Friday, December 7, 2018

On the Day You Spend Forever with Your Dog, by Adam R. Shannon

★★★☆☆ Average

(Time Travel) A sad tale of how, unable to bear losing your dog, you travel back in time to visit her again and again. (3,767 words; Time: 12m)

"," by (edited by Jason Sizemore), appeared in issue 115, published on .

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

Review: 2018.693 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: There’s a nice twist when we learn the narrator is the one who injured the dog in the first place. There’s more than a little guilt involved here.

Extra points for getting the relativistic math right: if you travel at 0.9 c for 1 proper year, 2.294 sidereal years will elapse, for a net change of 1.294 years, just as the text claims.

Con: Nothing seems to happen. You make one last trip back but still change nothing.

The pseudoscientific nonsense describing the time-travel experience is annoying. E.g. “Exploding molecules are welded back together.”

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I'm deeply baffled as to how anyone could conclude that the trips back change nothing. We clearly see the change by the end of the story.

  2. Try rereading the last lines of the story.

    1. I gather you're talking about this line:

      “I’ll never leave you,” you whisper, and you never do.

      That only made sense to me in the sense that, as the story says, to dogs, life is forever.

      As for change, at the start of the story, the narrator is taking their ailing dog to the vet to be put to sleep. At the end, the narrator recognizes that this is still going to happen. What has changed?