September 24, 2015
Time Loves a Hero, by Allen Steele
Chrononaut Franc Lu has come a long, long way—from the twenty-fourth century, in fact—to be in New Jersey on the evening of May 6, 1937. Traveling four hundred years into the past, he and his partner have been sent by the Chronospace Research Centre to observe the infamous explosion of the zeppelin Hindenburg. But when the German airship touches down safely on the airfield in Lakehurst, Lu realizes that something has gone terribly wrong—or rather, horribly right. His presence at the landing has set in motion an alternate historical timeline, and now everything will be different, though not necessarily in a good way. The consequences of Lu’s mistake could prove catastrophic for every living soul on Earth, now and forever, unless the past and the future are somehow repaired—and that is a burden destined to fall on the shoulders of visionary NASA scientist and wannabe science fiction author Dr. David Zachary Murphy.
I’m a sucker for alternate history, time travel, alternate universes and apocalyptic tales. Time Loves a Hero, by Allen Steel manages to touch on all of these. The chapters are easily digestible, with part one alternating between time lines nicely. Part two is a sudden punch in the gut, as the reader begins to understand what just happened, and the longest portion of the story, part three is a non-stop page turner while the reader races to the conclusion.
I enjoyed this book immensely, and fans of the above-mentioned genres will like it too. I hope the author considers continuing the story of three important characters, but quite frankly, I don’t see how it could be done.
Allen Steele is a science fiction writer with nineteen novels and six collections of short fiction to his credit. His works have been translated worldwide and have received the Hugo, Locus, and Seiun awards, and have been nominated for the Nebula, Sturgeon, and Sidewise Awards. He is also a recipient of the the Robert A. Heinlein Award. His first published story, “Live from the Mars Hotel,” was published in 1988, and his first novel, Orbital Decay, was published in 1989. His best-known work is the Coyote series — Coyote, Coyote Rising, Coyote Frontier, Coyote Horizon, and Coyote Destiny — and the associative novels set in the same universe: Spindrift, Galaxy Blues, and Hex. A graduate of New England College and the University of Missouri, he is a former journalist, and once spent a brief tenure as a Washington correspondent. He was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, and now lives in western Massachusetts with his wife and dogs.