|Aldiss’s story was one of eight that were selected for the first (1969) of three separate paperback volumes that together comprised the original anthology.|| || “The Night That All Time Broke Out” |
by Brian Aldiss
First publication: Dangerous Visions, Oct 1967
Aldiss confessed that this story contains one of the whackiest ideas that he ever had. Does it contain time travel? You should read the story first and decide for yourself, but here’s my spoil-laden take on the matter:
An invisible, subterranean gas can be supplied right to your house along with controls that let you control its delivery to your brain. Depending on the concentration, the result is to bring aspects of your previous consciousness (or that of your ancestors) right into your present-day brain: physical sensations, bodily abilities, mental attitudes, and the psychological make-up of the chanelled person all take over your body, although you remain present. To me, this could be ancestral memory—perhaps passed down genetically and triggered by the newly discovered gas—but I’m going to list it as time travel.
Fifi could not understand what on earth he was talking about. Every since leaving Plymouth, she had been adrift, and that not entirely metaphorically. It was bad enough playing Pilgrim Mother to one of the Pilgrim Fathers, but she did not dig this New World at all. It was now beyond her comprehension to understand that the vast resources of modern technology were fouling up the whole time schedule of a planet.