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Looking for a Sci-Fi short story about time travel

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Was the compilation mentioned here before? If so, perhaps it was in The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories mentioned in this thread.

Hi all,

I am looking for a science-fiction short story, I just remember the synopsis, partly. It's a time travel story, where the main character, a boy at the beginning of the story and an adult at the end keeps returning to a strange garden which is used to launch rockets ? Or something else scientific related.  And for some reasons, I can't remember, this garden is flowing with tubes that create some time shifts, essential to the scientific activity.  It's strictly forbidden to come across them but for some reason some day he will, and since that day he will meet a stranger that tries to communicate with him but somehow eludes him. And, big spoiler coming, it happens that this stranger is himself at a different times.

I read it as a part of a compilation of short stories, but I really cannot find neither the title nor the author.

Any hint much welcome, as always.

Thanks !
-MerleOne (May 10, 2015, 03:22 PM)
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What's the rough plot or the ending? So whazzisname keeps returning to this garden to "do something", to what effect? And since the stranger can't communicate, is it all futile that the older self is trying to fix something but then can't communicate so Whatever-Bad still happens?

-TaoPhoenix (May 11, 2015, 12:53 PM)
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Well, the details are really fuzzy, I read that over 30 years ago. The thing that puzzles me is the kind of link there is (in my memories) with these time-travel effects and the rocket launchpad.  Maybe I am just mixing two stories.  I can't even remember whether I read it in English or French. French I guess, at that time I was mostly reading translated books. Thanks for asking !



I might be out of luck. The best clues I can piece together from your notes are that, since you said you read it over 30 years ago, that makes it "pre-1985", ruling out Deo's question. And guessing if it was in French translation, it probably wasn't hot off the press like "the best science fiction stories from 1984" or whatever. So that guess already takes us to the '70s and earlier.

But my last clue is the story structure, if it's so big into rockets and stuff, that could predate the '70s as well, because by then we were burnt out about space travel and s-f of that decade got very psychological and stuff. Especially if it was in a collection, stuff floated along in collections for a very long time back in those days.

So that could make the story easily from the 1940's to 1960's.

sounds like something I've read also, but for the life of me I can't remember the title or the author (it was a good story though)

the plot though...

All the worlds land masses are covered by 'buildings'.  The hero (?) starts out as the lowest of the low living in the dark under the buildings.  He gets taken in and proves to be a genius, goes on to be hugely successful AND develops a means of traveling through time, or perhaps it was to parallel universes, i forget the detail.  Finally he is contacted by himself from another dimension (pick one) and is given a crucial piece of information.  In the end he dies, but his alternate self steps through and takes his place (nothing weird about that :huh:).  Story ends with all the buildings being torn down and people returning to live on the land...

does that sound familiar, or jog anyone's memory?


Target, you seem to recognize it, but your plot line is different - any clues that tie back to Merle's garden of tubes and sending out rockets?


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