cover image This Shared Dream

This Shared Dream

Kathleen Ann Goonan. Tor, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1354-6

Following up on her Campbell Award-winning novel In War Times, Goonan again explores morality and temporality in her engrossing newest, which focuses on the children of her previous book's protagonists. Thanks to a time travel "Device" invented by their parents, Jill, Brian, and Megan Dance live in a world where the Kennedy assassination was prevented, and much of the turmoil of the 20th century was avoided, including the Vietnam War and Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Technology is more advanced, and the world is a more peaceful place, but it still isn't perfect. However, Jill and her siblings are haunted by memories of the other "Timestream," wherein JFK didn't make it, and history progressed as we know it. When a mysterious individual begins digging into their parents' past, the Dances realize it's time they solved the mystery of these memories from a time that never was, and wherein their lives pan out very differently. Though keeping the timestreams separate can be a chore in this complex book, Goonan's smart prose is straightforward, and her fleshed-out characters and intriguing moral questions make for a quick and thought-provoking read. (July)