I must admit that time travel gives me a headache.
Not ACTUAL time travel, ha ha. I’ve never traveled through time, of course. But the concept is one that is hard to wrap my head around. There are numerous instances of paradoxes and contradictions inherent in the subject.
For example, if you go back in time and kill your grandfather, does that mean you would instantly cease to exist? Or does it mean that you’ve just created a parallel timeline? If you return to the future after killing your grandfather, would you THEN cease to exist? Or would it be in a different future and you’d be traveling from one dimension to another?
I could go on. The Fairfield Scribes had many delightful conversations about the set of problems inherent in this particular subject as we read and wrote stories for When to Now: A Time Travel Anthology. We had great fun doing it and, at the same time, breaking those genre paradoxes to smithereens.
I am humbled to have been the lead editor of this anthology. It was my first time as lead editor of a project such as this, and the scope of fiction contained within the pages of this anthology is extensive. I’m grateful to each author who entrusted us with his/her writing and contributed their stories to create such a fantastic body of work.
We’re only two days away from publication of When to Now: A Time Travel Anthology on October 1st. To give you a sneak peak, here’s the table of contents for the anthology and a comment or two about the authors and their stories from an editor’s perspective:
↔ “Ruby’s Paradox” by Cynthia C. Scott – The winner of the Fairfield Scribes’ 2018 Feature Story Contest, it was a great pleasure to work with Cynthia for the first time and read her wonderful story. We had a great many fantastic entries to our inaugural contest, but there was universal agreement by the editors about how much we all enjoyed “Ruby’s Paradox.”
↔ “Baggage” by Leslie Burton-López – Leslie is the newest editor to join the Fairfield Scribes, and she is a master at creating a compelling voice in every piece of fiction she writes. I die laughing every time I read one of her stories. This is probably the most serious story I’ve ever read by her, yet it is just as engrossing as her humor.
↔ “Dinosaurs and Oats” by B.T. Lowry – I’ve known B.T. for a number of years, and enjoyed his fiction immensely. He tends to write stories on an epic scale, although this is one of his lighter pieces - about a rivalry brewing between two children who can’t see eye to eye about the uses of time travel.
↔ “Disjointed” by Alison McBain – I’ve known the author for a number of years… oh, wait, it’s me!
↔ “Ten Minutes Past Teatime” by Elizabeth Chatsworth – Elizabeth is a writer who is local to me, and it was great to get to know her better and discover we both like margaritas and bread pudding – not together, of course! Her debut novel The Brass Queen isn't published yet, and it's already won a gazillion awards. You'll see why when you read her story in When to Now, a fun romp that follows a headstrong adventurer who gets more than she bargained for when she takes on a challenge that no man has been able to master.
↔ “The Service Call” by Edward Ahern – I’ve known Ed for years now – he’s the one to blame… ahem, to thank… for getting me into the Fairfield Scribes. The most prolific writer I’ve ever met, he has a self-admitted twisted sense of humor, which this story reflects quite nicely.
↔ “Misconception” by Gabi Coatsworth – Gabi is another local writer, and simply an all-around amazing person. She currently runs a number of writing groups. Her blog at https://gabicoatsworth.com/ has a great assortment of writing advice and submission opportunities.
↔ “Shifting” by P.M. Ray – P.M. was the editor of the Fairfield Scribes’ first anthology, Z: Tales, and was very happy to hand over the gargantuan and time-consuming task to someone else… ahem, I mean he was sad to miss the opportunity to edit a new and fantastic anthology. In P.M.’s story, I love the mixture of fairy tale, history, and sly humor.
↔ “The Swing” by Abhishek Sengupta – Abhishek is an amazingly talented writer who manages to imbue in his fiction a way of looking at the world that is completely new and, at the same time, familiar. I’d love to be able to write half as well as he does! This story is no exception – a beautiful and poetic look at life and death.
↔ “A Mother’s Legacy” by Robert Tomaino – Robert is an editor of the Fairfield Scribes, and creates amazingly vivid stories with only a few words. He also makes a killer lasagna, with a secret recipe handed down from his Italian grandmother. You gotta try it! It’s great.
↔ “Miss Princott’s Time Travel Agency” by Barbara Russell – Barbara’s writing always cracks me up. She has a fantastic way of taking a story or trope and twisting it into new and funny shapes. I can’t wait to read her new book coming out soon, A Knight in Distress.
↔ “A Peculiar Count in Time” by M.K. Beutymhill – M.K. creates the most complex and thorough worlds in her fiction that I’ve ever read. From the first page to the last, the story holds you captive and transports you. She’s also a fellow Californian. Go West Coast!!! (says the current East Coast-er).
↔ “Try Again” by P.C. Keeler – P.C. is one of the senior-most members of the Scribes and a master of puns. Seriously, don’t ever try getting into a pun war with him! Although there is a lack of puns in this story, there is a killer ending that will make you chuckle.
↔ “Reality Zero” by Nikki Trionfo – It was great to connect with a fellow mom/writer – there are a lot of us out there! – and get to know Nikki by working with her for the first time. This story was an honorable mention in the very prestigious Writers of the Future contest, and you’ll see why it captured the judges’ attention. It’s a fantastic adventure and keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way to the end.
↔ “Neighbor” by Jacqueline Masumian – Another author local to me, Jacqueline often writes moving literary stories that capture the essence of the human experience. This story is no exception, and it unfolds with careful and heartbreaking precision.
↔ “A Winter’s Day” by Edward Ahern – An astute reader might notice that some of the names in “A Winter’s Day” closely parallel the editors and authors of the Fairfield Scribes. Any resemblance beyond that is purely coincidental and purely for the author’s amusement.
↔ “Turns of Fate” by Teresa Richards – Teresa is a YA author extraordinaire, and the Fairfield Scribes’ resident YA expert. Although I say “resident” loosely, since she is no longer local to the Scribes. We still miss her every meeting, though!
↔ “Blue Sandman” by Eddie Cantrell – I met Eddie a couple years ago when we were both contributors to the literary publication The Reader’s Abode. He writes in a wide variety of genres, but his stories all have one thing in common: they are vivid and emotional, filled with music in their composition. This story is also filled with music in itself – it’s a story about the melodies of a full and beautiful life.
We have mini interviews with the authors HERE, where you can learn more about the inspiration behind their stories, where/when they would go if time travel were a reality, and where to find more of their work.
When to Now is currently available for pre-order HERE, so you can order it now and be the first to receive it when it’s published on October 1st.
Tomorrow, Gabi Coatsworth will continue our book release blog hop about When to Now on her website HERE. Don’t forget to check it out!
Who the heck is Alison McBain?
I am a freelance writer and poet with over two hundred short pieces published in magazines and anthologies. Check out my 2024 writing challenge to write a book a week at Author Versus AI. For more info, please check out my "About Me" page.
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