The School Library Journal of Here, There & Everywhere
by Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale

Adult/High School - Roxanne Bonaventure, a precocious 11-year-old, leaves school one day to find a woman sprawled on the sidewalk. The stranger gives her a silver bracelet she calls the Sofia and promptly dies. Although shaken and puzzled by the encounter, the girl goes on with her life. But one day, she discovers that the bracelet grants its wearer the ability to travel through space and time. With the aid of her scientist father, she learns to control its power and soon pops across history and the future. Being young, her first experiments center on jumping back in time to find information on that cute boy in class. As she gets older, Roxanne explores some of her favorite points in history and meets H. G. Wells and the Beatles, among other figures. Each chapter is a separate adventure, giving the book an episodic feel. The range is from the action-oriented, like fighting Nazis, to the elegiac, such as her attempts to use time travel to find a cure for her father's illness. Particularly as a child and young adult, Roxanne is a fun, freewheeling character with whom readers will easily connect. As she gets older, she becomes wiser, a little more reserved, and cautious. But after all she learns, she still searches for the secrets of her own life as well as the enigmatic source of the Sofia. The novel concludes by circling back in surprising ways, giving her the elusive answers for which she longs. Clever, irreverent, and at times touching.

The Barnes & Noble review of Here, There & Everywhere
by Paul Goat Allen

What would you do if you could not only instantaneously travel to any time or place on Earth but could also visit an infinite number of divergent worlds? That's the crux of Chris Roberson's debut novel, Here, There & Everywhere, a surprisingly poignant story about one woman's wild ride through time and space in search of her place in the universe.

Roxanne Bonaventure, the precocious daughter of a widowed British professor, gains the power to travel through time when she is given a strange silver bracelet from an old woman who suddenly appears before her, hands over the device (called the Sofia), and promptly disappears in a flash of light. As Roxanne matures -- and learns how to fully utilize the Sofia's capabilities -- she begins a journey that will take her to Victorian England; ancient Egypt; alternate Earths populated by sentient dinosaur-men, winged humans, and genius rats; and the very end of time itself. But will Roxanne be ultimately alone in the universe, or can she find someone to share her life with?

Since the publication of The Time Machine by H. G. Wells in 1895, time-travel stories have been a staple for genre readers. And although fans are all too familiar by now with plotlines concerning grandfather paradoxes and butterfly effects, Roberson's ingenious take on time travel is like a blast of invigorating freshness into a room full of stagnant air. As profound as it is irreverent, Here, There & Everywhere is an enthralling blend of science fiction, alternate history, adventure, and mystery. Reminiscent of Rudy Rucker's classic Master of Space and Time, Roberson's debut is, above all else, pure unadulterated fun.

SF Site review of Here, There & Everywhere
by Stuart Carter

Imagine you're just 16 once again: young and fit, everything to look forward to, with an entire world to explore... Now, imagine if you were not just 16 again, young and fit, with everything to look forward to, but you also had all of time and space to explore courtesy of a strange device/bracelet, called the 'Sofia,' given to you by a nice (if somewhat mysterious) old lady who simply appeared in front of you in the woods one day. This 'Sofia' would not only protect you from almost any possible harm, but also allow you to travel through time and to any possible alternate universe. You can visit universes where your biggest teenage crush was madly in love with you, where The Beatles have reformed, where Jane Austen's novels actually took place, where the dinosaurs never became extinct, and so on ad infinitum.

Imagine how much better your teenage years might have been then, eh?

That is the basic premise of this book. 16-year-old Roxanne Bonaventure is given this device and Here, There and Everywhere follows her episodically throughout her long and amazing life as she does everything. Roxanne, an intelligent and instantly likeable lass, does just about everything you'd expect her to do, and far more. But Chris Roberson's enormously enjoyable book isn't just some shoddy teenage power fantasy, it's a kaleidoscopic look at what the entirety of such a well-lived life might be like; a dizzying dance throughout history and possibility, barely pausing to parody and pastiche just about every other famous time travel story ever written.

Here, There and Everywhere is best read in the spirit of a seven-year-old: full of wonder at the joy of a world where nothing really bad is ever going to happen, where being given magical devices by strange dying old ladies is to be taken in your stride, and is simply a necessary precursor to having good-natured fantastic fun all through time and space and the multiverse. I'm amazed that Roberson has managed to make Roxanne's character so engaging and sympathetic, given that the mind-boggling amount of experience she fits into her entire life is squeezed into less than 300 pages, but he does. Roxanne's life bounces around before our eyes so fast and so chaotically that you may feel slightly guilty at enjoying such a pure mainline of literary hedonism, bereft of 'proper' story, 'proper' development of character, 'proper' attention to detail and 'proper' over-analysis of everything. However, I came to Here, There and Everywhere following some heavy-duty non-fiction reads and some, frankly rather dreary, fiction, so this book was like a veritable blast of fresh air. The seeming lack of 'proper' story and 'serious' writing in no way felt like a bad thing; this is a book that feels jet-propelled, and gives an experience of reading in which you seem to have the wind at your back and the sun in your hair. There are moments of happiness, a few moments of genuine sadness and many more of out-loud laughter shared with our fabulous heroine, and to fit these so easily into such a fractured and manic narrative requires no small amount of writing skill.

Think of Here, There and Everywhere as a highly concentrated dose of story: it never loses its way in needless detail, it doesn't even know how to spell 'boredom' and it point-blank refuses to outstay its welcome (I finished it in just a day). This is why I say it's a book for the seven-year-old in you, not because it's childish or immature, but because it's quick, clean and aims solely to delight.

Seattle Times review of Here, There & Everywhere
by Nisi Shawl
June 17, 2005

With Chris Roberson's "Here, There & Everywhere" (Prometheus, 285 pp., $25) we come to the place where alternate history and science fiction completely overlap.

Replete with references to Visser wormholes and Wheeler's "many-worlds" theory, "Everywhere" illustrates one way of resolving the paradoxes inherent in time travel. There are millions upon millions of possible worlds, and you can visit the past or future of any of them — except your own.

Roberson's heroine, Roxanne Bonaventure, a scientist's daughter, discovers an odd artifact while walking in the woods one day. It looks like a bracelet, but when she slips it on her wrist, it acts to take her into what she comes to call "the Myriad." The worlds within the Myriad include the Mesozoic, the year 30,000 B.C., the fictional lives of Sherlock Holmes and Elizabeth Bennett, or anywhere else she desires to go. An introductory section in which a reporter catches her changelessly cruising through decades of Beatlemania explains the book's title as well as the reason for the chapter headings ("Day Tripper," etc.), but does nothing to make the book cleave together as a whole.

And Roxanne's musings on her failure to find an enduring feminist-Utopianist timeline ("In the vast majority of instances ... the only power that men possessed was simply that which the women allowed them to have") make it obvious that Roberson-via-Roxanne is not speaking for any victims of rape who may read this book. He does, however, provide an intriguing glimpse into the twists and turns of one of science fiction's favorite forms.

Dallas Morning News review of Here, There & Everywhere
by Steve Powers
June 26, 2005

Roxanne Bonaventure discovers as a young girl that she has the gift of being able to time travel. A mysterious old woman visits Roxanne and gives her a wondrous device known as the Sofia.

With the Sofia, Roxanne is able to journey anywhere in time and space. She can also explore parallel worlds, viewing endless possibilites and permutations of her life and the way it might have been. Despite such gifts, Roxanne is unhappy. She searches for stability and for somewone to share her life with.

Chris Roberson has written an emotional, affecting novel that plucks the heartstrings while entertaining the reader.

Rocky Mountain News review of Here, There & Everywhere
by Mark Graham
May 6, 2005
Grade: B-

In his "Author's Notes" at the end of the book, Chris Roberson explains that Here, There & Everywhere started as a 30,000-word novella written over a Labor Day weekend. After some positive criticism, it was expanded to 55,000 words, then another 25,000.

Therein lies the problem. Even though this time-travel novel is intended to be episodic, the episodes don't fit together as seamlessly as they might. For example, the story starts with a "Prelude," which features a reporter who discovers that a beautiful woman in attendance at several Beatles concerts through the years never seems to age. The reporter and the Beatles, who appear to have more than a cursory function, are never mentioned again.

Nevertheless, Here, There & Everywhere is a fast, fun read, and Roberson has used a modern scientific theory to defeat the time-travel paradox.

When Roxanne Bonaventure was 10 years old, she came across an old woman, bleeding in the forest. When Roxanne tried to help, the old woman gave her a strange bracelet and disappeared.

The child soon discovers that the bracelet, called "the Sophia," enables her to travel back and forward through time and space. It also protects her from harm.

As she experiments with her new acquisition, Roxanne learns that her trips to the past have no effect on the present, because each change she causes merely starts a new timeline, so that there are an infinite number of universes depending how choices have been made. Roxanne's Sofia gives her the ability to travel in any of them.

Roberson takes Roxanne back to the Stone Age and forward to the end of time, but the most enjoyable of her adventures takes place in Victorian England, where she does some Sherlockian detective work.

Although, the Sophia gives Roxanne some joy and much excitement, she's unable to find a meaningful relationship with another person until the author introduces a unique character in the somewhat contrived conclusion.

San Francisco Chronicle review of Here, There & Everywhere
April 24, 2005
by Michael Berry
Chris Roberson's Here, There & Everywhere (Pyr; 283 pages; $25) chronicles the adventures of Roxanne Bonaventure as she travels across time and space in a myriad of branching universes.

The daughter of a theoretical physicist, 10-year-old Roxanne meets a dying elderly woman in the woods near her boarding school. She receives from the woman a bracelet that gives access to all imaginable "timestreams" and protects her from whatever lethal threats might await here. She can visit the pharaoh Akhenaten in ancient Egypt, skip over to Victorian England, explore swinging London with the Beatles and journey to the end of time itself, all within a few minutes of subjective time.

"Here, There & Everywhere" is a group of short stories melded into a single narrative. Roberson does a reasonable job of cobbling the disparate elements into a cohesive whole, giving Roxanne an overarching conflict that is eventually resolved in a satisfying manner. He also displays an infectious enthusiasm for the conventions of pulp adventure fiction and sufficient wit and skill to maneuver around their pitfalls. His book is always fun, thoughtful and clever in the way it uses the latest theories about cosmology to rationalize Roxanne's multidimensional sojourns.

Unfortunately, "Here, There & Everywhere" demonstrates one of the significant flaws of the oeuvre of Michael Moorcock, who endorses Roberson's work in a back-cover blurb. When characters have godlike powers and can appear repeatedly in various incarnations, it's hard to generate a full head of suspense. In some Moorcock novels, it often seems as if either everything in the entire universe is at stake, or virtually nothing at all is in jeopardy. Moorcock's best works, such as "Behold the Man," one of the classic novels of time travel, don't always wander into the narrative house of mirrors that makes some of his later books so frustrating. That's a lesson to which Roberson might want to pay attention if he extends the Bonaventure clan into successive volumes. In the meantime, "Here, There & Everywhere" is an enjoyable romp by a promising new voice in science fiction.

Entertainment Weekly review of Here, There & Everywhere
April 22, 2005
Young Roxanne Bonaventure receives a powerful bracelet that opens bridges to branching and often divergent time lines--her actions in the past don't change the future.

Story's Little Helper: She names the bracelet Sofia, Greek for wisdom, since "these early Christian guys called the Gnostics worshipped Sofia almost like a goddess...."

Upshot: Roberson's irreverent alternate histories of the Beatles, Sherlock Holmes, and H.G. Wells are a welcome stitch in the age-old time-travel tradition.

Grade: B

Library Journal review of Here, There & Everywhere
April 15, 2005
Roxanne, the precocious only child of widower Professor Bonaventure, receives a mysterious silver bracelet, the Sofia, that allows her to travel to different times and alternate worlds. In the course of her journeys to the Middle Ages, Elizabethan England, ancient Egypt, and future Oxford, she searches for answers to the questions that have always plagued her life-how can she keep her dying father alive? Will she ever find someone to spend her life with? What is the origin of the Sofia, and why was she chosen to wear it for life? Roberson's deceptively lighthearted take on the phenomena of time travel and alternate universes features a likable heroine whose quick mind and caring heart should appeal to adult and YA fans of sf adventure with a conscience. For most libraries. (from the Science Fiction/Fantasy column by Jackie Cassada)

Publishers Weekly review of Here, There & Everywhere
February 14, 2005
If Roberson tends to tell in his first novel rather than show as he does in his short fiction (his stories have been finalists for World Fantasy and Sidewise awards), this episodic romp through the Myriad, where literally every version of events plays out, offers many felicities, not least a spunky heroine. As a schoolgirl, wisecracking Roxanne Bonaventure stumbles across a wounded old woman, who gives her a bracelet. After the woman disappears, Roxanne accidentally discovers that the bracelet, the Sofia, permits travel to any point in the multiverse. Roxanne slowly learns to use the Sofia, and later, with the help of her scientist father, to control it. Her travels then begin in earnest. But several questions dog her: Was the old woman a future version of herself? Where did the Sofia come from? And why are there so few other venues that permit cross–time stream travel in the Myriad? Just when Roxanne believes her life is over, she finds herself in the far future, with one more adventure before her—one that may answer all her questions. Clever popular culture references, amusing showdowns and true human feeling lift this well-crafted debut.
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South Florida Sun-Sentinel review of Here, There & Everywhere
by David Kirby
March 6, 2005

The first two sentences of Chapter 6 of Here, There & Everywhere speak volumes about its parentage. Here they are: "The microscopic fibers of cosmic string material retracting into the housing of the Sofia, the temporal bridge irised shut, returning to the probabilistic chaos of the quantum foam" and "Roxanne slumped down on the bed, fully dressed, her battered backpack falling with a muffled thud on the carpeted floor, and within seconds was already asleep."

The love child of H.G. Wells and Helen Fielding, author of the Bridget Jones novels, sci-fi writer Chris Roberson's latest hurls its heroine through time and space at the speed of a turning page, and then, just as quickly, it sets her down on her battered sofa for a cup of tea so she can stew over her boyfriend problems.

Not that Roxanne Bonaventure has to stew that long: in one of the book's most charming sequences, she uses her fast-forward powers to find out what her would-be boyfriend Nigel likes and then goes back in time to startle and please him when, as it turns out, she just happens to like synth band Tangerine Dream and the films of Ingmar Bergman as much as he does.

Would that the whole novel were that engaging. After a promising beginning, in which a documentary filmmaker notices that the same woman shows up in concert photos through the years even though she never ages, the reader learns how Roxanne acquires the Sofia, a magical bracelet that opens doors in time. A quick learner, she touches all the bases and then some: ancient Egypt, Victorian England, the grouping of the Beatles.

Along the way, Roxanne has oodles of girly fun and finesses a couple of tasty real estate deals in the bargain. When you convert present-day money to gold and whisk it back to the 1860s, you can pick up some pretty decent property and, with the Sofia on your wrist, skate ahead to plop down in housing that Donald Trump can't afford.

Roxanne notes in her diary, "To be honest, I don't know how anybody else manages it, being stuck in the regular hours of the day and night." For the first half of the book, the reader agrees, envying Roxanne her heady powers yet happy to speed through the eons with her on her breathtaking journeys.

After that, though, the special effects take over, and Roxanne, with whom, by this time, the reader is not a little in love, disappears into a maelstrom of quick shifts and plot changes, as though the Sofia is short-circuiting and directing the human action rather than the other way around.

Ultimately, the novel's title says it all: the adorable Roxanne Bonaventure was once the novel's center. But by the end, the focus is here, there and everywhere.

Locus Magazine review of Here, There & Everywhere
by Damien Broderick
March 2005 issue
Three years ago, Texas writer and small press publisher Chris Roberson released a short novel, Any Time at All, through Clockwork Storybook, a writers' collective. In 2002, it seemed that Print on Demand technology was about to revolutionize genre publishing, making it feasible for unusual new work to find readers via the Internet and the mail, bypassing the lumbering dinosaurs in New York and the big bookselling chains with their ever-more restrictive policies and bestseller myopia. Bad luck. As Roberson notes, his small book was handsomely received by reviewers at Asimov's (`a blithe and giddy romp across the multiverse') and the online Infinity Plus (`highly enjoyable'), but managed only `extremely tepid sales.'

Not content to let the book subside and die, Roberson expanded it by one-third and tried the mainstream publishers again. No luck. It was rejected, he tells us in an interesting endnote, as `not commercial' and `too smart.' Luckily, Lou Anders has lately become founding editor of Prometheus Book's new sf line, Pyr. He liked the revision (by now called Here, There & Everywhere and not just because that's where it had been), and it's one of the new imprint's early offerings, Pyr's first `original' novel.

That is a frustrating history, and probably more common than we know; I suspect many interesting but quirky novels never have the good fortune to be saved by a newly empowered editorial director. Taking the PoD route, however, now seems the road to doom. (This might change when hand-held viewer technology improves.) So one question we have to ask at once is whether the major traditional sf publishers were blindly wrong in rejecting Roberson's `giddy' and `enjoyable' novel? I think I can see their rationale, although I don't accept it.

As a fractious and alienated eleven year old, Roxanne Bonaventure receives from a dying old woman a bracelet allowing her passage back and forth along her own unique worldline, and sideways into any alternative history of the Myriad. That this is a closed circle tale—`By Her Bootstraps', so to speak—is never really in question, and the metaphysical nature of that closure does provide a transcendental, if by now routine, sf climax. Along the way to her death and beyond, Roxanne has more than her fair share of ripping good adventures, and of heartbreak and hard-won insight.

But is it hard-won? She is effortlessly competent, with martial arts skills we never see her acquire. Nothing even seems at stake, at the level of threat and action anyway, because her Sofia device shunts her away from hazard in slippery knight's moves. Roberson uses a device that makes it hard to take Roxanne's story seriously even during immersion in her tale. The very structure of the book tries to make us read it as a jest or jeu d'esprit: it is a faux fix-up, a mosaic, a pretended gathering of stories independently published in magazines (as van Vogt's The Voyage of the Space Beagle was, half a century ago). This is an odd conceit—somewhat subverted by the fact that several segments in fact have been e-published separately, in and elsewhere—but it has the virtue of allowing Roberson to switch register now and then, from young adult to 19th century pulp mystery, from early Wellsian to adventures with Egyptologists and Nazis in the desert, from Beatles fancier tracking the lads through all the variant worlds to Kuttner-like confrontations at the end of time. Good trick, especially in these cross-genre days. But the device makes it hard to treat the book as a novel rather than a collection of novelty items.

Roberson has thought hard about the implication of travel in time and across the multiverse or Myriad. Surprisingly, given the number of writers who've explored this trope ahead of him, he comes up with some notions that seemed to me plausible and new. Whether they'd convince a physicist is irrelevant; they are contributions to the long and entertaining conversation within the genre.

I was rather disheartened, though, by a sort of narrow tough-minded conservatism in his chart of the future. As Roxanne's father lies dying sometime soon, she goes ahead a decade or so, a century, two centuries, trying one medical cure after another. But you can't cheat death; he ups and dies each time, no matter how advanced the treatment. This might seem a satisfying moral to many readers, but really it's about as likely as learning that a time traveler treating septicemia with antibiotics in the 10th century is doomed to fail. The only sense one can make of this death-embracing fatalism is that some deliberate instrumentality, as in Cordwainer Smith's tales or Asimov's The End of Eternity, must be paralyzing change in the future, halting science in its tracks. This, though, is not Roberson's point. No, it seems that people in the future just don't care, rather as we today haven't bothered going back to the Moon. It seems an oddly resigned and blinkered view, at a time when a small robot spacecraft has lately sent us data from the surface of Titan, as genomic research homes in on cures for what maims and kills us.

Perhaps I'm treating Roberson's light-hearted book too pompously. It is a frolic, after all. But it yearns to be more than that. I was reminded of the 1990s' BBC television series Goodnight, Sweetheart, about a bamboozled man shuffling back and forth between now and the Second World War. That comedy had a bitter-sweet edge which enriched and layered the jokes. Roxanne's tangled history gets there now and then. Yet her moral—`in the end, technology was simply a tool to allow people more easily to live the lives they would have led regardless'—seems highly doubtful, pretty much exactly the opposite of what such time-leaping abilities would truly demonstrate.

Locus Magazine review of "Red Hands, Black Hands"
by Nick Gevers
November 2004
The highly talented Chris Roberson, recent winner of the Sidewise Award for his story “O One”, continues that tale’s vein of opulent Sinophilia in “Red Hands, Black Hands” – in this alternate timeline, Imperial China dominates the world in place of Europe – but exacerbates the peculiarity of the setting by transferring it to a partly terraformed Mars ruled by the Mandarins. The Emperor’s oppressive writ runs severely, and a woman novelist, part of a circle of rather dilettantish bohemians, becomes involved in serious seditious activity, falling in love with a revolutionary and spreading his propaganda via her writings (which include an opera libretto portraying a uchronia under Aztec supremacy, wheels within counterfactual wheels…). The atmosphere is sumptuous, the invention lavish; the experience of reading the story is mind-expanding."