Forge, Jan 2003, 24.95, 304 pp.
Euclid Heights, Illinois is a very special place because at certain moments when conditions are right, people can go back or forward in time. Josh Winkler is the first to discover this when he goes back fifteen minutes in time. He tells his wife Flo and his daughter Penny but they think he is either or not in his right mind. His wife, a pediatrician, insists he obtain an MRI to see if he has a brain tumor but it comes back negative so they just ignore the whole situation.
Life gets more complicated when fifteen-year-old Constance Morceau shows up telling Josh she is from 1908. He doesn't believe a word she says and believes the girl is a con artist wanting to rip them off. Josh checks the records and believes Constance. She is accumulating knowledge before she tries to return to her own time. When Constance disappears, Josh thinks the time traveling episode is finished until his own daughter vanishes and he must go back in time to bring her home.
A SHORTCUT IN TIME is a wacky, way out time traveling adventure that would make a great movie (similar to Back to the Future but wackier). Charles Dickinson uses the time travel paradox to show that time is fluid and the future can be changed. The protagonist is an easygoing struggling artist who takes the idea of traveling in time in strides. Yet unbelievable as that sounds, he's a plausible character and readers will hope that he can find a way to go back in time to retrieve his daughter before she dies in the 1918 flu epidemic.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner