Time Quadrants is an ebook-only anthology by YA sci-fi author Henry Melton.
This is a time travel science fiction sampler that was put out to whet appetites before the publication of Golden Girl. Since I've already read Golden Girl and loved it (read my review here), I was super excited to read this anthology.
It's four short stories, and overall only a little over 100 pages long - and well worth reading!!!
Let's break each story down, one by one, shall we?
Litterbug: This story centers on seventeen-year-old Jerry who helps to clean up near the railroad to make sure his small town is spotless before the President of the United States makes a short stop there. He finds an odd-looking candy bar wrapper that he tries to put through a gadget he has made to sort recyclables - yet for some reason it refuses to work, unlike anything he has ever experienced. What is it? Well, you gotta read it to find out, don't you? I don't want to say too much more since in short stories there isn't much room to tease without spoiling! But I'll say this: it was a crisp, smart, interesting, and surprising tale! Just what I've come to expect from Henry Melton.
Echoes: A fascinating, extremely short and compact story that wowed me. With its amazingly brief length I can't think how to tell you what it is about without ruining it, except to perhaps say that it involves the inevitable ripple effects that a time machine would cause. Excellently written and astoundingly creative!
Far Exile: Starts fast with the awakening of a calm-minded 1930s man that is, at first, unnamed. He finds himself in an unusual, unknown place of extremely tall towers, where no one ever goes outside and the world is controlled, voluntarily, by a computer-like being. There is something so intriguing about the concept of a man from our past being in a future we have not yet reached. Again, can't give away too much... but what an awesome, stimulating story! The writing kept me constantly involved and absorbed in this futuristic world. It exercises your brain in a way that is actually fun. I'm not crazy, honest. You gotta read it to know what I'm talking about, bibliophile!
Making It Fit: This is a quieter, more scientific tale that actually is about a bunch of (whaddya know?!) scientists. But don't mistake quiet for dull - because it ain't. Focuses on some lab coat geniuses working on the possibility of a time traveling machine, and what happens when they start to use it to work twenty-four hours a day. Along with the more brainy smarts comes an unexpectedly romantic, touching story! Very well done and perfectly understated.
As you can see, I'm a fan. Science fiction can be one of the most intelligent, intricately plotted genres out there - as Henry Melton has constantly proved since I've begun reading his work earlier this year. I most definitely encourage you to check out this sampler of the kind of stories he writes. Check out his website here to see how you can read Time Quadrants!