Time's Agent (Paperback)

Time's Agent By Brenda Peynado Cover Image

Time's Agent (Paperback)

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"All at once a meditation on motherhood, grief, war, environmental collapse, dread, and the nature of memory and time. I ate it up."—Lauren Groff, New York Times bestselling author

A multiverse story of love, loss, time travel, and final-stage capitalism from award-winning author Brenda Peynado.


Pocket World—a geographically small, hidden offshoot of our own reality, sped up or slowed down by time.

Following humanity’s discovery of pocket worlds, teams of academics embarked on groundbreaking exploratory missions, eager to study this new technology and harness the potential of a seemingly limitless horizon.

“What would you do, given another universe, a do-over?”

Archeologist Raquel and her wife, Marlena, once dreamed the pocket worlds held the key to solving the universe’s mysteries. But forty years later, pocket worlds are now controlled by corporations squeezing every penny out of all colonizable space and time, Raquel herself is in disgrace, and Marlena lives in her own pocket universe (that Raquel wears around her neck) and refuses to speak to her.

Standing in the ruins of her dream and her failed ideals, Raquel seizes one last chance to redeem herself and confront what it means to save something—or someone—from time.

Brenda Peynado's genre-bending short story collection, The Rock Eaters—featuring alien arrivals, angels falling from rooftops, virtual reality, and sorrows manifesting as tumorous stones—was named one of NPR, the New York Public Library, and Electric Literature's best books of the year. Her stories have won an O. Henry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Tribune's Nelson Algren Award, and inclusion in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. She teaches creative writing at the University of Houston.
Product Details ISBN: 9781250854315
ISBN-10: 1250854318
Publisher: Tordotcom
Publication Date: August 13th, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English

"I was astonished by how many huge ideas could fit into this taut, swift novella by Brenda Peynado: it's all at once a meditation on motherhood, grief, war, environmental collapse, dread, and the nature of memory and time; yet the book is miraculously also buoyant, thrilling, a breathless and headlong read for a breathtaking time on this planet. I ate it up."—Lauren Groff, New York Times bestselling author

"Time’s Agent is a gorgeous mediation on grief, colonialism, love and parenthood. Sharp and sparkling."—Lauren Beukes, bestselling author of The Shining Girls

"There are huge, fascinating ideas laced throughout this story of shattering grief... Fans of Carmen Maria Machado will find in this debut novelist a new author to follow every bit as voraciously."—Library Journal, starred review

Praise for The Rock Eaters

"Peynado is a writer willing to cross literary borders."—Julia Alvarez

"Peynado conjures both the playful sorcery of Kelly Link and the haunted atmosphere of Kali Fajardo-Anstine."—NPR

A genre-bending sociopolitical commentary with prose that shines.”—The Washington Post

Each of Peynado’s storis is finely formed as a diamond…Wily but throbbing with heart, they dart into unexpected crevices of human experience…They speak to our unkempt, scarred world, even as they reimagine it not just once, but repeatedly.”—The San Francisco Chronicle

“Brenda Peynado’s The Rock Eaters only came out in 2021, but listening to it, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s been around long enough to be a modern magical realist classic.Paste

Genre-bending brilliance . . . Peynado’s harnessing of the diasporic imagination establishes her as a true magician of the marvelous real.”—The Boston Globe