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Time for Patriots:
The 21st Century Confronts Bunker Hill and After!
Thomas Wm. Hamilton
Strategic Book Group, 208 pages

Time for Patriots: The 21st Century Confronts Bunker Hill and After!
Thomas Wm. Hamilton
Thomas Wm. Hamilton was born in 1939. After college (Columbia) he worked as an astronomer on the Apollo Project. Later he worked for a planetarium manufacturer, writing canned shows provided to those buying the planetariums. He then taught at Wagner College, running the school's planetarium and training students in the planetarium field.

Thomas Wm. Hamilton Website
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A review by Sandra Scholes

This marks Thomas Wm. Hamilton's first novel, and one that will have many thinking the "what if" scenario to the fullest. The prologue sets us off in Philadelphia during 1780 where George Washington asks Benjamin Franklin if he will journey to Long Island where there are many war orphans he feels could be neglected or in danger. Washington feels that they won the war in an easier fashion than expected, almost too easy for his liking, and values the thoughts of his associate. It is this that begins the debate over Bunker Hill.

Jump forward to 2009 where Sergeant/Major Larkin is brought to the attention of a lone man who has been seen injured while riding a horse, and wearing some of the strangest garb he has ever seen. Anyone would think he was part of a fantasy re-enactment, but when he is a certain Mr. James Paddington and is actually from 1770, Larkin's situation gives him and his men pause for thought. It doesn't take long before Larkin is accused of tampering with the force field he was trying to create, and instead of creating an impenetrable field; he rolled up the time dimensions, taking them effectively back to 1770.

While Larkin tries to repair the force field and bring them back to their own time line, the story sets about re-educating the reader about Bunker Hill and what really happened. Larkin is deemed responsible for the cause of a butterfly effect, and thinks that it is unlikely at first. He might not be able to fix the device and send them back to their original time. He needs replacement parts but as he is now in 1770, this could be next to impossible. For everything to run as smooth as it can, Larkin can never reveal what he knows of the original time line he comes from, or the problems he is facing, as no one would believe him, or worse, think he is using witchcraft. Thomas uses the Salem witch trials as a cautionary way of keeping his character firmly grounded in the story. There are also issues of their money and technology being useless in this time period.

As this appears to be a serious novel concerning a serious time in history, you would think it might not have any humour in it, but there are a few parts in Time for Patriots: The 21st Century Confronts Bunker Hill and After! that readers can revel in. When it is mentioned that the cadets will all receive full training on the life, politics and other areas of life in 1770, they will be assigned to certain locations in order to meet and talk with their relatives of that time, and Larkin offers to meet Reverend John Larkin as he loaned his horse to Paul Revere, "and, uh... never got it back." Darcy offers to spend his time in the Bahamas in another comical excerpt that does more to hit the spot.

Time for Patriots: The 21st Century Confronts Bunker Hill and After! is part story, and part series of diary entries that go toward explaining it. There is a chapter which could be of interest to anyone who wants to involve themselves in other aspects of history. "Who Invented Photography?" is one such chapter that interested me deeply. It starts by citing Edolphus Frobisher and Paul-Elliott Penwiper as two possibilities who might have been the first to invent photography, but Thomas thinks there was "undisputed evidence of earlier photography."

Copyright © 2013 Sandra Scholes

Sandra Scholes has been published in The British Fantasy Society, Active Anime, and Love Romance Passion, and wonders what makes successful writer Stephen King really tick?

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