Publisher: Tor Books
Author: Annalee Newitz
Released: September 24th, 2019
Warnings: Rape, abuse, misogyny, transphobia, sexism, antisemitism
I received a copy of The Future of Another Timeline through BookishFirst in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Future of Another Timeline is the newest novel from the mind of Annalee Newitz. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most feminist piece of fiction I’ve read this year. It mashes time travel, punk music, women’s rights, and so much more into one compact novel.
Tess is a time traveler. She works with a group of women known as the Daughters of Harriet, and their goal is to prevent the eroding of women’s rights through time travel interference. In short, she and others like her travel through time to maintain and increase the rights for women, among other equal rights goals.
Beth is a teenage girl living in 1992, and very much not a time traveler. Not yet, at any rate. She lives for grrl punk rock music. It’s the escape her life is desperately in need of. Because every other element in her life feels like it’s out of her control.
These two vastly different characters cross path in some unlikely ways, as their tales slowly unravel before our eyes.
The Future of Another Timeline brings together the tones of The Handmaid’s Tale into a time traveling focus, with the battle for basic women’s rights on the line.
“I was looking for anti-travel activists, people who wanted to shut down the Machines”
Warnings: The Future of Another Timeline has some heavier subjects; all thrown into the light during Tess’ attempt to make the world a better place. Some subjects covered or mentioned within these pages include rape, abuse, misogyny, transphobia, sexism, and antisemitism. Some of these subjects delve into further detail than others (for example, sexism is a prevalent theme, while antisemitism merely comes up a time or two).
The Future of Another Timeline is an intense and deeply feminist novel. It’s also LGBT+ friendly in all of the best ways. It was nothing like I expected, but was, in fact, much better than I had dared to hope for.
This novel starts in a bit of a circuitous manner, but quickly gets readers up to speed in the world and how time travel affects it. It had a slightly unique take on time travel, and certainly a more political one than I’ve ever seen before. It was refreshing. Though I’ll confess that it was a bit intense at times (which is understandable, I think).
It was the human element in this novel that made it truly shine. Tess and Beth were both fascinating characters. They were flawed people, surrounded by flawed people. But it’s what made them human. The fact that they continued to try and make things better for themselves and the people around them was everything.
The Future of Another Timeline touched upon a lot of extremely heavy subjects. And it did so with an exceptional amount of sensitivity. There were a lot of elements showcased in this novel, many of them showing off the research behind Annalee Newitz’s writing (without beating the readers over the head).
I loved the overall tone and feel of this novel. It had this amazing punk rock edge in Beth’s side of the story, and a suffragette feel for Tess’ tales. The two combined oddly well, all things considered. Together they made something new and captivating.
The Future of Another Timeline is the most feminist novel I’ve read in recent time, and the only one I’ve seen so focused on time travel. I’m so happy that I got a chance to read it early, and can’t wait to see what other explorations Annalee Newitz makes in her writing.