The Travelers by Keith Wayne McCoy
Publisher: Burst Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Short Story (138 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
Two time lines. One mystery. Sometimes the most intense journeys are not geographical.
In 1947, the Queen Mary transmits a message which is intercepted by extraterrestrial intelligence. This errant radio signal serves as a beacon for a North Atlantic encounter between James and Jess Bennett, a GI and his war bride, and an otherworldly, desperate mother and her two small children.
In the present day, Guy Turner, a melancholy, black filmmaker, finds himself at the center of a supernatural mystery after a haunting prelude with the now elderly mother in a corridor aboard the retired liner in Long Beach, California. Standing at the edge of eternity, the old woman and the Bennetts have the complex task of setting certain aspects of the past in order as the doors to their lives are closing.
Guy is thrust into an unexpected and unwanted voyage of self-discovery as he is solely enjoined to bring the three together one last time.
Many things are dulled by the passage of time. Love isn’t one of them.
The character development in this tale was strong, especially when it came to Guy’s personality and backstory. He has a complicated and sometimes contradictory set of motives that made me wish there will one day be at least one sequel dedicated to his personal evolution. Guy felt so real to me that I scrolled back up to the beginning to make sure this was a work of fiction. It was just that hard to believe that he wasn’t based on an actual human being.
The cast of characters is a little larger than I would have expected for something length. Had it been a little longer I don’t think I would have ever noticed this, but so many important people are introduced in the first chapter or two that I had a little trouble remembering who was who at first. This is a minor criticism, though, and as soon as I sorted everyone out I was quickly lured back into the enthralling plot.
Mr. McCoy wrote such detailed descriptions that I felt as though I was experiencing everything alongside the characters. From a sun-baked alien world to a retired transport ship, every single scene was so compelling that I ended up reading this story in one sitting. This was my first introduction to his work. Based on how impressed I was by his writing ability, I’m eagerly anticipating his next project.
The Travelers is an excellent choice for anyone who loves time travel in their science fiction. Be prepared to read it more than once though. I know I will!