REVIEW: “Timewalking” by Michael Cassutt

Review of Michael Cassutt, “Timewalking”, Asimov’s Science Fiction November/December (2017): 86-99 — Purchase Here. Reviewed by Kiera Lesley. 

He, James this year, this month, this week, is not only signalling 1962 and 1974 and possibly 1988 James… he is signalling James This Week. 

A different take on a time travel story. James has begun to sleepwalk and, in an attempt to figure out what’s going on contacts an experimental company called Ikelos who attempt to cure him. Instead, they tell him that he is not in fact sleepwalking, but walking through time. This allows James to send future information back to his past self and access information in the past that his future self has left for him there. James’ future self is trying to tell him something about the decisions he makes about his start up company May Cay and their ramifications for the future. 

I enjoyed how the two intertwined storylines echoed one another thematically – the timewalking web and the ‘vineware’ plant-machine hybrid product James is creating with his start up – and how both deal with changing up current methods of passing information along. Watching the information pass between the two as the story progressed was compelling and a good use of both ideas. 

I found James’ final decision a little unsatisfying, though, it didn’t quite derive from his previous thinking and experiences enough to follow on logically for me.