Short Story #402: Victims of Time by B. Sridhar Rao

Title: Victims of Time

Author:  B. Sridhar Rao

Summary:

Book cover to the Penguin World Omnibus of Science Fiction edited by Brian Aldiss
The story begins with a man explaining that the has a headache and is anticipating his death soon.  Though he has been in perfect health recently, the change has to do with one Professor Theta.  Several years prior, Theta had reverse aging in humanity.  This mean that the narrator who was within months of dying was given a new lease on life.  In fact, Theta's work was reversing the aging process for all of humanity so people were actually regressing.  This meant that people stop being born and teenagers became children again.  Theta went into hiding for a while but eventually emerged with the cure, which was released.  Unfortunately for the narrator, the cure will not return people to where they were four years ago, but to where they would have been if the time had continued as it were.  Thus, the narrator explains how he can feel his death coming on pretty fast and the story ends in mid-sentence.  

Reflection

A brief but fun story about the backfiring of science.  It went a bit too fast for me to really like it as I would have liked to hear more from the author in how he used those years lost.  That is, did he waste them or did he make the best of them--that would have impacted the ending a bit more in terms of what I felt for him.  Instead, morbid that I might be, I was just curious if he would die in the way he predicted.  

Rating:  3 (out of 5 stars)

Source:  Source:  The Penguin World Omnibus of Science Fiction.  Edited by Brian Aldiss and Sam J. Lundall.    

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.


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