“A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers” by Alyssa Wong was published on March 2, 2016 by Tor.com and is nominated for the Hugo 2017 award. Summary: Hannah, the one of the two witch sisters that can control weather and bend time, tries to change the outcome of her sister’s suicidal attempt by creating alternate timelines. Analysis: The two main subjects discussed in this story is transgenderism and grief. Alyssa Wong writes about a transgender woman that was never accepted by her parents. The only thing that Melanie has is her sister but after a while she decides to end her life. However, Hannah cannot give up on her and creates new timelines where tries to save her (even sometimes by sacrificing herself) fruitlessly. In these new timelines we learn more about their relationship and their abusive parents. Although these timelines provoke a lot of strong emotions they feel at some points repetitive and make the readers raise some questions by themselves on how this could be avoided.
A review for “The Heart’s Cartography by Susan Jane Bigelow”, which is published in Lightspeed’s magazine May 2017 (Issue 84) Summary: A girl in a boy’s body meets a family of time-travelers. She is in a small town and it’s the first time that she feels accepted when she meets the family’s young girl. Soon they become best friends, but she learns that they would need to leave again for a different time-line. Analysis: This is a story that looks from a point of view of a girl that was born with a boy’s body. She doesn’t face major issues with the people around her as she would have in an older era but still she feels that they not see her as normal. The time-travelers’ daughter comes as a big a relief and solace for how she feels. She can now see things with more optimism. Have some handkerchiefs near you because you will need them!
Interchange by Gary Kloster is published in Clarkesworld’s January 2017 124 Issue Summary: Workers are building a highway interchange in an anti-time dome. They work for 6 months and not a minute change outside. Meanwhile the doctor has an android assistant which is identical to her late husband. But you know what they say, when you play with time… Pros: + A unique story. Usually we manipulate time in stories the other way around. But in this story is in reverse. Moreover, the plot evolves into a suspenseful mystery. + The android. The android’s point of view also helps us to look at more sides of the other characters. Cons: – Some of the characters emotions seem too extreme, a background story would be useful.(Like the doctor’s) – Doesn’t the ending create a time paradox?
This short story by Yosef Lindell is published in Clarkesworld’s December 2016 issue. Summary: A young boy is contacted by post sent by his father who is a time-traveler. Tears ensued. Pros: Very emotional. (A possible award winner?) Cons: It is not necessarily sci-fi. Although it helps its emotional impact.