I’ve always been fascinated by time travel. Ever since watching Back to the Future when I was too young to understand most of it, I was intrigued by the idea of going back to a time before I was born. The world seems larger than any of us can comprehend, and even the stories of a great-grandparent seem foreign to a grandchild. Imagine if we could travel back hundreds or thousands of years. Would we recognize the world?
Is “time” a dimension? Is it something we can learn to control? Is time constant, or can it vary? What about the idea that if we can speed up fast enough, time around us will slow down?
Then there are elements humans experience. The expression “time flies when you’re having fun” and the feeling of déjà vu. Did you ever experience a week that took about a month to end? Or have you ever lost track of an hour in a blink? Why do we experience déjà vu? Have we actually lived our lives before? While we traditionally think of time as linear, many cultures consider it cyclical, believing that patterns in time repeat over and again. Could this explain déjà vu?
The closest thing we have to widespread time travel is fiction: books, movies, plays, and even video games. These media have the ability to transport us back in time—at least partially—to imagine new ways of life.
Enter my latest work: For Whom My Heart Beats Eternal (and other tales). This was originally published with a small press as a romance ebook. I’ve reacquired the rights to it so that I can publish it in paperbook as well as ebook format. I’ve toned down the romantic elements, making it appropriate for any age from young adult and upward. The novella examines the concept of destiny. Anna, a graduate student, has been working with an elderly professor on discovering (or “inventing,” as they like to argue about) time travel. When a rival professor threatens their research, Anna is accidentally sent back in time—forty years earlier when her elderly professor is exactly her age. And the two find they have much in common… almost as if they are soul mates.
The work contains two other stories. “Suicide Watch” follows the tragic tale of Matt Mitchell. He discovers an unguarded time machine just hours after having a terrible fight with the love of his life. Determined to save his relationship and win back what was supposed to be his fiancée, he takes the machine for a spin in an effort to stop himself from having the fight in the first place. But Matt learns that time travel is not as simple as he thought. “Toward Every Future’s Past” examines the concept of time as a cycle, incorporating the idea of déjà vu and asking readers to consider whether we’ve “been here before.”
While the book has strong science fiction themes, it focuses mostly on human beings as they explore their human conditions, and I hope that readers can find a little slice of themselves in one of the tales. I hope readers find the idea of time travel as intriguing as I do, and that the concepts examined in the stories stay with them long after reading.
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