I lost my sci-if book collection in a flood, and I'm trying to trace down one short story from an anthology.

I remember it starting with a boy who can slip through time. He is being mentored by his future self which he doesn't recognize. Later the story plays out in the future where he's leading a group of rebels.

  • Do you remember the name of the anthology?
    – Adamant
    Jul 31, 2016 at 18:28
  • It might have been the Years Best Science Fiction collections by Gardner Dozois since I had a lot of those Jul 31, 2016 at 18:33
  • 2
    I know that book/story, but can't remember the title etc. The protagonist wins the future war/battle because he was from a time where he was familiar with electronics and the opposition leader was from an earlier age. He won by building a device that counted sunrises/sunsets and hence gave his group an accurate method of determining when they were in time and thus allowed them to ambush their opponents.
    – Peter M
    Jul 31, 2016 at 21:27
  • 4
    "There Will be Time", Poul Anderson?
    – user66716
    Jul 31, 2016 at 23:40
  • 2
    @jim bingo! just got the book . Thanks! Aug 7, 2016 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


The story is There Will be Time by Poul Anderson. Confirmed in a comment by the OP.

bingo! just got the book . Thanks!

The name of the major character is Jack Havig. I do remember two things not mentioned in the link:

  1. When Jack was younger he first found out about his abilities when in a fight and several future-self's came back to help him.

  2. In an attempt to explain the potential plot hole that when he travels in time how come he stays on Earth (the Earth moves so if he travelled in the future by six months, if he stayed in the same place, Earth would be on the other side of the Sun) by suggesting that gravity was linked to his time travel and this kept him in tethered to the place where he started his time jump.

I remember it starting with a boy who can slip through time.

Jack Havig was born in the American midwest in 1933 with a genetic mutation that allows him to travel through time.

Later the story plays out in the future where he's leading a group of rebels.

Jack is discovered by other time-travelers who are agents of a time-traveling organization called the "Eyrie," that is based in the far future and is led by a racist man born in 19th century United States. Initially Jack joins the group, but eventually rebels against them when he discovers and experiences first hand the extent of the Eyrie's rampant brutality and inhumanity as they attempt to achieve their goal of stopping the Maurai ascendancy. To defeat the Eyrie, Jack returns to the 20th century and devises a plan of his own to recruit time-travelers and create a "tribe" that will return to the future to destroy the Eyrie.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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