Time-travel stories open the entire world and all of time to writers' imaginations. The fifteen writers in this third original anthology in the Fiction River line explore everything from Chicago gangsters to Japanese tsunamis, and travel from 2013 to the nineteenth century to a vast future. Featuring work from award winners to bestsellers to a few newcomers whose time will come, Time Streams turns the time-travel genre on its head.
Our second anthology in the bundle. Fiction River is an innovative theme anthology magazine, edited by a rotating group of editors who also teach intensive workshops on the Oregon coast. I've been a guest editor on two Fiction River volumes. When I saw another Fiction River volume appear with stories all about time travel, the decision was made. – Kevin J. Anderson
"[Fiction River] is one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today. Check out an issue and see why I say that."– Keith West, Adventures Fantastic
"Editor Dean Wesley Smith has compiled an outstanding volume of time travel stories, no two alike. I highly recommend it."– Adventures Fantastic on Fiction River: Time Streams
"Fiction River is off to an auspicious start. It's a worthy heir to the original anthology series of the 60s and 70s. ... It's certainly the top anthology of the year to date."– Amazing Stories on Fiction River: Unnatural Worlds
One More Stop on the River of Time
Dean Wesley Smith
I love time travel stories.
It really is that simple. So in the summer of 2012, when we started talking about Fiction River, it just seemed obvious to have one of the early volumes of the series be called Time Streams.
And since I got to edit it, that meant that I was going to get to read a bunch of brand new time travel stories from some of my favorite writers. (Yeah, I know, this editing job is tough.)
I'm not exactly sure where my love for time travel stories came from. I think the love is rooted in how great science fiction can take readers out of their world and transport them to someplace new and wonderful.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, that ability to leave my surroundings and travel to new times and new places was critical to me and my survival.
Of course, all of us wish, at times, we could go back and change something we did.
And all of us wish we could catch a glimpse of the future, even though I have a hunch most of us wouldn't much like what we saw. But a great time travel story allows for that speculation while we stay firmly rooted in our reading chair in the present.
Sometimes, I think I am living a time travel story, actually. I remember as a kid in the 1950s reading science fiction and dreaming of a future that seemed too distant to think of. Most of my dreams never made it past 1984, because that novel of the same name affected me so much.
Then one day I found myself in 1985 and everything seemed strange and different somehow.
And now, here in 2013, the future is even more amazing than I could have ever imagined back then. Somehow I traveled through time, through those fifty-some years to end up here in this future.
Not sure how I did it, to be honest. I didn't click my heels together, I'm pretty sure, and I don't remember firing up a time machine. That said, I must admit that much of the journey is a blur, especially those 1960s and early 1970s years.
I have no desire to go back, so don't take me wrong. Here, in this future, I have computers and nifty cars and cell phones and much better dentists and medical care and so much more. (I want my old 1960s body back, but that's another form of science fiction, so I won't go there.)
I like it right here, right now, thank you very much. In this future I get to read wonderful and new time travel stories and get paid for it. (Honestly, that still puzzles me how that happened. I have to remember to bring my memory on the next time jump.)
But I gathered up all these wonderful stories and now you also get to enjoy them. I have to warn you, I loved them all, but you might have your favorites and your some not-so-favorites. That's normal in this kind of time travel journey through an anthology.
I honestly tried to cover as many time travel bases as I could so that everyone would find a story or two or five that they loved in here.
Even if you don't think you like time travel stories, this anthology might surprise you. It's chock full of great characters to take you on the journey with them. The stories in this volume are filled with heart, joy, excitement, and sometimes just plain weirdness.
Back in the 1950s, when I first started falling in love with the idea of time travel and science fiction, this volume could not have existed. But now, here, today, in this time, in this year, this volume of wonderful stories can now happen and find new readers who might fall in love with time travel as I did.
And somehow, in my journey through time, I managed to stop long enough to put the stories together into this volume for you.
I hope you enjoy the stories as much as I did.
—Dean Wesley Smith
Lincoln City, Oregon
May 19, 2013 (I'm pretty sure.)