I'm looking for a story published in the 1980s, in Asimov's magazine. The story featured a character named "Georges" (last name starting with "M" - possibly Mordreaux - though that might be me confusing the character with a character from "The Entropy Effect") who could travel in time at will, and who wandered along highways in both pre- and post-apocalyptic America. In the story, Georges attempts (or considers attempting to prevent the nuclear war, perhaps by merging minds between his future and present selves). There's a humorous bit I recall about how highways think about the apocalypse - something about "afterwards, the highways were left alone to contemplate their own highwayness."
Post-apocalyptic published in Asimov's in the 1980s; main character named Georges - travels in time on highways (on foot)
This is the short story All the Time in the World (Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, May 1982) by Daniel Keys Moran, later expanded into novel form as The Armageddon Blues in 1988. The character's name is Georges Mordreaux.
From page 15 of the novel:
WHEN THE FIRE came, and the superpowers decided to sterilize the face of the planet, the freeways survived.
Vista: A thousand-and-one mushroom clouds dotting the face of a small planet. Terminal acne. Winding lazily among the mushrooms, strips of concrete, over-extended roads, observed the going-ons, and later, when the barbarians and the mutants came howling out of the radioactive Burns to trek the surface of the freeways among the dead shells of the automobiles, the freeways might have giggled to themselves. Eventually the cars were dragged from the freeways for use in making weapons, and the freeways were left alone to contemplate their freewayness.
3Dan has a new book out this week called "The Great Gods: The Time Wars - Book One". It's as good as anything he's written to date. Feb 27 at 1:02
1Thank you very much– AndrewFeb 27 at 1:04
Just to be complete, since Andrew notes that he read the story in Asimov's, what he read is likely "All the Time in the World" (Asimov's, May 1982), which was later expanded into Armageddon Blues.
George Mordreaux is an apparently undying man who has lived through world wars:
Georges Mordreaux, through some silliness on his part and the jealousy of the husband of a wife, found himself in the middle of this silly conflict, yes sir.
The author notes that in the year 1917, Georges Mordreaux was two hundred and five years old.
Georges is not the time traveller, though; I believe (in this and the later version) that was Jalian:
Here we have a time traveller, and her name is Jalian. Yes, Jalian d’Arsennette, except that there have been some changes.
Georges, however, is multiple:
(Jeorges Mordreaux is an interesting man. Aside from the fact that entropy tends to decrease in his vicinity, there are eight of him.
Yes, eight. Not all on the same timeline, of course.
Georges walks on the freeway after he meets Jalian:
"Well," said Georges comfortably, "that's rather a long story. You see..."
They walked away down the freeway together.
Georges merges with his alternates while fighting an entropic device Ralesh is trying to kill Jalian with:
At the very height of the battle, when reality was rended into very small pieces, one here, one there, a little off to the side, Georges reached out and touched himself and energy poured into himself from seven Others, and then...
Eight universes converged, like eight infinitely fine planes melding together into a single sheet of purest, finest crystal, inside the body of Georges Mordreaux.
And the quote about the freeways:
(Vista: A thousand-and-one mushroom clouds dotting the face of a small planet. Terminal acne. Winding lazily among the mushrooms, strips of concrete, over-extended roads, observed the goings-on, and later, when the barbarians and the mutants came howling out of the radioactive Burns to trek the surface of the freeways among the dead shells of the automobiles, the freeways might have giggled to themselves. Eventually the cars were dragged from the freeways for use in making metal weapons, and the freeways were left alone to contemplate their freewayness.)
2I checked for the word "freewayness" and found it in Google snippet for Asimovs which is constant with my memory that I never read the novel.– AndrewFeb 27 at 3:05
1@Andrew Nevermind, I found it. This is not the right story to skim the parentheticals.– DavidWFeb 27 at 4:13
George Mordreaux is an apparently undying mad -> George Mordreaux is an apparently undying man Feb 27 at 17:54
@FaheemMitha Fixed, thank you.– DavidWFeb 27 at 18:08