Sun 19 Mar 2017
MICHAEL F. FLYNN “Nexus.” Lead (and cover) novella in Analog Science Fiction, March-April 2017.
Nexus: a connection or series of connections linking two or more things.
This is a time-travel story taking place in the present that packs a series of multiple punches, each centered around one of the several characters involved:
… a time traveler from the future who is trying to track down where his particular timeline has gone off the track, dooming billions of people; a woman who is immortal and who met the time traveler once before back in the Byzantine times; a member of a hidden alien race on Earth on the track of a possible invader that may have followed them here: a five-legged spider-like creature alone on Earth that hopes to use the time traveler’s machine to repair his/her/its spaceship; a female android who, inadvertently connecting the pieces of the plot together, wonders if the immortal woman could be another of her kind; and a woman with telepathic abilities who overhears a conversation that brings her into the tale as well.
That all of these players meet at one crucial time in this planet’s history may happen by a series of striking coincidences, perhaps, but then again, perhaps not.
Michael F. Flynn has been around as a strong proponent of hard science fiction for a while now, but this is the first work of his that I’ve read. This had to have been a difficult story to write, pulling all of the threads together as he does in a clear, concise fashion, with a light touch every so often as it’s needed. I’m impressed, and I’ll see what I can do to find more of his short fiction to read. Long SF novels are pretty much beyond me any more, I’m afraid.