I am trying to remember the title of a story where a man is sent back in time to collect extinct animals for his era's zoo. For some reason, he only locates and brings back mythical creatures. I read it in the 1980's.

  • 5
    For the record, Niven stated (a bit tongue in cheek) that the reason he keeps getting mythological creatures is that time travel is fantasy, not science fiction. – Russell Borogove Nov 4 '12 at 22:58

This sounds like "The Flight of the Horse", by Larry Niven. Published 1969, it was the first of a few short stories starring Hanville Svetz, agent from a badly confused future sent back to retrieve (usually misidentified) animals from the past.

There were about five stories in this series, reprinted as a collection in 1975.

They were republished, with a new novella added, as Rainbow Mars in 1999.

  • Dude! That's it. That has to be a record for the best response time ever. – Major Stackings Nov 4 '12 at 18:19
  • 1
    (when I read it, it was titled "Get a horse", but you nailed it. I know what I'm getting at the used bookstore.) – Major Stackings Nov 4 '12 at 18:23
  • Rainbow Mars is a collection of five of these stories, plus a novella. – Sam Nov 18 '12 at 14:28

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