Travel: Recent Trips is a collection of eighteen short
stories which feature time travel as a major or minor element, in all its
various forms. It’s a wide-ranging
collection of themes and modes, to be sure, with something that is guaranteed
to appeal to any time travel enthusiast.
Guran has pulled stories from a number of sub-genres and to top it off
the book has great cover art by Julie Dillon herself.
stories were published within the past ten years, though some belong to newer
writers in the field, while others are from established authors, and range from
literary, to experimental, to pulp science fiction in style and subject. Paul Cornell is perhaps best know for
his television and novel work with Doctor
Who, and his comics work with DC and Marvel, but his story The Ghosts of Christmas is a visceral
trip into the life of one scientist working with schizophrenics who discovers a
way to move through time along her own timeline. The story explores the notions of infinite possibility and
predetermination through the story of one character, letting the reader mull over
all that was going on in the background after the story is over. Mating
Habits of the Late Cretaceous, by Dale Bailey and Bespoke, by
Genevieve Valentine, both deal with the concept of tourism through time in
quite different ways. The former
is a saw on the familiar unhappy married couple trope, while the latter
examines desire and need through the lens of a clothing maker specializing in
exact replicas of period clothing for time travelers.
Robinette Kowal makes an appearance with a meditation on the notion of aging
and being remembered, in a world where one can only travel backwards in time
within one’s own lifetime, and suddenly the forgotten elderly are important
again. For those feeling the loss
of Kage Baker, “The Carpet Betds of Sutro Park” explore another aspect of time
travel tourism with an employee of a company that films historic places for
future use spending a lifetime observing the same place in San Francisco and
the people who visit it throughout its lifetime, seeing the degradations of
time in a way that humans can’t.
notable stories in this collection come from Ken Liu, Elizabeth Bear &
Sarah Monette, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Suzanne J. Willis, and Eileen Gunn. Readers looking for a collection with a
variety of tastes, old and new, will find much to enjoy in this
collection. Many of the stories
are tightly plotted and experimental in nature, making them natural expressions
of their time travel subjects and riveting reads.