Quantum Lace by Leigh (Bella) St. John is a 102-page read about time travel. Unlike many stories of this genre, this one incorporates research that links the story to historical fact. The story is interesting although there is a cliffhanger for an ending. The story will be continued; the author promises that, but my preference is for closed end stand alone stories. The lack of such an ending did not diminish my interest in this story but my interests may not be typical of all readers. I like language and the way it is used. Ms. St. John writes of Bridgit, the main character whose life experiences occur in 1895. There are vocabulary items and phrasing that are not common today. How many times have you “fossicked around?” The letter written to Bridgit by Dr. Preston (chapter eight) contains phrasing that today might be described as turgid.
Bridgit has a dream in which she is in a restaurant where not only the customers are wearing clothes of a style unfamiliar to Bridgit, so does Bridgit and she has no idea why. She is amazed by sights she sees outside the restaurant window but she does not have time to contemplate all the strange things she sees and hears before she is interrupted by Markus. He addresses her with such familiarity that he must be a friend. Bridget’s amazement over her new setting and her surprise at being spoken to so excitedly by Markus lead Bridget to a nodding acceptance of all Markus says while Bridget is trying to figure out what has happened. Markus describes events that happened in history, from 1914, 2007, and even 2015. However, Bridget lives in 1895 and almost everything he says is strange to her. The one point they have in common is H. G. Wells, a friend of Bridgit’s. Markus calls on many authorities as he tries to explain to Bridgit why time travel is possible.
Bridgit wakes up back in 1895. She, along with the reader, contemplate the reality and feasibility of time travel. Maybe Bridgit wouldn’t have thought more about time travel if her father hadn’t died. The possibility that she could be reunited with him and possibly even with her dead mother spur her desire to believe in the possibilities. Now if she could only remember the directions Markus gave!
This short story will appeal to young adult (YA) readers. There is no violence, no sex, and no bad language. Some readers may be motivated to read more about the authority figures Markus uses to set the background for the feasibility of time travel. Adult fans of time travel stories will appreciate the 102-page story. It can be read on a lunch break.
It’s fun, it’s short, and if you have a KU subscription, it’s free.