Thursday, January 21, 2010

Henry Kuttner's "A Cross of Centuries" (short story, Christianity, free): Is he the Christ, or the Antichrist?

This is probably the last published story of Kuttner, published several months after his death.

While it includes a reference to Buddhism & Islam, it probably is a biblical story. Readers familiar with Biblical lore will likely see it very differently than I did.

Story summary.

I'm not sure it's set now, or 2000 years into future - probably later. There is a 2000 year old immortal, Tyrell - better known as the "White Christ", with legends that speak of his triumph over evil those long years past. He is worshiped as the harbinger of peace.

But his immortality needs help from machines. Every 100 years, he must pass through a machine that wipes his memories clean, installing some memories, leaving out others - overcoming senility, & making him fit for the current world.

After the most recent pass through the machine, he seems to have come out somewhat changed, in a way no one could have anticipated...

See also.

  1. Henry Kuttner's "Time Enough": Another of his immortality stories. But both bodies & minds go senile here - no machines available to rejuvenate the mind.

Fact sheet.

First published: Star Science Fiction Stories, #4 (Nov 1958).
Download full text.
Rating: B.
Related: Stories of Henry Kuttner; immortality in fiction.