Sunday, July 21, 2019

Book Review: 'All Time Voidbound (An All Time Quick Read)' by Mack Leonard

All Time Voidbound by Mack Leonard

‘You can see the danger here. In these black spots.’

Arizona author Mack Leonard writes short stories, an art few writers master, and won the James White Award in 2015 (The James White Award is an annual short story competition open to writers from around the world. It was established in 2000 to commemorate the life and work of Irish science fiction author James White. The competition was created to encourage new writers and is sponsored by the British Science Fiction Association). Mack’s books have been published in the UK and Italy as well as in the US.

Other than a photo of a young handsome man we have no biographical information, but with talent such as Mack’s, facts about his life are less important then the glimpses of life and the human spirit he shares in these fine stories. He divides this short, quick read book into two parts, and while they may not take much time to read, the afterglow is sustainable. This is the second book in the series ALL TIME, and while it most assuredly can be read as a stand alone, it is a continuation of characters who are well worth meeting in the initial volume.

A brief sample of Mack’s skill: ‘ “So you want to hear about death.” Brightside lowers his hand from his eyes. These eyes are a testament to the way that time can both steal and confer beauty in equal measure. Older model human-type free growths, straight from the cold storage section of a fabrication plant, similar to the eyes you might see glancing at you and then quickly away in the play of neon and shadow on certain city streets by night. But these particular units have a nice patina. They’re received many forms of light, and each has left its won, unique impression…’

Try to summarize these tales and discover that the author’s synopsis serve that task best – ‘After decades of unforgiving labor, the channeler Brightside and his team of physicists at Broken Clock have cracked the secret of sending explorers into history. But all is not as it seems with Broken Clock. In the shadows of their scientific idealism, a cynical manipulator plots to highjack time travel to his nefarious ends. Seen first as a shell of his former self in All Time: Book 1, Brightside emerges here as a tragic figure, plucked in his youth from a lowly role on a robotic assembly line before rising to the pinnacle of achievement and class, only to be humbled by the treachery of his masters. This is the first stage of his unwinding, brought on by a terrible revelation: that his life’s work may responsible for breaking the history of the universe.’

Mack Leonard is a fine artist about whom we will be hearing more. He has mastered his craft and with each story he enters both our psyche and our heart.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

Order it on Amazon today.
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