top of page


Book Review: SO YOU HAD TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE by Jason Offutt

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

When Skid walked into her favorite Kansas City bar, she wanted nothing more than a quiet evening and a stiff drink. Then, Bud Light Dave dropped onto the barstool next to her. That's when things got a little weird. At first, it was small things, like the names of streets changing or her favorite muffins swapping frosting flavors. But when Bud Light Dave reappears with a tale about a scientific experiment gone horribly wrong, it is up to Skid and her companions, Brick and Cord, to embark on a multi-dimensional journey to save the world.

In SO YOU HAD TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE, Jason Offutt creates a raucous tale filled with quirky characters, witty banter, and captivating scenarios. This time-traveling, dimension-jumping jaunt never takes itself too serious. Some science fiction authors spend an inordinate amount of time explaining the science behind their story. Offutt isn't one of them, which is refreshing. He steers clear of turning his book into a physics lesson, and instead focuses on what is most important--the story.

Offutt's writing is reminiscent of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. His dry, subtle humor sometimes can sneak up on readers and catch them unaware. There is something whimsical about SO YOU HAD TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE, if you can consider an HR department staffed by giant cockroaches to be whimsical. From the very first page, you are warned that this will not be like your average science fiction and it is a warning that should be heeded. As you are introduced to characters with names like Skid, Brick, Cord, and Bud Light Dave, you know that this book will be something a little different, a little unusual, and a little like nothing you've ever read before.

What stood out the most in this book is the characters, each with their peculiar backgrounds and almost freakish eccentricities. Skid, in particular, comes off as oddly unappealing in the first few pages, but she quickly grows on you as her, and her companions, worlds are turned inside out. And by the final few chapters, you are on your feet in the stands cheering Skid on as her journey comes to an end.

SO YOU HAD TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE is lighthearted excursion into the world of time travel and alternate dimensions that is fun to read and an excellent distraction from the humdrum of reality.


Check out my recent interview with Jason Offutt here.

You can purchase SO YOU HAD TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE at these retailers.


bottom of page