I had the pleasure of acquiring and editing Wendy Nikel’s time travel novella, The Continuum, for World Weaver Press last year and next week I get to watch it get released into the world. I am very excited to see it get into the hands of readers so I asked Wendy if, to celebrate and sort of lead-up to that happening, we could do something on my blog.
Wendy has been using the hashtag #TimeTravelTues to pose a time travel related question to Twitter for weeks now so over the next few days I’m going to share five of those questions, Wendy’s answer to them, my answer to them… and maybe a short excerpt or two. And I’m curious to know what your answer to the questions would be as well. Please feel free to answer here or on Twitter using the hashtag
Today’s question was really, really hard for me…
#TimeTravelTues — What modern invention would be most useful while visiting the past?
“My single-serve French press. Since the first coffee press wasn’t patented until 1929, it seems like it’d be a good idea to have one of those handy if I went adventuring into the past. Like my main character in THE CONTINUUM, Elise, I’m a big fan of my morning cup of joe and think that being able to keep up my morning ritual would make time travel a lot more enjoyable.”
“Ah, dude. I dunno. I guess it depends on how far into the past I’m traveling, and where. I mean, is there electricity? What’s the weather? I’ve often thought one of the most difficult things about living in the days before central heating one of the worst parts of living in a temperate climate would be trying to stay warm in which case a space heater might be lovely, but only if I could power it. Also, indoor plumbing… amirite?”
Excerpt from The Continuum by Wendy Nikel:
I flash my warmest smile and carefully consider my accent before speaking. “I wish to speak with Miss van Grete.”
It isn’t her real name, of course. Not that anyone in 1912 would recognize the twenty-something pop star, but one can never be too careful when touring the past.
“Who’s calling?” the maid asks.
“My name is Elise Morley. Marie and I knew one another in New York, and when I read of her engagement in the paper this morning, I simply had to stop by and congratulate her personally. Is she home?”
I pull the clipping from today’s Daily Telegraph from between the pages of my notebook. It’s proof of the client’s infractions, starting with the fact that she’s still here when she ought to have already returned from her little vacation. When I Jumped back to 1912 New York to Retrieve her, I discovered she’d relocated to London, where she’d somehow convinced an influential businessman that she was his long-lost niece. What’s worse, she also won the heart of a local gentleman, known for his scientific genius and his family’s sizeable fortune.
Her blatant disregard for the Rules is the worst I’ve ever seen.
The maid nudges the door open further, but her slight frame still blocks my view. “Very sorry, miss. She left with her fiancé yesterday. He’s arranged a trip for the two of them as a surprise engagement gift.”
A new hire, then, obviously. Any seasoned domestic servant would know better than to gossip with her employers’ callers.
“Will they return soon?”
“Afraid not. They’re bound for America, so he might ask her father for her hand in marriage face to face.”
Curious, considering her father hasn’t been born yet.
“Of course! How very proper. I do hate that I missed an opportunity to see her, though.” Again, I silently fume. “When do they depart?”
I check my PITTA-issued watch, which displays not only the current time and date, but also the time and date in my own present. April 9. I’m running out of time.
“Noon tomorrow. Out of Southampton.” She beams at me and leans in closer, as if imparting a great secret. “They will be crossing on the Titanic!”