Even time travel can’t unravel love
Time-travel is a way for writers to play with history and imagine different futures – for better, or worse.
When romance is thrown into the mix, time-travel becomes a passionate tool, or heart-breaking weapon. A time agent in the 22nd century puts their whole mission at risk when they fall in love with the wrong person. No matter which part of history a man visits, he cannot not escape his ex. A woman is desperately in love with the time-space continuum, but it doesn’t love her back. As time passes and falls apart, a time-traveller must say goodbye to their soulmate.
With stories from best-selling and award-winning authors such as Seanan McGuire, Alix E. Harrow and Nina Allan, this anthology gives a taste for the rich treasure trove of stories we can imagine with love, loss and reunion across time and space.
Edited by Jonathan Strahan and including stories by: Alix E. Harrow, Zen Cho, Seanan McGuire, Sarah Gailey, Jeffrey Ford, Nina Allan, Elizabeth Hand, Lavanya Lakshminarayan, Catherynne M. Valente, Sam J. Miller, Rowan Coleman, Margo Lanagan, Sameem Siddiqui, Theodora Goss, Carrie Vaughn, Ellen Klages
Five books for someone who has recently fallen into the possession of a time machine! So, you have a time machine and you don’t know what to do with it? Where should you go? What should you see? What might happen? Some great storytellers have been answering these questions for a long, long time. Here are five books that were on my mind when I was putting Someone in Time together that you might love too!
5. The Time Traveller’s Almanac, Ann VanderMeer &Jeff VandeerMeer eds. (2013)
A lot of the best time travel stories are short. The first I remember clearly is Heinlein’s “By His Bootstraps”. These stories play out a single idea or a notion and then are done. And many of them, some of the very best, are in this definitive time travel anthology. Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer edited a series of enormous anthologies expanding and reconsidering speculative fiction during the 2010s, starting with The Weird, and continuing with this book, The Time Traveller’s Almanac. It is the definitive collection of time travel stories, bringing together almost a century’s worth of work, from E.F. Benson’s 1922 tale “In the Tube” to Edward Page Mitchell “The Clock That Went Backward”. There are so many of my favourite stories here that I couldn’t recommend just a handful.
4. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde (2001)
Jasper Fforde worked in film before he became a novelist. The Eyre Affair, the first of his novels to feature his time and story traveling literary detective, Thursday Next, reflects that, being an admirably efficient and linear story that is constantly engaging. It’s always been my favourite of his books, and it t features time travel, cloning, pet dodos, and involves a mastermind kidnapping characters, including Jane Eyre, from Brontë novels. A total delight on every page.
3. Kindred, Octavia E. Butler (1979)
I don’t think Octavia E. Butler ever got the audience she deserved during her lifetime, but her dozen or so novels are among some of the most essential science fiction of our time. While I adored Adutlhood Rites, her major works may be her unfinished Parable series, and this book of time travel, slavery, and the Civil War. This is intense stuff, with a young Black writer thrust back in time to pre-Civil War Maryland plantation, and then moving forward through time. Possibly the most challenging book here, but also the most rewarding.
2. Doomsday Book, Connie Willis (1992)
Doomsday Book seemed to annoy more of my English friends than almost any other book I can think of, while my American friends almost universally loved it. A time traveller from Oxford goes back in time and is stuck there (this happens a lot with time travel stories) in the time of the original Doomsday Book. My English friends who don’t like this book don’t like it mostly because some historical and geographical details may be wrong, but it’s a compulsive page-turner of a book that is rich, romantic, and compelling. And it won a heap of awards.
1. The Anubis Gates, Tim Powers (1983)
To be totally honest, this is one of my favourite books of almost any kind, and is here for that reason as much as any. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the time travel element when I first read it, and it’s still not the most impressive part of the book. The Anubis Gates is a totally magical romp of a book where a millionaire finds magical gates that let him travel back in time to attend a lecture by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1810. The trip goes wrong and he may be trapped in the past! It’s from a time when everything Powers wrote seemed effortless and magical and it’s utterly beguiling.
And a bonus. Someone in Time: Tales of Time-Crossed Romance only exists because of two short novels – Passing Strange by Ellen Klages and Time Was by Ian McDonald. One is the story of an pulp fiction artist in San Francisco in the 1940s and the other is the story of two men blasted apart by a military experiment gone awry, and falling through time in search of one another. I love them both and thing you will too.
Rebellion Publishing: https://rebellionpublishing.com/product/someone_in_time/