I am pretty sure this was a novel, but I can't pin down the time when it might have been written (though it was likely between the 1980s and early 2000s). As I recall the plot, tourists were taken back in time by guides to see places and witness important events (one of the darker versions was the Black Death era).

I also remember that they tried hard not to change history and so the guides had to hide from their future selves.

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    Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! This question would be improved if you went through the checklists here; How to ask a good story-ID question?
    – Valorum
    Nov 24, 2019 at 18:10
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    There are a fair number of books about time travel tourism...
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 24, 2019 at 18:32
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    My immediate thought was Kuttner & Moore's novella Vintage Season, but I don't remember the detail with tour guides. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vintage_Season Nov 25, 2019 at 8:48
  • I remember this. The main character had a daughter that wanted to be a guide too, and they went to Ancient Rome. The guides had to keep careful records of when they had gone so they never went to the same time twice. There were some explorer guides that went through new portals without knowing when they were going to, that was dangerous because they could overlap themselves and not exist. I can't remember either though. Arrgh Jan 2, 2022 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


Tour guides hiding from themselves is a detail mentioned in Robert Silverberg's "Up the Line" (1969). As per Wikipedia:

Silverberg's narrative includes some cleverly worked out details about the problems of time-travel tourism. For example, the number of tourists who over the years wish to witness the Crucifixion of Jesus has increased the audience at the event from the likely dozens to hundreds and even tens of thousands.

Time-tour guides re-visiting the same event must also take care not to scan their surroundings too closely, lest they make eye contact with themselves leading another tour party.

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    Possible duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/181147/…
    – user14111
    Nov 24, 2019 at 21:53
  • Wasn't there an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which the vampire Spike said that if every old vampire who claimed to have witnessed the Crucifixion had actually been there, it would have looked like Woodstock? (I.e. hundreds of thousands of spectators.)
    – Lorendiac
    Nov 25, 2019 at 1:09
  • And Up the Line does mention "Black Death tours". Nov 25, 2019 at 12:26

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