Diabolical Plots #13, March 2016
Reviewed by Kat Day
In “One’s Company,” by Davian Aw, we first meet our protagonist as he arrives on an alien planet with no other signs of intelligent life. We learn that he’s travelled there via some kind of device, and that he plans to return. Over the course of the rest of the story, we discover that each time he arrives it’s at a similar point in time but in different locations. With each new excursion he sees his former selves appear; the copies of himself gradually multiplying with subsequent visits. Eventually, he starts to talk to himself. This time-traveling story neatly interleaves ideas of paradoxes with themes of loneliness and self-knowledge. A good time-travel tale is fiendishly difficult to pull-off without being horribly confusing or simply reworking well-worn ‘change the course of history’ clichés, and Davian Aw does an excellent job in relatively few words with clever use of the present tense and evocative imagery. A thought-provoking story that’s well worth reading.
Kat Day writes a successful, non-fiction science blog called The Chronicle Flask, which you can find at thechronicleflask.wordpress.com.
She has a doctorate in chemistry and taught the subject for over ten years, but her first love was always science fiction and fantasy. She hopes to finish her novel one day, if she can get the kids to sleep. She lives in Oxfordshire, in England, and would like to apologize in advance for any stray letter u’s in her reviews.