Saturday, July 6, 2013

A E van Vogt & E Mayne Hull's "The Flight That Failed" aka "Rebirth: Earth" (as by E M Hull) (short story, weird, free): Making a future happen where Germany loses in WWII

illustration by Orban accompanying the original publication in Astounding of short story The Flight That Failed by E M Hull. Image shows the US military plane mid flight over Atlantic en route to London during World War II a few minutes before German attack. Most action in the story happens in this plane.This is a crazy story & I didn't really want to write this post, but have you ever heard of a "moon ray time reflector machine"?

Story summary.

Pilot of secret flight of a US military plane carrying some extremely valuable, but unspecified, cargo & some military, technical & diplomatic personnel, to London during WWII discovers a stowaway, presumed a German spy.

All attempts to arrest & confine him fail in a bizarre way. He claims to be an illusion, projected there by a "moon ray time reflector machine" from an alternate future in which Germany is defeated in this war. And nobody believes him when he tells them the success of this flight is crucial to the future where US wins, & this flight is doomed unless they let the stranger man one of the machine guns of the plane in a German attack to come in a few minutes...

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, December 1942.
Download full text as part of the scans of the magazine it originally appeared in.
Rating: C.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.
Related: Stories of A E van Vogt.


Charline said...

This is awesome!

De Leerling said...

Took a long time to rediscover the title of the story. But don't underestimate the power of Google !