I read this short story in the 70's I think. It was about time travel tourists that would go back in time to the best event of that season. I recall Charlemagne's crowning as Holy Roman Emperor at Xmas being the Winter event. Can't recall anything else about the story...

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you recall where you read this? Was it in an anthology or a magazine?
    – DavidW
    Jul 7 at 4:15
  • see OP confirmation comment for answer below
    – Otis
    Jul 10 at 2:13

1 Answer 1


Possibly Vintage Season by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore.

Oliver Wilson is renting an old mansion to three vacationers for the month of May. He wants to get rid of them so he can sell the house to someone who has offered him three times its value, provided the buyer can move in during May. His fiancée, Sue, insists that he arrange for them to leave so that he can sell the house, giving them enough money for their impending marriage.

The tenants are a man, Omerie Sancisco, and two women, Klia and Kleph Sancisco. They fascinate Oliver with the perfection of their appearance and manners, their strange connoisseur's attitude to everything, and their secretiveness about their origin and about their insistence on that house at that time. Oliver's half-hearted attempts to evict them flounder when he becomes attracted to Kleph. The mystery deepens with remarks she lets slip, with the unspectacular but advanced technology of things she has in her room—including a recorded "symphonia" that engages all the senses with imagery of historical disasters—and with the appearance of the would-be buyers, a couple from the same country, who plant a "subsonic" in the house intended to drive the residents out.

Hearing Kleph sing "Come hider, love, to me" from the Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Oliver realizes that she and her friends are time travelers from the future. He traps Kleph into admitting they are visiting the most perfect seasons in history, such as a fall in the late 14th century in Canterbury.

One of the times the travellers visit is indeed Charlemagne's coronation.

The story was published in 1946, but it has been anthologised numerous times so you could easily have read it in the 1970s. I first read it in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame published in 1973.

  • Thank you so much! It's been bugging me for years. You are really knowledgeable about science fiction! Regards, KLR
    – KLR
    Jul 7 at 17:19
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    @KLR: Don't forget to accept by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons, as per the tour.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jul 7 at 17:23
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    @KLR - I note that you used a different account to post this comment than the one you used to post the question. In order to mark John Rennie's answer as accepted, you'll either need to use the same account you used to post the question, or you'll need to merge your new account with that one by following the instructions provided here. Jul 7 at 17:29

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