Strange Horizons — July 9, 2018

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Strange Horizons, July 9, 2018

“Chasing the Start” by Evan Marcroft

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

A strange sporting event of the future appears in “Chasing the Start” by Evan Marcroft. Competitors race through time and countless parallel universes. Their paths take them to such dangerous places as the battle of Waterloo, the explosion of a volcano, and the deadly aftermath of a war on Pluto. The protagonist is an aging champion of the sport, facing the inevitability of loss to a younger athlete. An unlikely event leads to an unexpected result during a race against a particularly competitive rival.

Like the characters within it, this story moves at an extremely fast pace, leaving the reader breathless. It is dense with futuristic concepts and newly coined words, making many sentences difficult to understand. Because the sport involves movement through time, the nature of the story’s climax is not completely surprising. The fact that humanity achieved immortality, but decided to reject it, is mentioned in passing. The way in which this incredible event is treated as a minor background detail is disconcerting.

Victoria Silverwolf saw several baby turkeys run across her driveway not too long ago.