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Authors: Allen Steele

Time Loves a Hero

BOOK: Time Loves a Hero
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“An author with the potential to revitalize the Heinlein tradition.” —

“The best hard SF writer to come along in the last decade.” —John Varley, author of
Slow Apocalypse

“One of the hottest new writers of hard SF on the scene today.” —
Asimov's Science Fiction

“No question, Steele can tell a story.” —

“The master of science-fiction intrigue.” —
The Washington Post

“Allen Steele is among the best.” —
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Steele writes with a spirit of exuberant, even exalted, optimism about our future in space.… Intelligent, literate, and ingenious.” —

“[Steele's writing is] highly recommended.” —
Library Journal

“A leading young writer of hard science fiction.” —
Science Fiction Weekly

Orbital Decay

Winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel

“Stunning.” —
Chicago Sun-Times

“[Steele is] the master of science-fiction intrigue.” —
The Washington Post

“Brings the thrill back to realistic space exploration. It reads like a mainstream novel written in 2016 A.D.” —
The New York Review of Science Fiction

“A damned good book; lightning on the high frontier. I got a sense throughout that this was how it would really be.” —Jack McDevitt, author of

“An ambitious science fiction thriller … skillfully plotted and written with gusto.” —
Publishers Weekly

“A splendidly executed novel of working-class stiffs in space.” —

“Reads like golden-age Heinlein.” —Gregory Benford, author of
Beyond Infinity

“Readers won't be disappointed. This is the kind of hard, gritty SF they haven't been getting enough of.” —
Rave Reviews

The Tranquillity Alternative

“A high-tech thriller set against the backdrop of an alternative space program. Allen Steele has created a novel that is at once action-packed, poignant, and thought provoking. His best novel to date.” —Kevin J. Anderson, bestselling author of the Jedi Academy Trilogy

“Science fiction with its rivets showing as only Steele can deliver it. This one is another winner.” —Jack McDevitt, author of
The Engines of God

The Tranquillity Alternative
, Allen Steele warns us of the bitter harvest reaped by intolerance, and of the losses incurred by us all when the humanity of colleagues and friends is willfully ignored.” —Nicola Griffith, author of

Labyrinth of Night

“Unanswered questions, high-tech, hard-science SF adventure, and action—how can you fail to enjoy this one?” —
Analog Science Fiction and Fact

The Jericho Iteration

“Allen Steele is the best hard SF writer to come along in the last decade. In
The Jericho Iteration
he comes down to a near-future Earth and proves he can handle a darker, scarier setting as well as his delightful planetary adventures. I couldn't put it down.” —John Varley, author of
Slow Apocalypse

Rude Astronauts

“A portrait of a writer who lives and breathes the dreams of science fiction.” —
Analog Science Fiction and Fact

Clarke County, Space

“Lively … engaging.”

“A really gripping tale … This stuff is what I love the most about science fiction!”
—The Texas SF Inquirer

Lunar Descent

“A well-balanced blend of hard science, adventure, and thoughtful extrapolation.” —
Science Fiction Chronicle

“A triumph of the individual human spirit … excellent.” —

Time Loves a Hero

“Not only a story about time traveling and multiple worlds, but also a look at how science fiction inspired scientific endeavors … [
Time Loves a Hero
] demonstrates Steele's growth as a writer.” —Steven Silver's Reviews


“Steele's descriptions of the ocean depths and the unknown possibilities down there are first rate.” —
The Denver Post

“Steele's account of the undersea research facility that is the real star of this book is so thorough you'd think he had visited the place. The plot is complex and the characters real. There aren't many people writing fiction grounded in realistic scientific explanation. Allen Steele is among the best.” —
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“The closest thing in years to [Arthur C.] Clarke's
The Deep Range
. Steele has done his technical homework thoroughly and he writes with an eye to pacing and dry wit. Hard SF adventure doesn't get a whole lot better than this.” —

Time Loves a Hero

Allen Steele

for Gardner Dozois and Sheila Williams





Monday Times Three


“… Where Angels Fear to Tread”


Free Will



About the Author

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread



The first things that need be said about this novel, of course, are that it has been previously published under another title,
, and that it had an even earlier incarnation as a novella, “‘… Where Angels Fear to Tread.'” The whys and wherefores of these changes have a lot to do with the book's origins.

I gained the essential idea for this story way back in high school, when I had a vision of a time traveler trying to escape the
as it went down in flames. It took a long while, though, to develop a story suitable for this scene. That didn't occur until many years later while I was living in St. Louis, when I heard Washington University physics professor Matt Visser deliver a lecture on the possibility of time travel. His remarks informed me of a plausible way to deal with time travel, a subject about which I'd become rather skeptical. Shortly after that, I read
Hindenburg: An Illustrated History
by Rick Archbold, a book that made me remember my adolescent fantasy of a visitor from the future struggling to escape the burning airship. That was when I decided to finally write this particular tale.

The story was originally intended to be a novel, and its title was always supposed to be
Time Loves a Hero
. Little Feat fans will immediately recognize this as one of the group's best albums; if you listen to its eponymous song, you'll see how it suits the novel perfectly (“Seein' ain't always believin'” is a recurring theme here). In order to properly research this novel, though, I needed to travel to Frankfurt, the city from which the
departed on its final flight. I began making plans for the trip, but in 1997 my wife and I decided to move back to New England, so the funds I'd put aside to travel to Germany were spent instead on relocating to Massachusetts.

I didn't want to utterly abandon the story, so I cut the first and third parts of the novel that I'd mentally outlined and wrote the second part as a novella that I sold to
Asimov's Science Fiction
. “‘… Where Angels Fear to Tread'” was published in the October/November 1997 issue, which came out shortly after I unpacked my last box in my new home.

Much to my surprise, the novella was a big hit. The following year it won the Hugo Award and the annual readers' awards from
Science Fiction Chronicle
, and was also nominated for the Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon Memorial, and Seiun Awards. Since then it has gone on to be translated and reprinted in Japan, Italy, Poland, and the Czech Republic. By then, I'd saved enough money again to undertake that long-delayed research trip. Buoyed by the novella's success, Linda and I spent a week in Frankfurt, where I visited the locales described in the first part of this novel.

I had a lot of fun writing this book. Gregory Benford, my good friend and colleague, has been a literary mentor from the beginning of my career, when he supplied a lovely blurb to my first novel,
Orbital Decay
. I put him in this book, albeit in a sly fashion (I'm not giving away the plot by saying how). The scenes in Washington, DC, the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, and Smithville, Tennessee, are all drawn from places where I've lived (although the general store near Center Hill Lake has, regretfully, been torn down). And the names of most of the main characters are those of old friends … including Zack, my dog who'd curl up on the office floor beside my desk to keep me company while I wrote.

When the novel was completed and turned in, though, my editor at Ace decided that she didn't like the title. Over my objections, she changed it to
, a term I'd invented in this novel to describe the multiverse through which my characters travel. My previous novel,
, had done well, so she believed that a similar title would attract the same readers who'd bought the last book, and brushed aside my argument that it might mislead readers to believe that there was a relationship between the two books. For this new edition, I'm restoring the original title, and hope that it will remain that way for as long as the novel continues to be reprinted.

BOOK: Time Loves a Hero
5.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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