#BookReview: Moments in Millennia–A Fantasy Anthology

Jeri Walker
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Jeri Walker
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Anthologies offer up a smorgasbord of literature with lots of tasty treats and the occasional dish that doesn’t go over very well. Most of you know my tastes lean toward contemporary and literary fiction as well as memoirs and creative nonfiction. I’ve read the Best American series for short stories and essays 15 years running in order to say abreast of what literary journals esteem. While I don’t inhale science fiction and fantasy deeply, I don’t mind the occasional puff. Moments in Millennia offers a treat into a genre I seldom seek out, but appreciate nonetheless. After all, it’s important to see how the other half lives, right?

It’s easy to pick and chose from the stories in an anthology and no harm results from playing favorites. Today I will be playing favorites. I encountered S. P. Mount in the early days of my blog over at Indies Unlimited. From there, I featured the quirky cover of his epic novel Prickly Scots. Not long after, I interviewed him and later reviewed his novella The Hairdresser. Not only is he good people, S. P. is an extremely talented writer. The editing process his story went through for the anthology has brought a new level of refinement to his unique style.

 

Cover Image of Moments in Millennia

Even though I’m playing favorites today, I will include  an overview of the seven stories in the anthology. The selections veer toward the lengthier side for the short story genre, so each one gives a reader plenty of time traveling shenanigans to immerse themselves in.

Moments in Millennia (from GoodReads)

Travel with seven talented authors as they glimpse through time into Humanity’s future. Will mankind blossom and flourish, conquering the stars and time itself? Or, with selfishness, greed, and just plain bad luck send us all to the brink of destruction?

“The Cartographer” by Samuel A. Mayo: Destined to chart the stars throughout the aeons, a team of novice map makers are thrust into a conspiracy to control the universe and time itself.

“Fairykin” by Ben Ireland: In a world where nature has ceased to exist, a tribe of fairies on the brink of extinction must fight for survival itself. But who will bear the ultimate cost?

“Time out of Mind” by Michael Cross: One young girl’s cosmic connection to her grandfather’s tragic past brings life and hope to the blackest days of the Holocaust.

“The Hawkweed” by Candace J. Thomas: Consumed with guilt, one girl fights to solve the riddle of her friend’s murder and the disappearance of his brother—unaware of the price on her own head.

“Spaceman in Time” by Fischer Willis: Victor seizes the chance to return to the past and right a terrible wrong. Will he have the strength to do what he must, or will history repeat itself?

“Human Era” by Neal Wooten: Two grad students hurl themselves into the past with their wormhole technology. Their modern skills make them heroes, but do they truly know where they are?

“Black Ice” by S. P. Mount: Men have become mindless drones controlled by chip implants and a master satellite. Can one serial killer imprisoned for a thousand years give them the will to truly live?

Picture of SP Mount

It’s safe to say S.P. Mount has a knack for getting into the minds of serial killers, only he turns that notion inside out and upside down in his short story “Black Ice.” In the future, the most popular virtual reality game is called Crime Time. The population of three worlds can access the consciousness of imprisoned serial killers in order to experience what it’s like to murder another human being. The notorious Jack Frost is the most popular of all the killers. It turns out his ancient mind feels a measure of regret for the terrible deeds he’s done, and he travels back in time and manages to raise a version of his young self after his pregnant drug addict mother dies on the railroad tracks.

Jack Frost knows the secrets of time travel, and he makes a bargain with the all-knowing SkyBrain so he can once again be of the flesh. Be warned that Jack is very clever, and for better or worse, he will get his way. This is a rich story with many layers that reeled me in with its complexity. Even though the author is writing about a time thousands of years from how, he manages to relate the thematic elements of the story to issues regarding technology and societal norms that we all must struggle with on some level in this day and age. To me, that is the mark the science fiction genre at its best.  

What stories or movies with a time travel element have you most enjoyed?

You can learn more about the publisher by visiting Xchyler’s website. Or follow the links below to download a weekend read.

The cover image used in this post is for promotional purposes only and follows fair use guidelines.

Article by Jeri Walker-Bickett aka JeriWB.

Author: Jeri Walker

Need help writing that book blurb, bio, or newsletter? Give your book the attention it deserves. Book your copy edit, manuscript critique, or proofread today. Promotional discounts change monthly.

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37 Comments

    • Jacquie, it’s a bit odd that I don’t read a lot of science fiction and fantasy since I really get into movies and TV shows like Star Trek. I guess some genres appeal to people in different mediums.

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  1. I was just thinking about Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure recently. Funny you should bring up time travel.

    The Time Wars series by Simon Hawke is a good exploration of the effects of time travel. Older series though so probably not an ebook.

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    • Jon, that is most excellent! I’ve been meaning to read some of the seminal titles in science fiction like Dune. I also have The Golden Compass on my list as well. I am drawn to science fiction more so than romance, I know that much when it comes to my genre likes and dislikes. If a title can strike that balance between plot and craft, it will find a place on my shelf.

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  2. This isn’t really my genre, but kudos to S.P. Mount.

    The only time travel book I can recall reading is The Time Traveler’s Wife.

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    • Denise, I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife. I think I would put it on my list of all-time favorite books. The amount of fantasy fit the story line and seamlessly became par of that world. Too often for me, I read science fiction and find myself asking why about all the fantastical stuff that’s presented in every other paragraph. Reading experiences that can fully immerse the reader and create a believable world are the ones that succeed. I really envy writers like S.P. who can pull that off. As for me, I stick to settings I have experience with.

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      • I think the best genre fiction focuses on the story and the people, whether it be science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, or whatever. Shakespeare is timeless and can be modernized no matter the age because of the ‘realness’ of his characters and the universal conditions of humanity he explores. A great writer can make a rock troll step off the page and into the reader’s heart. A bad one can make Abraham Lincoln seem shallow and plastic. The best sci-fi writers, like S. P. Mount, know that the high tech gadgetry is just scenery.

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        • Penny, thanks for stopping by and I quite agree with your points. I’m often wary of picking up genre fiction for fear that the focus will veer away from the characters and be all bout surface plot and conventions.

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  3. My favorite time travel book was Bid Time Return – which was made into a movie many years back – Somewhere in Time.

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    • Jan, I remember watching Somewhere in Time quite a few times when it was on HBO when I was a kid. I wasn’t aware it was based on a book.

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  4. This sounds interesting. It’s not my usual type of read, but one never knows where you find me when it comes to what I read. I do tend to be a bit eclectic. As far as my favorite story or book on time travel, I was always a fan if the Time Machine by H.G. Wells 🙂

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  5. I’m a huge sci-fi fan, Jeri! Spaceman in Time sounds right up my alley too as I love time travel. I own the Back to the Future trilogy and have watched them more times than is probably safe to admit. The first one my ex fiance’ and I watched on opening night at the drive-in, in 1985. I wrote a post about it as it was my One of My Best Dates Ever!

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    • Mike, I love Back to the Future too. I used to use clips from it to introduce the idea of the Oedipus Complex back in the day when I taught Antigone to high school students 😉

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  6. I enjoy fantasy and I may just pick up a copy of this anthology after reading your review. Thanks!

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    • Grace, it’s a great book for all tried and true fans of the genre. Even though I don’t read tons of science fiction and fantasy, I can vouch for how solid a collection it is.

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  7. Thank you for inhaling, Jeri, and for passing the toke!

    Believe it or not, I don’t tend to involve myself with too much fantasy either, however, I have always loved the concept of time travel, and like some here, absolutely love Back to the Future (which was the (very loose) theme for this anthology, and of course The Time Machine–another theme, I’ve written a story from (not published yet) But I have found writing various stories for my publisher has brought me more into those realms recently, and that I’m enjoying implementing a higher level of fantasy that I’ve previously done–always surprising to learn what you can actually do.

    And yes, the professional editing experience has been a massive step forward, and helps tremendously now in all my new writings–and like I have heard you say; it most certainly has slowed me down! But its all for the better good. I won’t ever be able to publish without going through that process now.

    Thank you to everyone else, who has commented, and I hope you really enjoy the book; every effort went into it by a great publishing team to make it as good as it could be:)

    PS: there’s also a real cool video trailer about it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaZZeO1u8FQ

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    • SP, thanks for the reminder about the trailer. I watched it when you first posted it on your Facebook page and it’s definitely a good one. Keep me in the loop for whatever you have coming up next.

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      • LOL. I’m sure you have Penny. However, I hope to surprise you with my next effort at self editing . . .

        Delving into the editing process has been a bit like Lasik surgery for me; there was some improvement at first, but the blur, over the last couple of months, has started to clear up nicely . . . At least, I hope, anyway; I might still need bifocals!). ;^)

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  8. Not my genre at all ( I am so boring)

    …but I LOVED “Somewhere in Time.”

    does that count?

    Love your blog posts! xx

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  9. Yeah, I like sic-fi and time travel? Yup, I’m there too! It’s always interesting to see what spin an author takes on the subject of time travel. Meet yourself, don’t meet yourself, blow up the continuum…

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    • You hit the nail on the head Cheryl; when I do write time travel, I realize I usually have the character meet themselves, or an alternate self, and I love to get into the Butterfly Effect aspect of it all, and even intermingle parallels. What really surprised me at this collection though, was just what you said; every author had a VERY different take on time travel. 🙂

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  10. Not really my genre either, but time travel is rather fascinating. What can come from someone’s imagination whether going back in time to redo something or forward is amazing and sets your curiosity on its own tangent. That is the fun of it I think.

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    • Becc, I totally admire writers like S.P. who can explore the future by making up stories about it. When I was younger, I tried writing a few fantasy stories, but ended up gravitating toward realism.

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  11. Hmm time travel. I like when they use the time turner in Harry Potter. That so would of come in handy when I was younger.

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  12. oooohhhh, interesting anthology. My favorite genre is paranormal, with fantasy and sci-fi following as very close seconds.

    My favorite story involving time travel would be Gabaldon’s Outlander series (le sigh…), but I also love The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.

    BILL AND TED!!! We’re not worthy! Lol. classic.

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    • Beth, if I had to pick I would go for paranormal over fantasy or sci-fi. Though I don’t much gravitate toward all the new fangled hybrid monsters that seem to be cropping up. I like my monsters old school, and I absolutely adore The Walking Dead!

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    • Beth, if I had to pick I would go for paranormal over fantasy or sci-fi. Though I don’t much gravitate toward all the new fangled hybrid monsters that seem to be cropping up. I like my monsters old school, and I absolutely adore The Walking Dead!

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  13. I like sci-fi but I have not read much of it lately. I found most of the little snippets above intriguing. Time travel is always full of fun, I like it when it turns things inside out, like going back in time to warn yourself about something.

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    • Debra, since you like sci-fi this would be a book for you. It would be great if you read some of S.P.’s work in general, whether from this anthology or elsewhere. Of all the writers I’ve met in the course of starting my blog, he’s at the top of my list for writers who are going places.

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  14. I was just thinking about Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure recently. Funny you should bring up time travel.

    The Time Wars series by Simon Hawke is a good exploration of the effects of time travel. Older series though so probably not an ebook.

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    • Bhavesh, I must have watched Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure more times than I care to admit 😉 It really appealed to my sense of adventure back in the day 😉

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      • Yes, I am sure it really appealed to your sense of adventure back in the day. Have a good day 😉

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  15. Time travel is a fun topic, both in books and movies. What I like about reading anthologies because then it’s like I get to ‘test’ out new authors 🙂

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