This edition also includes two short time travel stories. "Suicide Watch" explores the more dangerous ramifications of time travel. After an unfortunate fight with the love of his life, Matthew
Mitchell discovers a time machine. Tempted to win back his girlfriend, Matt takes the machine for a spin, only to find out that time travel is much more complicated than he expected, and the results are catastrophic.
"Toward Every Future’s Past" is flavored with SF and fantasy and examines the cyclical nature of time and man’s difficulty in comprehending it. Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
Most time travel romances have the heroine falling through a wormhole of some description and being transported to a past time where she has to learn to adapt without modern conveniences, because there is usually no way back. 'For Whom My Heart Beats Eternal' is different in that is is more like the time travel novels of H G Wells and other classic Science Fiction authors who enthralled me when I was growing up, in that it involves a real time machine - and also serves as a warning that it can be dangerous to meddle with time and the consequences can't always be anticipated.
Anna and Thomas (or Tommy) are both likeable characters and from the start I was willing them to get together, despite the large age gap. I don't want to give too much away. The story is a quick and easy read and I was sorry to reach the end. The climax has a clever twist. The conclusion seemed obvious and I thought I knew where it was leadng,but this is a story about time travel and nothing can be taken for granted.Although not really a sad ending I can't say that the ending was a typical 'H.E.A.' either, but it seems logical considering the turn the story takes toward the end, and probably the only way it could have ended.
I loved the aura of authentic scientific research in this story. It is real Science Fiction, rather than just a romance with the trappings of time travel thrown in, although it is easy to read even for readers who are not normally SF fans, and the romance itself is certainly sweet, the love scenes implied rather than explicit.
The two short stories are indeed a bonus, although darker than 'For Whom My Heart Beats Eternal.' They both serve as dire warnngs, and emphasise how easy it is to take a step too far and repeat the same mistakes. I enjoyed reading all three, which were at once refreshingly different, and yet reminiscent in style of some of my favourite SF writers of the past.
Shakily, Tommy crouched down near the girl. “Excuse me,” he mumbled. He touched her shoulder and shook her gently. “Wake up.”
That roused her somewhat, for her nose started twitching—ever so slightly. Tommy watched, entranced, and for no reason at all felt like it was the cutest thing he’d ever seen.
“Dr...Welles…ley…” she mumbled without opening her eyes.
“So this is her, then, yes?” the security officer asked. “Dr. Wellesley? Is that what she calls you?” He chuckled. “Some fetish you got there, doctor, eh?”
Tommy turned to the man, his face a deep, embarrassed red. He wanted to tell him the truth. He’d never seen this girl in his life and wanted nothing more to do with her.
But something stayed his tongue.
It seemed the girl was trying to communicate. “Dr. Wellesley,” she said again. Her eyes opened just a slit. “I…saved it…from him…” She held something in her hand, held it out to him. With the flick of a finger, the thing glowed.
Tommy jumped back, for after a few moments the glowing screen displayed a series of formulas he’d only seen before in his most ecstatic dreams.
“This is her, alright,” Tommy said. “She looks in bad shape. I’d better get her back to my apartment.”
He took the glowing screen, and the security officer helped him lift the girl to her feet. Semi-conscious, she leaned against Tommy and hobbled down the sidewalk. “Dr. Wellesley,” she kept muttering. Tommy couldn’t help but shudder under the white hot electric charge that seemed to move invisibly between their bodies where they touched.
The security officer stood with arms crossed and watched the hobbling couple inch down the sidewalk. “Kids!” he chuckled to himself as they disappeared beyond the bend.