Dexter Palmer; I didn't read the first one.
Version Control is SciFi which takes place just 20 or 30 years into the future. Philip is a super-smart scientist, who has been cranking away on his causality violation device--don't call it a time machine!--for years now. So this is a long term project, and once the machine is up and running, Dr. Phil spends more years testing his machine to determine if its working. You pop something in there (a robot), it whips back in time, shoots back to the same instant it left, and then you check to see if there's been a causality violation. Seems simple, right?
Only, its not so simple. The super-scientist, and his super-whiz-kid team, all assume that there will be some weird stuff going on, but they're not quite sure how weird, and maybe more importantly, what kind of weird.
Palmer has come up with a story hook that pretty interesting, but its a little smothered in the day-to-day lives of the people who populate the story. Philip's wife Rebecca is the main character of the story, and she seems a little bored of the whole thing. I hear ya, sister Dr. Love isn't around as much anymore, and its seems like he's fallen in love with his lab, his project, or whatever. Becca spends her time worrying about their son, Sean, but not so mush that she doesn't have time to knock back a few drinks now and again. And again.
This book took a while to read, because I had to pound trough it. Good, idea, weak implementation.
That could be a description of Dr. Phil's time machine, or of Dexter Palmer's latest book, but which is it? who cares