Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Time Traveler's Advice to the Lovelorn, by Adam-Troy Castro


(Time Travel) Samael finds himself in love with a woman who doesn’t notice him, so he asks the village time-traveler for advice, figuring he ought to know more than anyone else. (3,624 words; Time: 12m)

"The Time Traveler's Advice to the Lovelorn," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 120, published on .

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

Review: 2020.274 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The best part is hearing the time traveler try to talk Samael out of using advanced technology to make himself more attractive to Magda. The bit where he describes how his own arrangement with William Shakespeare went wrong was particularly good (and might explain some of Shakespeare’s sonnets).

Con: Samael’s decision to give up his own identity, to turn himself into whatever would make Magda happy, seems symbolic; lots of people who’re lost in love find themselves doing that. But nothing is done with the image. He does it, they’re happy for 15 years, the end.

And what’s the point of giving them a puppy in the last scene?

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. what this review misses is that Samael was turned into the puppy.

    1. Woah! You're right! Yeah, that definitely improves the story a lot. Thanks for pointing that out. I don't think it brings it up to a 4-star story, thought, but at least it makes complete sense now.