We’re all time travelers! It’s a one way trip to the future with a chance to influence history as we go along. But the fantasy that makes up short stories, novels, and movies is to be able to go back in time to alter known history.
As noted in Paul Levinson’s “Loose Ends”, there seems to be focal points in time that would draw time travelers to certain events such as the assassination of JFK. Levinson is also aware this is a focal point for writers (even Stephen King has been drawn to that particular focal point in history). Just as writers of previous generations might have focused on stories of killing the adolescent Adolph Hitler, or stopping the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand or Abraham Lincoln, Levinson is aware of this and uses it to great effect in “Loose Ends.”
“Loose Ends” is a baby boomer’s time travel story. A time traveler from the future who is trying to stop the explosion of the Challenger rocket, he is pulled to the early 1960’s and he thinks to stop the Kennedy assassination. John Lennon and a Beatles song play an integral part in the resolution of the story. “Loose Ends” is what a time travel story should be, a fun read that leaves you asking the question ‘what if?’ if only towards our influence on history.
In this Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon Award nominated (1997) novella, Jeff Harris goes back in time to prevent the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.