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The Future of Another Timeline

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,741 ratings  ·  430 reviews
From Annalee Newitz, founding editor of io9, comes a story of time travel, murder, and the lengths we'll go to protect the ones we love.

1992: After a confrontation at a riot grrl concert, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend's abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. This murder sets Beth and her friends
ebook, 272 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Tor Books
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Libertie The advance reader copy I have is 350 pages, but the hardcover is supposed to be 270. The story features characters who love science, but the novel…moreThe advance reader copy I have is 350 pages, but the hardcover is supposed to be 270. The story features characters who love science, but the novel itself addresses physics and geology only superficially. Considerably more time is spent exploring philosophical questions, including theories of social change. Check out my review for more about why I loved this book!(less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  1,741 ratings  ·  430 reviews

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4.5 stars rounded up. This might go straight to my Hugo ballot. Super fun.

I held back from writing a review because I wanted to write something smart, explaining the time travel aspect of this book, how AnnaLee weaved all those elements of feminist movements, historical personage, and so on. I mean, this book deserves it. Yet my brain has entered a vacay mode, so I'll just write what I felt when reading it.

It felt great. Exhilarating, even. The pacing was good and the POV transition was
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, 2019-shelf
I would give this novel five stars for just the cool research put into this time-travel novel, but fortunately, there's a lot more going on here than just clever interpretations of history. Or rather, alternate histories mixed in among branches of a time war.

Ah, but who are the combatants? Is the whole novel about altering history so some faction or another comes out on top? Or is it an intensely personal journey with a lot of emotional punch behind it?

Why can't it be both? And it is.

Of course,
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You are one. We are many. You can not make us feel your shame.
(I don't know if this even works out of context, but the moment was so powerful, it stuck in my head)

My first 5-stars of the new year!

I wanted to be a bit more stinted with 5-star ratings, cause I couldn't compile a best-books-of-the-year list last year due to so many books that fascinated me. But even though there were elements here that irked me (the rather casual take on murder and so many people smoking), I had so many moments
Jessica Woodbury
This is a feminist punk queer time travel novel, which will probably be enough to sell it for many readers. A group of time traveling cis and trans women and nonbinary folks suspect a competing set of cis male time travelers are trying to create a version of history where women are never allowed to vote. Tess, our protagonist, is determined not only to stop them but to make a world with strong reproductive rights. But she gets a little sidetracked when she decides to try to change part of her ...more
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
FULL DISCLOSURE: I beta read for this book at the end of 2018 to offer some insights into the musical material that forms a key part of the plot.

I initially beta read this novel to lend my expertise as a popular music historian and, yet, I found myself completely caught up in the narrative structure and overall message of this novel – that we ultimately have the power to change our timeline. I don't usually enjoy time travel stories, but I am huge fan of alternate histories. This one worked for
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
This story follows two characters, teenage Beth in 1992 California, and time travelling Tess based in 2022. The chapters alternate between the two characters, and as expected, their connection is eventually revealed.

When I started this one I had some moments of "WTF am I reading?" The early chapters following Beth are angry and violent, and I wasn't sure where it was all going. Eventually though, Beth's story ended up being the most engaging of the two.

Tess's story is less linear in its
Debbie Notkin
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
There is so much to like about this book! In fact, how much to there is to like about this book is why, in the end, I wasn't happy with it. Let me explain:

1) This is a book about a 1992 teenager with a troubled family and a group of close girlfriends who take rape and sexual harassment punishment into their own hands.
2) This is a book about a group of time-traveling women from 2022 who are editing the timeline to erase the effects of anti-sex misogynist Anthony Comstock from their future.
3) This
Elise (TheBookishActress)
this sounds INCREDIBLE.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Future of Another Timeline begins with three quotes. One is attributed to Senator Harriet Tubman, R-MS, in 1893. If your immediate reaction is to understand why this is inaccurate, but sincerely wish that Harriet Tubman had attained the rank of Senator, this novel is for you.

Annalee Newitz combines feminism, punk rock, time travel, history, alternative history, and the small and large ways that a human being can affect others' lives into a heady yet accessible brew. While other women and
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Tess is a member of the Daughters of Harriet, a group of time travelers who frequently revisit the past to protect women's rights for the future.

She finds herself back in 1992 at a riot grrrl concert she actually attended as a seventeen-year-old, which sets in motion a complicated chain of events. First, she decides to try and edit a personal event that was a major turning point in her life. Second, she must travel further back in time to stop another group of time travelers known as Comstockers
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has a message and it's not subtle about it. The time travel technique is interesting. There are rocks across the world that you can use to time travel and mankind has always known. However, this isn't explored as much because the author has a message about men vs women. Characterization feels like there is a woke bingo that is being used instead of creating a fully realized character. The main character, Tess, any understanding I had of her was gone once a twist was revealed. This ...more
Robin Bonne
“What I Like to See," by Grape Ape

I bumped this book up to the top of my reading list after I stumbled upon the Grape Ape music video that the author and their friend created. Smart choice on my part because I loved it.

This book had many of my favorite elements; time travel, alternate historical timelines, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, and a storyline about facing childhood trauma. If you enjoy feminist speculative fiction, this book should be on your reading list. It
I started this book first thing on New Year's Day, made it about thirty pages in, and then didn't pick it up again until Sunday morning on the 5th. I don't know if it was feeling too heavy or what, but I needed to be in the right headspace for it. (It was probably the men's right's activists that did it, followed closely by a disturbing murder.) Then I basically binge-read the whole book yesterday morning.

To sum the book up badly (and I will do better further below), The Future of Another
Emily Vanderwerff
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was WILD about this book. The only thing I can really critique is that the last couple of pages are a bit jarring and out of nowhere tonally. But then the very last historical footnote is a gut punch, so hey, I came right back around. I suspect I will be alone in preferring the mostly time travel-less Beth storyline to the time travel-full Tess storyline, but it's so well observed and so intuitive about teen girl relationships. Please read this one.
Another week, another DNF.

Based on other reviews, there is a definite audience for this novel, but I am not included.
While I enjoyed Newitz's time travel component, nothing else really grabbed me in order to direct me to the finish line.
Oleksandr Zholud
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: hn-2020-longlist
This is part time-travel, part alt-history part (angry) feminist novel. It was published in 2019 and can be nominated for Nebula, Hugo and other SFF Awards. I read is as a part of monthly reading in January 2020 at SFF Hot from Printers: New Releases group.

The beginning of the book wasn’t very encouraging (spoiler of the first 3% of the story, just to tease or discourage you, the reader!). There is Tess, travelling for year 2022 to 1992 to Irvine, Alta California to visit a concert of girl punk
Liz Barnsley
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review to follow.
laurel [suspected bibliophile]

Our pasts, presents and futures are connected.

In a world where time-traveling Machines have always existed, two timelines are competing for dominance. In 2022, Tess and the Daughters of Harriet have been trying to correct the timeline against a secret society of misogynistic assholes determined to erode women and trans rights. In 1992, Beth and her friends are pulled into the world of riot grrls and murder in an ever escalating path. Slowly the two times begin to intersect and flow.

This was a
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
In a world where time machines have always existed as part of human history, used by researchers, there are always some who covertly edit the timeline. Big events can't really be altered, but small ones can, and enough small ones can add up to a huge change. Tess is currently involved in a secret edit war against a group of men who want history to continually subjugate women, and worse, they want to destroy time travel so the change persists forever... and also wants to make some changes in her ...more
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is so much fun and surprisingly uplifting in the current climate. The love of research and researchers is at the very heart of this story, and badass scholar spies fighting toxic patriarchy across timelines is so cleverly executed. I learned so much about some pretty obscure rebel girls of history and not once does it feel infodumpy. I really want this to become a movie so I could watch the excellent coalition of ladies through various time periods being delightfully disruptive.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A timey-wimey tale as a geoscientist makes her way up and down through time in this alternate world where time travel exists. Her intent, along with many other women in different time periods all working together, is to restore women’s legal right to abortion (and bodily autonomy). They are attempting to locate a particular instance in history where forces began decisively turning against women. (Not that societies have ever been supportive of women for many centuries.) There is also a men’s ...more
Laura (crofteereader)
I received this book as a raffle prize from BookishFirst in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is a strange one. Told in a radically shifting span of time (anchored in the 1990s but bouncing back and forth between 2022 and 1893 with occasional forays into the way-back past), this story addresses the intricacies of time travel in a way I haven't really seen before. Our characters are setting out to alter time in small ways - because the big ones are all but
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars I really wanted to love this book but ultimately it just didn’t work for me.
actual rating: 3.5

Almost didn't read this because I wasn't wild about Autonomous but I'm glad I did because it was actually a pretty good book. Ok, it actually a REALLY good book but I am not the kind of person who usually reads stuff like this and the fact that it depresses me just a bit does take down my enjoyment level a bit. I'm sure a lot of people find this kind of thing very cathartic but I'm just like hey I live in the real world and I KNOW how awful everything is and I don't necessarily
Closer to 4.5 stars

This was a really interesting read. A great blend of science fiction, historical fiction, and political commentary, three of my most favorite things. As usual, some of the time travel/science explanations were over my head, but for the most part it was fairly easy to keep up with. I did notice a couple slight anachronisms, such as the use of "cis" in Grape Ape's lyrics from 1992 (and the book doesn't say they're travelers!) but these weren't a big deal.

I found I didn't really
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
In this alternate history, Earth has always had time travel, mediated through odd rock formations in several places around the world. In the modern day the use of time travel is the field of Cultural Geology, but there are cultural rules around time travel, travelers and the limitations of the machines going back to pre-history.

In 2022, Tess is a Cultural Geologist who, along with a group of other travelers, surreptitiously fights up and down the timeline aiming to make things better for women.
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
oh hell yes to this whole thing. Come my friends and let's go time traveling to stop people from making edits to the timeline as they try to destroy women's rights. If this ain't the most diverse and inclusive feminist novel I have ever read...this ain't no white feminist b/s. It's actually feminist! They specify multiple times in this book that the changes are to be done to protect cis women, trans women and non-binary!

We alternate between two POVs (Tessa originally from 2022 + Beth originally
I am very conflicted about this book. At times I wanted to keep reading and was fully engaged in the story. At other times I was utterly confused and had no idea what the book was talking about. Other times I was grossed out and kind of done with the story. The book however makes an incredible political statement about women's rights and I think it is very important. I don't agree with everything the author discusses or obviously feels but it definitely makes you think.
This book has several
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5+ out of 5.
A cracking good sci-fi punk-rock feminist roar. Imagine the incels and MRAs of today were able to weaponize time travel: what do you think they'd do? And then imagine that a group of women covertly attempted to battle back their edits to the timeline? And imagine the war that might ensue in-between -- what might change, what might be lost, how it might all go down. Newitz does this in spectacular fashion, crafting a sci-fi concept up there with the best of the classic sci-fi I grew
This has a great premise and some fascinating things to say about American social history and it uses time travel as a way to say them. I enjoyed the details and rules of the time travel - made more believable because this seems to take place in an alternate reality - and the idea that people in the past can be wise about the future - but I struggled with some of the characters and their actions. This is a violent book at times. I liked the strong feminist feel to it but I'm not so sure I liked ...more
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Annalee Newitz is an American journalist who covers the cultural impact of science and technology. They received a PhD in English and American Studies from UC Berkeley, and in 1997 published the widely cited book, White Trash: Race and Class in America. From 2004–2005 they were a policy analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They write for many periodicals from 'Popular Science' to ...more
“But as I’d told Anita before, my pain didn’t seem to come from holding those two histories in my mind. It was from holding two sets of feelings. The Tess whose best friend committed suicide knew who she was. She had a purpose. The Tess whose best friend lived felt … ambivalent about herself. Not all the time. She was happy, but always also sad about something. She’d built a new identity around an almost unbearable ambiguity, and the gradual realization that she would never be perfectly good or principled. This Tess would always know she had done bad things, and suffered the consequences. That was the awful new feeling scraping the inside of my skull: my best friend, whom I loved more than anyone at the time, had rejected me personally rather than rejecting life itself.” 0 likes
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