I have a strong memory of a scene in a time-travel book without remembering many other details.

The main character is trying to accomplish something (I don't recall what, but call it X). In a wooded valley, he comes across a guy wearing some kind of suit that makes him unrecognizable. The guy is repairing a timeship. The guy attacks him, and they have a fight. Later, the main character accomplishes X, but it turns out to be disastrous. He uses a timeship to go back and stop himself. So the fight is between him and himself from a different time stream. At first he thinks X is a good idea, but later realizes it isn't.

I imagine I read this in the 60's or early 70's, but it may have been written earlier. For a while I thought it was Time and Again, by Clifford Simak (it's not), and then I thought it was The Door Into Summer, by Robert Heinlein (also not). Both of these books have similar time-travel situations, but not the guy fighting with himself.

  • 1
    This sounds similar to an episode of Ion Tichy by Stanislaw Lem.
    – aquaherd
    Aug 18 '19 at 17:59
  • Keith Laumer played around with time travel in several stories written in the era you mention, but I don't think he wrote one in which the hero ends up fighting an "alternate future version of himself" or anything along those lines.
    – Lorendiac
    Aug 19 '19 at 1:52
  • Thanks,@aquaherd and @Lorendiac. I'm pretty sure what I'm remembering is a novel. But I'll do some research on both Lem and Laumer, see if maybe one of them wrote time books as well as stories. Aug 20 '19 at 3:46
  • @MarkLamprey I think you misunderstood me a bit. When I talked about Keith Laumer's "stories" from the 60s and early 70s, I was using the term broadly to include fiction of any length, including some novels. For instance, "Worlds of the Imperium" was a series of novels involving traveling in time and also hopping back and forth between parallel timelines. His Dinosaur Beach was a novel narrated by a professional time-traveling troubleshooter. He also had an amusing novel called Time Trap, and looking it up online just now, I realized I've never read the sequel: Back to the Time Trap.
    – Lorendiac
    Aug 21 '19 at 1:27
  • You're right, @Lorendiac, I did misunderstand you. But I researched Keith Laumer, saw that in fact he did write novels. Unfortunately, I don't think he wrote the book I'm asking about. I don't think I ever read one of his, but now that you've mentioned him, maybe I will. Aug 22 '19 at 4:14

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