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The Future of Another Timeline

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From Annalee Newitz, founding editor of io9, comes a story of time travel, murder, and the lengths we'll go to protect the ones we love. 1992: After a confrontation at a riot grrl concert, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend's abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. This murder sets Beth and her friends on a pa/>: From Annalee Newitz, founding editor of io9, comes a story of time travel, murder, and the lengths we'll go to protect the ones we love. 1992: After a confrontation at a riot grrl concert, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend's abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. This murder sets Beth and her friends on a path of escalating violence and vengeance as they realize many other young women in the world need protecting too. 2022: Determined to use time travel to create a safer future, Tess has dedicated her life to visiting key moments in history and fighting for change. But rewriting the timeline isn’t as simple as editing one person or event. And just when Tess believes she's found a way to make an edit that actually sticks, she encounters a group of dangerous travelers bent on stopping her at any cost. Tess and Beth’s lives intertwine as war breaks out across the timeline--a war that threatens to destroy time travel and leave only a small group of elites with the power to shape the past, present, and future. Against the vast and intricate forces of history and humanity, is it possible for a single person’s actions to echo throughout the timeline?


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From Annalee Newitz, founding editor of io9, comes a story of time travel, murder, and the lengths we'll go to protect the ones we love. 1992: After a confrontation at a riot grrl concert, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend's abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. This murder sets Beth and her friends on a pa/>: From Annalee Newitz, founding editor of io9, comes a story of time travel, murder, and the lengths we'll go to protect the ones we love. 1992: After a confrontation at a riot grrl concert, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend's abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. This murder sets Beth and her friends on a path of escalating violence and vengeance as they realize many other young women in the world need protecting too. 2022: Determined to use time travel to create a safer future, Tess has dedicated her life to visiting key moments in history and fighting for change. But rewriting the timeline isn’t as simple as editing one person or event. And just when Tess believes she's found a way to make an edit that actually sticks, she encounters a group of dangerous travelers bent on stopping her at any cost. Tess and Beth’s lives intertwine as war breaks out across the timeline--a war that threatens to destroy time travel and leave only a small group of elites with the power to shape the past, present, and future. Against the vast and intricate forces of history and humanity, is it possible for a single person’s actions to echo throughout the timeline?

30 review for The Future of Another Timeline

  1. 5 out of 5

    Silvana

    4.5 stars rounded up. This might go straight to my Hugo ballot. Super fun. I held back from writing a review because I wanted to write something smart, explaining the time travel aspect of this book, how AnnaLee weaved all those elements of feminist movements, historical personage, and so on. I mean, this book deserves it. Yet my brain has entered a vacay mode, so I'll just write what I felt when reading it. It felt great. Exhilarating, even. The pacing was good and the POV 4.5 stars rounded up. This might go straight to my Hugo ballot. Super fun. I held back from writing a review because I wanted to write something smart, explaining the time travel aspect of this book, how AnnaLee weaved all those elements of feminist movements, historical personage, and so on. I mean, this book deserves it. Yet my brain has entered a vacay mode, so I'll just write what I felt when reading it. It felt great. Exhilarating, even. The pacing was good and the POV transition was seamless. I love that the book is so PC but not forced or superficial. It's basically a story about a group of women and non binary people who are doing time 'edits' to avoid a future of bioengineered patriarchy, worse than the Republic of Gilead. How would it feel to completely lose any agency over your own future, and even your limbs, if you have a vagina? And then there was a lot of discussion about significant political change through collective action and community activism, juxtaposed with the Great Man perspective that involves changing an (historically important) individual's course of life. Which one has the greater effect? More efficient? Mind you, change is a complex process. All of these are debated, and I reveled in it. Is it a perfect book? Nah, the villain albeit repulsive was not that impressive and/or menacing. The ending could be longer. Still, a really cool book. It is a compact one too, fewer than 300 pages but had a lot going on, which I really appreciate. Whether you like it or not, I think this is one of those books that would create conversation long after you read it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    I would give this novel five stars for just the cool research put into this time-travel novel, but fortunately, there's a lot more going on here than just clever interpretations of history. Or rather, alternate histories mixed in among branches of a time war. Ah, but who are the combatants? Is the whole novel about altering history so some faction or another comes out on top? Or is it an intensely personal journey with a lot of emotional punch behind it? Why can't it be bot I would give this novel five stars for just the cool research put into this time-travel novel, but fortunately, there's a lot more going on here than just clever interpretations of history. Or rather, alternate histories mixed in among branches of a time war. Ah, but who are the combatants? Is the whole novel about altering history so some faction or another comes out on top? Or is it an intensely personal journey with a lot of emotional punch behind it? Why can't it be both? And it is. Of course, I was hooked on all the girl power and the early Punk scene. This is my jam. Give me anything that says freedom and I AM ALIVE, throw me into a mosh and spout the original meaning of an=without archy=goverment without all the BS about bombs and murders and crap, and I'm there. And, indeed, I was here for almost the entire novel. I may not be a woman but I'm totally in the whole debate. We all need to be heard. We all need to be respected. And that's kinda the point. When it came to people like Comstock, the real one that boasted about how many women he convinced to commit suicide when all they wanted was abortions, we can't find a more detestable villain. Or at least, I can't. But worse, there are still a lot of people who think like this. And that's also a big plot push in the novel... misogyny taken to amazing extremes. Is it any wonder that Punk is the real hero, here? When totalitarian jerkwads are a force of history? Disempowering all women across the board? Okay, maybe this is a common enough plot thread in modern SF. Or not even SF. But the proof is in the execution. And believe me, there are quite enough executions in this novel. :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    K

    FULL DISCLOSURE: I beta read for this book at the end of 2018 to offer some insights into the musical material that forms a key part of the plot. I initially beta read this novel to lend my expertise as a popular music historian and, yet, I found myself completely caught up in the narrative structure and overall message of this novel – that we ultimately have the power to change our timeline. I don't usually enjoy time travel stories, but I am huge fan of alternate histories. This one worked for FULL DISCLOSURE: I beta read for this book at the end of 2018 to offer some insights into the musical material that forms a key part of the plot. I initially beta read this novel to lend my expertise as a popular music historian and, yet, I found myself completely caught up in the narrative structure and overall message of this novel – that we ultimately have the power to change our timeline. I don't usually enjoy time travel stories, but I am huge fan of alternate histories. This one worked for me because it combined those two sub-genres and there was just enough familiar material for me to latch onto. Like the author, I am a Gen-Xer who grew up in Orange County, CA. Many of the details relating to the teenagers in Irvine, Newport Beach, and Los Angeles felt immediately close to what surrounded me as a teenager, from how kids south of LA understood that metropolitan area to what it's like to grow up with so many entertainment industry folks flirting (inappropriately) with high school girls. There's also a lot of music in this novel, from references to riot grrrl to the revolutionary role of some songs from the music hall era. Beyond all of those delicious details, it was that story in the late 20th century that kept me the most emotionally invested even as some of the leaps around the timeline got a bit dizzying, including such stops as the Chicago World's Fair and the near future where the characters are trying to figure out how to stop misogynists tampering with the timeline. Ultimately, the hopeful message really won out and made me feel far more optimistic about the present moment than I otherwise would have imagined. That, I think, is ultimately what made reading this novel so pleasurable. This book is unabashedly feminist in the most inclusive meaning of the word. It helps if you have some sense of the history of the women's rights movement as well as the major challenges to it. Because it's a book about fighting against relentless misogyny, there are some seriously violent and even triggering moments having to do with death and abuse. The violence and threats are there from the beginning, so there's no real hiding from it. IMO, those elements heightened the emotional stakes and made reading this incredibly satisfying. Highly recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    this sounds INCREDIBLE.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    This is a feminist punk queer time travel novel, which will probably be enough to sell it for many readers. A group of time traveling cis and trans women and nonbinary folks suspect a competing set of cis male time travelers are trying to create a version of history where women are never allowed to vote. Tess, our protagonist, is determined not only to stop them but to make a world with strong reproductive rights. But she gets a little sidetracked when she decides to try to change part of her ow This is a feminist punk queer time travel novel, which will probably be enough to sell it for many readers. A group of time traveling cis and trans women and nonbinary folks suspect a competing set of cis male time travelers are trying to create a version of history where women are never allowed to vote. Tess, our protagonist, is determined not only to stop them but to make a world with strong reproductive rights. But she gets a little sidetracked when she decides to try to change part of her own past. In a time travel novel, there is a whole system of time travel which must be imagined, explained, and then accepted for it to work. For me, the book didn't wholly succeed in its effort. I appreciated how different Newitz's system was, it doesn't feel like one you've seen before. But when you get into a story where the whole premise is changing the past, it can dig you into a muck of explanations that aren't always worth the trouble. You can get a little stuck here, the time travel mechanism and the repercussions never really gel into something that is easy to explain or understand. I actually find the parallel story of teenage Beth. Her story intersects with Tess's attempts to fix her own past, and the simpler story of Beth and what happens to her was much more emotionally satisfying for me. While I like the overall aesthetic Newitz is going for, I don't think this book played to her strengths quite the way her previous novel did. She's great at complicated, twisty, sci-fi plots. Here there isn't much hard science at all, and with just philosophical questions and character development the pacing can feel off. Sometimes I wasn't sure if I would finish it at all, though eventually I was pulled along by Beth's story, even though it was sometimes rather stilted.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Notkin

    There is so much to like about this book! In fact, how much to there is to like about this book is why, in the end, I wasn't happy with it. Let me explain: 1) This is a book about a 1992 teenager with a troubled family and a group of close girlfriends who take rape and sexual harassment punishment into their own hands. 2) This is a book about a group of time-traveling women from 2022 who are editing the timeline to erase the effects of anti-sex misogynist Anthony Comstock from th There is so much to like about this book! In fact, how much to there is to like about this book is why, in the end, I wasn't happy with it. Let me explain: 1) This is a book about a 1992 teenager with a troubled family and a group of close girlfriends who take rape and sexual harassment punishment into their own hands. 2) This is a book about a group of time-traveling women from 2022 who are editing the timeline to erase the effects of anti-sex misogynist Anthony Comstock from their future. 3) This is a book about a vastly original and rather opaque system of time traveling through a limited number of ancient, incomprehensible machines (or maybe organisms?) with very specific limitations. That's a lot to put into one ordinary-sized novel. When you add in the appearance of a woman from a future in the 26th century whose women would be relieved to live in The Handmaid's Tale, and a particular failure of the time machines that leaves travelers covered in early forms of life from the Ordovician Period, and a time-travelers' archive in Jordan that preserves some history of other erased timelines, and a group of men devoted to fighting everything the time-traveling women are trying to do, and a history where Harriet Tubman was a senator, and ... If Newitz wasn't a skilled craftsperson, the book would be completely unreadable. Because they are, it's often compelling, and some of the threads (timelines) are engrossing. And almost all science fiction writers will agree that time travel is very hard to write about. But in the end, they tried to cram too many complications into too small a package, and the result is like a meal in a trendy restaurant: you leave wondering why adding just one more ingredient didn't make your meal any better. I'm almost tempted to re-read it sequence by sequence (the teenager's story from beginning to end, the time-traveler's story from beginning to end, the other viewpoints separately) and see if I like it better.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    The Future of Another Timeline begins with three quotes. One is attributed to Senator Harriet Tubman, R-MS, in 1893. If your immediate reaction is to understand why this is inaccurate, but sincerely wish that Harriet Tubman had attained the rank of Senator, this novel is for you. Annalee Newitz combines feminism, punk rock, time travel, history, alternative history, and the small and large ways that a human being can affect others' lives into a heady yet accessible brew. While other women and no The Future of Another Timeline begins with three quotes. One is attributed to Senator Harriet Tubman, R-MS, in 1893. If your immediate reaction is to understand why this is inaccurate, but sincerely wish that Harriet Tubman had attained the rank of Senator, this novel is for you. Annalee Newitz combines feminism, punk rock, time travel, history, alternative history, and the small and large ways that a human being can affect others' lives into a heady yet accessible brew. While other women and non-binary people are very much involved, the novel focuses on Beth, a teenage Riot Grrrl punk living in an abusive household in the early 1990s, and Tess, a scientist and time traveler. Time travel is possible in this world through The Machines, which are scattered throughout the world, and always has been. However, it is only accessible to people who have sufficient money and/or education and are willing to put in years of hard work. Essentially, Tess and the feminist Daughters of Harriet are at war with the Comstockers, bitter misogynist disciples of Anthony Comstock. American History students will remember Comstock as an anti-obscenity crusader in the late 1800s who hated women, sexuality, fun, and most especially women who controlled their own sexuality and had fun. Time travelers are able to "edit" timelines, including "editing" people out through violence or other means. The Comstockers want to edit out influential women and advances in womens' rights, then render it impossible for anyone else to make a change. The characters of Beth and Tess contrast micro and macro effects of time travel and women's rights. Annalee Newitz knows her history, and there is an appendix in which she explains historical references in her novel. Newitz manages to keep several balls and a couple chainsaws flying in the air, and to make it all make sense to the reader. The Future of Another Timeline will not be for everyone. Some people will be confused. Some will be offended, or quite simply pissed off. But for others, this novel will be an absolute delight. I am a Generation X feminist who grew up with Riot Grrrls. I always chose female historical figures for my reports because my teachers always harped on men and wars (and Harriet Tubman was a recurring favorite). I adore alternative histories. I for one could not have loved this novel more if there had been a crisp new $100 bill tucked in between every chapter. Many thanks to BookishFirst.com for providing an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robin Bonne

    https://youtu.be/5Avc8qqRVc0 “What I Like to See," by Grape Ape 🎶 I bumped this book up to the top of my reading list after I stumbled upon the Grape Ape music video that the author and their friend created. Smart choice on my part because I loved it. This book had many of my favorite elements; time travel, alternate historical timelines, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, and a storyline about facing childhood trauma. If you enjoy feminist speculative fiction, this book should be on your reading list. It was a wild r https://youtu.be/5Avc8qqRVc0 “What I Like to See," by Grape Ape 🎶 I bumped this book up to the top of my reading list after I stumbled upon the Grape Ape music video that the author and their friend created. Smart choice on my part because I loved it. This book had many of my favorite elements; time travel, alternate historical timelines, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, and a storyline about facing childhood trauma. If you enjoy feminist speculative fiction, this book should be on your reading list. It was a wild ride.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Tess is a member of the Daughters of Harriet, a group of time travelers who frequently revisit the past to protect women's rights for the future. She finds herself back in 1992 at a riot grrrl concert she actually attended as a seventeen-year-old, which sets in motion a complicated chain of events.  First, she decides to try and edit a personal event that was a major turning point in her life. Second, she must travel further back in time to stop another group of time travelers known a Tess is a member of the Daughters of Harriet, a group of time travelers who frequently revisit the past to protect women's rights for the future. She finds herself back in 1992 at a riot grrrl concert she actually attended as a seventeen-year-old, which sets in motion a complicated chain of events.  First, she decides to try and edit a personal event that was a major turning point in her life. Second, she must travel further back in time to stop another group of time travelers known as Comstockers who are hellbent on undoing all of the good the Daughters of Harriet have done for women's rights. In 1992, Beth leaves the riot grrrl concert with friends and before the night is over, a friend's abusive boyfriend is dead and they've agreed to hide the body.  In the months that follow, their anger grows with each encounter with men who treat females as objects.  On top of that, Beth's life is complicated by a big decision and an awkward home life with a mentally ill father. Alternating between Beth's narrative in 1992 and Tess's narrative across multiple time jumps, The Future of Another Timeline had a ton of promise but eventually fell flat for me. While both narratives were compelling, after a certain point I was more invested in Beth's story. I think this had to do with the fact that Tess's story became bogged down in time travel rules and chasing an enemy who was completely one-dimensional. That said, I was surprised by the amount of violence in Beth's narrative and feel like there needed to be more insight into the justification behind it because it was all too rushed with little explanation. Overall, the plot was extremely interesting but the delivery was sorely lacking. If you're a reader who enjoys sci-fi/time travel/alternate history with a focus on women's rights, this is one you may want to look into. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  10. 5 out of 5

    laurel [suspected bibliophile]

    3.5 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 a 3.5 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

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emily Vanderwerff

    I was WILD about this book. The only thing I can really critique is that the last couple of pages are a bit jarring and out of nowhere tonally. But then the very last historical footnote is a gut punch, so hey, I came right back around. I suspect I will be alone in preferring the mostly time travel-less Beth storyline to the time travel-full Tess storyline, but it's so well observed and so intuitive about teen girl relationships. Please read this one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laura (crofteereader)

    I received this book as a raffle prize from BookishFirst in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This is a strange one. Told in a radically shifting span of time (anchored in the 1990s but bouncing back and forth between 2022 and 1893 with occasional forays into the way-back past), this story addresses the intricacies of time travel in a way I haven't really seen before. Our characters are setting out to alter time in small ways - because the big ones a I received this book as a raffle prize from BookishFirst in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This is a strange one. Told in a radically shifting span of time (anchored in the 1990s but bouncing back and forth between 2022 and 1893 with occasional forays into the way-back past), this story addresses the intricacies of time travel in a way I haven't really seen before. Our characters are setting out to alter time in small ways - because the big ones are all but inevitable - but these small changes end up making a huge impact on their present. Tess is a time traveler who specializes in the late 19th century and women's rights in that tumultuous time. Beth is a teenager in the 1990s who is discovering independence and trying to free herself from toxic relationships. We get Beth's life as kind of a baseline to see how Tess's edits come into effect. It's honestly a really genius idea. I also really love seeing the growth of radical feminism through the ages - particularly in times (past and present) when women have very few rights. However, it felt very scattered. I liked the baseline of Beth because Tess's storyline seemed to be all over the place. Each thing she did involved a lot of traveling and skipping time and meeting lots of different people. I think this would be a great story for history lovers (which I am not) and it has something for sci-fi nerds as well (which I definitely am)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    In a world where time machines have always existed as part of human history, used by researchers, there are always some who covertly edit the timeline. Big events can't really be altered, but small ones can, and enough small ones can add up to a huge change. Tess is currently involved in a secret edit war against a group of men who want history to continually subjugate women, and worse, they want to destroy time travel so the change persists forever... and also wants to make some changes in her In a world where time machines have always existed as part of human history, used by researchers, there are always some who covertly edit the timeline. Big events can't really be altered, but small ones can, and enough small ones can add up to a huge change. Tess is currently involved in a secret edit war against a group of men who want history to continually subjugate women, and worse, they want to destroy time travel so the change persists forever... and also wants to make some changes in her past which involves an angry punk rock phase and murder. Disclaimer: I won an advanced reader's copy of this book through a Twitter giveaway. I don't this it affected my review. Also, theoretically the book might differ in small ways from how it actually winds up being published (although I'm not sure I've ever heard a recent example where that's been anything more dramatic than fixed typoes or minor phrasing changes that don't affect the plot). The initial setup of the book, where ancient, possibly alien devices have allowed time travel since the dawn of humanity (under certain strict conditions to keep it rare and mostly restricted to academics, yet not secret from the wider world), and everybody's minor edits to history tending to reach (but not guaranteeing) an equilibrium that prevents major changes, was really quite interesting, something I've never quite seen before. I'm not sure it entirely works smoothly without contradiction, but that's something you can say about a great number of time travel stories (maybe even the vast majority) and it being at least novel more than makes up for any possible weirdness in it. The format also does a good job keeping the attention up, alternating between the story of the time traveller's efforts to sway history towards more human rights and events from the time traveller's past... events which might be subtly shifting along with her own interference. Although there are a few weird things along the way which caused confusion, there are also some surprising twists I liked. I'm not sure which of the two storylines I was more interested in, which is also a generally good thing, both the time traveling adventures and the story of punk rock teens falling into murder of people they felt 'deserved it' were both compelling for different reasons. It's also an unabashedly feminist work, and, there will inevitably be some people who don't like it because of that. I can practically see some of the complaints, not all of which are technically without a seed of merit. For example, it's not actually wrong that this is a book where almost every male character who's getting any development is either outrageously misogynistic or some variety of creepy scumbag... sometimes just to a tiny degree, sometimes almost to what I'd almost describe as a caricature if I hadn't encountered too many idiots who thought exactly like that. The rare exceptions aren't even heroes actively fighting against the bad guys, but just a character's potential romantic interest or employer who doesn't take as much advantage as most people would. So, all in all, not really fundamentally worse than plenty of books in previous decades of science fiction that often went unremarked. I can see people reacting badly because of it, but I also feel it should be looked at in the context of a world where people are working to take women's rights away. I mean that both within the story (for, that being the central plot, there's obviously going to be far more 'bad men' characters, particularly in variations of the timeline that have already gotten more institutionalized misogyny) and in a real world where there are far too many men out there making efforts towards that in a present-day context. If you're a man offended there aren't more good men fighting the good fight, be one, or continue to be one, in the real world. More of a problem, for me, at least, was that the antagonists too often seemed to be 'easy targets' of a sort? Both in a sense of 'easily defeated' and in many cases 'so obviously bad guys where a more nuanced portrayal might have been more interesting.' Even the major threat people are fighting comes down to a confrontation that doesn't really feel like the culmination of a battle between two factions as a small group confronting a small group of idiots. I think that's my biggest complaint with the book, really, the ending just sort of fizzles out for me, both the major threat and the more emotional core of the plot with the character's personal timeline shift. One comes to a head and is 'resolved' (to the extent they can be) too easily, the other just doesn't feel like the story satisfied. It's hard to describe exactly what went wrong with it, I just wanted more, but instead it felt like the author just stopped telling the story of one character and threw on a dramatic ending for another (partly relying on vague and convenient 'how time travel works in this universe' rules) when I wanted the two branches to intersect more. Still, ending are just one element, and often even when they're not what you wanted, they still don't always sour what came before... getting there, exploring the variations in the timeline, the interesting bits of history and historical figures (some actually real with alternate history details thrown in, some pastiches of real people) the characters and the general plot made up for it. I'd probably put it in that tragic '3.5 stars' range where I'm forced by Goodreads to decide which way to go when neither 3 or 4 feels quite right. However in this case the novel premise (which still gets me thinking of how it might be used in other stories set in the same 'world') alone probably pushes it to the 'closer to 4 stars' range.

  14. 4 out of 5

    FanFiAddict

    Another week, another DNF. Based on other reviews, there is a definite audience for this novel, but I am not included. While I enjoyed Newitz's time travel component, nothing else really grabbed me in order to direct me to the finish line.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    actual rating: 3.5 Almost didn't read this because I wasn't wild about Autonomous but I'm glad I did because it was actually a pretty good book. Ok, it actually a REALLY good book but I am not the kind of person who usually reads stuff like this and the fact that it depresses me just a bit does take down my enjoyment level a bit. I'm sure a lot of people find this kind of thing very cathartic but I'm just like hey I live in the real world and I KNOW how awful everything is and I don't actual rating: 3.5 Almost didn't read this because I wasn't wild about Autonomous but I'm glad I did because it was actually a pretty good book. Ok, it actually a REALLY good book but I am not the kind of person who usually reads stuff like this and the fact that it depresses me just a bit does take down my enjoyment level a bit. I'm sure a lot of people find this kind of thing very cathartic but I'm just like hey I live in the real world and I KNOW how awful everything is and I don't necessarily want to spend my free time reading about sexism 'for fun'. BUT I still thought she did very interesting things with time travel and alternate history and also really liked the characters and their relationships with each other. The dual POV was very interesting and definitely go how you are expecting it to. Overall a good read but just be aware that it deals with a lot of very heavy subjects so maybe have something fun lined up for after you finish ;)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eve

    Closer to 4.5 stars This was a really interesting read. A great blend of science fiction, historical fiction, and political commentary, three of my most favorite things. As usual, some of the time travel/science explanations were over my head, but for the most part it was fairly easy to keep up with. I did notice a couple slight anachronisms, such as the use of "cis" in Grape Ape's lyrics from 1992 (and the book doesn't say they're travelers!) but these weren't a big deal. Closer to 4.5 stars This was a really interesting read. A great blend of science fiction, historical fiction, and political commentary, three of my most favorite things. As usual, some of the time travel/science explanations were over my head, but for the most part it was fairly easy to keep up with. I did notice a couple slight anachronisms, such as the use of "cis" in Grape Ape's lyrics from 1992 (and the book doesn't say they're travelers!) but these weren't a big deal. I found I didn't really connect with the characters until about halfway through. But I did grow quite attached to them by the end, and got emotional at a couple parts. There was quite a bit of diversity too, which is always good! I really appreciated the historical notes at the end, where the author explains her inspirations and clarifies which characters and events were real (or inspired). The whole book is really focused on women's reproductive rights, and the last line of the book (in the historical notes section) is "I remember a world where abortion was legal in my country. I hope you do too." which honestly gave me chills. I definitely recommend giving this a read!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    oh hell yes to this whole thing. Come my friends and let's go time traveling to stop people from making edits to the timeline as they try to destroy women's rights. If this ain't the most diverse and inclusive feminist novel I have ever read...this ain't no white feminist b/s. It's actually feminist! They specify multiple times in this book that the changes are to be done to protect cis women, trans women and non-binary! We alternate between two POVs (Tessa originally from 2022 + Beth oh hell yes to this whole thing. Come my friends and let's go time traveling to stop people from making edits to the timeline as they try to destroy women's rights. If this ain't the most diverse and inclusive feminist novel I have ever read...this ain't no white feminist b/s. It's actually feminist! They specify multiple times in this book that the changes are to be done to protect cis women, trans women and non-binary! We alternate between two POVs (Tessa originally from 2022 + Beth originally from 1992) as they go to multiple other time periods. I feel like we constantly do time travel novels but it's always "be careful not to change ANYTHING" but this one is literally the opposite. The whole idea of purposely changing somethings but with the goal being a very specific change is...like that would be SO HARD! Rep: Chinese, Korean, Black, Jewish, transgender, F/F romance & non-binary!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    This book has a message and it's not subtle about it. The time travel technique is interesting. There are rocks across the world that you can use to time travel and mankind has always known. However, this isn't explored as much because the author has a message about men vs women. Characterization feels like there is a woke bingo that is being used instead of creating a fully realized character. The main character, Tess, any understanding I had of her was gone once a twist was revealed. This twis This book has a message and it's not subtle about it. The time travel technique is interesting. There are rocks across the world that you can use to time travel and mankind has always known. However, this isn't explored as much because the author has a message about men vs women. Characterization feels like there is a woke bingo that is being used instead of creating a fully realized character. The main character, Tess, any understanding I had of her was gone once a twist was revealed. This twist left me feeling disgusted with Tess and not sure if I was supposed to. And I don't believe Harriet Tubman would have ever been elected to the Senate. There was too much racism and fear of African Americans after the civil war to happen. Even if, for some reason that I couldn't understand, women were give the right to vote long before they really did. This was wish fulfillment.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sana

    DAAAAAMN, THIS COVER :HEART EYES: Will Staehle designs some of the best covers, man ------------ I haven't even read Autonomous yet but I'm hoping this will be better and not just because there will be time-traveling geologists and the fact that mind-bending really means mindfuckery

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Lesbian and trans time travelers uncover a group of men trying to edit women’s rights out of history. Read it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    I am very conflicted about this book. At times I wanted to keep reading and was fully engaged in the story. At other times I was utterly confused and had no idea what the book was talking about. Other times I was grossed out and kind of done with the story. The book however makes an incredible political statement about women's rights and I think it is very important. I don't agree with everything the author discusses or obviously feels but it definitely makes you think. This book has several ch I am very conflicted about this book. At times I wanted to keep reading and was fully engaged in the story. At other times I was utterly confused and had no idea what the book was talking about. Other times I was grossed out and kind of done with the story. The book however makes an incredible political statement about women's rights and I think it is very important. I don't agree with everything the author discusses or obviously feels but it definitely makes you think. This book has several characters that you follow. Tess is a time traveler from 2022. She travels to the early 1990s to help edit her own timeline. She also travels to the late 1890s to stop John Comstock (a real historical person) from invading women's rights. We also follow Beth who lives in 1993. Her story is intertwined with Tess. There are several other characters who are an important part of the book as well but come from various time periods, hence where the book gets a little confusing. What is I do really like about this book is that the author does an incredible job weaving in real history. It's incredibly eye opening to read about some of the things that happened and really happened in real life. The author adds a historical sources chapter at the end. I always appreciate that. Although this was not a must read for me I feel like this book brought up some great points and definitely makes one think.

  22. 5 out of 5

    deep

    PW Starred: Newitz’s mind-rattling second novel (after Autonomous) is a multilayered tale of “editing” history, human rights, and the ripple effect. Geologist and time traveler Tess (2022 CE) is fighting a misogynist group set on subjugating women across the present and future, then destroy the time machines to lock in their dominance permanently. Punk rock–loving high schooler Beth (1992 CE) just wants her own life, and normalcy after witnessing a murder. Their lives intertwine in ways neither PW Starred: Newitz’s mind-rattling second novel (after Autonomous) is a multilayered tale of “editing” history, human rights, and the ripple effect. Geologist and time traveler Tess (2022 CE) is fighting a misogynist group set on subjugating women across the present and future, then destroy the time machines to lock in their dominance permanently. Punk rock–loving high schooler Beth (1992 CE) just wants her own life, and normalcy after witnessing a murder. Their lives intertwine in ways neither quite understands, and the effects of their connection extend for centuries in both directions. Newitz’s fascinating extrapolation is an intelligent, gut-wrenching glimpse of how tiny actions, both courageous and venal, can have large consequences. The sidelong looks at prejudice-born horrors are frequent but not overwhelming, and the examinations of how much darkness one might be willing to endure in order to stop a vaster terror are heartbreaking. Smart and profound on every level, this is a deeply satisfying novel. Agent: Laurie Fox, Linda Chester Literary. (Sept.)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    5+ out of 5. A cracking good sci-fi punk-rock feminist roar. Imagine the incels and MRAs of today were able to weaponize time travel: what do you think they'd do? And then imagine that a group of women covertly attempted to battle back their edits to the timeline? And imagine the war that might ensue in-between -- what might change, what might be lost, how it might all go down. Newitz does this in spectacular fashion, crafting a sci-fi concept up there with the best of the classic sci-fi I grew 5+ out of 5. A cracking good sci-fi punk-rock feminist roar. Imagine the incels and MRAs of today were able to weaponize time travel: what do you think they'd do? And then imagine that a group of women covertly attempted to battle back their edits to the timeline? And imagine the war that might ensue in-between -- what might change, what might be lost, how it might all go down. Newitz does this in spectacular fashion, crafting a sci-fi concept up there with the best of the classic sci-fi I grew up with and meshing it with a viciously necessary commentary on our horrific present. This is extremely my shit and I loved it. (It also helped, for sure, that I was reading it on a week where I felt like I'd been shunted into a different timeline and was still faintly remembering a previous one...)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Angela Staudt

    I recieved an ARC from BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review. This story is fully focused on time travel, feminists, and punk rock. If that is what you like, then this is the book for you. Sadly, this was not the book for me, I usually love time travel books, but I had a lot of questions about how exactly the time travel worked that were never answered. I loved the concept of being able to do a time edit of something significant, but not so significant it would change all of t I recieved an ARC from BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review. This story is fully focused on time travel, feminists, and punk rock. If that is what you like, then this is the book for you. Sadly, this was not the book for me, I usually love time travel books, but I had a lot of questions about how exactly the time travel worked that were never answered. I loved the concept of being able to do a time edit of something significant, but not so significant it would change all of time itself. I am all about feminists, but I feel as though some of the points were a bit overboard and I got a little annoyed at how some of the things went down just because of, “I am a feminist and can do what I want”. I really did enjoy how this was told from Tess’s and Beth’s POV. I wish it was more focused on that aspect and how they connect. I really didn’t see a lot of character development and felt very bored reading this. I didn’t care much for any of the characters really. Don’t get me wrong some parts of this book were really good and had me intrigued to read more, but then it felt like a ton of random not important information would be dropped and then I was confused and kind of over the story as a whole. I think this had a lot of potential for a great story, but it just fell short for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Branwen *of House Targaryen*

    This book is seriously amazing. It was utterly empowering, intriguing, and thought provoking. It is a story that will stay in your thoughts and heart long after you finish it. For me, it had me deeply contemplating the rights and freedoms that I have as a woman living in America. But it also made me realize how fragile those rights are and how they must not be given up without a fight! And how we still have a long way to go. Not only that, but it's just a really fun book. The story it This book is seriously amazing. It was utterly empowering, intriguing, and thought provoking. It is a story that will stay in your thoughts and heart long after you finish it. For me, it had me deeply contemplating the rights and freedoms that I have as a woman living in America. But it also made me realize how fragile those rights are and how they must not be given up without a fight! And how we still have a long way to go. Not only that, but it's just a really fun book. The story itself is entertaining and the characters are three dimensional and multi-faceted. They each experience trauma, and it was very uplifting to watch them survive their pasts and begin to flourish. The writing was very fluid and did not get too bogged down with science-y jargon that can make a book about time traveling utterly confusing! The author explains everything in a way that engages the reader. Overall, this book is a triumph and I would recommend it to everyone who values women's rights!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    3.5. Rounded up because of the ideas of collective action being the instigation of change. I wanted to love this book but it didn’t quite happen, as about halfway through I felt the author became less focused. There were also some uncomfortable actions that I have ambivalent feelings about. Still I’m glad to have read it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jillian

    I really loved the premise of this book- that women are written out of history and women’s rights are taken away, and a group of feminists must go back and edit the timeline. What got me was that it got too bogged down in the story of the time travel and the logistics of it. I just was getting bored with that. What I did enjoy was the alternating story of the teenager, Beth, and what she has to deal with. It would’ve been great to somehow have more of that story and less of the time travel expla I really loved the premise of this book- that women are written out of history and women’s rights are taken away, and a group of feminists must go back and edit the timeline. What got me was that it got too bogged down in the story of the time travel and the logistics of it. I just was getting bored with that. What I did enjoy was the alternating story of the teenager, Beth, and what she has to deal with. It would’ve been great to somehow have more of that story and less of the time travel explaining. I’m not a big fan of sci fi either so that may be why it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. Overall a great story idea and I enjoyed a lot of this book. I got confused at times with the time travel stuff also.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lo

    Holy cow. I'm not even sure how I feel about this book, let alone how to rate or review it. I can already tell I'm going to have a long, complicated relationship with it. But for now... I can safely say that it was a really contradictory experience, in that I often could barely force myself to pick it up, but also found it impossible to put down. It was disturbing and foreign, but also inspiring and relatable... what? It was an interesting premise and full of cool thought experiments, but it als Holy cow. I'm not even sure how I feel about this book, let alone how to rate or review it. I can already tell I'm going to have a long, complicated relationship with it. But for now... I can safely say that it was a really contradictory experience, in that I often could barely force myself to pick it up, but also found it impossible to put down. It was disturbing and foreign, but also inspiring and relatable... what? It was an interesting premise and full of cool thought experiments, but it also unexpectedly hit really hard, in places I didn't know I was vulnerable. I'd say at least some part of this will hit really hard for pretty much any human who's been impacted by society's weird stuff around gender, which is probably most humans. It touches on things everyone's talking about, and also things that I've wrestled with privately and never spoken with anyone in my life, like why exactly am I so committed to being a pacifist? What would it mean for me to kill a person? The kind of stuff that you think about at 3am while staring at the ceiling. While the writing defies any superlatives I might try to heap upon it -- it's not the wittiest, or prettiest, or most elegant, or very descriptive -- somehow it's just humbly, unobtrusively clever. I really admire what the author accomplished, especially stuff like avoiding the current political minefield of feminism by creating an alternate reality where the battle lines are quite different, or using time travel in a pretty unorthodox way* and not bothering to explain the nitty-gritty details. The back-of-the-book blurb sounded so intriguing to me, and I worried it might be too good to be true. And it did totally fail to meet my expectations, and yet it exceeded the wildest hopes I didn't know I had. I dunno. Maybe someday I'll be able to re-write this review so it makes sense to other people, or at least me. But for now, I know that I'm really glad I pushed myself through it. So I'll give it four stars for overall positive impression, but "3.5 stars and also 9 million stars" would be my actual, confused rating. Bonus final note: This is the only book where the author's note at the end had a stronger POW ending than the main text. Fantastic. Guess I'm a sucker for a real punchy ending! * I don't know if the time-travel premise as original as it seems to me, as I'm not well-read in sci-fi. However, I love time travel stories and always go out of my way to consume them, and I've never seen anything remotely close to this. A world where humanity has always been able to travel through time, but doesn't really understand how, is such a neat game changer. The way paradoxes work also just made sense to me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Diana Iozzia (Bookworm Banter)

    “The Future of Another Timeline” Written by Annalee Newitz Reviewed by Diana Iozzia The road to hell is paved with good intentions. In this time-traveling, revenge-fueled story, we see two main characters, Beth and Tess. Their choices impact the past, present, and future. This story is an alternate history fiction, which utilizes time machines as the catalyst for all historical changes, wars, and disasters. Beth’s storyline is not based in time travel. We meet her “The Future of Another Timeline” Written by Annalee Newitz Reviewed by Diana Iozzia The road to hell is paved with good intentions. In this time-traveling, revenge-fueled story, we see two main characters, Beth and Tess. Their choices impact the past, present, and future. This story is an alternate history fiction, which utilizes time machines as the catalyst for all historical changes, wars, and disasters. Beth’s storyline is not based in time travel. We meet her as a teen. After spending a night getting drunk and enjoying herself at a music fest, she and her friends kill a friend after he rapes their best friend. Beth and her friends begin a dark descent into avenging women and murdering those who hurt them. Tess is a time-traveling scientist. She travels back to many different eras, those of which look very different to the world of which we readers are familiar. Tess and friends are attempting to stop a group of terrorists and rebels, before they have the chance to rise up and become too powerful. In a sense, both characters are attempting to protect. Both characters are entangled together in this science fiction tale. We are not quite sure why until we have two separate twists, finally revealing the connection between the two. Due to my interest in alternate history, I certainly enjoyed the changes and events. It was interesting to learn that Harriet Tubman later became a senator and had a group of feminists called the Daughters of Harriet, dedicating to spreading her messages. Times that were inhabited by cave people are recalled up, but time machines had existed there. The late 18th century has been populated by time travelers, who have made the era more advanced and civilized. Lastly, the author has taken quite a few real people and adapted them into this story. I think this was an entertaining read during the action and murder scenes. I felt very bored during scenes in which we received pounds and pounds of information. At times, I felt tired of Tess’s storyline of traveling to different places. To be honest, this felt like “The Magic Treehouse” but darker and less exciting. I can acknowledge the time and effort that the author placed into this book. I feel the political undertones were a little too overt. I also felt that the two different lead characters could have had more characteristics. We saw a lot of what they did, but we did not really see it through their eyes. I recommend this book to those who like alternate history and time travel. This reminded me of a female version of a Blake Crouch novel. I do not plan to continue reading from this author. I received a complimentary finished edition of this novel to read and review. Thank you to Tor Publishing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Suziey

    True Rating: 3.5/5 Tess and her fellow Daughters of Harriet sisters are on a mission to protect women's rights in their future timeline. Time travel! In this book, there are machines that are used to travel back in time. These machines have been in existence since ancient times and are a part of modern day research. Tess is part of a secret group that is attempting to edit the future. Each person in the group remembers a different time (for example one person remembers abortion being True Rating: 3.5/5 Tess and her fellow Daughters of Harriet sisters are on a mission to protect women's rights in their future timeline. Time travel! In this book, there are machines that are used to travel back in time. These machines have been in existence since ancient times and are a part of modern day research. Tess is part of a secret group that is attempting to edit the future. Each person in the group remembers a different time (for example one person remembers abortion being illegal everywhere while another remembers it being legal in some states). Yeah, it's a bit of a headache trying to understand how all these edits and traveling work. But it's fun trying to wrap your head around it. There are also at least 3 different perspectives going on, which makes grappling the time travel stuff a bit difficult. There's our protagonist Tess, whom we follow on her time editing adventures. There is Beth, Tess's best friend in the 90's, and there are a few chapters from the view of some of the Daughters of Harriet. Now, the not so fun part. This book is gruesome! It was completely unexpected. I'm okay with gore, but this isn't a book where I was expecting such brutality. I'm also not completely sold on Tess's fate. To me, again, this is ALL me, the end message is a bit sinister- it's okay to kill people whose beliefs don't coincide with yours. And that's not something I'm comfortable with. Even if it is to protect my rights and those of other women. * Thank you to BookishFirst for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own and based solely on the galley provided *

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