ime travelersChronospace by Allen Steele is an expansion of the author's Hugo Award-winning novella, Where Angels Fear to Tread. David Murphy is a NASA scientist and a huge science fiction fan. A failed science fiction writer, he now manages to write only an occasional magazine article. His boss usually looks on this as harmless publicity for NASA, until Murphy's latest piece hits the stands, proposing that UFOs might actually be time travelers.
The Oberon is just such a time ship. Its 23rd century crew has successfully traveled back to 13th century Anasazi civilization and to Wall Street in 1929. Now they plan to kidnap an American couple in Berlin and impersonate them on their journey home . . . on the Hindenburg.
It's an old paradox: what happens if time travelers come back from the future? If it's true, then they must already be here. And if they are, why can't we see them? Are there invisible 24th century scientists studying the early 21st century economic collapse? Are 25th century kids making crop circles for fun?Steele weaves the strands of his story together with precision, revealing important plot details in an unobtrusive way that brings them to the reader's attention at just the right time later in the book.
This is old-fashioned science fiction with secret government projects run by scientists who unwittingly change the world with their single-minded research. Steele has a lot of fun with the material and with the field of science fiction bringing in one real-life author/scientist, Gregory Benford, as a character and mentioning half a dozen others.
Gavin J. Grant lives in Brooklyn, where he reviews, writes and publishes speculative fiction.