Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach
May 13, 2019 6:21 AM - by Kelly Robson - Subscribe

In 2267, Earth has just begun to recover from worldwide ecological disasters. Minh is part of the generation that first moved back up to the surface of the Earth from the underground hells, to reclaim humanity's ancestral habitat. She's spent her entire life restoring river ecosystems, but lately the kind of long-term restoration projects Minh works on have been stalled due to the invention of time travel. When she gets the opportunity take a team to 2000 BC to survey the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, she jumps at the chance to uncover the secrets of the shadowy think tank that controls time travel technology.
posted by dinty_moore (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I loved this, but I read it as an ebook and I didn't realize it was a novella so I was so shocked at how quickly it ended. I'd love to see it expanded or otherwise continued in a novel or series.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:18 AM on May 13, 2019

I just read this last week! I've been enjoying a microtrend in SF you might call "project management fiction", and this definitely had a good amount of that. (Solitaire by Kelley Eskridge is another good example.) I would also like to see a lot more stuff set in this world; this book seemed like a novel's worth of (enjoyable) buildup and then a short story's worth of plot.
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 10:53 PM on May 13, 2019

I'm not keen on post-apocalyptic stories, but this seemed to get more hopeful for awhile. And then that ending. Dang. I can't even decide if it's super bleak or super hopeful that they're starting over far in the past.
posted by Margalo Epps at 12:50 PM on May 14, 2019

This one took a while for me to finish - I just couldn't get into it and was a little impatient for something to happen. And then it seemed to quit right when I was interested in reading more.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:14 AM on May 18, 2019

This one is a shining example of the problem I have with novellas. It should have either cut a lot of the setup out* and been a short story/novelette, or actually gotten deeper into what happens when they make contact and expanded to a novel. Change my mind etc. etc., but a lot of novellas have left me unsatisfied in that way.

I also would have liked more explanation of why they actually time traveled. Justify this whole premise, please. It sounds similar to what's going on in tech these days--"apply time travel to it!" is the future's "apply blockchain/AI to it!"--but I think that's more my interpretation than what came through in the text. And Minh really clung tightly to that idiot ball, with completely ignoring the safety officer's instructions and being an ass because...he works for a corporation? And is trying to give Kiki career options rather than be an assistant forever for the grumpy boomers Plague Babies who don't respect her at all? The plot was driven by bad decisions that drove me nuts. I did like Kiki, though, and am sad at how she was treated up until the very end.

*Maybe "project management fiction" isn't for me, but I think it's more that it over- and under-explained all the wrong things.
posted by j.r at 9:44 AM on May 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

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