E book excerpt: "The Ministry of Time" by Kaliane Bradley


Simon & Schuster

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A pleasant mixture of historic reality and science fiction, Kaliane Bradley’s debut novel “The Ministry of Time” (Simon & Schuster) mixes historic reality and science fiction within the story of a secret British company that plucks doomed individuals from the previous.

Read an excerpt beneath. 

“The Ministry of Time” by Kaliane Bradley

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The interviewer stated my identify, which made my ideas clip. I do not say my identify, not even in my head. She’d stated it appropriately, which individuals usually do not.

“I’m Adela,” she stated. She had an eye fixed patch and blond hair the identical coloration and texture as hay.

“I’m the Vice Secretary.”

“Of …?”

“Have a seat.”

This was my sixth spherical of interviews. The job I used to be interviewing for was an inner posting. It had been marked SECURITY CLEARANCE REQUIRED as a result of it was gauche to make use of the TOP SECRET stamps on paperwork with wage bands. I’d by no means been cleared to this safety degree, therefore why nobody would inform me what the job was. As it paid nearly triple my present wage, I used to be completely happy to style ignorance. I’d needed to produce squeaky-clean grades in first assist, Safeguarding Vulnerable People, and the Home Office’s Life within the UK check to get this far. I knew that I might be working intently with refugees of high-interest standing and specific wants, however I did not know from whence they had been fleeing. I’d assumed politically essential defectors from Russia or China.

Adela, Vice Secretary of God is aware of what, tucked a blond strand behind her ear with an audible crunch.

“Your mom was a refugee, wasn’t she?” she stated, which is a demented approach to start a job interview.

“Yes, ma’am.” “Cambodia,” she stated. “Yes, ma’am.”

I’d been requested this query a few instances over the course of the interview course of. Usually, individuals requested it with an upward lilt, anticipating me to right them, as a result of nobody’s from Cambodia. You do not look Cambodian, one early clown had stated to me, then glowed like a pilot mild as a result of the interview was being recorded for employees monitoring and coaching functions. He’d get a warning for that one. People say this to me quite a bit, and what they imply is: you seem like one of many late-entering types of white—Spanish perhaps—and in addition such as you’re not dragging a genocide round, which is sweet as a result of that form of factor makes individuals uncomfortable.

There was no genocide-adjacent follow-up: Any household nonetheless there [understanding moue]? Do you ever go to [sympathetic smile]? Beautiful nation [darkening with tears]; once I visited [visible on lower lid] they had been so pleasant. …

Adela simply nodded. I questioned if she’d go for the uncommon fourth possibility and pronounce the nation soiled.

“She would by no means consult with herself as a refugee, or perhaps a former refugee,” I added. “It’s been fairly bizarre to listen to individuals say that.”

“The individuals you’ll be working with are additionally unlikely to make use of the time period. We want ‘expat.’ In reply to your query, I’m the Vice Secretary of Expatriation.”

“And they’re expats from …?”



Adela shrugged. We have time-travel,” she stated, like somebody describing the espresso machine. “Welcome to the Ministry.”

From “The Ministry of Time” by Kaliane Bradley. Copyright © 2024 by Kaliane Bradley. Excerpted with permission by Simon & Schuster, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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