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Time And Time Again
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Short Stories > Time and Time Again by H. Beam Piper

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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4280 comments Mod
Time And Time Again by H. Beam Piper is a time travel story, one of the early ones that set the tone.

It's available in multiple formats, including online reading at Gutenberg:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/18831
There are 2 versions of it on Librivox that you can listen to here;
https://librivox.org/author/1560?prim...


Buck (spectru) | 899 comments I have recently read some Piper. It has been a mixed bag. Some very good, some not so much. I'm looking forward to this one.

It seems that much of his writing is in the public domain.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) Ok, I didn't know this event in history: (view spoiler).

You say 'set the tone' but I don't know of many TT stories that (view spoiler). Do any of you know any other good or well-known TT stories with that timeline mechanic?


message 4: by Cheryl (last edited Jul 01, 2018 01:44PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cheryl  (cherylllr) I do like this idea for the 'how can TT happen' question: (view spoiler)

Quite a fun little story. Very short. Modern authors would develop to a novel, but I don't think it would be better that way.


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4280 comments Mod
I meant more for the loop & fix. Heinlein wrote a couple "By His Bootstraps" (1941) & "All You Zombies" (1959) while this was 1946. It got so popular that time travel stories weren't even accepted by many SF venues in the 70s & 80s, I believe.

Bradbury nailed it down with "A Sound of Thunder" (1952) & the Butterfly Effect that has been used in several popular novels & movies. Further out of time, although the 2004 movie was all in near time.

"By His Bootstraps" goes into the ego & now in great detail. 'Zombies' does too, but in a different even darker way.


Buck (spectru) | 899 comments I heard one of the Librivox recordings, read by Bellona Times. The narrator reads a little haltingly occasionally and is overly precisely enunciated, especially at first. But we get accustomed to that fairly quickly. I'd be interested to hear about the other Librivox version.

I enjoyed the story. The ending, the discussion between father and son of the nature of time, was unexpected.


message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4280 comments Mod
The other one is an X-Minus 1 production, I think.


message 8: by Buck (last edited Jul 01, 2018 05:38PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Buck (spectru) | 899 comments X-Minus-1 is the one I heard. The other is Short Science Fiction Collection 003, read by R. J. Davis.


message 9: by Ed (new)

Ed Erwin | 2097 comments Mod
This short story makes references to quite a few other books. That sent me searching to find out more.

I already have Jurgen on my "to-read" list. I would even nominate it for a read here, but I need to figure out whether it is SF or Fantasy (as it is shelved more often here).

The main idea of this story seems to come from An Experiment with Time. Seems like a bunch of hooey to me. There is lots that we don't understand about time or consciousness, but I still stick to the purely materialist view that consciousness cannot float free from the brain.

Also mentioned Science and Psychical Phenomena by G. N. M. Tyrrell, who was president of the Society for Psychical Research. The father in this story has a more favorable view of that group than I have: "The evidence is the sort that any court in the world would accept, if it concerned ordinary, normal events. Especially the cases investigated by the Society for Psychical Research: they have been verified."


message 10: by Ed (new)

Ed Erwin | 2097 comments Mod
I found an article which says this was Piper's first published story, in April 1947 issue of "Astounding Science Fiction".

The article then weirdly skips to talk of his suicide in 1964 and even more weirdly talks about the suicide of F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre which the author thinks may have been copying Piper.

Anyway.... It is an amusing story. Personally I can't accept the premise that consciousness has some non-physical part that can exist independent of the physical brain. That idea exists in many SF and Fantasy stories, including stories where consciousness is switched between two people (e.g. Freaky Friday), or switched between Bugs Bunny and a chicken (in "Hot Cross Bunny" ), or uploaded into a computer. In this story (view spoiler). Fine for a story, but I don't accept it as scientific.

Someone else in this group suggested that fringe science beliefs were a favorite of John W. Campbell Jr. who was editing the magazine this story appeared in.

Supposing the events in the story happened to you, would it be a blessing or a curse? Sure, it would be great to (view spoiler), but think about the trouble you'd have (view spoiler).


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4280 comments Mod
Campbell & Van Vogt were both friends with L. Ron Hubbard early on, weren't they? I think someone posted an article about that.


Cheryl  (cherylllr) I would not want to relive being a teenager, that's for sure.
But I do imagine that some people could appreciate having more wisdom and experience, and having a second chance at life.


Oleksandr Zholud | 969 comments Cheryl wrote: "I would not want to relive being a teenager, that's for sure."

While there are serious drawback, this at least means a few decades (in the story from 42 to 13 year old i.e. 29 years) in usually more healthy and able body... at least I'd take the chance :)
As for the story - is it the first time a TT story allows to change a future? Unlike say The Time Machine
I liked the development of this idea by Paul Anderson in Time Patrol and other stories


message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4280 comments Mod
Oleksandr wrote: "As for the story - is it the first time a TT story allows to change a future?"

I don't know. I haven't read some of the stories listed on Wikipedia here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...
such as Lest Darkness Fall. Has anyone else? It doesn't list this story, so I guess it's not particularly complete.

Others I've read, but can't decide if the future was changed or not. Hank didn't disturb the present in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court as I recall. "By His Bootstraps" made no difference to our time & the only part we see is circular.


Oleksandr Zholud | 969 comments Jim wrote: "Others I've read, but can't decide if the future was changed or not"

I guess if the story doesn't mention an attempt/desire to change future then it isn't changed


message 16: by Ronald (new)

Ronald (rpdwyer) | 163 comments Jim wrote: "Oleksandr wrote: "As for the story - is it the first time a TT story allows to change a future?"

I don't know. I haven't read some of the stories listed on Wikipedia here:
https://en.wikipedia.org..."



Lest Darkness Fall was the November 2015 Group Read:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Spoiler alert: Europe will not experience what Age of Enlightenment thinkers retroactively called the Dark Ages.


message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4280 comments Mod
Thanks, Ronald. So he did change things, thus answering Oleksandr's question that Piper's TTA wasn't the first since 'Darkness' was published 5 years earlier.


Oleksandr Zholud | 969 comments Jim wrote: "Thanks, Ronald. So he did change things, thus answering Oleksandr's question that Piper's TTA wasn't the first since 'Darkness' was published 5 years earlier."

while not the first, definitely one of the earliest. As a side note, I knew L. Sprague de Camp chiefly as a writer of Conan the Barbarian novels (he expanded a lot of short stories or even notes of Robert E. Howard) and I generally disliked his Conan as not a very bright basher of skulls, but then I read his other stuff and was impressed


message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4280 comments Mod
Oleksandr, I liked deCamp & Carter's Conan in the Lancer editions. I think the continuity of both story & character outweighs REH's 'original' versions & they were the first that I read. I put 'original' in quotes because some stories, like "The Treasure of Tranicos" was also written with Black Vulmea as the main character. REH wrote what sold & changed as needed while deCamp & Carter had an overarching vision. The latter was better IMO, but not everyone's. At any rate, it's a point that has been hotly debated in the Robert E. Howard group where several of the members there are REH scholars. (I think they all agree with you.)
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...


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