Thursday, August 21, 2008

Murray Leinster's "Dear Charles" (as by William Fitzgerald) (short story, time travel, humor, free): Can this be called incest?

Quote from short story titled Dear Charles by Murray Leinster, writing under the pseudonym William Fitzgerald--- Fact sheet ---
First published: Fantastic Story Magazine, May 1953.
Rating: A
Download full text from WebScription.
Related: All stories of Murray Leinster (as by William Fitzgerald).

Going by Leinster's record, this may well be the original story where a time traveler is his own grandfather. Even if not original, this must be among the earliest of the kind. And unlike other stories I've seen on the theme, this doesn't really involve a paradox.

Very amusing light read.

Story summary.

Story is in the form of a single long letter, delivered sometime in the "Thirty-Fourth Century, a.d." & sent sometime in the "twentieth century"! Recipient is Charles Fabius Granver of title. Sender is Charles' unnamed great-great-...-grandfather 52 times & 14 centuries removed!

Since even the address of Charles doesn't exist at the time the letter is sent, normal postal channels cannot deliver it. So an unusual delivery mechanism is used.

Letter essentially informs Charles that this long removed ancestor is about appear near him, & will elope with Charles' fiancee Ginny - because Ginny is not only Charles girlfriend, but also his 52 times & 14 centuries removed great-great-...-grandmother!!

Of course, events happen as predicted. Because no prediction is involved. Grandpa is simply narrating the events 2 years after they happened - in grandpa's time!

Collected in.

  1. Murray Leinster's "A Logic Named Joe" (collection).