When Rocks was seventeen, he was abducted by aliens, who, in exchange for his left eye and his participation in a focus group aimed at assessing the feasibility of a chain of intergalactic gender-agnostic pay toilets, let Rocks use their time machine to go back and seduce his paternal grandmother (who was actually quite the nubile hottie), partly so when he came home he could mess with his dad's head a little, but also because he thought it would be very cool to be his own grandfather, which he now is. True story.
The "Graph" here, and its parallels to the internet, were Rocks' favorite aspect of this yarn. Gave the whole thing a delicious steampunk feel. The historical research seemed pretty tight as well. Time travel is a very tough sell in SF, though. Not time travel into the future, that's kind of unavoidable. Even traveling into the far flung future is well within the purview of special relativity. But travel into the past (which has never yet happened and so apparently never happens) seems to always open up a can of worms, i.e., unavoidable paradoxes resolved via arbitrary rules. No exception here.
Except for a "prognosticator" and passing references to other dimensions, the VC didn't try to mumbo-jumbo the science and technology involved, which in a way was nice. The POV switch early on, Rocks never really did latch on to. Really, the VC might consider omitting her story and POV altogether in some future work. The "Graph" thing is fodder aplenty.
And yet... and yet... time travel notwithstanding, the thing Rocks had the hardest time wrapping his funnel-shaped head around was the woman time-traveler passing herself off as a man, especially since this ruse didn't seem at all necessary to the venture. And so the whole time she's traipsing around in the past, yucking it up with the boys, Rocks can't help but imagine she must be one hard-on-the-eyes mathematical physicist, with big hands and a pretty gruff and surly voice to boot.
The graph feeds were cool, kind of like what Rocks sees on Facebook, except more intelligent and without all the Trump whiners. Also, no ads. Really it is this aspect of the tale, how carefully researched it seems, and how well slotted into history and prognostic of the present it is, and not the time-traveler's to-do (which Rocks found less credible and interesting) that, for him, made it a most worthwhile read and has evoked from him a Yes here.
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Date: 2018/09/04 14:12
The Bull has been on the interwebs since before there were pictures. He is a bovine with highly technical leanings. The Bullmeister remembers the days of the IRC and Usenet. He also remembers the sheer silliness of it all.
The Bull remembers his cohorts in the dorm rooms throwing crazy, drunken bashes, while the Bull was glued to his green, monochrome monitor engaged in chat with a school across the ocean. That was unless the school our network connected to didn’t knock over the ladder that propped up the equipment that connected us all to the internet.
Ah, the days of VAX Computers and text. It was something else.
The Graph in this cap is much akin to the internet in the early days. The VC does an amazing job of steam-punking the internet. It is amusing as hell, and authentic feeling. The trade show for Tabulators felt like an old-skool computer show from the early 90’s. Another reference that was highly amusing.
The time-travel in the cap was not anything revolutionary, however as it serves to explain the existence of the tabulators and graph, it’s okay. Time travel is difficult. And being that there are so many theories on how time travel would work, it was done neutrally enough to pass. I did like the mention of maybe being in another dimension.
To address my colleague Rocks’ concern about a woman passing as a man, I suspect that the society at large in the time period would not suspect a woman would have the audacity to try to present herself as a man, especially one that was a well-dressed gentleman. So most likely they would not even question it, even if they thought Hopper appeared off.
Overall, the cap is entertaining. I have to agree with Rocks, this is a keeper. So yes.