Short Story Review: “Images Across a Shattered Sea” by Stewart C. Baker

3 of 5 stars.

Speculative time travel or time-crossing communication, usually is unidirectional, often agents from the future trying to right the past ala Twelve Monkeys. Rare is the story that imagines agents from the past spying across the centuries to determine the best cause of action. Just as rare is true two-way communication across the expanse of time. This tale imagines just this combination of scenarios from peoples separated historically and culturally by two centuries and an apocalypse.

In the 23rd Century, Driss and Fatima emerge from the safe confines of their radiation-protected underground settlement to look for message globes drifting over the Shattered Sea. Often the globes contain ancient information, sometimes not. The one they find surprisingly monitors them.

Back in the 21st Century, Jen mans the monitors displaying what her message globes can pick up from their reconnaissance. Her boss looks to determine the best cause of action before launching into the business of war. Shockingly, controlled messages and images start to display . . .

This contest-winning tale appears in Writers of the Future 32 edited by David Farland. It’s illustrated by contest-winning artist, Paul Otteni. I received this new anthology from Netgalley.

[Check out my other reviews here.]


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