In an entry for the "A Fate Worse than Death" trope from TV Tropes is written:

There was a short story in one of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction anthologies of the 1980s about a protagonist (and everyone around him) being trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop that got steadily shorter, from hours to minutes and then mere seconds, until he couldn't even get to the end of a thought. The sequence always started over exactly the same, with him being trapped on a traffic island, and the drivers of the cars around him likewise going in circles forever and ever... the protagonist speculates that Earth may have fallen into a travelling singularity or that Time has actually ended because the universe was imploding, but essentially they are trapped in hell, going insane, and no hope even for death to deliver them.

This entry provided neither title nor a source, thus my question is: What story does this entry correspond to?

  • This could be Replay by Ken Grimwood - it was published in 1986, and it did win some awards. It goes in the opposite direction however. The loop starts closer and closer towards the end, not the other way around. And is 300 pages considered a short story?
    – fez
    Aug 21, 2020 at 7:08
  • There is also Time And Again by David James that won Science Fiction Magazine's short-story contest in the 1970s apparently. But I can find no info about it online. Maybe this could help someone out
    – fez
    Aug 21, 2020 at 7:09
  • youtube.com/watch?v=fVooyfaPYD8 12:01pm has the protagonist regaining consciousness on a traffic island.
    – Valorum
    Aug 21, 2020 at 9:14
  • @Valorum Looking into 12:01pm I was able to find a sample providing a couple of the last pages of the short story here: books.google.com.au/… , and from what I can see, it doesn't really match up with the TvTropes Entry
    – TomDot Com
    Aug 21, 2020 at 9:43
  • @TomDotCom - Indeed. Which is why I didn't post it as an answer.
    – Valorum
    Aug 21, 2020 at 9:44


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