I'm looking for a Canadian sci-fi short story published before 1999 about a girl who travels to the future, but chooses to get her memory erased before she travels back to her own time. The story is told from the perspective of the girl's best friend who doesn't travel to the future with her.

I don't know the name of the author or the title, but the story was in a Canadian literature anthology that was used in the Edmonton, Alberta middle school curriculum (specifically 8th or 9th grade) in the late 1990's.


  • You have described the story line of "The Choice" by Wayland Hilton-Young (which was the answer to this question), except that the time-traveler in "The Choice" is male. However, "The Choice" seems to have no Canadian connection: it was published in Punch, and I don't think the author was Canadian. So it's not the story you're looking for (unless possibly you're mixing up two different stories). I think we need more story details.
    – user14111
    Dec 5, 2016 at 5:55
  • Thanks for the response, @user14111. I'm finding the story for a friend, so its definitely possible that I'm barking up the wrong tree here, but he was sure that the story was Canadian. I'll have to get back to him for more context on this. I'll show him "The Choice" as well, see if that rings any bells for him. Dec 5, 2016 at 8:50
  • 1
    Any more news from your friend? Does he definitively reject "The Choice" as not the one he's looking for? Does he remember anything more about it?
    – user14111
    Dec 11, 2016 at 6:19

1 Answer 1


Aside from the discrepancies noted below, this sounds very much like "The Choice", a 1952 short short story by Wayland Hilton-Young which was also the answer to this question. The story has been reprinted under various covers, and the full text (all 200-odd words of it) is available here.

There are two characters, the one who travels to the future, and the first-person narrator who does not:

Before Williams went into the future he bought a camera and a tape recording machine and learned shorthand. That night, when all was ready, we made coffee and put out brandy and glasses against his return.

The time traveler remembers nothing of the trip except that he chose to have his memory erased before returning to his own time:

"I can remember only one thing."

"What was that?"

"I was shown everything, and I was given the choice whether I should remember it or not after I got back."

"And you chose not to? But what an extraordinary thing to—"

"Isn't it?" he said. "One can't help wondering why."

However, the time traveler is not a girl; he is referred to by masculine pronouns. (We have no clue to the narrator's sex.) And there is no Canadian content, as far as I can tell. The story was originally published in Punch, a British magazine. If the author is the same person as this Wayland Hilton Young, 2nd Baron Kennet (1923–2009), he does not seem to be Canadian.

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