Review: Someone in Time Anthology

Someone in Time: Tales of Time-Crossed Romance
Authors: Nina Allen, Zen Cho, Rowan Coleman, Jeffrey Ford, Sarah Gailey, Theodora Goss, Elizabeth Hand, Alix E. Harrow, Ellen Klages, Lavanya Lakshimanarayan, Margo Lanagan, Seanan McGuire, Sam J. Miller, Sameem Sadiqui, Catherynne M. Valente, Carrie Vaughn
Editor: Jonathan Strahan
Publisher: Solaris
Released: May 10, 2022
Received: NetGalley

4 kitties

Someone in Time: Tales of Time-Crossed Romance is, as the title may suggest, a collection of short stories with two dominant themes. Or requirements, depending on how you want to look at it. The stories all involve time travel – and romance. Best of all, the wide variety of authors involved in this project means that there is very little in common between each story, despite the themes they share.

I originally picked up Someone in Time because I spotted a few favorite names on the cover. However, I also went into this read, hoping to find a few new authors to love. That has always been my favorite part about anthologies.

Included in this anthology, you’ll find stories written by: Alix E. Harrow, Zen Cho, Seanan McGuire, Sarah Gailey, Jeffrey Ford, Nina Allen, Elizabeth Hand, Lavanya Lakshminarayan, Catherynne M. Valente, Sam J. Miller, Rowan Coleman, Margo Lanagan, Sameem Siddiqui, Theodora Goss, Carrie Vaughn, and Ellen Klages.

As with any anthology, some stories sang to me, while others didn’t connect. My personal favorites from Someone in Time would have to be Roadside Attraction, First Aid, and Romance: Historical. Read below for full reviews of them, plus all the others.

Roadside Attraction by Alix E. Harrow

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Roadside Attraction is the perfect start to this collection. It imagines what would happen if time travel was really possible – and treated like a roadside attraction (hence the name). However, Harrow takes this concept a step further, bringing in broken hearts and fresh love. Also, I love that it tackles the concept of destiny.

“The day after Candace Stillwater broke his heart, Floyd Butler decided – with the reckless haste of a twenty-one-year-old who knows they must act quickly before good sense intervenes – to go time traveling.”

The Past Life Reconstruction Service by Zen Cho

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Zen Cho has a brilliant mind, can I start by saying that? This story explores what it would be like to hop into the lives of your past selves, glimpsing into the future. The romantic plot was a surprise but was perfectly worked into the narrative.

“You sure you don’t have anything to ask? This is your last chance to back out.”

First Aid by Seanan McGuire

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Yes! I knew that Seanan McGuire’s story in this anthology would be one of my favorites, and I wasn’t wrong! First Aid starts out on one path, but quickly changes directions, giving the readers one roller-coaster ride with a romantic plot coming along for the ride.

“She bit her tongue as the tingle spread across her entire body, reminding herself over and over again that her name was Bridget now; this was a one-way trip, and ‘Taylor’ was not a girl’s name in 1575.”

I Remember Satellites by Sarah Gailey

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

I Remember Satellites kind of reminded me of an episode of Doctor Who. When you read it, you’ll know exactly what episode I’m thinking about (I think). In this world, time-traveling is a job, and nobody wants to the job that sends you back in time for the rest of your life. It’s an emotional and evocative read, one that you shouldn’t miss out on.

“Everybody draws the short straw in the end.”

The Golden Hour by Jeffrey Ford

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Huh. I like that The Golden Hour made me stop and think. A time-traveling writer bumps into another time traveler. What happens next? This was a fun and light journey, one that I really appreciated.

“I never directly confronted him on the outlandish nature of his time travel escapades.”

The Lichens by Nina Allen

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

The concept of time travel being used to access something vital in the past is not new. But Nina Allen makes it feel new here, and I love that.

“The eye was a mirror – it saw what you wanted it to see.”

Kronia by Elizabeth Hand

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Kronia is the perfect balance of a time travel story and a romance. It’s like a less problematic version of the Time Traveler’s Wife, but better? It’s a love story told via vignettes, and it resonates beautifully.

“We passed each other twenty-three times.”

Bergamont and Vetiver by Lavanya Lakshminarayan

Rating: ★ ★ ★

What would you do to protect the past (and thus the future)? Where do you draw the line? Bergamont and Vetiver explore this concept, creating a piece full of food for thought.

“The first rule of temporal research is do not mess with causality.”

The Difference Between Love and Time by Catherynne M. Valente

Rating: ★ ★ ★

I like the core concept of this one, but for some reason, I really struggled to get into it. It isn’t the whole space/time continuum part (if it was, I wouldn’t have read this anthology!). Maybe I just wanted more time to know the characters first.

“The first real actual word the space/continuum ever said to me was: “Nothing.”

Unbashed or: Jackson, Whose Cowardice Tore a Hole in the Chronoverse by Sam J. Miller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Ow. My heart. Ow. This story reads as far too read at times, and it is heart-wrenching. I don’t know if I can describe it without spoiling it, so I’ll say this instead: prepare your hearts.

“Your strength was mine, for the moment.”

Romance: Historical by Rowan Coleman

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Romance: Historical is one of my top three from this anthology. Not only did I love the writing, but the feeling this story evokes…it’s hard to pass up. It’s beautiful and very much hits on both the time travel and romance themes. Oh! And book lovers will appreciate it.

“Mum had always said she wasn’t meant for this world.”

The Place of All the Souls by Margo Lanagan

Rating: ★ ★ ★

The Place of All the Souls explores many different versions of time and reality, portraying two characters as they dance through the ages. In some realms, they are perfectly in love. In others, they’ve never met.

“A Dreadful howling climbed through Ciaran’s dreams.”

Timed Obsolescence by Sameem Siddiqui

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

I love the idea of two work-weary people crossing paths and stopping for a cat. The fact that they are both time travelers makes it all the better, at least for me.

“It’ll be hard when they tell you that you can no longer be a Memographer.”

A Letter to Merlin by Theodora Goss

Rating: ★ ★ ★

I feel bad giving this one a lower rating because it is my bias showing. A Letter to Merlin is, as the title should suggest, a time travel adventure involving Merlin and Guinevere. Honestly, I am very very burned out on Arthurian stories, so I struggled through this one.

“Perhaps I have written to you more than thirty times, I don’t know. I have lost count of how many times I have lived this life.”

Dead Poets by Carrie Vaughn

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

I loved Dead Poets, especially for one quote in particular (see below). It’s perfection, don’t you think? Even if not perfect, it certainly is accurate. Throwing time travel into the mix just made this quote hit all the harder.

“The study of literature is the process of continually falling in love with dead people.”

Time Gypsy by Ellen Klages

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

I adored the hopeful nature of Time Gypsy. As a fan of Solar Punk, I feel like we need more empowering and uplifting tales like this – perhaps especially in time-traveling stories.

“Sara Baxter Clarke has been my hero since I was a kid.”

Thanks to Solaris and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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2 Responses to Review: Someone in Time Anthology

  1. Nancy says:

    The Golden Hour by Jeffrey Ford was on the LeVar Burton Reads podcast today! It was haunting, and I will think about it for awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

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