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Someone In Time - Book Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published November 21st 2022
Looking for love across time and space
Someone in Time, time travel stories, short stories, Australian short stories, stories about time travel, time travel romance, new fantasy books 2022

Someone In Time, edited by Jonathan Strahan, is a collection of short romance stories that all involve time travel. They are written by different authors, including some well known writers like Seanan McGuire (author of the Wayward Children series, who also wrote the Newsflesh Trilogy under the name Mira Grant) Elizabeth Hand, Catherynne M. Valente (author of Comfort Me With Apples) and Sarah Gailey (Just Like Home). Quite a few of the stories have gay or lesbian protagonists. They range in tone, from funny, to poignant, to bleak, but the overall quality is excellent.

Some of my favourites were:

Roadside Attraction by Alix E. Harrow

The world's only time machine is a stone pillar out in the wilderness. To use it you buy a ticket from the booth by the road, touch the stone, and get sent somewhere in time for what could be hours, days or weeks. Floyd Butler, heartbroken after a breakup with his girlfriend, uses the time machine over and over, looking for his destiny. He meets another traveller who stays to become the groundskeeper by the time machine, watching Floyd leave and return over and over.

This was a sweet story, which reminded me very much of the Quelliot (Quentin and Eliott) episodes of the TV series The Magicians.

First Aid by Seanan McGuire

A fun, light-hearted story about a woman named Bridget who agrees to take a one way trip back to the Middle Ages to gather data for researchers. Unfortunately, things don't go quite to plan and she has no choice but to roll with it.

The Golden Hour by Jeffrey Ford

A writer becomes stranded in his own past as his wife searches for him through time. This one reminded me a little of Haruki Murakami's HardBoiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

The Difference Between Love and Time by Catherynne M. Valente

"The space/time continuum is the sum total of all that ever was or will be or ever possibly could have been or might conceivably exist and/or occur, the constantly tangling braid of physical and theoretical reality, (steadily degrading) temporal processes, and the interactions between the aforementioned. It is also left-handed."

This story is clever, funny, and so very weird. I loved it.

Dead Poets by Carrie Vaughn

An academic steals a priceless ancient cup in order to feel close to the poet Sappho and has an unexpected experience. This one made me want to read some poetry.

Time Gypsy by Ellen Klages

A physicist and science historian gets the opportunity to travel back in time to meet her hero, the inventor of time travel. This one is a lesbian historical romance, set in the 1950s. I really liked the ending.

Someone in Time
is a fantastic of anthology of unusual romance stories. You could dip in and out of it reading stories now and then, but it lends itself to enjoying the book all in one go.

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Rebellion Solaris, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

May 10 2022

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