Alex Ankarr is on page 228 of 544 of The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF:
Finished Ellen Klages’ ‘Time Gypsy’, and for once the critics are right – pretty awesome. The MCs are really likeable, their gradually developing romance is touching and believable. (I say gradually, but – well, read it and find out.) The actual sex is a little clunky and clichéd – I said clichéd, people, not cliché, that’s right – but the romance is lovely.
But it’s not just a lovely lesbian romance with a little skipping up and down the decades thrown in. For a short story, it packs a lot of serious ideas and musings in there. How far the LGBTQ movement has come – and how far it hasn’t – in a few short decades. About time travel as a tool for plagiarism and stealing credit for other people’s ideas. About normalisation and minimisation of abuse of ‘other’ed and excluded groups. About the struggle of women to forge a place in the groves of academe, to be heard, to hack out a route through the hazing and silencing and double standards. About co-operation, solidarity, true friendship and fake collegiality.
It’s about time-travel itself, though, don’t forget that. And purely as a time-travel romp, it’s a ton of fun and lifts the heart, is joyful despite the seriousness of much of what’s discussed. If you love time-travel or you love (gay) love, this is a yes, this is a rec.
Image – public domain, photo by Bernard Spragg NZ of an artwork Passing Time by Auckland-based sculptor Anton Parsons.
Alex Ankarr is on page 214 of 544 of The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF: The reviews are accurate for Ellen Klages’ ‘Time Gypsy’, at least – so far it’s trememendous!
(I did catch the neologistic typo before pressing ‘publish’. But I liked it, so there you go! It is trememendous!)
Up to p198 – finished ‘Dear Tomorrow’ by Simon Clark. Good basic conceit, stilted writing, disappointing ending, a cop-out as far as exploring the premise set out is concerned. Not a good edit, words missing. Platitudinous, obvious observations, ‘woman’s weekly’ vibe. Had promise, not fulfilled.
27.76% “Finished ‘Try And Change The Past’ by Fritz Leiber. Clever and nothing else, really – not enough for me to seek out the rest of his work.”
26.29% “Finished ‘Darwin’s Suitcase’ by Elisabeth Malartre. Good, but suffered a little by following immediately on Sheila Crosby, by comparison. It’s clever, certainly, but that’s about the minimum you expect from a pro time-travel story. Compared to the best stories in this collection – Sheila Crosby and Sean McMullen, so far – clever isn’t quite enough.
Still a good story, an important theme, and worth reccing.”
“Finished ‘Scream Quietly’ by Sheila Crosby, and it was truly amazing. Beautiful period feel, authentic with a touch of grim humor. Characterful, idiosyncratic prose, and a gently amusing basic premise despite the hateful abusive environment. I did muse ‘wow, men really are pigs’, at points. Not gonna bother #notallmen-ing. Not all ‘rahrahtehladies!’ either.
Fab story, total rec, a highpoint thus far.”
Alex Ankarr is on page 117 of 544 of The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF: Finished ‘The Wind Over The World’. What’s the fuss about? Well written, I grant, but nothing exciting goes on, there are no profound insights. Maybe the female protagonist makes it a feminist parable? She ain’t no Ripley, if so.
Qua exciting tale of scientific derring-do through time, it isn’t. The emperor is starkers, nuddy, not a stitch on him. ‘Walk To The Full Moon’ beats it into a cocked hat.