Time Travel Short Story Review

The Wave-Function Collapse
by Steven Utley
© 2005
Published in March 2005 Asimov's Science Fiction


The Wave-Function Collapse tells the story of a time traveler working on a scientific expedition in the Paleozoic era. When word comes that a tragedy has befallen his wife back in the 'present' the distraught man racks his brain to find a way to outsmart physics and time to prevent his wife's untimely death.


Utley's story itself is well enough written, but fails to delivery much else other than a introductory lessons into Schrödinger's cat thought experiment and wave-fuction theory. Much of the emotional impact of the main character losing his wife and his frustration of being unable to do anything about it is diluted by the fact that the reader intercepts the story at the point after he has received the bad news. Given only a grief striken man raving about wave-function collapse and the possibilty of his wife still being alive, I found myself having the same reaction of the other characters in the story, shaking my head in sympathy, but little else.

I would moderately recommend this story to time travel afficinados.

Also in the March 2005 edition of Asimov's two other time travel/alternate history stories The Devil You Don't by Matthew Hughes, and The Card by Gene Wolfe.

©2005 - A. Taylor

Review Posted 2005-08-19

R E L A T E D   L I N K S

Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine
The website for the magazine offers some excerpts of current issue and other editorials and features from previous editions. Links to manuscript guidelines, subscription info, a reader's forum and a searchable index that covers all short fiction printed in the magazine from 1980-2002.


Wikipedia.org - Schrödinger's cat
An entry on Schrödinger's cat from the Wikipedia online free encylopedia with discussion and other references to Schrödinger's cat in fiction.


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