I can hear Huey Lewis now.
Seriously though, if given this opportunity, I would be tempted to revist the 90's, invest in the Dot.coms and then sell them all in 1999 and move to my own private island, where I would start buying realestate by the handful and then sell all of that in 2005. But actually - as much as I like money - once I have enough, I'm not really inspired to seek more.
So I'd turn it about and chose to be born in the 20's, ride the rails as a young hobo in the 30's (I see this as fun, more like Sea Biscuit than the Grapes of Wrath), go to war in the 40's (ah yes, thrilling adventure, Force 10 from Navarone, Where Eagles Dare, not the Saving Private Ryan 40's please), and then in the 50's as a thirty year old war hero/adventurer, I would ride a motorcycle, cruise the west, get into the movie business when LA and Southern California were less crowded and more like paradise. I'd surf with the Beach Boys and hang out with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, then in the 60's I start working with NASA.
Hmm... I guess I'm not really chosing one era here. Perhaps I should narrow it down. So if I must - then I'd seek out the decade from 1935-1945, for many reasons. To begin with, I love the whole concept of being present during this cataclysmic change. In 1935 half the country was still relying on horses to get around, byt 1945 we had jet planes. There is also the whole drama of the world waking up from the age of Kings to the age of self determination. there was a battle of ideas. It some places it went well but in others Czars and Kings gave way to the Hitler and Stalin.
But the main reason I would love to visit that time, is for the hip and edgy setting that I expect to find in CITY OF DRAGONS, Kelli Stanley's new novel that hit the stores yesterday. It's got 1940's San Francisco and Chinatown, a tough female PI and the war lingering on the horizon. Sounds like a dangerous world of neon and secrets. How could you not want to go there? And that's the awesome thing about good fiction - it takes you there, in a way even 3-D Imax can't.
Kelli, I ordered my copy today and I hope it takes the slow truck to get here because I have way too much to do right now to have a good book land in my lap. But when I'm ready I expect City of Dragons to be my time machine.
All the best,
Graham Brown, author of Black Rain