Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ross Rocklynne's "Interlude" (short story, time travel, free): When a caveman freed an advanced civilization of a dictator

Sole illustration by Fax accompanying the original publication in Astounding of short story Interlude by Ross Rocklynne. Image shows the Neanderthal cavemen, transported from his time 100000 years ago into 25th century,physically throwing away the dictator this advanced era.In the 25th century, there is a dictator ruling the earth for a decade. A former scientist who invented a machine to enslave others by making them wear a collar & a "bell shirt", but good enough to give them 3 hours a day to be free & be themselves.

Two of the ruled plot his overthrow. If only they could bring a 20th century uncollared (hence unslaved) man (why of 20th century?) who will overthrow the dictator. Their experimental time machine instead will bring back a caveman from 100,000 years ago. A man who craves to be a tribal chief.

Some unlikely adventures follow & the world is freed of the dictator.

Fact sheet.

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