Eugene Gutierez lost his wife, his pride, and part of his sanity during an undercover anti-terrorist operation in South America. Now, he's about to be recruited by operatives from the future; and they're not going to let him say no.
When Eugene finds a cryptic message in a restaurant fortune cookie, he thinks his daughter's boyfriend is pulling a prank. The truth is far more complex, and will lead Eugene on a journey to heal old wounds and restore his broken family.
Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, this novelette was listed in Tangent Online's 2010 recommended reading list and received an Honorable Mention in Gardner Dozois' "The Year's Best Science Fiction".
About 11,000 words.
This novelette is also included in the collection DEAD MEN DON'T CRY.
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About the Author
Nancy Fulda is a Phobos Award Winner, a Vera Hinckley Mayhew Award recipient, a freelance programmer and web designer, and the mother of three children. She lives in northern Germany and loves ballroom dancing.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a super fast sci-fi thriller, containing only 31 pages. I read it in a few hours...it would take less without kids. lol Eugene gets pulled into a black op from the future, forcing him to be a very quick study - he wasn't even supposed to be aware but the constant flashbacks he suffers from prevents the science from working properly. Add to this finding out his daughter is part of a terrorist group, his world is thrown upside down in a matter of minutes. And he must recover from all this and do the job he volunteered for...well his future self volunteered. As I said, very fast read. Great descriptions. I got lost in the tech-heavy description of the time-travel, very physics based. But even though I couldn't understand that part, it doesn't really take away from the story. She does try to explain it deeper, but it was still Greek to me. If you like action packed sci-fi, you'll love this short story. I enjoyed the story, but I think it was too short and too scientific for my tastes. Alas, I can only give this 3 stars. And yes, I would chance other works by this author. She is a very good writer.
Billed as a "novelette," this short work is immediately engaging. When Eugene gets the strange fortune cookie and we start to find out a little more about his past, I found myself drawn even more into the story. One thing this author did really well in a short space was to provide enough backstory to flesh out the characters, which made them interesting and relatable. That being said, I was a bit confused by Clarise's motivations. I understand what she shared with Eugene at the end, but I would have liked just that little bit more that would have explained how she fell in with this crowd in the first place, and why she thought her involvement would have bettered the overall situation. I liked the twist that involved this conflict between her and her father, but it left me a little unsure as to "why." Although it's nicely written for its length, I think it would be really interesting to take this short selection and flesh it out to a longer novella or a full-length novel. I think there is a lot to work with, and more pages would allow the time to really flesh out the storyline. This would be a novel in which I could become completely engaged. Overall, this was another solid, engaging read from this author. I look forward to more of her work!
This novella grabs you from the first page and drags you along a high-adrenaline adventure. *Highly* recommended for a quick afternoon read. The characters were drawn so well, I will remember them for a long time.