About Time: 12 Short Stories by Jack Finney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Eleven of the stories in this collection deal with some sort of time travel. The twelfth story is the painfully correct for its time period story about magic props that, thankfully, is easy to forget. Finney's ideas about time travel are rare in science fiction, but common in the mind of most people's imagination. It's the "if you could live any time in history, when would it be?" and people almost always want to go back to what they thought were simpler times. If someone imagines an alternate universe to live in, of course you'd want it to be a better universe. There are no worries about butterfly effects in Finney's stories, there's no mention of time/space continuum that must never, ever be disrupted for whatever reason. These are stories where going back to a simpler timer (or in one story, staying around a little longer in present time) will lead to good things. These stories are cozy sci-fi, a very tiny but enjoyable genre.
My favorites from this collection: "I Love Galesburg in the Springtime", a story that will go right to the heart of the type of person who'd rather drive on a state highway than an interstate; and "Such Interesting Neighbors" - the closest to pure sci-fi that these stories come, and yet it's still light and fun.
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