The Technicolor Time Machine
Why this book?
I read this as a teenager and learned that history and science-fiction could be knock-about, silly and hilarious.
A failing film studio gets hold of a time machine and uses it to make a typical Hollywood movie about the Viking colonization of America, complete with gorgeous romantic leads, cast for their looks. It’s shot on location in the 10th Century, with real Viking extras.
But real Vikings aren’t cooperative. They don’t want to sail across the Atlantic.
The ingenious plot makes great use of Time. What if you return before you left and meet yourself? With a script needed in a rush, the writer is sent to the Pre-Cambrian, before life left the oceans, where there are no distractions. “The eyes,” he mutters. “The eyes in the sea.”
I won’t give away the end, but it’s great.