Thursday, October 10, 2013

Surcease of Sorrow (Matt Inglima)

Surcease of Sorrow
Matt Inglima
Matt Inglima, publisher
Fiction, Sci-Fi
*** (Okay)

DESCRIPTION: In the early days of the Civil War, a man appears in the nation's capital. Nathan uses time travel to ease President Lincoln's sorrow by saving his son William from the disease that will soon claim his life. Averting the man's assassination would cause too many ripples in the space-time continuum, but surely this small act of mercy won't have greater consequences; before he left, Nathan ran the numbers many times. But in time, as in life, one can never know the outcome of even the smallest action, as Nathan is soon to discover.
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: I had a very mixed reaction to this short story. While the writing itself is decent, telling a time-travel tale that hasn't been done to death, I was irked by Nathan's obsessive stupidity. This is a man who is a scientist in his own era, one privileged to work on a high-level project like time travel... yet, for all his research and presumed intelligence, he makes two dumb mistakes in his first hour in the past, and the crisis at the end could've easily been averted with a little forethought. I didn't care for the ending, but it has a certain measure of justification. It's not a bad little story, all in all.
(As a closing note, I hope the author redesigns the cover image; as it is, it's very hard to read.)

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