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Trips in Time by Robert Silverberg
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Trips in Time (1977)

by Robert Silverberg (Editor)

Other authors: Poul Anderson (Author), Fritz Leiber (Author), Peter Phillips (Author), Christopher Priest (Author), Marta Randall (Author)3 more, Robert Sheckley (Author), A. E. van Vogt (Author), Roger Zelazny (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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An anthology of time travel stories, and I think, at this remove in time (sorry!), that they had all been read by me earlier. ( )
  DinadansFriend | May 8, 2014 |

A slender but by and large well chosen anthology of time travel stories. In a few instances, including the editor's own story, it was hard to understand why items had been selected for inclusion, but I was more than compensated by the imaginativeness displayed in some of the other choices. Probably about half the stories I'd read before, but so long ago that, with the exception of the Christopher Priest piece, it was like coming to them for the first time. Here are the stories I particularly enjoyed:

Christopher Priest's "An Infinite Summer" (1976) movingly tells of a young man isolated from the woman he loves by the actions of tourists from the far future who, for reasons inscrutable, "freeze" tableaux of incidents that catch their fancy, the hapless participants being both frozen in time and rendered invisible to their contemporaries. At unpredictable moments, the tableaux – or parts thereof – "erode", releasing the participants into a state of being that doesn't properly belong to any time.

Part-ghost story, part-sf, Peter Phillips's "Manna" (1949) sees the spirits of two 12th-century monks, one of whom is a veritable Newton, haunting a modern food-processing plant and using arcane physical principles to transport cans of Miracle MealTM back to the needy of their own time.

The idea behind Poul Anderson's "The Long Remembering" (1957) is that the human mind is an attribute of the individual's worldline; since the worldline can be traced back beyond the individual's birth all the way through his ancestral lineage, it's possible to send someone's mentality temporarily into that of a forebear: "Your mind will be in the brain, or scanning the brain, of some ancestor [. . .:] But you will not be aware of [. . .:] any separate identity. On arousal – return – you will remember what went on, as if that other person had been you." A man who spends time in a prehistoric man's mind returns to find he's fallen in love with his Cro-Magnon wife, out of love with his real-time one.

"Try and Change the Past" (1958), one of Fritz Leiber's stories building upon the idea of the Change Wars, explores some ramifications of "the Law of the Conservation of Reality". The Doubleganger of a man who has been recruited into the Snakes shortly before being murdered by his wife travels back in time in an attempt to avert his own death. In his first attempts, the fatal 32-calibre bullet somehow manages to end up hitting him between the eyes, just as history dictates. When finally he succeeds in avoiding this, his other self looks out the window and is promptly hit between the eyes by a meteorite that just happens to leave a hole the size a 32-calibre bullet would. At that point the Doubleganger gives up and accepts his fate as a Spider recruit. "So how's a person going to outmaneuver a universe that finds it easier to drill a man through the head that way rather than postpone the date of his death?"

Like Philip K. Dick's Counter-Clock World and Martin Amis's Time's Arrow, Roger Zelazny's "Divine Madness" (1966) centres on a reversal of time's flow: a man journeys backward to undo the argument he and his wife had before she left in a fury to die in a fatal car crash. Reader and protagonist alike are left to wonder if this really happens or is an illusion born of the protagonist's post-bereavement mental breakdown. It's a nicely subtle tale, and perhaps – even though just a dozen pages long – the most effective of these three in its use of the time-reversal device.
( )
  JohnGrant1 | Aug 11, 2013 |
This book contains 9 time travel short stories written by some leading science fiction authors including Poul Anderson and A.E. van Vogt. Each story is very different from the others. Some of the stories have a science fiction feel to them while others are more like fantasy. These time traveling adventures are thought provoking and very imaginative. It is this imaginative part found in these stories that I like best, for I would never have thought of many of the ideas behind these stories! ( )
  Chris177 | Apr 29, 2013 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Silverberg, RobertEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, PoulAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leiber, FritzAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Phillips, PeterAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Priest, ChristopherAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Randall, MartaAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sheckley, RobertAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
van Vogt, A. E.Authorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zelazny, RogerAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eagle, MikeJacket paintingsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The only workable time machine ever invented is the science-fiction story.
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