This is the third entry about the Hugo 2009 Finalists. A page with all reviews can be found here.
- (A) “Truth” by Robert Reed
A prisoner has knowledge that seems to imply that he comes from the future. He is a terrorist who doesn’t believe in the goals anymore and offers his help to save the USA, but the price is very high…
This is a very interesting story with well described characters. It mainly consists of two parts. First we have the disturbing idea of time-travelling terrorists and their impact on our society. I was a little bit reminded of The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson, which explored a similar change in detail. In the light of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 this gives the story a special touch. The overshadowing questions are how far would you go and how paranoid are you?
The other aspect in the story is the interrogation of the prisoner, involving manipulation and psychological games. He looked very much like Ben from the series Lost who had the same capability of getting things the way he wanted. The duel is made interesting by adding details that could come from a How to read a person handbook and by the past of the interrogator.
I liked the story and would recommend it but it’s a pity that the final touch is missing to make it great. It would have been better to focus on the exploration of the idea of time-travelling terrorists only and to better flesh out the events that have occured or to focus more on the duel between interrogator and prisoner.