Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.
Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson:
Two events made September 1st a memorable day for Jesse Cullum. First, he lost a pair of Oakley sunglasses. Second, he saved the life of President Ulysses S. Grant.
It’s the near future, and the technology exists to open doorways into the past–but not our past, not exactly. Each “past” is effectively an alternate world, identical to ours but only up to the date on which we access it. And a given “past” can only be reached once. After a passageway is open, it’s the only road to that particular past; once closed, it can’t be reopened.
A passageway has been opened to a version of late 19th-century Ohio. It’s been in operation for most of a decade, but it’s no secret, on either side of time. A small city has grown up around it to entertain visitors from our time, and many locals earn a good living catering to them. But like all such operations, it has a shelf life; as the “natives” become more sophisticated, their version of the “past” grows less attractive as a destination.
Jesse Cullum is a native. And he knows the passageway will be closing soon. He’s fallen in love with a woman from our time, and he means to follow her back–no matter whose secrets he has to expose in order to do it.
Both time travel and alternate worlds are topics in science fiction that I absolutely love and Robert Charles Wilson’s take on it, by combining the two, definitely has me interested. His idea seems to be a mainstream topic but with a new spin on it. I like the fact that accessing the past makes it automatically an alternate world, thereby directly handling the influence of time travel in a very interesting way. I’m also very curious about the tourism aspect which is a whole new aspect to the time travel/alternate world idea.