|charles harness: the paradox men
originally published in a 1949 "startling stories" pulp magazine under the name "flight into yesterday", from which it was expanded into novel length in 1953.
startling stories 1949
Who is Alar the Thief? What has happened to his memory, and what is the origin of his strange powers? Is he the same man who stepped out of a mysterious space ship that crashed on Earth five years before as identical ship was scheduled to leave? And what of Keiris, the mysterious dark-eyed woman who hides Alar from his enemies? Who is behind the Meganet mind - a servant or destroyer of the dictatorship? What role are these people to play in upsetting the totalitarian Imperium that now strives to rule Earth in this grim year of A.D. 2177.
Charles L. Harness's novel mixes elements of the swashbuckling space adventure with the most esoteric ideas of time travel and culminates in a grandiose attempt to change the destiny of mankind. Its hero confronts a decadent world about to destroy itself, and he must undergo death and transfiguration at the edge of the Sun to rescue human history from its endless cycle of growth and decay and from the waste of tyranny.
A shorter version of Harness's story was first published in a 1949 issue of Startling Stories under the title Flight into Yesterday. An expanded hardcover version appeared in 1953, In 1955 editor Donald A. Wollheim retitled the story THE PARADOX MEN for a new Ace paperback.
"With Flight Into Yesterday, I
had no idea where I was going when I started on Chapter
One. Today theyd kill you if you had such a
conceited idea that you could sit down and write anything
saleable without knowing the end, but I didnt even
know the middle! I didnt know Chapter Three!"
"The brilliant peak of Charles
L. Harness's published work."
best exponent of the extensively recomplicated
"Fine swashbuckling adventure
of space-and-time travel, the palace politics of tyranny,
and the identity problems of an amnesiac
"A writer of intellect and
"The Paradox Men must come
close to anybody's idea of one kind of pure science
fiction: the wild and imaginative kind which juggles
amusedly with many scientific concepts."
created and maintained by Juha Lindroos.