Time Travel Short Story Review

The Devil You Don't
by Matthew Hughes
Published in March 2005 Asimov's Science Fiction


The Devil You Don't tells the story of a time traveler that attempts to alter the past with his knowledge of World War II by confronting a very determined Winston Churchill.


Many time travel stories feature protagonists that are attempting to alter the past. What makes The Devil You Don't refreshing is that the time traveler's motives are more altruistic than most. The unnamed traveler hopes to convince Churchill that he can shorten the war with such knowledge and save tens of millions of lives. The time traveler fails to take into account Churchill's stubborn will to see through the course of action he has undertaken and to stick with the devil he knows.

Personally I appreciated both the author's bold choice to use Churchill's point-of-view to tell the story, and the view that messing with the past maybe not worth the risk. A very enjoyable short story that is only three pages in length. Strongly recommended.

Also in the March 2005 edition of Asimov's two other time travel/alternate history stories Wave Function Collapse by Steven Utley, and The Card by Gene Wolfe.

2005 - A. Taylor

Review Posted 2005-08-19

R E L A T E D   L I N K S

Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine
The website for the magazine offers some excerpts of current issue and other editorials and features from previous editions. Links to manuscript guidelines, subscription info, a reader's forum and a searchable index that covers all short fiction printed in the magazine from 1980-2002.


Archonate.com - The Fantasy Works of Matthew Hughes
Author Matthew Hughes personal website complete with bio, bibliography, and excerpts from his Archonate series including one short story A Little Learning in its entirety.


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