Hunted and hated in two worlds, Hradzka dreamed of a monomaniac's glory, stranded in the past with his knowledge of the future. But he didn't know the past quite well enough....
sed at the ease with which he established contact with the natives. The first dwelling which he approached, a cluster of farm-buildings at the upper end of the valley, gave him shelter. There was a man, clad in the same sort of rough garments Hradzka had taken from the body of the herb-gatherer, and a woman in a faded and shapeless dress. The man was thin and work-bent; the woman short and heavy. Both were past middle age.
He made inarticulate sounds to attract their attention, then gestured to his mouth and ears to indicate his assumed affliction. He rubbed his stomach to portray hunger. Looking about, he saw an ax sticking in a chopping-block, and a pile of wood near it, probably the fuel used by these people. He took the ax, split up some of the wood, then repeated the hunger-signs. The man and the woman both nodded, laughing; he was shown a pile of tree-limbs, and the man picked up a short billet of wood and used it like a measuring-rule, to indicate that all the wood was to be cut to that length.<
An authoritarian ruler of the Solar System escapes a revolution by travelling to the past. He falls in 1950's North America. "Flight from Tomorrow" was published in the September 1950 issue (quelle coincidence!!!) of "Science Fiction Stories". It is one of the worst of Henry Beam Piper (1904-1964). Predictable plot, implausible in several points, with over stuffed, innatural dialogues that only are explanations for the benefit of the reader, and above all a repugnant, hateful chauvinism, such as in: "...an idealistic humanitarian nation, treacherously attacked, created the first atomic bomb in self defence...". This is the fashion in which the "patriotic" author justifies Uncle Sam's murder of three hundred thousand Japanese in August 1945. This is not Science Fiction, this is a cheap pamphlet of political propaganda. Many Books (and Project Gutenberg) offer over thirty stories by Piper. To be fair, "He Walked Around the Horses" (1948), or "Omnilingual" (1957), are much better than this rubbish.
An interesting read. The premise is different from most. The ending is a bit trite. Overall, worth the time to get through it.
At the last moment of his overthrow, a ruthless dictator steals the only time machine and goes back to ancient (our) times to establish a new empire. But he brought with him more than just bad habits.
The writing is craftsmanlike.
Love the book, needs some more proof reading, i think the story was a little short, if it can be re-edited the scale should be much much longer, but loved it anyway. Its one of those short stories that makes you wish the end of the story should be much further.