Marilynn Mansfield

DiskUs Publishing / 125 pages / August 1999

ISBN: 096679950X

Romantic science fiction. Science fiction romance. Sounds as if it ought to be the same thing, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t. The former would be science fiction with an element of romance. The latter would have to be a romance with some science fiction thrown in. Sometimes, it’s just too close to call. A Change Of Destiny falls somewhere in the middle, but I’d have to give it a nudge toward the romance department.

Research scientist Holly Reed is a woman on the verge of death. An heroic act years before put a question mark over her remaining years, and it’s obvious that her very limited time has run out. Nothing can save her now.

Nothing from our time can save her. That’s not going to stop someone from the future from journeying back to come to her rescue. Especially when that time-traveller has a special reason for wanting Holly alive and well.

Time travel and medical marvels are just some of the wonders that Holly is going to experience. In this future, the ever-popular food pills and substitutes running rampant in science fiction are present, but this time there are serious reasons for the strange substances. The circumstances necessitating these innovations are another thing that leads right back to Holly.

The 21st century is no paradise and it appears there is no cure for that malady, either.

It’s a clever plot with some neat paradox twists and fixes. Plus, it’s not a case of a science fiction story being tacked on to spread across as many genres as possible; this a case of fiction at its most speculative. It is not jargon-intensive hard SF, though. This falls in more to the social side of science fiction — the impact of technology on people and the impact of people on technology, of course, being the main concern.

But futuristic settings and dastardly schemes aside, A Change Of Destiny is first and foremost a romance. Okay, there is a certain amount of schmaltz. It has love at first sight, dangerous rivals, heart-rending barriers to true love, and all the other necessary elements for a ripping good romance. Did I mention handsome, virile men and beautiful, desirable women? Or does that go without saying?

Do let me say that if you love a good romance, you’re probably going to enjoy A Change Of Destiny. And, it may tweak your interest in science fiction, if you haven’t given it a try yet. If you find science fiction a bit lacking in the Love department, this might be the object of your search.

On the other hand, if you are into science fiction for the science, this may not be what you’re looking for. If you have little patience with the relationship aspect of some of the SF you’ve checked out, this is most definitely not the book for you.

You’re going to love it or hate it, but I think you can figure that out for yourself, going in.