Trying to recall a science fiction short story which begins with the protagonist being asked to join a husband and wife team on a trip to South America (IIRC) to investigate a mysterious phenomenon (I think it was a constant, never-ending wind) in some high mountain valley type of locality. The strange phenomenon is discovered to be caused by some kind of alien artifact, I think a miniature black hole or space warp may have been involved.

I am pretty confident this story isn't too old, and that I read it in a "Best SF of the Year" anthology.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to SF&F! You say it "isn't too old" but can you give us an approximate date when you read it, or at least say not later than XXXX?
    – DavidW
    Oct 1, 2020 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


This is "Trapalanda" by Charles Sheffield. I read it in The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century, edited by Harry Turtledove with Martin H. Greenberg. I don't have the book, but here is the abstract I wrote for myself after reading it.

A man lived in Patagonia for many years and tried to explore a particularly mysterious area. Now he lives in Europe. A wealthy American man pays this man well to accompany him back down there. The wealthy man says he has a model of weather that works worldwide except for an area of Patagonia which has weird weather patterns. When they get there, they find a device which opens a wormhole to some unknown place far away; the effect on weather is a side effect from slight mistuning of the device (which otherwise works perfectly). The wealthy man and the wife of the other man go through the wormhole; the other man goes partway and turns back, as a result of which he ages several decades in the few minutes it takes him to struggle back to our side. In a week or two he returns to the site to attempt to go through; the result is not part of the story.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

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