Two-time Hugo-winner Allen Steele wraps his time-traveling novel Chronospace around a pair of pretty interesting ideas: that UFOs are terrestrial in origin, but simply traveling to us from a different time; and that science fiction--and speculative nonfiction--can play a potent, and often unexpected, role in scientific progress.
One of Steele's two Hugos went to a 1997 novella published in Asimov's, "...Where Angels Fear to Tread," and that piece makes up the middle chapters of Chronospace, the story of operatives from the 24th-century Chronospace Research Centre who sneak into Nazi Germany and onto the Hindenburg in hopes of witnessing its fiery end firsthand. The only problem is, the famous zeppelin lands safely on that early summer evening in 1937, and the time travelers have to figure out what went wrong. Because, as they soon learn, their actions might have (have had? will have?) devastating consequences for the entire human race.
Steele has made good use of his already engaging novella, fleshing out what happened before, during, and after the original work, especially concerning present-day NASA scientist David Murphy, who--funny, that--has just been called to task by his superiors for writing a piece in Analog entitled "How to Travel Through Time (And Not Get Caught)." With well-researched detail concerning the Hindenburg and convincingly fabricated logistics surrounding wormhole-powered time travel, Chronospace further proves Steele's mastery of intelligent, readable hard SF. --Paul Hughes [via]