Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hybrid, Blue, by Firelight, by Bill Johnson

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(Time Travel; Martin & Artie) In the mid-Pleistocene, Martin and Artie try to work a deal with Neanderthal time travelers in hopes of finding a way back to our timeline. (12,008 words; Time: 40m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Poor formatting in the Kindle version of Analog makes it difficult to tell which character is speaking and makes the work harder to enjoy. Readers unfamiliar with this series should start with “Paris, 1835,” if possible

"Hybrid, Blue, by Firelight," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 11-12|17, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Background: For anyone who missed the earlier works, there are multiple universes, and when you travel to the past, you may meet people from other timelines who shared the same past. Normally, you can still go back home, but if someone does something to change history while you’re in the past, you may lose access to the timeline you came from. That makes you a “lostling” in the parlance of this story. Martin is a lostling from the future of our world, and Artie is an AI embedded in his brain.

Pro: The plot is pretty straightforward: Martin wants to do something to shift the timeline enough to let him go further into the future, and he succeeds.

The impending “decision facet” adds a nice amount of tension.

Con: The story is so dependent on the earlier ones in the series that there’s no way a new reader would make much sense of it.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 11-12|17)
Bill Johnson Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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