Three Drops in Time consists of three short stories, written by Tony Jones, each of which uses time travel as a main element to the plot. I would like to start by admitting my jealousy of the author. Writing short stories is tough and to be able to write three such well plotted short stories with distinct and well rounded characters deserves applause. I know I couldn’t do it.
In Time Enough For Money we meet a very unhappy lottery winner and spend most of the story wondering why he is so glum. This short story is hard to categorise, being part mystery, part character study and part love story. It is, like the other two stories, very much a page turner. ‘Time Enough For Money’ also gives the first indication of the talent Tony Jones has for quickly fleshing out characters in short stories.
Destiny Calling is perhaps the most traditional of the three short stories, focussing on a young man about to make a life changing decision. What isn’t helping him is his future selves getting in the way. This is a quirky tale and a fun one to read. It helps that we can all, to a certain extent, put ourselves in the protagonist’s shoes. I’m sure many of us would also like the opportunity to go back in time and talk to our younger selves, even if we don’t know how they would react.
The final story, Parallels, sees us meet a man who can play out multiple futures before deciding which decision to make. I don’t want to give too much away but this is a much darker tale than the preceding stories. Tony Jones makes the switch from light hearted science fiction fare into spy-thriller territory with aplomb. If I had to pick a favourite of the stories it would be this one, but I imagine different people will have different favourites.
The short story is a demanding art form and I tip my imaginary hat to Tony Jones. Each story is crafted expertly and fits the form of the short story perfectly. I’m certainly looking forward to reading more from Tony Jones in the future.
You can find Three Drops in Time on Amazon and you can visit the author’s blog here. If you like science fiction short stories and you have a kindle then not paying the 98p to download Three Drops in Time is insane.