Sunday, April 1, 2012

T L Sherred's "E For Effort" (novella): Using a past-viewer to abolish war!

Quote from short story E For Effort by T L Sherred
Central thesis is: if everyone could know everything everyone else did in the past, it would exert enough restraint on behavior that war would be impossible. Story doesn't really look at personal privacy issues, but of military privacy. Think of a machine that continuously does a cablegate.

Machine at the heart of the story is a past viewer: select any place & time in the past, & you can see the events as they actually happened. Its poor but idealistic inventor joins hands with a resourceful man to first built a name for the duo making very successful & realistic historical movies, then a documentary on WWI & WWII that exposes the real villains - which stirs up hell since many villains have been installed as heroes by their heirs. Things get really hot when the duo expose the source of their information, the machine...

See also.

  1. Henry Kuttner & C L Moore's "Private Eye" (download): Police has such a past viewer; so crime always gets punished. Now, how does a man get away with murder...

Collected in.

  1. Ben Bova (ed)'s "The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two B".
  2. John W Campbell, Jr (ed)'s "The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology".

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, May 1947.
Rating: B.
Among the stories in Astounding/Analog issues edited John Campbell.