Fairwood Press has a unique series of standalone novelettes. Originally published in Lightspeed, Caroline M. Yoachim’s The Archronology of Love (2020) is my first foray into the series, and it’s an impressive introduction to this author’s work. It follows the investigation of Dr. Saki Jones, a researcher who specializes in using a device called “the Chronicle,” which enables the viewer to explore temporal projections of the past. Saki comes to New Mars in the wake of a tragedy: the death of her partner, M.J., who died when the colony collapsed under mysterious circumstances. While Saki’s outward objective is to uncover what happened to the colony, her objectivity may be compromised by grief, and a powerful compulsion to find out what happened to her lost love.
The Archronology of Love is a quiet but powerful idea story that leverages its premise—the notion of temporal archaeology—as a means of examining an intense personal story about the endurance of love under tragic circumstances. It’s an eloquently rendered mix of science fiction and romance that deftly wields its neat core concept.