About a man with a charmed life, but it wasn't this one:Trying to identify an old story about a man who wonders why his luck is always good

The story I'm looking for had a different "hook". The man, whose name I believe to be Albers, cheated death once during the war because his plane managed to get to safety when it shouldn't have, and on at least one other occasion due to intervention of a man from the future. Turns out that Albers has some rare gene that they need more of in the future and the "guardian angel" is trying to insure that he lives long enough to reproduce. He (future guy) evens asks the main character if he's gay because he hadn't married yet. The story ends with him married and having a child and realizing that he no longer has the protection of the future guy because he's "served his purpose".


Robin S Scott Who Needs InsuranceAnalog April 1966.Colonel Albers at first refuses and the time traveller insists on going back eleven months in time to change his past, thus wiping out his memories of the time since they met, but the Colonel points out why he can’t..

Timmons, of course, couldn’t see the humour. “- - tell me now if we be wasting our hopes on you - - Tell me, Colonel, be you a homosexual?” At this question, which I would normally answer with a dose of knuckles, I could contain myself no longer and laughed uncontrollably - - “ - - my wife is pregnant”. - - - You cancel out the last eleven months and you cancel out my marriage!” Genes, Timmons, genes. No wife, no genes- - and a man forty-two doesn’t get many opportunities to marry.”

  • This is one of my favorite stories ever! – zeta-band Feb 14 '18 at 16:22
  • Thank you. I'm sure that I didn't read it in a1966 Analog, but I've got some "Best of"s kicking around. – Emsley Wyatt Feb 14 '18 at 16:26
  • I remembered it from Analog so that was the reference I gave, but I dare say it's been anthologised elsewhere. Incidentally, I see from "Who's Hugh" that the author's real name is Robin Scott Wilson, so it may be listed under that name also. – Mike Stone Feb 14 '18 at 16:32
  • @EmsleyWyatt You probably read it in Nebula Award Stories #2. – user14111 Feb 14 '18 at 20:18
  • I did indeed. And found it on my shelf and re-read it this afternoon. Too many anthologies! – Emsley Wyatt Feb 15 '18 at 1:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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