Cover image for A very strange trip
A very strange trip
Wolverton, Dave.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Los Angeles : Bridge Publications, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 300 pages ; 24 cm
A man tries to reach the present after being accidentally sent into prehistory by a time machine. On the way back he visits the Mayan Indians and even considers sticking around as a god.
General Note:
"An original story by L. Ron Hubbard."
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



Selected to transport the first prototype time machine to the Experimental Weapons Battalion in Denver, Colorado, driver Everett Dumphee gets sidetracked when the machine activates and sends him on the ultimate off-road adventure in early and prehistoric America.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Everett Dumphee, the descendant of a venerable line of West Virginian moonshiners, joins the army to avoid prison, only to accidentally activate a time machine while transporting a truckload of experimental Russian weapons to Denver. He then tries to return to 1991, enduring several stopovers, including in the Ice Age, during the height of Mayan civilization and at a train station under Indian attack in 1870. Joining Dumphee at the latter are a cowardly lieutenant and four Indian "squaws" who display an incongruous facility with modern armaments. Attempts at humor come from two angles: poorly executed slapstick (an experimental weapon manifests a gigantic phantom of Joseph Stalin to terrorize Mayan warriors; a mis-aimed cannon destroys a henhouse) and anachronistic pop culture references to Star Trek, Star Wars and Rambo (a "squaw"'s cleavage is her "silicon valley"). Characterization isn't a strength, either: Dumphee's primary ethical qualms come from concern over the Indian women's gold lust, which is awakened by Mayan riches, and his cheap moralizing over whether to remain in the past as a god. Despite the fact that the late Hubbard (Battlefield Earth) gets top billing, Wolverton (Beyond the Gate) wrote this novel, based on an unpublished story by Hubbard. He's done much better on his ownÄand so did Hubbard. Simultaneous audio; author tour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This novelization by Wolverton of L. Ron Hubbard's unpublished screenplay is the late Hubbard's first published sf in almost ten years. The protagonist, the Appalachian-bred Everett Dumphee, joins the Army to avoid being sent to prison for unwittingly transporting moonshine. His skills earn him the assignment of driving a bumbling, inept lieutenant and a stolen Russian time machine to an Army research facility in Denver. The time machine is accidentally activated during the trip, and the two soldiers are transported to a variety of places, including a fort under attack by Indians in 1870, a Mayan city, and the Ice Age. Wolverton's story dredges up every imaginable clich‚ about Appalachia, the Army, and Native Americans. The novel and its recording have a campy, farcical quality and slapstick sense of humor that do not do justice to either Hubbard's or Wolverton's earlier works. The abridged multicast recording moves too quickly, and the odd country-rock music played at intervals grates on the reader's nerves almost as much as Dumphee's fake West Virginia accent. While the sound effects (e.g., rain, crowds, windshield wipers) and actor Jason Beghe's third-person narration are compelling, the voices of the remainder of the cast sound as though they are coming from the bottom of a particularly deep ocean located about 30 yards to the left of the microphone. Overall, the recording sounds like a bad old-fashioned radio production of a cheesy 1950s B movie. Not recommended.--Leah Sparks, Bowie P.L., MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.