In 1988 I read a short story about a science fiction author who wrote a new novel and turned it in to his publisher. His publisher turned it down, saying they could not print plagiarized books. The author is confused, knowing it took him a long time to write it. The publisher tells him this book was written a long time ago by another author, and he goes and checks it out, finding to his astonishment that his book, word for word, already exists.

He starts work on another book and when it is finished, his publisher turns it down, too, telling him to stop passing off another guy's work as his own. They give him the title of the "original" novel and he looks it up to find that this book, too, exists word for word.

Since he is a sci fi author, it occurs to him that a time traveler may be stealing his work, so he writes a new book and pretends to go to sleep, catching a guy who sneaks into his house at night to steal the manuscript.

Turns out, the guy is a time traveler who is going to the future, stealing his books, returning to the past and publishing the manuscripts as his own.

We had to read this in high school for science fiction class and take a test on it, but I haven't been able to remember the title or author.



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