I think I read this short story (within the past five years) which was a science fiction (possibly post-apocalyptic) short story anthology.

There was some kind of event which caused the world to become untethered to chronology so that everyone lived their lives in a non-linear fashion. The main character experiences days when he is with his wife and happy and then days where she's left him for someone else. At the end it's the day before he dies but he talks to his friend knowing he'll see him again (I think at some place which serves bad coffee).

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    Probably not the one you have in mind, but "If This Is Winnetka, You Must Be Judy" by F. M. Busby is a classic take on the life-lived-out-of-order theme. In several collections, but apparently none in the last 30 years, or with a post-apocalyptic theme. I can't recall if everyone is living their lives out of order or just the main character(s), and my copy is inaccessible at the moment. Like I said, probably not it, but good.
    – user14111
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 4:37
  • Alternatively, there's The Time Traveller's Wife which also deals with a relationship conducted out-of-order. Commented May 19, 2015 at 12:05
  • Might also be Kurt Vonnegut's Timequake, which has everyone in the world reliving, action by action, the last ten years.
    – Joe L.
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 18:12
  • @user14111 Will check it out but pretty sure this story is more recent. Commented May 20, 2015 at 15:22
  • @DanielRoseman Thanks - read and loved it, but this is definitely a short story. Commented May 20, 2015 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


This doesn't match up exactly, but it sounds a lot like Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. The main character, Billy Pilgrim, becomes "unstuck" in time, and meets aliens who experience time in a non-linear fashion.


  • Thanks, but I've read Slaughterhouse Five and this was definitely a short story. Commented May 20, 2015 at 20:35

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