Time Travel — Welcome Back Guest Barb Goffman

Sherry  — I’m delighted to host guest Barb Goffman whose new anthology Crime Travel is just out! The cover is fabulous and what’s inside is even better.

Barb: Time travel. The mere words remind me of happy days as a child, lost in a book, reading about faraway lands where a modern person, usually a child, got to experience adventure in olden times, where magic was real. And I’m reminded of movies and TV shows, too, both from my childhood and from recent years. Back to the Future. Quantum Leap. Voyagers! The Terminator. Timeless. (Sigh, Timeless. Gone far too soon.) I loved all these and so many more.

So when I put out a call for short stories last year for my own time-travel anthology, I was excited anew by the prospect of traveling to faraway lands and times. I asked for stories involving crime and time travel, and the submissions poured in, leaving me delighted. A lot of people apparently love time travel as much as I do.

Two days ago, that anthology, Crime Travel, was published by Wildside Press. And I’m happy to be here on the Wickeds today to share with you the lands and times—both long and recent—that the Crime Travel stories visit.

Want to travel to Shakespeare’s England and meet some of his contemporaries? Anna Castle’s “The Sneeze” takes you there.

How about go to a castle in merry old England in 1801? Barbara Monajem introduces us to an earl with a family problem in “The Last Page.”

Heidi Hunter brings us to an elegant dinner party in 1935 and the last sighting of a famous diamond in “No Honor Among Thieves.”

In Cathy Wiley’s “And Then There Were Paradoxes,” British police investigating a locked-room mystery travel back to 1938 to meet a famous citizen who might have some helpful insight.

Twelve years later, the Cold War is on, and a Philadelphia PI gets caught up in a missing-persons case in James Blakey’s “The Case of the Missing Physicist.”

What would a time-travel book be without a visit to Dallas, Texas, in November 1963, and an attempt to right a wrong? Brendan DuBois takes us there in “The Dealey Paradox.”

Eleanor Cawood Jones gives us a glimpse of life in the mid-1960s for a stay-at-home mom dealing with surprising life changes in “O Crime, In Thy Flight.”

Rounding out that decade, John M. Floyd’s “Ignition” lets the reader in on a scheme to travel to 1968 to pocket a hefty bit of cash.

If you’re interested in 1975, you’re in luck, because we have two stories that will take you there.

In Michael Bracken’s “Love, or Something Like It” a scientist travels to 1975 Waco, Texas, to save the woman he loves.

While in Korina Moss’s “On the Boardwalk,” a dying woman takes us to the Jersey shore in the summer of ’75 to save the brother she loves.

Want a taste of Manhattan in 1980? Don’t miss Adam Meyer’s “The Fourteenth Floor,” in which a security guard revisits a night early in his career.

In “Hard Return” Art Taylor lets us remember life in the 1990s, when Caller ID wasn’t prevalent but landlines still were—a simpler time in some ways but definitely not in others.

If you want to go back a decade, my story “Alex’s Choice” will take you to the Maine coast and a twelve-year-old’s quest to stop a tragedy long after it’s happened.

For something even more contemporary, there’s David Dean’s “Reyna,” in which an injured girl goes back a year to the scene of her accident.

And, finally, we have Melissa H. Blaine’s “Living on Borrowed Time,” in which time travelers come from the future to present-day Kansas City at Christmas. Why Kansas City? Why now? You’ll have to read the story to find out.

So those are the stories in Crime Travel—perfect for armchair travelers who want to journey to different times as well as different places. Definitely my kind of vacation.

Readers: Now it’s your turn: If you could travel through time, where—and when—would you go?

Bio: Barb Goffman has won the Agatha, Macavity, and Silver Falchion awards for her short stories and has been named a finalist 27 times for national mystery short-story awards—five times in 2019 alone. She works as a freelance crime-fiction editor. Learn more at www.barbgoffman.com.







37 Thoughts

  1. What a great array of stories, Barb! Congratulations. I’d love to travel to southern California in 1920 and find out what it was really like.

    1. Thank you, Edith. I hope one day you get to go to southern California in the 1920s–and that you get to come back!

  2. Crime Travel sounds like a great collection of stories! If I could time travel I probably wouldn’t go back far. Maybe to 1980 at the earliest. I don’t think I could live without too much of today’s technology!

    1. Thanks, Marla! It sounds like you might enjoy being a time tourist–a concept explored in Melissa Blaine’s story. You could visit a time and then when the lack of technology gets bothersome, just come on home.

  3. These stories sound amazing! I never thought of myself as interested in time travel stories…until you mentioned Quantum Leap and Back to the Future. I guess maybe I am. Now I must read this anthology! Thanks, Barb!

    As for where I’d like to go, I’d love to explore any place and time as long as I was sure the time machine or portal would bring me back to the present!

  4. Congrats on the new anthology. As for time travel, I’d be too concerned about messing up the timeline (as every time travel episode of Star Trek has shown us) that I don’t think I’d really want to go back in time.

    However, if I could go back in such a way that I couldn’t affect things going forward, I’d want to go back to Dallas 1963 and learn the full truth behind the Kennedy assassination.

    1. Thanks, Jay. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to witness things we’ll never be certain we know the full truth about? Or to get evidence about them. So many possibilities if only time travel were real. Maybe one day …

    1. Thanks for the support, Sherry, and for hosting me here today. I think Shakespeare would be interested to learn that so many phrases he coined are still in use today. (Or was it someone else pretending to be him? Or something like that? Hmmmmm.)

    1. Oooh, a trip via time travel to visit with fictional people–that’s a whole other anthology. Good idea!

      1. If we were able to meet fictional characters, you can add me to the list of people who would love to meet Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.

  5. Looking forward to this. Kudos on putting together intriguing ideas and talents and making them into a BOOK!
    If I could time travel, I’d be torn between wishes for myself, like seeing Shakespeare’s plays at the Globe, and social responsibility. Could one warn Lincoln away from Ford’s Theater or Kennedy away from the open car in Dallas or King to stay inside the motel room? One summer, listening to radio interviews about the St. Louis World’s Fair, I mused that it’d be nice to go back in time for that, then looked at my summer clothing and realized I’d be locked up for indecency and perhaps lunacy. Preparing for the times might be wise. 😉

    1. Thanks, Mary. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have such an impact on the world–to go back in time and stop horrible events? I think that’s an urge we all probably have every now and then.

  6. Welcome, Barb! Congratulations on the release! I agree with Sherry that the cover looks really appealing! I don’t think I could choose just one time period! I am interested in the 1920s, the middle ages and even pre-history. What about the first half of the 12th century when Angkor Wat was being constructed? The Reformation? The Salem Witch Trials! Maybe this is why I love to write historical mysteries!

    1. Thanks, Jessie. Historical fiction is a great way to be an armchair traveler, going to all those places without having to worry about any side effects from, or consequences of, time travel, as well as without having to worry about wardrobe choices, as Mary mentioned above.

  7. This anthology is a delight. Don’t wait. Pick it up.

    For me, I’d travel to either the Revolutionary War or the Civil War. Both eras have always fascinated me.

    1. Thanks so much, Mark. I agree with your choices. When I was a kid, especially, the Revolutionary War period really intrigued me. But the lack of modern amenities would make me want to ensure my visit was short.

  8. Fabulous! The Queen of the Short Story takes on time travel! I can’t wait to read this one.

    I’ve always loved time travel fiction. The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold is one of my all-time favorite novels. I’ve also been a big fan of “By His Bootstraps” by Robert Heinlein. And I wouldn’t have made it through the last five decades without Dr. Who.

    But there was another short story that I’ve never been able to get out of my head. And this one definitely combines time travel with crime, so perhaps you know it, Barb. I can’t remember the title or the author (although the tone suggests Isaac Asimov or Robert Silverberg), but the gimmick of the story was a man named Stein who committed a serious crime (it might have been bank robbery, but it was definitely something that made him rich) and used time travel to move himself just beyond the expiration of the statute of limitations.

    In this future he was arrested and brought to trial. The last line of the story was something like, “No one will ever know just how much the wording of the judge’s ruling contributed to the decision. The judge wrote, ‘A niche in time saves Stein.'”

    I truly love a wonderful gimmicky ending like that. And time travel stories do lend themselves to that sort of wit … or even better, irony.

    So I can’t wait to read this anthology, Barb. As soon as I press “Enter” on this post, I’m heading right over to Amazon to get it!

    1. I don’t know that story, Lee. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it. I hope you enjoy this book as much as you did that story. It’s always wonderful to hear about writing that stays with a reader.

    1. Thanks for the tip about this book, Barbara. It’s now on my TBR list at my library, which has two copies!

  9. This sounds like a wonderful read! As a history lover, I am not sure what would be my first priority to travel back to!

    1. Thanks, Doris! The beauty of time travel is you have all the time in the world to decide where you’ll visit first. 🙂

  10. Wow, what a great selection of stories! I couldn’t even begin to choose where I would want to go first. This book has to go on my TBR and maybe even on the top of my Christmas wishlist. Happy Holidays!

  11. I would only go as an observer but I wonder if someone went and saw who wrote the Shakespeare plays or what really happened to JFK and Jimmy Hoffa, would they be believed? Some people have a lot invested in their theories and don’t want to give them up even if the facts don’t support them.

    1. Yes, you would have the people who think time travel isn’t possible so they’d disregard what’s said, and you’d have the people who would disregard what’s said simply because they don’t like what is said.

    2. I’m working on a story where the protagonist steals stuff from the past to sell in the present, but she can only sell to the handful of people who know about time travel. Everyone else thinks the stuff looks suspiciously new and un-aged.
      She also gets DNA, pollen and environmental samples from the past for science research.

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