| || “Grandfather Paradox” |
by Ian Stewart
First publication: Nature, 29 Apr 2010
I didn’t understand the logic of this short story, which is part of Nature’s Futures series of short, short sf stories. The grandfather, Hubert, is traveling forward in time, begging his grandson to kill him so that he won’t invent a time machine that he’s already invented—but I can’t see how killing him after the fact will do any good. Please explain it to me!
In any case, thank you to the kind librarian at the Norlin Library who made an electronic copy for me when we couldn’ track down a hard copy of the journal.
With its logical basis wrecked, the Universe would resolve the paradox by excising the time machine, and snap back to a consistent history in which Hubert married Rosie, with all of its consequences.
|The story also appeared in this 2014 Johnson collection.|| || “Written by the Winners” |
by Matthew Johnson
First publication: Timelines: Stories Inspired by H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, Sep 2010
Dave Lawson’s job is sifting through artifacts—e.g. old episodes of Family Ties, LPs from the 80s, etc.—for snippets that no longer fit the officially approved timeline, but his decidedly more dangerous, clandestine avocation is preserving those very anomalies.
I found the idea of how time travel changes the timeline in a piecemeal manner, leaving behind inconsistencies, to be thought-provoking, although for me, the story’s ending was incomplete.
The device that had changed time was more like a shotgun than a scalpel: It had established the present its makers wanted through hundreds of different changes to the timeline, some contradicting others. The result was a porous, makeshift new history that made little sense, but the old one had been thoroughly smashed to bits. It was those bits that remained that he and his department were tasked by the new history’s makers with finding and erasing.
| || A Rip Through Time Pulp Series|
by Chris F. Holm, Charles A. Gramlich, Garnett Elliott, and Chad Eagleton
First story: Beat to a Pulp 90, 3 Sep 2010
This series of stories (available in a 2013 e-book collection) follows pulp hero Simon Rip through time as he first takes care of problems caused by H.G. Wells’s traveller and then searches for Dr. Berlin, a later inventor of time travel.
- The Dame, the Doctor and the Device (2010) by Chris F. Holm
- Battles, Broadswords, and Bad Girls (2011) by Charles A. Gramlich
- Chaos in the Stream (2011) by Garnett Elliot
- Darkling in the Eternal Space (2011) by Chad Eagleton
- Loose Ends by Garnett Elliot
- The Final Painting of Hawley Exton by Chad Eagleton
But to my way of thinking, all of the events of existence have already happened, and are therefore immutable. Thus, there are no so-called ‘time paradoxes.’
Young Bruce reads good magazines, too!
| || Altitude |
by Paul A. Birkett (Kaare Andrews, director)
First release: 3 Oct 2010
Sara, whose parents died in a small-plane crash when she was a child, now has her pilot’s license and is taking a group of friends to a concert in a small plane. One of the group is her boyfriend, Bruce, who has the power to make weird 1950s comic book stories come true: So we get a nice dose of in-flight mechanical failure, horrific monsters, wng-walking heroics, and a piece of time travel that certainly could have come from an E.C. comic. (The most horrific monster, though, is Sara’s best friend’s jerky boyfriend who—you’re not gonna believe this!—destroys an actual 1950s comic book!)
Aren’t you listening? I made these things come true just by thinking about them!
| || “The Man from Downstream” |
by Shane Tourtellotte
First publication: Analog, Dec 2010
Americus, a despondent time traveler, comes to the 1st century Roman Empire (726 AUC) to introduce clocks, steam engines and other marvels.
The original publication of this story is followed by a Shane Tourtellotte article, “Tips for the Budget Time-Traveler,” about the economics of trading through time.
He argued to the scribes that they were naturals for typesetting jobs: literate, intelligent, good at fine work and at avoiding mistakes. “Most of us thought we knew. There were many congenial mealtime arguments about which overarching theory of time travel was the true one. I had my ideas, but they dismissed them. I wasn’t one of them; I didn’t understand.” He ounded a fist into his thigh, a startling burst of violence. “But their theories were such violations of common sense!”