The Fusion Factor
Andrew Dewar was a graduate of the journalism program at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, and on the staff of the North York Public Library.
The Fusion Factor is the first of Carol Matas’s time-travel books featuring Rebecca, and although it is not as colorful and clearly written as the second, it is still fine.
Rebecca is whisked into the future when she tries to help her school nemesis get away from kidnappers. She dislikes Lonney, but she cannot just let him be captured and have no one notice. The future she arrives in is a post-holocaust one, in which children from 1986 are providing a breeding stock for the now sterile human race. Rebecca decides that it would be better for humanity if instead of trying to recover from smoking ruins, she returned to 1986 and changed the future before it happens. The future folks do not at first agree, but after a number of hair-raising incidents with another group of militaristic survivors, she and some other kids return to the present.
Rebecca is well endowed with social conscience, and is a wonderful example of a child who is not only concerned about the future, but is willing and determined to take part in its formation. She is believable and interesting, and more than a little resourceful, which makes the novel fun and shows by example how important a lively social conscience can be. Children, points out Rebecca, not only can make a difference, but have to live with the consequences of things we do now.