Excellent review from Asimov’s

I had to share this new review of my anthology THREE TIME TRAVELERS WALK INTO… I’m thrilled!

Edited by Michael A. Ventrella
Fantastic Books, $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-5154-4778-8

The title sums up the premise of this entertaining anthology: in each story, a group of time travelers from different eras meet—either on purpose or accidentally—and therein lies the tale. Ventrella has brought together eighteen authors, including Jody Lynn Nye, Allen Steele, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Gail Z. Martin, David Gerrold, Peter David, and Hildy Silverman, among others.

The stories take every imaginable angle on the premise, which—despite sounding like just the setup for a wacky joke—offers plenty of scope for writers who want to take a more serious tack. As one might expect, the time travelers cover almost the entire scope of our history. Ventrella notes, in a witty introduction to the collection, that some of the most popular characters in the submitted stories were Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, Shakespeare, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Austen, and Mark Twain. The finished volume includes none of those, but the roster of those included is distinguished enough.

Some of the stories bring together characters with similar fields of expertise—for example, Gail Martin’s “The Mystic Lamb” assembles Edgar Cayce, Maggie Fox, Harry Houdini, and Nicola Tesla to explore questions related to spiritualism and extrasensory perception. In “A Christmas Prelude,” Peter David goes against the grain to assemble fictional rather than historical characters—Don Quixote, Ali Baba, and Mephistopheles—to deliver a life-altering message to another fictional character who will be familiar to all. In “The Adventure of the Confounded Writer,” Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, and Ed McBain are brought together to alter history for the better. And one writer—no spoilers here—gives a younger version of himself a chance to alter history after meeting two of his mentors and the version of himself who has lived through our history—a tour de force of time-travel twists and turns.

All in all, this is a highly entertaining volume based on a classic SF theme. It would have been interesting to see what editor Ventrella—himself a widely published author of short fiction and novels—might have contributed, given the rich possibilities of his premise. Bet it would have been good! He deserves kudos for this thoroughly readable collection. Recommended.

Copyright © 2023 Peter Heck

One Response

  1. Congratulations and well done sir!

    John Bezzini


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