This was a good and very Analog-ish story with believable scientists doing science. Which I always love.
A young professor is given some papers from his former supervisor after his death. Among the papers is a long list of various mathematicians, physicists and cosmologists from around the world. Many names with a checkmark next to them, some without. One of the names is his own – without a checkmark. At first he tries to ignore it, but he becomes increasingly intrigued by the puzzle.
This will be a slight spoiler for the story, but I think most readers will be able to see broadly where this is going. The names that has a mark have all died – some of natural causes and others by more strange circumstances, usually at a young age. All were doing interesting work in their fields, though without any clear link. It is revealed that all the scientists were doing work that could potentially lead to the invention of time travel. And something is trying to prevent that of happening.
This premise have been done at least a couple of times before, but that doesn’t take anything away from Chase who has written an engaging and thought provoking story about the limits of scientific research.
Read in Analog March/April 2023