You will find sixteen short stories of time-crossed romance in Someone in Time. Editor Jonathan Strahan collected 14 original stories from notable authors to be featured alongside two existing tales that he favors. The anthology has a little bit of everything, and the collection’s diversity of storytelling, characters, and depiction of love is exquisite.
- Roadside Attraction – Alix E. Harrow – After a breakup, Floyd tries to run from his problems by throwing himself through a time-traveling roadside attraction.
- The Past Life Reconstruction Service – Zen Cho – Rui explores his past lives for inspiration after his latest movie failed, but he keeps encountering his soul mate who left him in the present day.
- First Aid – Seanan McGuire – Taylor volunteered to be sent back to Elizabethan England to record history for a payout that will support her sister living in 2108.
- I Remember Satellites – Sarah Gailey – A woman runs into a former lover after she is sent back in time to marry a prince.
- The Golden Hour – Jeffrey Ford – A writer stumbles across a time traveler stuck in the past.
- The Lichens – Nina Allan – Helen Stone meets a woman from the future who gives her an odd, but very important task.
- Kronia – Elizabeth Hand – A narrator recounts all the moments they met and didn’t meet their lover through memories in time.
- Bergamot and Vetiver – Lavanya Lakshminarayan – Orumurai travels back in time to unearth the secrets of an ancient civilization’s water system.
- The Difference Between Love and Time – Catherynne M. Valente – A narrator recounts their tumultuous relationship with the space/time continuum.
- Unbashed, or: Jackson, Whose Cowardice Tore a Hole in the Chronoverse – Sam J. Miller – Jackson revisits the past to undo a wrong.
- Romance: Historical – Rowan Coleman – A woman working in a quiet bookshop discovers messages from the past in the form of book titles.
- The Place of All the Souls – Margo Lanagan – Della encounters her past soul mate in the present day after she has created a family with someone else.
- Timed Obsolescence – Sameem Siddiqui – Synaz falls in love with a woman in the in-between when traveling to the past to capture memories for clients.
- A Letter to Merlin – Theodora Goss – Janelle is sent through time to become Guinevere to ensure that she betrays Arthur in each timeline.
- Dead Poets – Carrie Vaughn – A literature professor in love with dead poets travels back in time to witness a moment in history.
- Time Gypsy – Ellen Klages – Carol McCullough is forced back in time to find critical information about time travel.
Someone in Time displays the many forms of human connection that occur across years and sometimes, different timelines and realities. There are depictions of love, loss, and quirky experiences that can only happen when someone falls out of their timeline. Time travel is depicted as common as a roadside attraction in Alix E. Harrow’s tale and then becomes an advanced technological achievement fighting to keep the last members of humanity alive in A Letter to Merlin. It is both a tool for destruction like in Bergamot and Vetiver and something frivolous that can be purchased as seen in Timed Obsolescence.
One of my personal favorite stories from the collection is Unbashed, or: Jackson, Whose Cowardice Tore a Hole in the Chronoverse. It is only a three-minute read, yet it overwhelmed me with the sheer force of emotions splayed out on those few pages. The Difference Between Love and Time also stands out as a weird and heartbreaking tale that personified the space/time continuum and shows how chaotic it was to love such a thing. I was also absolutely charmed by Romance: Historical and found it to possess one of the more satisfying conclusions in the collection.
I’ve only mentioned a few here, but I found something to love in each story that graced the pages of Someone in Time. This anthology is perfect for both hardcore sci-fi fans and anyone who may only dip their toes in the genre from time to time. With short stories, there is no time to get caught up in complicated space/time minutiae, but you can enjoy the premise and get lost in love along the way.
Rating: Someone in Time – 8.5/10
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. The thoughts on this story are my own.