I'm not exactly sure how to best define "Changing the Past" by Barton Paul Levenson. It's a flash fic from Daily Science Fiction and it's definitely speculative. I want to call it alternate history, but it depends upon the true circumstances of a certain event.
There's a great sense of plot progression in "Changing the Past," despite its length. One event leads into another event and there is a clear silhouette of a deep history before and after the story's timeframe. The nature of the plot isn't overly original, but the execution of the plot is quite good. As a flash fic, this plot excels.
I love how one of the least-defined criminals in American history is given character by this story. At least for me, he was always just a name and an attitude associated with an event before. Now I wonder what he was really like. The protagonist has a certain suaveness that I like and that gives him just enough definition to work in a flash fic.
I don't have a lot to say about the setting. As in many of the stories I review, it's bare-bones for a purpose. What we do see is solid.
Many spec fic lovers will like "Changing the Past." It may not change the future of its genre, but I'm willing to bet it will entertain most people who read it.
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