A schoolteacher from the 20th century becomes involved in the activities of a group of time travelers.
|Quest for the Future|
|Author||A. E. van Vogt|
The protagonist of the novel is Peter Caxton, a physics teacher who, as in the story "Film Library", rents films for his school. He takes the movie projector, that seems to be changing the intended films into films from the future, home for investigation.
Caxton, then waking in hospital, is the amnesiac traveling salesman from the story "The Search"; he goes back over his sales territory to discover what happened. He meets Selanie, who is selling gadgets from the future, and her father Claudan Johns; they are time travelers, and he discovers their motor home that contains the gadgets.
He is transported into the year 2083 by a handshake from a rival time traveler. There he sees inventions from the films he rented, and he explores an enormous building; after sleeping he wakes up by an older version of Selanie, to whom he seems to be married. He meets Price, who explains that the building is the Palace of Immortality, which Claudan Johns discovered, and which is used for time travel; the time travelers are known as Possessors. A handshake from Price sends Caxton back to his original time.
In an attempt to return to 2083, he joins an expedition to travel to nearby star Alpha Centauri, as in the story "Far Centaurus". His intention is to turn the spaceship round during a waking interval between periods of hibernation, and so return to Earth at the right time; but when he wakes after 50 years, he finds it is not possible. Arriving at Alpha Centauri, the crew are received by the advanced civilization from Earth that can make the journey in three hours, and have long been expecting them. They are shown round Alpha Centauri, and around Earth. Caxton, still interested in his old sales territory, there meets Kameel Bustaman; he is a Possessor, and sends Caxton back to the 20th century.
Possessors Johns and Bustaman, and Possessor Daniel Magoelson who becomes important later, are trying to increase their ability to travel through time, as they learn to deal with probability worlds and time foldbacks. Caxton, caught up in this activity, makes further time shifts, and the story becomes increasingly complex. There is an interval where Caxton travels with Selanie and Johns in their motor home, in the North America of 1650, during which Johns discusses time travel.
The movie projector's special qualities were created by Johns and Magoelson, in an attempt to create an imbalance in a time foldback; the attempt was unexpectedly affected by the presence of Bustaman watching the film, who at that time was not aware he was a Possessor, and wrecked by Caxton's dismantling of the projector.
During the time traveling, two versions of Caxton and of Selanie are created. At the end, these versions are merged, and Selanie, resolving their relationship, says, "I can't marry you because the me that I merged with, is already married to you, remember?"
Alfred Elton van Vogt (; April 26, 1912 – January 26, 2000) was a Canadian-born science fiction author. His narrative style was compelling and stimulating, and in this way, influenced later science fiction writers, notably Philip K. Dick. He is regarded as one of the most popular, influential and complex practitioners of the mid-twentieth century, the genre's so-called Golden Age.Asyut Governorate
Asyut Governorate (Egyptian Arabic: محافظة أسيوط Muḥāfẓet Asyut, Coptic: ⲡⲓⲑⲱϣ `ⲛⲥⲓⲱⲟⲩⲧ Bitosh enSiowd) is one of the governorates of Egypt. It stretches across a section of the Nile River. The capital of the governorate is the city of Asyut.Children of Tomorrow
Children of Tomorrow is a 1970 science fiction novel by Canadian-American author A. E. van Vogt.Fix-up
A fix-up (or fixup) is a novel created from several short fiction stories that may or may not have been initially related or previously published. The stories may be edited for consistency, and sometimes new connecting material, such as a frame story or other interstitial narration, is written for the new work. The term was coined by the science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt, who published several fix-ups of his own, including The Voyage of the Space Beagle, but the practice (if not the term) exists outside of science fiction. The use of the term in science fiction criticism was popularised by the first (1979) edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by Peter Nicholls, which credited Van Vogt with the creation of the term.
The name comes from the modifications that the author needs to make in the original texts to make them fit together as though they were a novel. Foreshadowing of events from the later stories may be jammed into an early chapter of the fix-up, and character development may be interleaved throughout the book. Contradictions and inconsistencies between episodes are usually worked out.
Some fix-ups in their final form are more of a short story cycle or composite novel rather than a traditional novel with a single main plotline. Examples are Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and Isaac Asimov's I, Robot, both of which read as a series of short stories which may share plot threads and characters but which still act as self-contained stories. By contrast, van Vogt's The Weapon Shops of Isher is structured like a continuous novel although it incorporates material from three previous Van Vogt short stories.
Fix-ups became an accepted practice in American publishing during the 1950s, when science fiction and fantasy—once published primarily in magazines—began appearing increasingly in book form. Large book publishers like Doubleday and Simon & Schuster entered the market, greatly increasing demand for fiction. Authors created new manuscripts from old stories to sell to publishers. Algis Budrys in 1965 described fixups as a consequence of the lack of good supply during the "bad years for quality" of the mid-1950s, although citing The Martian Chronicles and Clifford D. Simak's City as among exceptions.M33 in Andromeda
M33 in Andromeda is a collection of six science fiction stories by Canadian-American writer A. E. van Vogt, first published in April 1971.Masters of Time
Masters of Time is a collection of two science fiction novellas by author A. E. van Vogt. It was first published in 1950 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 4,034 copies. The novellas originally appeared in the magazine Astounding.Monsters (collection)
Monsters is a collection of eight science fiction short stories by Canadian-American writer A.E. van Vogt; written during 1940 and 1950, they were assembled by Forrest J. Ackerman in 1965.More Than Superhuman
More Than Superhuman is a collection of science fiction short stories by Canadian-American writer A.E. van Vogt, published in 1971.Null-A Three
Null-A Three, usually written Ā Three, is a 1985 science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt. It incorporates concepts from the General semantics of Alfred Korzybski and refers to non-Aristotelian logic.
The novel is a continuation of the adventures of Gilbert Gosseyn from The World of Null-A (1945) and The Pawns of Null-A (1948).Out of the Unknown (collection)
Out of the Unknown is a collection of fantasy short stories by Canadian writers A. E. van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull. It was first published in 1948 by Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. in an edition of 1,000 copies. The stories originally appeared in the magazine Unknown.Peter Outerbridge
Peter Outerbridge (born June 30, 1966) is a Canadian actor, best known for his role as Ari Tasarov in the CW action series Nikita, Dr. David Sandström in the TMN series ReGenesis, Henrik "Hank" Johanssen in Orphan Black, Bob Corbett in Bomb Girls, William Easton in Saw VI and George Brown in the television film John A.: Birth of a Country. He also played the lead role of Detective William Murdoch in a three-episode mini-series, The Murdoch Mysteries, in its initial run on Canadian television, with two episodes shown in 2004 and a third in 2005.Supermind (novel)
Supermind is a science fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt first published in complete form in 1977 by publisher DAW Books. It is a fix-up of "Asylum," a short story first published in Astounding Science Fiction in May 1942.The Book of Ptath
The Book of Ptath is a science fiction novel by Canadian-American writer A. E. van Vogt. It was first published in book form in 1947 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 3,021 copies. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Unknown in October 1943. The book has also appeared under the titles Two Hundred Million A.D. and Ptath.The House That Stood Still
The House That Stood Still is a science fiction novel by Canadian-American author A. E. van Vogt, first published in 1950. It was also published under the titles The Mating Cry (1960, revised edition) and The Undercover Aliens (1976).The Mind Cage
The Mind Cage is a 1957 science fiction novel by Canadian-American writer A. E. Van Vogt, adapted from the short story "The Great Judge" (1948).The Mixed Men
The Mixed Men is a fix-up novel of science fiction short stories by Canadian-American writer A. E. van Vogt that focus on the mixed offspring of Dellian Supermen and human beings. The novel's title is taken from van Vogt's 1945 Astounding SF short story "Mixed Men", which was nominated for a Retro Hugo Award in 1996. The stories published in the novel were originally released between the years of 1943 to 1945 in Astounding SF, with the novel being first published in a 5,000 copy printing in 1952 by Gnome Press and a 1955 Berkley Books edition under the title Mission to the Stars.The novel is an early example of "fix-up" literature where several stories are re-written to make one cohesive novel.The Real Superhumans
The Real Superhumans and the Quest for the Future Fantastic is a two-hour-long special from the Discovery Channel which aired in 2007. It follows four people with what are described as "real life superhuman abilities", a geneticist who created the first chimera of two very different species of rodents, and a scientist on a mission to become immortal. The show was done in a comic book format ending with the common slogan "To be continued" as to indicate that the people of the show and humanity itself is just beginning to venture into a new age, one where genetic manipulation and other technologies to obtain special abilities will be for sale to the general public.The Weapon Makers
The Weapon Makers is a science fiction novel by Canadian writer A. E. van Vogt.
The novel was originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction from February to April 1943. The serial version was first published in book form in 1947 with a print run of 1,000 copies. It was then thoroughly revised in 1952. All subsequent printings contain the 1952 text.
The events in the novel take place approximately seven years after the events described in The Weapon Shops of Isher (1951) even though the serial was published before some of the other Isher stories contained in The Weapon Shops of Isher. The first paperback edition, part of an Ace Double, was retitled One Against Eternity.