In the story I'm looking for, the main character is a convicted murderer who is an experimental subject in a scientific research project into the nature of time. He has been subjected to some sort of procedure that lets him mentally rewind time and watch it play through again. At some point he discovers that when he rewinds time, he isn't limited to watching it play out the same, and he turns time back to before he committed murder and changes events to eliminate the reason why he did it.

I believe the story was named "Time's Spiral", never though I found again any such thing.

  • When did you read it? Do you remember any of the character's names? Who did he murder, and why? – Valorum Mar 16 '15 at 22:10
  • Cube with Blurred Edges has a subplot involving criminals going back in time before their crime and redoing it, but the time travel phenomenon is more widespread there. – FuzzyBoots Mar 16 '15 at 22:39
  • I read it about fifteen years ago, no idea how old it was then. He had murdered his wife and best friend when he walked in on them together (who else does anyone kill, but those he cares most for?), and when he turned time back, he turned down the promotion that had taken him away from his wife for extended periods which lead to their affair. – This isn't my real name Mar 16 '15 at 22:45
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    The most life changing story I have ever come across is One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jul 19 '15 at 10:16

I'm not confident that this is the correct answer, but it bears some similarities.

Time to Die by Murray Leinster.

It involves the ability to rewind time and there is a reference to someone murdering his wife and then rewinding time to prevent the murder.

My synopsis:

Rodney, who describes himself as "the most competent physicist alive" is on death row for murder. A fellow prisoner, Limpy Gossett, tells him of a trick that he has seen that enables escape. Limpey tells him that another physicist (Fellenden) had escaped from death row by some form of time-travel. The trick involves slowing down time in your mind until everything seems to run backwards, then at a desired point, stop and avoid the action which caused your current predicament. In effect, you change "time tracks" and cease to exist in the first branch. Rodney succeeds in performing this form of time-travel, but not everything turns out as he expected...

And a relevant excerpt:

Fellenden had vanished from a death cell in Joliet by traveling back to the time before the killing of his wife. Then he had not killed her. There had been at least two possible futures for him at that point; in one of which he killed her, and in one of which he did not. Rodney lived and moved in the future in which the murder had taken place. In the other - which to Fellenden was now the actual future - Fellenden had not committed a murder, and was doubtless a respected citizen and a prominent physicist instead of an escaped murderer.

This is quite an old story (Astounding Science Fiction, January 1947) so, if not the correct one, may be an influence on it.

  • Doesn't sound right. Can't find a copy of the magazine in question to verify. Have an upvote anyway. – This isn't my real name Jul 20 '15 at 21:44

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