There are lots of time travel books out there, but The Future of Another Timeline is in a class of its own. It has punks! It has academics! It has academic, punk feminists who travel backwards and forwards in time, protecting our future and our past (hopefully while wearing combat boots). It has the strangeness of wandering around Orange County parking lots at midnight as a teenager, because what else are you going to do? Go home?
Time travel stories tend towards either intensely personal stories or vast sweeping epics. But this novel weaves successfully into and out of those extremes. It tells the story of Beth and Tess: teenage, Latinx, punk girls from Orange County in 1992. At the same time, it shows us sweeping confrontations between time traveling incel supporters of Comstock, who want to make sure women never have the right to vote or have access to birth control, and the Daughters of Harriet, our time traveling punk academic protagonists.
The timeline in this book is always in flux, from a United States where women never got the vote, to futures where people of all races and creeds joined together to fight for suffrage, freedom, and equality. All of these timelines affect Beth and Tess, who must contend with being girls of color in California, standing outside of the mainstream, vulnerable but not weak. Stories of time travel show us that the people of the past were just that, people. And the best stories, like The Future of Another Timeline, show us that the future is something that we build together, with our choices and our empathy, today.
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