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Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she's left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Analog, Nature: Futures, Podcastle, and elsewhere. Her time travel novella series, beginning with The Continuum, is available from World Weaver Press. For more info, visit wendynikel.com

The Continuum by Wendy Nikel

Elise Morley is an expert on the past who's about to get a crash course in the future.

For years, Elise has been donning corsets, sneaking into castles, and lying through her teeth to enforce the Place in Time Travel Agency's ten essential rules of time travel. Someone has to ensure that travel to the past isn't abused, and most days she welcomes the challenge of tracking down and retrieving clients who have run into trouble on their historical vacations.

But when a dangerous secret organization kidnaps her and coerces her into jumping to the future on a high-stakes assignment, she's got more to worry about than just the time-space continuum. For the first time ever, she's the one out-of-date, out of place, and quickly running out of time.

CURATOR'S NOTE

Wendy Nikel's strength at writing short stories shines here, as Continuum is a fast paced, tightly plotted story that delivers with a terrifically surprising ending. This is a perfect summer escape book. – Alec Hutson

 

REVIEWS

  • "Nikel's inventive spin on time travel and eye for sumptuous detail make her writing a treat to read."

    – Publishers Weekly
  • "The Continuum packs a staggering amount of well drawn world-building into a short space, making for enough time travel adventure to launch a series...full of heart, humor, and thrilling action and adventure scenes that make for a fun, fast read."

    – Foreword Reviews
  • "Readers should appreciate the attention to detail Wendy Nikel put into this novella The Continuum. With just enough twists and turns to keep the pages turning, this is a fun little story that revisits some of those delicate questions of time travel we all love to debate."

    – Amazing Stories
 

BOOK PREVIEW

Excerpt

The spinning slows. Suddenly, everything stops.

My legs flail, searching for solid ground, until I plunge abruptly into dank, smelly water. I gasp, and my mouth fills with brine. I'm being dragged in one direction, but instinct pulls me the opposite way. I kick against my heavy skirts and break the surface. For one dizzying moment I'm utterly confused. The concrete slabs of the nearby docks sharpen my fuzzy memory.

1912.

Southampton.

The Titanic.

I Extracted while on the gangplank—a gangplank that doesn't exist in 2012. This is exactly why our travelers are encouraged to use pre-approved Extraction locations. The Wormhole dumps travelers at the same place they've left from, which can make for some awkward (or dangerous) entrances.

Across the way, Marie does a frantic doggie-paddle towards the steel rungs leading up to the dock. With labored strokes, I swim after her, clutching the sphere in one hand. When I reach her, she's still clinging to the bottom rung, too exhausted to climb to safety.

"Hang on." I slip my Wormhole Device into my handbag and pull my dripping body up to the dock. Water streams out around me, forming a dark puddle on the concrete. The evening sun, balancing on the very edge of the horizon, casts an eerie glow on the water.

"Okay. Come on up—"

My encouragement is drowned out by the sound of retching. Lovely.

I clench my jaw to stop my teeth from rattling and focus on retaining my professionalism—not easy, considering the mucked-up circumstances.

Finally, Marie starts up the ladder, ascending tentatively, with gasping breaths. When she's close enough to grab my forearms, I pull her up with much grunting and tugging. Her eyes widen as she takes in the industrial warehouses, giant cranes, and sprawling parking lots that seem to have appeared instantaneously.

"What have you done?" Her voice rises in pitch with each word.