The Only Known Jump Across Time: 11/11/08
I am still a relatively new subscriber to Fantasy & Science Fiction especially considering that next year the magazine has been in print for sixty years! Although there is no way I could possibly catch up on all those fantastic stories that have been printed in those years, I can enjoy the online reprints that they offer along with their newly printed issues.
"The Only Known Jump Across Time" is part love story and part history lesson. The romance is between two unlikely time travelers: Lydia Webster Chase and Enzo Augusto Capellino. The location of their jump: Cambridge, Massachusetts. The time of their jump: May 1928. Enzo is a tailor and Lydia is the daughter of a botany professor. A love of gardening brings these two together slowly over the course of 20 years before they break the fabric of time in the name of love.
The history lesson follows the creation of the time machine and a similar machine that's come to be known as the Van de Graaff generator. The closing paragraphs of "The Only Known Jump Across Time" reminds me of the later books in the Amelia Peabody series of mysteries by Elizabeth Peters. The story ends on a note thanking Abigail Capellino Beauchemin the daughter of Enzo and Lydia for her help by providing her father's notes and diagrams and her mother's diary. Although it's not a very science heavy science fiction short story, it is a wonderful and touching character study.