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New Release: Time Bomb – John Patrick

Time Bomb - John Patrick

QSFer John Patrick has a new MM sci-fi/time travel book out: Time Bomb.

Time Bomb is a Bhagavad Gita-inspired/time travel/save-the-world-from-global-warming novel with a queer romantic edge.

Christian Sparrow is a time traveler from the end of the twenty first century. His earth is dying, and his mission is to go back in time to change the course of history by disrupting the Los Alamos atomic bomb project. But he didn’t plan on falling in love with Archer Meyer—a nuclear physicist whiz-kid whose work and life Christian will likely have to ruin if he is to succeed.

The men will need to navigate through a perplexing world of spies, scorpions, sex tapes, and safe words before they can hope to discern their true duties, and perhaps save the world, and even themselves.

Get It At Amazon | Publisher


Scientists and workers continued to pour into Los Alamos dur- ing the winter. As I suspected would happen, Archer and I were finally evicted from our cottage and relocated to one of the small trailers that were popping up along a newly constructed dirt road ringing the former school complex. I found it interesting that no one suggested splitting us up—they simply reassigned two people from Point A to Point B.

When I walked by our old cottage several weeks later, I discovered a family with a young child had moved in. I had a moment of panic when I realized my efforts to sabotage the project might put them all at risk.

I pushed down that thought by reminding myself everyone around me had been dead for over a hundred years.

One very cold night in January, Archer and I were eating soup, which was about the only food we could prepare on our hot plate in the trailer without going to the commissary. A light snow had fallen in the afternoon, and the cacti and scrub brush outside our window glowed a soft white in the moonlight. It should have been a peaceful, homey scene, but Archer had been acting strangely all evening; something was on his mind. He’d asked me a few questions about the future in the weeks since my revelation, but they were always simple things inspired from science fiction—space travel or laser weapons.

But I’d been watching him, and knew he was leading up to something more.

“I’ve been thinking,” he began, as he poured cold water from the jug on the counter into our tiny sink, then placed our empty bowls there.

Here it comes.

I was sitting on our bed. It was a decent size double that took up a quarter of the small trailer. We only unfolded the cot from the kitchen bench if we thought someone might be stopping by—so they would see that we slept separately. Archer turned to face me and leaned his butt against the low counter. He gripped the washing cloth tightly, wring it with his hands again and again.

I could smell his nervousness. I hadn’t told him about that particular enhancement of mine. Even I thought it was sort of creepy to be able to smell a person’s fear or anxiety, or the remains of sex lingering on them hours later.

Archer took a deep breath.“So, the thing is, I realize you’re not vacationing here. You came here—now, I mean—for a reason.” He paused and looked at me, waiting for a confirmation.

“Yes, that’s right,” I said. “It’s my job.”

He nodded and put the towel down next to the sink. “Right. So, I figure there must be something important about being here, now, at Los Alamos. Something that matters…for the future.”

I was curious where he was going with this. I’d been wondering what he was thinking, and many a night I’d lie in bed wondering what I’d be thinking, if I were in his shoes. Was I here to change the future? Was I here to witness an important event? Was I here to make sure things happen again in a certain way?

“Go on,” I said. I was, to use another contemporary colloquialism, holding my cards close to my vest.

“Well, I figure that means that we’re successful here, with the… gadget.”

That’s what they called it. The gadget. The whole project was steeped in such secrecy, they wouldn’t even name it, not even amongst themselves.

“Yes,” I confirmed.“The atomic bomb.”

Archer blinked. “Right, the bomb. Well, this part’s a bit awkward, but…is there something important about me? Was I singled out for your…attention?”

This was bound to come up sooner or later, and I’d often thought about how I should respond, but surprisingly, I still hadn’t figured that out. So, honesty then. “Yes. Your work is very important.”

There, that should do it. It’s true, but doesn’t get into his role, if he’d even had one, in providing sensitive materials to the Soviets.

He grimaced. “It’s just that, my work doesn’t feel very important—not lately. I’m getting nowhere with my research. I feel like I’m wasting my time.”

I could see he wanted me to deny it, to reassure him that his work was valuable and would pay off. But I couldn’t do that; I wanted to keep the lying to a minimum.

“Well,” I said carefully, “the work that you’re doing right now isn’t important. In fact, very soon, the approach you’re working on will be abandoned entirely. You just can’t shoot a chunk of plutonium like a bullet in a gun, not like you can with uranium.”

The color drained from his face. “How did you…” He rubbed his head. “Oh, I guess… Wait, is there an entire record of my work? In the future, I mean?”

Author Bio

John Patrick is a Lambda Literary Award finalist who spends most of his time in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, where he is supported in his writing by his husband and their terriers, who are convinced they could do battle with the bears that come through the woods on occasion (the terriers, that is, not the husband). An introvert, John can often be found doing introverted things like reading or writing, cooking, and thinking deep, contemplative thoughts (his husband might call this napping). He loves to spend time in nature—“forest bathing” is the Japanese term for it—feeling connected with the universe. But he also loathes heat and humidity, bugs of any sort, and unsteady footing in the form of rocks, mud, tree roots, snow, or ice. So his love of nature is tempered—he’s complicated that way.

John and his husband enjoy traveling and have visited over a dozen countries, meeting new people, exploring new cultures, and—most importantly—discovering new foods.

Author Website

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