Friday, December 15, 2023

"Time Travel As Portrayed in Fiction Will Never Come To Pass"

HERE we have the early Ed Hoch trying on various genres for size (see the Autumn 2023 issue of Old-Time Detection for more). In this instance the genre is science fiction-fantasy (SFF), as two experimenters are confronted by . . .

"The Last Paradox."
By Edward D. Hoch (1930-2008; GAD Wiki HERE; ISFDb HERE).
First appearance: Future Science Fiction, October 1958.
Collected in The Future Is Ours (2015).
Reprints page (HERE).
Short short short story (3 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archives (HERE; go to text page 110).

   "A Vignette of Possibility"

A reticent research scientist confesses to his "guinea pig" that his planned trip through time won't be exactly as advertised—and, brother, is he right!

Principal characters:
~ Professor Fordley:
  "'It's too bad that G. K. Chesterton never wrote a time-travel story,' Professor Fordley lamented as he made the final careful adjustments on his great glass-domed machine."
~ John Comptoss:
  "Can you bring me back all right?"
Reference and resources:
- "G. K. Chesterton never wrote":
  The reference to Chesterton (GKC) seems appropriate, inasmuch as he was a master of paradox: "Chesterton's writings consistently displayed wit and a sense of humour. He deployed paradox, while making serious comments on the world, government, politics, economics, philosophy, theology and many other topics. In this he was a follower of Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw whom he knew well; but Chesterton's style and thinking were all his own." (GAD Wiki HERE.) Also see GKC discussing detective fiction (HERE).
- When we last established contact with Edward D. Hoch, he was luxuriating in his (and our) favorite genre, detective fiction (HERE).
Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

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