“How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe” has some very clever ideas about the intersection of time-travel and fiction; and more generally of the intersection of time and expression. Unfortunately, the novel’s writing itself feels rough, perhaps intentionally, although perhaps necessary for these themes, as the protagonist narrator reacts to a fictional world that they realize is fictional. For better or worse, the choppiness of the conceit distracts from the overall narrative; but this narrative presented, twice-removed from reality, almost seems allegorical to actual experiences of the audience, living in a reality without time-travel and which lacks meta-narrative awareness.