away from the source material out of complete frustration at the mishaps executed by a main character as the events unraveled in this story.
The crux of this novel rests on one question: What if the person who constructs and uses a time machine ISN’T a genius scientist who has considered all the ramifications? Besides that, I don’t wish to say too much about the plot other than it revolves around the complexities of African-American life in south Chicago without being directly about heavy, societal issues. Instead, the setting and characters draw me in naturally and events reveal experiences that may not be surprising, but are entirely convincing.
Mr. Bellinger has managed a very contemporary feel and characters that are conveyed simply and honestly so that the pace of the story is always flowing smoothly forward even if time within the tale is not.The plot reels me in, keeping me tense with dreaded expectations that continue until a most satisfying conclusion. And I must say, that although I felt there were clues to what would happen planted in the beginning of the story, the end was not entirely what I expected. Great!
About The Author: Steve Bellinger.
Steve was born and raised on the West Side of Chicago by a single mom who worked nights for a printing company. She would bring home books and magazines to encourage her kids to read. This is how Steve discovered Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and the other masters of classic science fiction. It didn’t take long for him to get the itch to write.
Over the years he’s written everything from newspaper articles, comic strips and radio drama to short stories and fan fiction.
Two of the original Trekkies, Steve and his wife Donna plan to renew their wedding vows with a full Star Trek-themed ceremony; he’ll wear an admiral’s dress uniform, and she will be decked out in a custom-made leather-and-lace Klingon wedding dress.
Steve and Donna live in Lincoln Park with a cat to be named later.