At a distance, Credit to My Nation by Sandra McDonald is a science fiction tale that shows the effect time travel can have on our perception of the world and ourselves. At a deeper level, it’s a look at a person’s identity, examining the many events, relationships and lifetimes it took to create each person.
Time travel is a meaningful concept in the story. In this version of the world, it’s used primarily as a tourist attraction, taking people to the past and future. This mass-produced method of time travel has a basic concept of time, only showing tiny glimpses to the lucky few who are basic enough to fit within that small box. Our main character’s cousin has a different approach that shows the complexities of time. There is no confined definition, it’s an ever changing force and that needs to be recognized in order to accurately travel through it. Unity, our main character, sees their family history on the island and glimpses a future filled with their descendants. It’s a powerful look at the world, and it’s much needed as Unity struggles to come to terms with their homeland and with their place in a world that isn’t as accepting of nonbinary people.
Credit to My Nation is a look at how every moment of our history shapes who we are as people. It’s a reminder that, no matter where you end up, you have a past that has a part in defining you, for better or for worse, and without it, you wouldn’t be you.
CREDIT TO MY NATION
By Sandra McDonald
Asimov’s Science Fiction
Published January/February 2019