I think we can all agree that at this point in 2020, we’d like time to move a little faster. Days feel like weeks, weeks feel like months, months feel like years. Or maybe decades. It depends on the latest challenge 2020 has thrown our way.
I’m actually on year two of the time experiment. For me, time started to work differently very early in 2019, when the effects of my brain tumor (as yet undiagnosed) became really pronounced. I was just about to celebrate the end of my yearlong recovery from the brain surgery to remove said brain tumor when the world shut down because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
That year of recovery moved very slowly at times, especially in the beginning. I’d never had major surgery, so I really picked a doozy of an introduction to the concept. I had no idea until after the surgery just how long it takes to recover from something like that. But I learned. And I adapted to my new reality, knowing that life would never be the same as it was before the tumor, but that it wouldn’t always be like the in-between of tumor to recovery.
The one-year anniversary of my surgery was March 29, 2020. The state of Oregon shut down because of the Covid-19 pandemic on March 23, 2020. I was just about to exit one health crisis when a new one started. But this one affected everyone. Which honestly made it worse.
But I had already experienced my own lockdown. The first six weeks after my surgery I was on concussion protocol, which meant I couldn’t do much of anything. I didn’t leave the house for anything during that time except my doctor’s appointments. And it would be months before I could handle being around larger groups of people because my brain would get so overwhelmed.
But after about seven months, I felt like I was returning to a version of my old self. Different, yes, but familiar. Time, at that point, moved faster.
Until it slowed down again for the pandemic.
Ebb and flow. I’ve stopped trying to keep track and just go with the currents of time these days. We all have. It’s the only way to stay sane during events like this.
Fiction writers have long explored the transient nature of time through their writing, and it’s particularly relevant at times like these.
So, while I can’t make time pass more quickly, I can offer up some fantastic fiction to figuratively transport you to all sorts of different places and times.
First up is our latest StoryBundle, The Big Time Bundle, curated by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. This money-saving bundle of ten fantastic books includes three WMG offerings (one of which is exclusive). Here’s a bit about the bundle from Kris:
Initially, when I planned this bundle, I was hoping for time travel. Maybe that was wishful thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice to go back in time and somehow prevent this virus from getting loose? Wouldn’t it be nice to go forward in time and skip the next round of Virus Life altogether? Wouldn’t it be possible to have control of time instead of being at the mercy of time?
Of course, those of us who read and love time travel know that things can go awry when we start messing with time. For all we know, we’re in an alternate timeline right now. In some alternate universe somewhere, our non-Covid selves are hugging friends as they arrive for some holiday gathering, maybe with some pie or pumpkin spice latte. We’re kissing babies and going maskless through the grocery store.
This StoryBundle has some very good fiction by some of the best writers I know. They’re taking us to the most interesting places, such as the Idaho wilderness in the early part of the 20th century. Or the year without summer in Europe—that would be 1816 to the rest of us. Or to the very far future—thousands and thousands of years from now.
The WMG books in this bundle include Kris’ The Renegat: A Diving Universe Novel, Warm Springs: A Thunder Mountain Novel by Dean Wesley Smith, and the StoryBundle exclusive Fiction River Presents: Time Travelers, edited by Gwyneth Gibby.
You can read more about the bundle here. And Kris’ full blog about the bundle is a really good read, too. You can find that here.
But that’s not all! Our latest release in our Year of the Cat project deals with the concept of time, too.
Here’s the synopsis of A Cat of Space and Time, edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.
Cats often live in the world of science fiction and fantasy. Anyone who knows cats knows they bend time and defy gravity.
They walk through life seeming not to care about day-to-day events around them, and yet in the blink of an eye, they sense danger as if they see into the future.
Cat people also know their cats observe their human slaves for space aliens. We don’t mind, really. Of course, most cats, like nature, abhor a vacuum, so no technology for cats past a good can opener.
This volume focuses on cats in space and time and includes two helpful poems for those who still wonder about their cats’ occupations.
“Ten Ways to Know if Your Cat is a Space Alien” by Geoffrey A. Landis
“The Goddess Particle” by Daemon Crowe
“All Cats are Gray” by Andre Norton
“The Game of Rat and Dragon” by Cordwainer Smith
“Nefertiti’s Tenth Life” by Mary A. Turzillo
“Chimera” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“The Frayed Edges of the World” by Annie Reed
“Surfing the Swale” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Cat in a Hole” by Dean Wesley Smith
“More Ways to Tell if Your Cat is a Space Alien” by Mary A. Turzillo
You can check out that book here.
So, carve out some time for some new fiction. Maybe it’ll make time pass a little faster.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.