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“Because stopping time isn’t convincing.”
“I believe you have a time machine. Prove you’re me.” I tried again to straighten my head. “If you’re me, you know how.”
He smiled, sort of, anxious lines softening around his mouth. Would I become this sour-faced man? “And I know you’ve thought this through. Three secrets nobody knows.”
“Now, only things I’d never tell any—”
“In the treefort with D’arcy. What you threw in the library window. And that red-haired girl from choir.”
“Ouch,” I said. I wasn’t talking, not exactly, but he could hear me. “Okay, I wish I’d forgotten those.”
“Never did.” He rubbed the purple scar across his forehead. Since I couldn’t look out the windscreen of the van, I kept looking at him. At myself. I should smile more, or my two happy twins would grow up to be worried children. Smile more…parents have strange responsibilities.
“So,” he said, “do you believe me now, or should I mention the red sports bag you hid—”
“You’re me,” I said, too loud, and he stopped. “So—huh. So we did it. We invented time travel—well then, listen, about the friction battery…”
“You stop working on that today,” he said. “Just time travel, from now on. And it takes you ten more years.”
“Wait,” I said. “Should you tell me details like that? What about paradox? If I stop trying because I can’t fail—if I do that, would I fail?”
He reached to touch the scar again, then lowered his hand with a jerk. “You won’t fail, and you won’t stop trying. As long as you believe me, you will keep trying.” He glanced into the back seat, where the twins were safely buckled into their little seats.
Bad News from the Future – Angus Cervantes
The Lost Heirs of Rose McAlder – Kate Lechler
Just Five Minutes – George Allen Miller
Chambers of the Heart – B. Morris Allen
Q: Do you prefer your SFF as books or movies?
A: While I love movies, I’m both a writer and an editor, so I pretty much have to say that I prefer books. And I really do! For a bunch of reasons. For one thing, they’re much more cost-effective! Just compare how much time you spend enjoying a book versus a movie, and these days you can usually get a book for less than a movie ticket. Plus, I love how books let you get deeper into the characters, into the backstory, just deeper into the whole world. There are lots of great SFF movies out there, but it’s the rare one that can compare to the book.
Timothy Mudie’s story “Sundown on the Hill” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 31 March 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Juliet Kemp lives in London, UK with her partners, kid, and dog. She is fortunate enough to be able to see the Thames out of her window when writing, which is either inspiring, distracting, or both. When she’s not writing or running round the house trying to keep up with the kid, she reads a lot, drinks too much tea, makes things out of yarn and fabric, and goes climbing a bit less often than she would like. She blogs intermittently at http://julietkemp.com and tweets at @julietk.
Juliet Kemp’s story “Scraps” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 7 April 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
“If you’re really my future self,” I said, “convince me.” “Because stopping time isn’t convincing.” “I believe you have a time machine. Prove you’re me.” I tried again to straighten my head. “If you’re me, you know how.” He smiled, sort of, anxious lines softening around his mouth. Would I become this sour-faced man? “And I know you’ve thought this through. Three secrets nobody knows.” “Now, only things I’d never tell any—” “In the treefort…
Benjamin C. Kinney’s story “Shiplight” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 9 September 2016. Shiplight grew out of a different story, written but long-abandoned. A story about humanity’s first and only interstellar vessel, shuttling back and forth between worlds called Earth and Sea. But on its sixth outbound trip, the Ship was full of marines, and a crew cut off from both worlds by decades of time dilation. First, I wrote about the crew, fighting…
Q: From where you do you draw inspiration for your characters?
A: It really depends on the character and the story, but I believe I can narrow it down to three sources. Some characters are based on, or are composites of, people I know. With others the characterization comes from mе, although in such cases I try to be very careful not to reduce them to mouthpieces for my own opinions or ideas: perhaps infuse the character with a trait of my own personality, make them react like I would in a similar situation, but then I’d veer right off, forcing our personalities to diverge. (Side-note: I especially enjoy writing in the first person about characters decidedly unlike myself.) The third situation is when another work of fiction affects me to the point where I think up characters in response, as if saying, “The kind of characters I like to read about would never do that.”
All that said, most of the time I feel like characterization just happens spontaneously, right then and there, when I’m writing the scene, or perhaps during the long walks beforehand. I may start off with an idea of what a character is broadly about, but the Aha! moments — when you truly understand why your character acted the way they did — come much later.
Damien Krsteski’s story “Lake Oreyd” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 24 March 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.