Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, February 2018
“Got Time?” by Lee Rutty
Reviewed by Seraph
If ever there were an illustration of the many potential pitfalls of time travel, this erstwhile yet enjoyable story would be a shining example. It may not be the most scholarly attempt at doing so, but it would be far less enjoyable were it more erudite in nature. It has almost a sly, cheeky comedy to how it flows, and it’s not difficult to empathize with the everyman of Guy. It is a modern setting, presumably current era and current technology levels. It could be any city in the world. The lack of specificity simply underwrites the everyman concept. An afternoon of gaming is interrupted by a future version of Guy, who while attempting to engineer the same events that created him, has come back in time to guide his younger self. A series of mistakes made while copying down instructions each result in a deviated timeline, a new knock at the door, and a new version of Guy, replacing whichever version currently sat in his apartment, only to have the original future version restored when the mistake is corrected on the page. The story doesn’t delve into deeper questions of what you should do if you found a time machine, and I appreciated the levity of the story. Most of all, the story ended hopefully, and incorrigibly. That is a quality that seems to be lacking in many stories of late. After all, on a rainy day such as today, which of us has not dreamed of such a knock at the door, offering untold adventure and the promise of riches?