In many books/comics/movies/etc containing time travel, characters are very cautious about causing a time paradox (like a grandfather paradox). Most of the time, it ends up just fine. For example, in Back to the future, Marty prevents his parents meeting, but the plot-induced rules of time travel make his brother and sister disappear first (over about a week), and even himself disappears very slowly, giving him time to fix things.

I remember reading some time ago (a few years, but the story could be older) a short story where the exact same warnings are given about paradoxes, and as in most stories, the main character doesn't really take it seriously, but there is no plot-armor this time, and he literally creates a grandfather paradox and destroys the universe.

If it helps, I'm sure I read this story somewhere online, even though it probably exists in a book somewhere too. The story was a short read, but at least a few pages.

I remember reading it while doing something else and really not paying that much attention so I barely even remember any details except for those. That is why i'd like to read it again.

It is not the story with a brick that a scientist decides to not send back in time after already receiving it in the past ("Experiment" by Fredric Brown), even though I guess the premise is very similar.

Edit: I'm pretty sure the main character was either a male teenager or Young adult male, or at least there was one accompanying the main character during the story.

I also think I remember that they didn't go that far in the past, I'd say less than a hundred years, and they met at least one relative/ancestor who didn't recognize them at first.

  • Just to be clear, in your last paragraph you're saying that the story you're looking for is not Fredric Brown's "Experiment" which is available at Project Gutenberg? – user14111 Feb 21 '17 at 17:46
  • Precisely. I have found that one while looking for mine, and it is indeed good, but it was not the one I was looking for. – Kaito Kid Feb 21 '17 at 17:47
  • By "literally creates a grandfather paradox" do you mean that the character goes back in time and kills his grandfather? – user14111 Feb 21 '17 at 17:48
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    A grandfather paradox is simply a sort of where the time travel results in an event that prevents, in one way or the other, the time travel itself, therefore creating an impossible situation. Obviously killing your own grandfather works, but killing your younger self, preventing time travel from being invented or even preventing humans from ever existing as a specie would qualify. In my story, I don't remember exactly what happened, but it was not killing their own granfather. It was simply changing the timeline enough to prevent going back in the first place, but I don't think anyone died. – Kaito Kid Feb 21 '17 at 17:51
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    @LSerni That one is "The Man From When" by Dannie Plachta. (Spoiler: it was 18 minutes.) – user14111 Feb 21 '17 at 20:42

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