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Time and Time Again

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Author: H. Beam Piper
Published: 1947
Language: English
Wordcount: 7,910 / 30 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 87.7
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 3,646
Added to site: 2006.07.16 14090

To upset the stable, mighty stream of time would probably take an enormous concentration of energy. And it's not to be expected that a man would get a second chance at life. But an atomic might accomplish both--

Show Excerpt

father and son to look up simultaneously. The approaching visitor was a tall man in a rumpled black suit; he had knobby wrists and big, awkward hands; black hair flecked with gray, and a harsh, bigoted face. Allan remembered him. Frank Gutchall. Lived on Campbell Street; a religious fanatic, and some sort of lay preacher. Maybe he needed legal advice; Allan could vaguely remember some incident--

"Ah, good afternoon, Mr. Gutchall. Lovely day, isn't it?" Blake Hartley said.

Gutchall cleared his throat. "Mr. Hartley, I wonder if you could lend me a gun and some bullets," he began, embarrassedly. "My little dog's been hurt, and it's suffering something terrible. I want a gun, to put the poor thing out of its pain."

"Why, yes; of course. How would a 20-gauge shotgun do?" Blake Hartley asked. "You wouldn't want anything heavy."

Gutchall fidgeted. "Why, er, I was hoping you'd let me have a little gun." He held his hands about six inches apart. "A pistol, that I could put in my pocket. It

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 4 reviews: ****
Paulo Respighi

A man killed by an atomic bomb in a future (1975) WWIII has his consciousness blown back 30 years to when he was thirteen years old. But he retains his 43 year old memories. He tries to pass as a kid . . . well, at least he has a liberal atheist father.

The last third of the story is a bit slow--an explanation of the theory of time travel and plans for the future manipulation of the world.


I've been a Piper fan for years, yet I just found "Time and Time Again." Piper absolutely astounds me everytime I read another of his works. The "boring" part another reviewer mentioned was very much in tune with a popular type science show I watched a few months ago, in 2012. That show also talked about all moments of time co-existing at the same time/place, and us traveling past each stationary moment, riding the wave of perception. OK, I know I got all of the words wrong, but Piper, with less than a high school education got it all right.

Besides all of that, it really is a good story.


Piper's short story about a man who goes back in time to his childhood -- but who retains all memory of his adulthood -- starts off with a bang but seems to lose steam. The last third of the story gets bogged down in a lengthy explanation of how this phenomenon happened; even though this explanation is in the form of a conversation between the time travler and his father, it's still pretty boring. All action ceases and the story just drifts into mediocrioty.

Jon Boczkiewicz

An interesting story, and one in which the main character, being thrown back in time to when he was a small boy [but with the memories of his whole life], acted upon these memories to change his life; having been killed in a future war, he attempted to change the future to prevent the war.



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