I remember reading a book where people figured out time travel and when they entered "Time" they could swim through it, but it would cause ripples and change things.

They would take certain time zones and physical locations as their new currency, eventually there were wars in the ocean of time.

After a while there was a hardening of the ocean of time.

I also remember that they never went to the beginning for fear of erasing Humans completely.

Characters: No main Characters

Type: A narrative history (Sci-Fi)

I read this book probably close to 12 years ago (2003?)

What book is this?

1 Answer 1


I believe this is All Of An Instant by Richard Garfinkle, published in 1999.

Description from a reviewer on Goodreads.com:

Richard Garfinkle creates one huge metaphor for time travel and works with it to the last consequence.

Time travel is done by a chosen few tribes, who swim in the ocean of time, every movement they make creating a wave which in turn changes the world of normal people. These changes are secondary to the travelers, change in the real world is constant, no one knows what the original history has once been. But every tribe tries to install it's own version of it, and so every tribe is in constant war with the other tribes.

Official summary:

From the author of Celestial Matters, which won the Compton Crook Award for best first novel and earned the author two nominations for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer, All of an Instant is a large-scale, ground-breaking SF novel. It chronicles the discovery of a medium of existence outside of time (the Instant), from which one can influence all past and future history. War dominates this strange, abstract place -- war among forces contending for control of all time and place.As Harry Turtledove said of Garfinkle's first novel, "This is hard science fiction with a difference. Garfinkle works out the implications inherent in them as rigorously as any writer has done....A fast-paced adventure plot with lively, well-differentiated characters."

Another more confusing summary here.

  • YES! that is it! thank you!
    – Malachi
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 23:09
  • 1
    I too have been looking for this. Thanks!
    – user19087
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 6:03

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