April 16th, 2007, 09:44 PM
searching for author/title of an old story
Hi all, I read a scifi story in the 70's or thereabouts and I have no idea where it was cuz I was just a kid at the time. Anyhow I'm looking for the title and author and I'm hoping somebody here knows it:
A space crew from earth flew off to what they thought was some far-off corner of the galaxy and went into orbit around an ocean world teeming with primitive life. After using their radio to get the go-ahead from their hq back on earth, they launched a probe to study this mysterious planet, but it accidentally crashed, spreading its radioactive fuel all over the ocean. At that moment, all radio communication with earth went silent, and they realized that in their faster-than-light speed travel they had actually traveled, not through space, but through time, right back to the first billion years or so of their own world's biological history. With one simple hardware glitch, they had altered the course of life on earth, and left themselves stranded with no future to return to, the only humans left in the universe, and in a weird paradoxical way, the only humans that had ever been.
Any lead, even an obscure one, would be super appreciated. I asked this on Analog, on Asimov's Science Fiction, and I even emailed a scifi historian about it, and so far no one has ever heard of it! (Someone on livejournal suggested I come here because you folks are "hardcore.")
April 25th, 2007, 05:01 AM
Don't think I ever read that one, but following the premise you give, it seems like the crew should have ceased to exist also.
Also, why didn't they recognize the solar system: 4 or 5 rocky planets, Jupiter, Saturn, etc.?