Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Alice Sheldon's "The Man Who Walked Home" (as by James Tiptree, Jr) (short story, post apocalypse, free)

Apocalypse here results as a side effect of a time travel experiment. While I found the time travel part positively incomprehensible & boring, the rest of it is very readable - a dead world in the process of rebuilding itself.

Story summary.

At the site of the time travel experiment, there was an explosion, a crater, & the side effects that killed much life of earth. But there is also a curious physical phenomenon that is a side effect of original experiment: once a day, every year, at the same time, at a place in the original crater, a "monster" appears for a few seconds - a monster that appears to be moving but is not, it leaves bad smell after it's gone, & any attempt to touch it tends to cost you your limbs.

Story is mostly a view of this curious phenomenon, & eventually an explanation, from the point of view of sundry people who'll watch it over the centuries as the dead place keeps slowly getting inhabited.

Fact sheet.

First published: Amazing Science Fiction, November 1972.
Download full text from Baen eBooks.
Rating: A.
Related: Stories of Alice Sheldon (as by James Tiptree, Jr).


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