cover image The Gordian Protocol

The Gordian Protocol

David Weber and Jacob Holo. Baen, $27 (464p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8396-4

This fun and thrilling standalone from Weber (Uncompromising Honor) and Holo (Disciples of the Dead) finds a 30th-century historian at odds with a world unfamiliar to him, and the fate of his universe rests in the mind of a 20th-century history professor who believes he’s going mad. Raibert Kaminski is a time-traveling historian returning from ancient Rome when a chronoton event knocks his ship out of sync. Upon arriving “home,” Raibert realizes he’s in an alternate universe where cruel Csaba Shigeki is director general of the Department of Temporal Investigation. Raibert hopes to undo the time hiccup and restore the proper timeline of his own universe and 15 others, which have become entangled, but Shigeki is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Raibert from undoing the knot and ending Shigeki’s existence. Benjamin Schröder is living in two worlds: one in which he has a great job and a wonderful fiancé, and another, devastatingly horrible, that he believes exists only in his mind, though it feels all too real. Some moment in this alternate reality is the key to Raibert’s goal. There are the usual time travel pitfalls (why doesn’t Shigeki go back in time to kill Raibert?), but time travel enthusiasts will enjoy the moral dilemmas, nonstop action, and crisp writing. (May)