I was recently reminded of sci-fi short story which I read quite some time ago (several decades, possibly) which was entirely a monologue.

The narrator is talking to two professors and it's revealed that they stole something technical from him. Either the secret to time travel directly or something that could be extended into time travel. During the story it becomes clear that the narrator has learned to manipulate time travel to such an extent that he was able to alter events so that he could not only win over his rivals, but in such a way that they'd be psychologically identical, so he could gloat over their downfall.

The resolution, according to my memory, was the narrator had taken over the religious order the rivals had created, and done so in such a way that the rivals were now seen as heretics and the story ends with the populace showing up with torches and pitchforks to take down the rivals.

  • 2
    I didn't understand the last sentence in your first paragraph. They would be "psychologically identical" to WHO or WHAT? To one another? And how does that help the narrator gloat over their downfall?
    – user14111
    Feb 2, 2018 at 20:00
  • @user14111: Only they can clarify, but I think it's implying they have "ripple-effect proof memory" (tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RippleEffectProofMemory) so that they know time was changed.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 2, 2018 at 20:26
  • @user14111, what FuzzyBoots said. Feb 2, 2018 at 21:37
  • @KeithOxenrider Instead of posting a comment, how about editing your question so it says what you wanted it to say.
    – user14111
    Feb 2, 2018 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


This sounds like "The Winds of Change", by Isaac Asimov, collected in The Winds of Change and Other Stories (1983). The story ends with police officers of the modified timeline arresting the protagonist's rivals for heresy.

A detailed summary of the story is available in an answer to this question: Identify Sci-Fi story in which time-traveler creates new religion


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