Author(s): Lloyd Biggle Jr.
Veteran Biggle (The Angry Espers) shows what kept the SF pulp magazines of the 1940s alive and kicking in this alluring tale of time travel. One spring day in 2001, 21-year-old student Vladislav Kuznetsov is whisked from college in Ohio into a postapocalyptic future some three centuries hence. The world has broken down into small, agricultural, caste-ridden and matriarchal states in constant conflict. Renamed Egarn, our hero spends a lifetime working on the one example of advanced technology to exist in this future, a lens created by an obscure 20th-century inventor that is a deadly weapon but also, by chance, a kind of time machine. Egarn decides to prevent centuries of war by sending two men back in time to kill the inventor and destroy his lens.