| || The Haertel Scholium Stories|
by James Blish
First story: Galaxy, Feb 1954
Blish’s story “Beep” appeared in 1954 with a casual mention of time-travel when a message is overheard from a future spaceship that’s following a worldline backwards through time. The main story follows video reporter Dana Lje who stumbles upon the newly invented Dirac radio which allows instantaneous communication and, as only she realizes, also carries a record of every transmission ever made, both past and future.
At Larry Shaw’s request, Blish expanded “Beep” into the short novel The Quincunx of Time, and both these stories share a background wherein the work of Dolph Haertel (the next Einstein) provides an ftl-drive (the Haertel Overdrive, later called the Imaginary Drive), an antigravity device (the spindizzy), and an instantaneous communicator (the Dirac Radio). I read many of these in the early ’70s, but can’t find my notes and don’t remember any other time travel beyond that one communiqué that Lje overheard. Still, I’ll list everything in The Haertel Scholium and reread them some day!
- Pantropy and Seedling Stars stories (1942-1956) Various publications
- Cities in Flight stories (1952-1962) Various publications
- Common Time (Jul 1953) in Shadow of Tomorrow
- Beep (Feb 1954) Galaxy
- Nor Iron Bars (Nov 1957) Infinity
- A Case of Conscience (Sep 1953) & novel (1958) If
- A Dusk of Idols (Mar 1961) Amazing
- Midsummer Century (Apr 1972) & novel (May 1972) F&SF
- The Quincunx of Time (Oct 1973) expands “Beep”
It is instead one of the seven or eight great philosophical questions that remain unanswered, the problem of whether man has or has not free will.
| || “Where the World is Quiet” |
by Henry Kuttner (as by C.H. Liddell)
First publication: Fantastic Universe, May 1954
This story appears in an issue of Fantastic Universe with a remarkable lineup including Frank Belknap Long, Philip José Farmer, Jack Williamson, Philip K. Dick, Richard Matheson, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Robert Bloch. As for Kuttner’s contribution, a crippled priest enlists the aid of an adventurous anthropologist, Señor White, to track the fate of seven young girls who disappeared into the Cordilleras of eastern Peru in the direction of the great peak, Hauscan. Do anthropologists know anything about time-slips? (Yes, just a slight time-travel connection.)
So, even now I do not know all that lay behind the terror in that Peruvian valley. This much I learned: the Other, like Lhar and her robot, had been cast adrift by a time-slip, and thus marooned here. There was no way for it to return to its normal Time-sector. It had created the fog-wall to protect itself from the direct rays of the sun, which threatened its existence.
| || The Magic Series|
by Edward Eager
First book: Half Magic, Jun 1954
In the first book, siblings Jane, Katharine, Mark and Martha find a magic wishing coin in the 1920s. But as wishes wont to be in stories, the wishes don’t work out as planned. This particular magic coin is only half-magic, granting only half of every wish (including time travel wishes), and leaving the children with the amusing challenge of finishing up the other half of the wish on their own. Sometimes it works out when they wish for twice what they want. Other times, not so much.
I’ve read only one of the other six books, The Time Garden, which Janet found for me in the local library.
- Half Magic (1954) King Arthur
- Knight’s Castle (1956) twelfth century
- Magic by the Lake (1957) Ali Baba
- The Time Garden (1958) retelling of Half Magic from new POV
- Magic or Not? (1959)
- The Well-Wishers (1960)
- Seven-Day Magic (1962)
Don’t you see? She wished she were home and ended up halfway home! I wished there’d be a fire and got a little fire! A child’s-size fire! Martha wished Carrie could talk and she can half talk!