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Nine Men in Time

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Published: 1953
Language: English
Wordcount: 7,047 / 27 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 81.1
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,566
Added to site: 2010.10.18 29309

The idea of sending a man back in time to re-do a job he's botched, so that a deadline can still be met—added to the thought of duplicating a man so there'll be two doing the same work at the same time—adds up to a production-manager's dream. But any dream can suddenly shift into a nightmare....

Show Excerpt

nes stepped forward with his deep eyes fixed on Dr. Hudson. "What," High-Pockets asked, "is your theory of this machine?"

Dr. Hudson smiled. "I am glad you asked that, Mr. Jones. Very glad. This process is in no sense a separation or thinning out of the man in the chair. It is, in reality; an unusual extension of the well-known fact that nature tends to follow a pattern. If you want to make a synthetic sapphire, you start with a seed sapphire, and the artificial process builds up on that. Now, this machine, which I call an extender, is merely a far-reaching extension of the synthesis of precious stones."

"By use of a revolutionary type of three-dimensional scanner, which was invented by myself," he said modestly, "I am able to focus on a certain object from a certain distance and, if there is material at hand, synthesize an exact duplicate of the original from the scanner. It doesn't hurt the original in any way. You merely have two where you had but one."

The men stood around bug-eyed an

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.3 from 3 reviews: ****
Lisa Carr

Written in 1953 about 1983, it is a story of a print shop about to close for lack of profits. Enter a brilliant scientist with a time machine and a person duplicator. Absent workers can be replaced with a duplicate of a worker who is present, so output doesn't have to suffer. Mistakes can be corrected by popping back in time to when they were made.
But there are complications. The Union isn't sure how to figure hours, etc.
All in all, a bit silly, and the author really underestimated offset printing--everyone uses Linotype machines. It also seems that women are extinct in 1983.

Henry L. ratliff

(1953) Sci-fi (Future working conditions)

From \'Science Fiction Stories\' - 1953.

R: ****

Plot bullets

  • Need more workers to finish a critical job?

  • Make them.

  • But, beware.


An interesting short story that solves the problem of how to increase printing production.



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Author of the Day

Joel Canfield
Joel Canfield self-reportedly has written like a madman since he learned how to type. Novelist, screenwriter and ghostwriter, Canfield has lived in many cities across the U.S. He now resides in Miami Beach, Florida with his favorite blondes, writer-editor wife Lisa and dog Betsy, but he will undoubtedly move again, because that’s just what he does. As our Author of the Day, he talks about Blue Fire, the sequel to his first Max Bowman book and gives us some insights in his writing habits and the creation of his characters.
Read full interview...