Type ShortStory
Date 1979-04
Tags science fiction, time travel, twist ending

No Future in It

A writer looking for a story happens across a man who claims that he is from the future, and was accidentally trapped in the past. Why hasn't someone rescued him? Because there's more than one future--every possible difference makes a new one, so there's no way he could ever get back to his future.

And here comes the twist. The writer figures maybe he can sell the story to some scifi rag as fiction. After all:

Space settlements. Time travel. Nobody would swallow that kind of bull in 1924.

The story appears to be set somewhere fifty-ish years in the future, and everyone just talks in two-digit years and 'the eighties', so the trick is preserved to the end. However, it's not really very effective, since there's no impact from it, no new perspective on the story other than confirmation that the guy claiming to be from the future is maybe telling the truth, since the level of tech is beyond what we'd expect for 1924--presumably due to some other stranded time-travelers further back in the past.

Name Role
Joe Haldeman Author

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