Author : Tom Mazanec
Everybody needs a hobby. I am a collector.
I just made it to slide implant technology. I was in my nineties when nanojuve came out, over 100 when I got my Slide implant. What I do is, I buy a small piece of jewelry. Then I walk around downtown Cleveland, using the View option to study a random timeline as far up the 300 year Masterson asymptote as I can get (usually at least a quarter millennium). I look for an empty alley so no one will see me Slide. Of course if I just see charred rubble or something, I View a different timeline. When I get there, I hunt out a pawnshop and pawn the jewelry. Then I look for a bookstore. They are getting tough to find, with readers replacing books in most timelines within reach (and my reader is non-compatible), there are enough bibliophiles in a big city like Cleveland to make one or two flourish. Then I buy a reference almanac or other “guide to modern history” with the money from the pawnshop. Some timelines are using biometric money, but I can usually still do cash, even if it gets me funny looks. I then slide back home with the book and change. I put the change in the coin and currency folders in my closet and the book in my bookshelf.
At first Cleveland had various names (once it was called “Smithburg”), then soon it was called “Cleaveland”, after Moses Cleveland (I go to a Point of Divergence before we changed our name). Lately people have started noticing that I am a Slider…my accent is off, or some point of ignorance in conversation. They ask if I am a “Jumper” or some other such word for sideways in time traveler (never “Slider”…they are lucky enough never to have had that TV show). I know Masterson was a prodigy, but when it is time for telephones, you get telephones (Elisha Gray submitted his patent the same day Alexander Graham Bell did). Before they just thought I was a foreigner.
I have learned a huge amount of history. For example, I have yet to find a timeline where nuclear weapons were never used in anger, or one where a man landed on the moon before we did (and usually well after). My first book was from a timeline with a French Louisiana bisecting the United States, my newest is from a timeline where a Mormon nation called Deseret fills the Great Basin.
It’s been fun. Everyone needs a hobby. I am a collector.