How could a man tell the difference if all the reality of Earth turned out to be a cosmic hoax? Suppose it turned out that this was just a stage set for students of history?
o, insofar as the most exacting of historical research can ascertain, our remote ancestors were confined to one planet of the Galaxy; the legendary Earth.
The third planet of Sun (unintelligible number) has long been suspected of being Earth, but it was not until the development of the principles of time transfer that it became possible to check the theory completely.
The brilliant work done by--
(Karnes hesitated over the name, then wrote--)
--Starson on the ancient history and early evolution of the race has shown the theory to be correct. This has opened a new and fascinating field for the study of socioanthropology.
Part Two: Present Purposes and Aims.
Because of the great energy transfer and cosmic danger involved in too frequent or unrestricted time travel, it has been decided that the best method for studying the social problems involved would be to rebuild, in toto, the ancient Earth as it was just after the initial
This could have been a 5-star story, but the author bungled the ending. Very much worth the time to read, but the case is not well made for the selected ending, and it disappoints.
A counter espionage agent encounters a being from the future. What can't be determined until the story ends is whether Earth is real, or has be reconstructed to match ancient history.
A spy story set in the future with a twist: the narrator is convinced that the world is either the original world being visited by people from the future, or it is a museum copy being visited by students from the present. The spy stuff is actually less interesting than the parallel Earth part.