The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz
Our pasts, presents and futures are connected.
In a world where time-traveling Machines have always existed, two timelines are competing for dominance. In 2022, Tess and the Daughters of Harriet have been trying to correct the timeline against a secret society of misogynistic assholes determined to erode women and trans rights. In 1992, Beth and her friends are pulled into the world of riot grrls and murder in an ever escalating path. Slowly the two times begin to intersect and flow.
This was a fascinating feminist time travel story, with a host of queer characters stacked against a powerfully misogynistic minority determined to use their pull and sway to remove women’s rights. The incel culture plays a huge role in naming women and determining their place (or utter lack thereof) in the society of the future and the past.
I enjoyed a lot of the differences in history, with Senator Harriet Tubman and many other things, and the various ways the Daughters of Harriet remember the changing timelines and corrections by remembering things that had been.
I remember a time when abortion was legal.
Again, a fascinating look at women’s rights—and women’s roles in society throughout the centuries.
While I was less than entranced with Beth’s story—because honestly I just didn’t care for most of her story, although at times I wanted more and other times I wanted less—I was all in for Tess’s story.
I loved the idea of a non-violent way of change, of using communal action to pursue change instead of power and force and threats. Of the concept of sacrifice, of changing yourself and the world, one step at a time. At the big picture and the very real people who are affected by decisions made up high for the better good.
If I enjoyed it so much, then why the 3.5 stars?
Because I felt like it could have been developed just a little bit better. The villain wasn’t as fleshed out as they could have been—until the end they were a boogeyman. While their actions were horrific and the future they had created was dismal and brutal, I wished that more of Elliott had been developed just so that I could hate him that much more (and I already hated him quite a bit). Also, I wanted more of Aseel and more of the ladies of 1893 and more of the Daughters of Harriet and…decidedly less of Beth.
Yes, her life was horrible but I honestly didn’t care for much of her timeline until she finally left for college and began to face what was happening. I just…I dunno. Much of her timeline was frustrating, mainly because she faced very few consequences for her actions, and her intersections with Tess were frustrating and felt forced into the main storyline.
Anywho, this is a different story and definitely one to explore if you want to read a queer feminist time-traveling rallying cry against the dangers of allowing the incels and douche-canoes to have a voice and a platform. And the dangers of white feminism—which was handedly explored and given a proper thumping.
I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
The Future of Another Timeline released 24 September 2019 from Tor.com.