8

Technology reached the stage where the future was known but the government ensured that key events happened as predicted. A woman thinks that she is being followed. It turns out that he is a government agent sent to ensure that something happens - maybe that she meets the man that she has a child with that becomes president of the US.

I probably read this in the 1960s. It was probably in an anthology of short stories. It may have been by Ray Bradbury.

  • You have a nice start here but could you take a look at this guide to see if there is anything else you can edit in? – TheLethalCarrot Jan 30 at 12:50
  • After the edit, this resembles one of Heinlein's stories. Could there have been an intersex protagonist, perhaps? – Zeiss Ikon Jan 30 at 13:07
  • 2
    It could also be "Adjustment Team" by Phillip Dick, which was later a movie "The Adjustment Bureau" with Matt Damon. Some details match, not all. – Rebel-Scum Jan 30 at 14:03
14

This could be "Beep" by James Blish.

The narrator works for an agency whose main responsibility appears to be making sure that certain people meet/fall in love on time. He eventually realises this means they have knowledge of the future, and goes to confront his superior.

He learns that they are able to decode this from the "beep" at the beginning of every transmission in the instantaneous Dirac communicator, which contains every message that ever has been or will be sent. In order to preserve their knowledge of the future, the agency ensures that everyone ever mentioned in a message is born.

The story was later expanded into a novel, The Quincunx of Time.

  • 1
    Ah, yes, the "Dirac beep" which contains the full content of every "Dirac communictor" message ever sent -- past or future. – Zeiss Ikon Jan 30 at 13:08
  • 1
    Thanks for this. Very similar to what I remember but I don't remember the 'Dirac communicator' and I think that I would. I'm sure that it wasn't 'The Quincunx of Time' but I will investigate 'Beep' a bit more. Thanks again. – Gerry Jan 30 at 13:43

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.