‘Anachronism’ by Jennifer Lee Rossman – quirky, energetic, action-packed novella with a sting in the tail.

It’s the same old story: Time traveler meets girl, time traveler tells girl she’s the future president, time traveler and girl go on a road trip to prevent a war…

Petra Vincent is at the end of her rope – or rather, the edge of a bridge. Her world is falling apart around her and she sees no way out of the meaningless existence the future has in store.

But when stranded time traveler, Moses Morgan, tells her that she will one day lead the country out of the rubble of a nuclear civil war as President of the United States, she’s intrigued – and when another time traveler starts trying to pre-emptively assassinate her, she realizes Moses might be telling the truth…

This is one of those books that you have to just give yourself up to. It’s an unusual story, told in an unusual way but if you let that put you off, then you’ll miss out on the fun.

The writing style is so energetic and enthusiastic that it just rolls right over some of the rules of grammar that might otherwise have slowed it down. It reminded me of the quote about Gladstone being ‘inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity’. The thing is, it works. The same way that spinning a plate on a stick works – energy stops it from falling but you’re always waiting for it to crash.

The plot is a dizzying ride that manages to balance on the edge of being too chaotic to follow. This is a story for readers who are well-versed in time travel stories. Much of the humour comes from our eighteen-year-old heroine constantly referencing famous time travel plots and Science Fiction tropes as she tries to figure out what’s going on and who she should believe.

The reader is kept off balance by the fast pace, some very unlikely events and a self-declared time traveler from the future who speaks English in a way that suggests he was raised by stern grammarians with a predilection for polysyllabic verbosity. It’s all great fun, until people start dying.

A major feature of this book is that it had a very surprising twist before the end. I won’t say what it was but I liked it, It made me rethink everything I thought I knew but didn’t leave me feeling cheated.

‘Anachronism’ is original and brave and occasionally a little ragged at the edges but its energy more than makes up for that.


Here’s how Jennifer Lee Rossman describes herself on her blog:

“My name is Jennifer Lee Rossman, and I am a queer, autistic, and disabled science fiction writer from Binghamton, New York.

 Quite a lot of information in that sentence, huh?  That’s what I use in my official author bio, when I submit stories.  Tells you everything you need to know about me.”

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