Thursday, June 7, 2012

Yestermorrow by Richard Salter

Five Stars
"This story blew me away!"

Richard Salter's "Yestermorrow" - a short story in an anthology book titled Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction - is an amazing tale. First of all, it's like a combination of Groundhog Day, 50 First Dates, and Minority Report. Each time the clock hits midnight, people are sent forward or backward in time, which is a phenomenon known as the Slip. In order to keep track of previous events, whether it's the future or the past, journals are used as personal archives. On top of it all, every person knows the date, time, location, and cause of their eventual death. The problem is there's no way in knowing when that specific day will arrive being that time is not linear. When someone starts interfering with the timeline by killing people in a different manner than what their initial fate had determined, an officer named Craig - the main character - takes it upon himself to find the murderer. Unfortunately, the latest murder occurs roughly a week prior to Craig's predicted date of death. Not knowing how many days he has to live, but assuming the worst, Craig is hell-bent on catching the killer in time.

There are so many elements and depth to this story, you'll be trying to wrap your head around it long after you've read it. For example, having a wife and son of my own, I can completely relate to Craig and his family. I won't give anything away, but if I knew the future of my family like Craig does (post-death), it might be enough to drive me insane. The way the story is wrapped up is very clever, too. I can't say enough good things about Yestermorrow, and I'm probably not doing it justice. Even though this is a science fiction story, it hits on so many different levels. As a result, I think just about anyone would enjoy this story.

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