Sign up ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Please help me identify a short story about time travel.

It is set during the last ice age as a modern man is living among a small community of early humans and is told to kill one of the last neanderthals as a test to see if he is really human or a savage.

The only other thing I remember the time travel device is referred to as a rainbow.

share|improve this question
Does it have robots? :) – DVK Mar 25 '12 at 13:36
Hm. Project Rainbow was the apocryphal Philadelphia Experiment. – Mark Beadles Mar 25 '12 at 15:17
Is it possibly the same as this question? – Mark Beadles Mar 25 '12 at 15:23
DVK No it does not, Mark, the story implied that "The Rainbow" was just a colloquial name for the method of time transport and sadly thats not the story I'm looking for. – Vladimir Mar 29 '12 at 7:02

4 Answers 4

Probably also a long shot, but Riley's Journey (by P.L. Parker, 2007) could fit the description. At least for the Ice Age time travel and Neanderthals part. I am not sure about the Rainbow device though.

share|improve this answer

Lester Del Rey wrote a book "Tunnel Through Time" where the time machine created a tunnel that was visible as a rainbow ring. The first man through "Doc Tom" did not come back and a pair of teen sons of the scientist who made the tunnel and Doc Tom go back to find them - to the age of the Dinosaurs

Turns out there are some glitches - the tunnel entrance moves somewhat each time, and sometimes appears on water where it can't be got at. The boys find Doc Tom, but when the rainbow ring meets the land it comes in next to a brontosaur who steps into it and gets chopped up and damage the equipment.

The damaged ring can only take some of them, part way back so the kids go ahead, but land in the Ice Age and aren't ready for the blizzard. They find a cave and the shelter gets warm when a mammoth sleeps across the entrance. They nod off, and almost freeze to death when the Mammoth leaves. Doc Tom finds them first.

The next jump goes to an interglacial time, and they meet primitive humans. They befriend a girl who calls Bill 'Bie', Pete 'Pie' and Doc Tom 'Die Tie'. The girl has seen the ring before and they use her info to guess where it will be next. Their village is attacked by another tribe (not Nieanderthals though) and they are in trouble but the ring arrives and they all leap through (including the girl). She is so frightened by the present world that she jumps back, but they figure that the drift of the ring would have carried her away from the hostile tribesmen.

I don't recall the 'must kill' incident, so this might not be the book, but the Rainbow Ring name of the time device rang a bell. It is a young adult book so it might be remembered as a short story.

share|improve this answer

Is this one of the stories of "The Company" by Kage Baker? Maybe in the short story collection "Black Projects, White Nights"

share|improve this answer
You should either comment if you don't know and guessing, or if you're answering, explain how the works march the question – DVK Jul 1 at 22:24

Neither are short stories, but both Chad Oliver's "Mists of Dawn" published in 1952 and Victor Kelleher's "Fire Dancer" from 1996 have time travel and interaction with Neanderthals.

No time travel, but Lester Del Rey's "The Day is Done" is about the last Neanderthal trying to live with Cro-Magnons, but they end up killing him, I think.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.