First things first: although author David Bruns (@brunsdavid) set The Yesterday Adjustment in a universe created by another author, you don’t need to read Michael Bunker’s Pennsylvania to enjoy this fun, fast-paced sci-fi/time travel/spy short.
It would be tough to summarize The Yesterday Adjustment without spoilers, but the book blurb gives the bare bones:
After more than a half-century at war, Transport is desperate for a way to defeat the rebels once and for all. Enter Damien Strickland, Time Operative agent. His mission: posing as an Amish man, go back in time and make sure the rebel attack on the Columbia portal fails. The mission takes an unexpected turn when he meets Amos Troyer, the man who will grow up to become the feared leader of the rebel forces.
The premise is standard for a time travel story: a highly trained agent is sent into the past to a key moment in history, with the mission of creating a different outcome and thereby altering the present. Nothing new there, but like the best time travel stories the author sets the scene and then moves crisply forward without getting bogged down in the physics or the endless questions this genre tends to generate (‘Does his presence/actions create a new timeline or simply alter the existing timeline?’).
I haven’t read Pennsylvania, but Mr. Bruns does such a good job setting the scene and with the characters that as a reader I never felt like I was missing anything. That’s tough enough to do in an original short story, much less one set in a universe created by someone else. As another reviewer noted, the best fanfic makes a reader want to read both the source material and the writer’s other work — that is definitely true for me.
For more about Mr. Bruns and his writing, visit his website.