One Two Review looks back at the first two issues of a series and reviews them as a whole. (more details).
Like most of my reviews, this one is about 70% complete. I’m hitting publish now, because if I don’t it will wind up sitting in my drafts folder long after its expiration date.
When it comes to time travel story telling, I’m equally nostalgic for Back to The Future and frustrated that whatever story I’m abut to enjoy will not hold up to Timescape by Gregory Benford.
One element of time travel fiction is explaining how characters are able to time travel… a Flux Capacitor, a phone booth, getting bumped in the head, an angel trying to earn his wings… etc. That is where Timescape begins to leave all other time travel stories behind.
Timescape goes beyond making time travel believable. Simply put: it makes time travel understandable.
Time travel stories will almost always put the timeline at risk. Timescape is the exception where the risk is *not* adjusting the timeline. Which is extremely tense because the book covers whether or not it is even possible to adjust the time stream.
Seriously, if you want to ruin every time travel story you will ever hear, see or read plus all the ones you have already love; Timescape will come as close to possible to accomplishing that task.
In order to keep on enjoying these stories, I have come to terms that none of them will live up to Timescape, because all of them will contradict Timescape.
Back to Transference. The first issue was solid. It was understandable in one reading, but increasingly interesting for each subsequent read.
Second issues tend to be where a series begins to fail as it over compensate for the lack of details in the first, because the first issue needs to be so thrilling and exciting it lacks details. Its job is to hook you. When done well, the second issue serves as hook’s barb.
A great second issue moves the reader from “This is interesting” to “I want to see where this is going”.
Transference #2 delivers well on this because Moreci’s subtle approach to altering the time stream. In most stories, the foundation is that the present is unaware when the time has been altered because the original history never happened.
This is also the foundation for Transference. Yet somehow things are deviating from this principle. And that begs the very dramatic question all great mysteries need to press: How is this even possible?
Catch that? the question relates to mysteries. And that is truly what Transference is: a mystery. The crimes may not be violations of law, but I have no other way to describe them. Which makes me wonder, how will justice be delivered in the series?
Getting to the Point
Transference is billed as a time travel story, but it’s really a high stakes mystery. And I want to see where this is going.