Marley and Marley by J.R. Dawson, Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, Nov/Dec 2017

This story, ironically or frustratingly, mirrors a piece I have been working on for the past month or two. The main construct in it is time travel, or the difficulties of time travel, the ways in which chaos theory works. The ways in which, if you change the past, you change the future.

This piece, sadly for me, is far more clever in terms of narrative. Marley and Marley are the same person, one older, one younger. The younger one (where the story begins) has just lost both her parents and is going to be placed in the foster care system unless her older self travels back in time to take care of her. Obviously this is what happens. But there is a Time Police. And there is Time Law. If the older Marley tells the younger about anything in an attempt to change the future, she is told there will be severe consequences. The cleverness of this piece comes from the way in which the narration is able to tell the story from three different places. From the past, from the present, and from the changing future (come one! You didn’t think nothing would change, did you?).

This piece is about loss and death and love. It’s a beautiful look at how we look back on our lives and regret and wish we could change things. (B)

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