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Time and Time Again

H. Beam Piper

Book Overview: 

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

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .uld find no newspapers or dated periodicals, but he knew that it was prior to July 18, 1946. On that day, his fourteenth birthday, his father had given him a light .22 rifle, and it had been hung on a pair of rustic forks on the wall. It was not there now, nor ever had been. On the table, he saw a boys' book of military aircraft, with a clean, new dustjacket; the flyleaf was inscribed: To Allan Hartley, from his father, on his thirteenth birthday, 7/18 '45. Glancing out the window at the foliage on the trees, he estimated the date at late July or early August, 1945; that would make him just thirteen.

His clothes were draped on a chair beside the bed. Stripping off his pajamas, he donned shorts, then sat down and picked up a pair of lemon-colored socks, which he regarded with disfavor. As he pulled one on, a church bell began to clang. St. Boniface, up on the hill, ringing for early Mass; so this was Sunday. He paused, the second sock in his hand.

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Community Reviews

Time and Time Again by Henry B. Piper is unlike most short stories you'll ever read. This tale of science fiction is short and choppy and the writing isn't that great, but I admire its quirky ending.

The year's 1975 and a soldier, Allan Hartley, fallen wounded in World War III. Oh yes. WWIII occur...more

Taking ideas first put forward in J. W. Dunne's An Experiment with Time and later popularized in the movies Freaky Friday and Big, Piper puts his own spin on time, precognition, and that waking-up as-your-younger-self fantasy/nightmare.

After an extreme physical shock brought on by a small dose of...more

Excellent short story on time travel.

Interesting time travel story, and if Wikipedia is to be believed one of the first in Piper's career. By now this concept has been done before, but it's based on the unique idea of someone going back in time and inhabiting their own younger body. It's a clever story, just a little too short for a...more

2018 grade A

13 going on 43. This is an about 30 page short story and it is quite a good one. A man of 43 lies dying of war wounds in 1975 but wakes up in his 13 year old body in 1945 knowing his future past. He plans to alter that future.

A fun read - recommended.

Purchased in a Kindle megapack f...more

This short story, published in 1947, is one of the earliest examples of time travel story with changeable future/past. Earlier stories usually assumed that the whole timeline is fixed, so even if you can move forward (The Time Machine) or backward (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court), yo...more

It's really a long discourse on time travel. In this particular iteration, the time traveler does change things in the past -- and nothing happens in the future. It's actually a very clever story. Quick read. It's only something like 20 pages.

After a wartime explosion caught war correspondent Allan Hartley unawares he finds himself flung helplessly back through time and into the body of his own twelve year old self. Going are the muddy trenches of World War III and brutal battles of his future, in there place Allan finds a father he h...more

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