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The Time Patrolman Gazette
Uncle Owen, Webmaster
A Web site review by Steven H Silver

The Time Patrolman Gazette Site Content
Ever since H.G. Wells published The Time Machine in 1895, time travel has been firmly ensconced in the genre of science fiction. One person for whom time travel clearly holds a fascination goes by the name "Uncle Owen". He has put together a small web site about time travel called The Time Patrolman Gazette. As the name might indicate, the site focuses mostly on the literary aspect of time travel, although there is a curious mix of film and television references as well.

Throughout the pages, Uncle Owen maintains the facade that time travel is possible and established, although at times he is hard pressed to reconcile differing methods of time travel. Uncle Owen examines everything from Back to the Future's DeLorean to hypnotism. His short explanations of how each of these work are interesting and Uncle Owen provides his own opinion of their practicality, always assuming they function on one level or another.

Site Graphics
In some places on the site, Uncle Owen includes cover art or photographs of authors. These are frequently placed almost at random amidst the text which sometimes makes it difficult to read Uncle Owen's descriptions of the works.
Site Format
The site's design is relatively simple: four interconnected pages which include an introduction, a bibliography, a short list of time travel devices and time travel characters. Uncle Owen's background isn't too busy and his text is in a large, black font to help it stand out. The introductory page includes a few pictures and an explanation of the site, including the claim that Uncle Owen has put together "a complete bibliography of Time Travel books." Although this claim is far from the truth, he does have a good start on a bibliography.
Site Links
One drawback to the site (other than a few misspellings) is the fact that Uncle Owen has very few external links. Two links which promise to take the surfer to an interview with time travel guru Steven Gibbs result in receiving "404: File Not Found" errors. The only other external links Uncle Owen includes are as a member of the Time Travel Webring.
Points of Interest
Uncle Owen does include brief synopses of some of the titles he lists as well as a personal rating when he's read the work in question. His ratings are not always clear and he seems to have changed his ratings format while working on the page.

Similarly, the page dedicated to heroes of time travel is another strange mix. It includes fictional characters, such as H.G. Wells' "The Time Traveller" to Biff Tannen. At the same time, Uncle Owen pays tribute to Poul Anderson, for whose Time Patrol series the web site is named, and Robert Silverberg.

Uncle Owen mentions a few science fiction films and television series, but it is vague whether to include media time travel. Given the page format, I can only think that adding more media-related time travel would serve to enhance it.

There are a few minor discrepancies throughout the site. Uncle Owen continually mis-spells H.G. Wells's last name as Welles. Similarly, he spells DeLorean several different ways over the course of the pages.

Uncle Owen has the basis for a good site if he maintains it and does the necessary research to let it grow. The fact that he uses only simple HTML design without resorting to Java or frames means that most browsers will be able to present the site as Uncle Owen wants it to look.

Site URL

Copyright © 1998 by Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is one of the founders and judges for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. He sits on concoms for Windycon, Chicon 2000 and Clavius in 2001 and is co-chair of Picnicon 1998. Steven will be serving as the Programming Chairman for Chicon 2000. In addition to maintaining several bibliographies and the Harry Turtledove website, Steven is trying to get his short stories published and has recently finished his first novel. He lives at home with his wife and 3200 books. He is available for convention panels.

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