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Read the story sometime between 10 and 30 years ago. In the style of Analog or Asimov magazine. Machine can travel only as far into the future as the operators of the project have control of the house in which it operates. On each arrival the traveler logs into a book. Then opens the door to walk to a nearby public library. No other exploration.

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  • 3
    Your title mentions stuff about "avoiding disasters" and "things getting worse" which you left out of your actual question. Please tell us everything you remember about the story. What do you mean by "the style of Asimov or Asimov magazine"? Did you read the story in an issue of one of those or a similar magazine? Are the disasters floods, fires, quakes, wars, stock market crashes?
    – user14111
    Jan 20 at 5:26
  • Don't recall where I read it, magazine or anthology, only about when. Style similar to Michael Flynn or Michael P. Kube-McDowell. Not certain but disaster seems not to have been caused natural events, but rather by people actions. Might have been social breakdown and/or war Jan 20 at 12:29
  • Project was government funded. After several years government funding cancelled and trips to visit the future discontinued. Jan 20 at 12:33
  • Set in a town or small city in northern USA Jan 20 at 12:39
  • Went through my collection of Analog for the 1980s and 1990s [I am missing a few issues] but did not spot it. I do not have more recent issues of Analog. Jan 20 at 12:54

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Might be "The Year of the Quiet Sun", by the generally unappreciated Wilson Tucker. This was a government project, seeing what was coming in the future. There was a special facility maintained where the time machine would appear. One of the time travelers makes a visit to a library.

The book was published in 1970, so that is a bit off.

A good book. Highly recommended even if it's not what you were thinking of.

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  • I flipped through my copy of "The Year of the Quiet Sun", and agree that it is indeed very close to the basic plot of our unknown story, as summarized by Valorum. Loved the book and it deserves a re-read. But the stories are different, e.g. there is only one traveler. Jan 20 at 20:41

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