In 1992, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend's abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. In 2022, determined to use time travel to create a safer future, Tess has dedicated her life to visiting key moments in history and fighting for change. But rewriting the timeline isn’t as simple as editing one person or event. From the founding editor of io9, comes a story of time travel, murder, and unlikely allies separated by centuries, battling for a world in which anyone can change the future.
At their best, such [science-fiction] stories combine the appeal of good historical fiction with futuristic speculation, which is certainly the case with Annalee Newitz’s provocative second novel ... The question of whose history gets suppressed and whose doesn’t is one of the central questions of the novel, making it eerily timely for our own cultural debates ... Newitz’s meticulously researched portrait...includes fascinating sketches of real-life historical figures ... Sometimes Newitz’s complex conditions for time travel sound like arbitrary game rules ... While this unnecessarily complicates the first half of the novel, Newitz more than makes up for it with her vivid portrait of the raucous South Side of Chicago during the World’s Fair.
The Future of Another Timeline is an absolute tour de force that wholeheartedly embraces the radical potential science fiction holds as a political genre ... The book is a good book, in terms of craft and execution, but it’s also a fucking important book—an urgent book, a clear-seeing book, a book with ethics to argue as well as the passion to do so ... Newitz’s comprehensively intersectional engagements with feminist activism are made real ... The Future of Another Timeline is multifaceted and unbelievably thorough in representing resistance. Gender, class, race, ethnicity, and ability are all influences on a given individual’s approach and understanding. The portions of the novel set at the Chicago Midway in 1893 are some of the most vibrant in their grappling with the problems of activism ... Newitz balances the terrors of living as a woman under patriarchy with the blistering, relentless, revolutionary possibilities of collective action ... There is hope, though, and a fight to be fought. The novel’s arguments come to rather glorious light through that process of struggle ... On all possible levels, The Future of Another Timeline succeeds: as an illustrative argument about intersectional feminist alliances, as a treatise on activism and coalition-building across time and culture, and as a work of precise, finely constructed, beautiful science fiction.
It's a time travel story — there's no other way they go. It stumbles in the prose sometimes. Gets wrapped up in referential nerdery. But Newitz grounds things in character details and the focused, dual, coordinated concerns of Beth in 1992 and Tess everywhen else. They color (and in some cases spackle over) the science in emotion ... And then Newitz gives the whole twisty mess a solid driver in an edit war ... But Newitz isn't content to end with nicely put-together or solidly plotted or any of the other faint-praise bull that generally gets heaped on troped-up genre novels. It's tough enough to write a time travel book that maintains its own internal logic throughout and doesn't descend into a series of ex machina miracles to put a neat bow on the last page, so that's where most writers stop. But not Newitz ... Another Timeline is a revolutionary novel in that it is about revolutions ... To burn down the past and start over again new. That Newitz can contain these both inside the skin of a single novel is not genius, it is necessity.