A Collection for All Times” is about a spacecraft crew that collects artifacts from timelines that no longer exist. It’s the cover story of the spring 2024 issue of James Gunn’s Ad Astra.

This story would have been much different if it weren’t for the editors, Jean Asselin and Jalyn Powell. I’d been writing a lot of flash fiction, and I applied those lessons here, starting in the middle of the action and cutting anything that didn’t seem absolutely necessary. Jean encouraged me to describe more of the world and reveal more backstory. I started the story earlier…and then went back earlier again. In the end, the published story is twice as long as the tale I submitted.

I actually wrote this story originally for the Inklings Press anthology Tales from the Pirate’s Cove…but then I decided not to submit it. I had been inspired by the idea of time traveling pirates, but the crew of the Alexandria didn’t end up being very pirate-like, and I decided I wanted to write a more traditional pirate story, with sword fights and actual nautical vessels. So, I did…and Inklings Press rejected it. I sold that one to a magazine, and when Inklings Press put out its next call, I went back to time travel, with the story “Second Chances,” which was included in Tales From Alternate Earths Volume III.

All that time, I continued to work on “A Collection for All Times,” and I’m thrilled to finally have it out in the world.

Photo by Sindre Aalberg.

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