Thursday, August 5, 2021

First Flight, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Tor Books, ISBN 9781429952002, June 2010 (original publication August 2009)

Louise is a bit more than a century old, and still fit, healthy, and up for a potential adventure. This makes her golden to the new time travel industry; they can't send you back in time before you were born.

Unfortunately, she's more independent-minded than they'd altogether like.

They send her back in time to observe the very first flight of the Wright brothers, and on her walk from her arrival spot to the flight location, she meets a twelve-year-old boy with a very lively mind. Their conversation is interrupted by a technical failure of the time travel device, and this creates complications. The scientists and executives running the project are not in favor of Louise's proposed policy of honesty. At the same time, they can't pursue their preferred policy of replacing her with someone else, because centenarians are not thick on the ground. She's what they've got to work with, and they can't afford lose out on what they're being paid for the footage of that flight.

And I can't say any more, because anything interesting would be a spoiler. It's a sweet story, with some gentle humor.

Recommended. I bought this book.

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