View Full Version : Need help in finding a story/author

2006-Jul-08, 03:49 PM
Hi guys.

Since the SF literary quote contest shows a lot of you knowing quite a bit about SF literature I call upon your knowledge for help.

I'm looking for a story about time travel which I've read in a German SF short story compilation. The name might be "The Electra Complex", though I'm not sure.

****MAJOR SPOILERS ahead!!****

The story takes place in the 80s and is about a woman and her daughter living together in some isolated place in the mountains(?). The mother made a fortune by predicting the stock market developments very accurately and suddenly sells everything and retires with her daughter. She then makes her daughter memorize all the important headlines of business newspapers.

Mother then stacks a huge pile of hay in a certain location on her estate and has an emergency helicopter standing by. One day a man falls out of the sky and lands in the hay. He has a gunshot wound to the head and is subsequently saved because the copter was standing by to fly him to the nearest hospital.

The man moves in with both women and mother and man are clearly in love with each other, though he is a total stranger to the daughter. As it happens, daughter falls in love with that guy as well.

Turns out the man is a scientist who has discovered the principle of time travel and starts building a time machine which he points to his house in the past (around 1950s I think) and opens a gateway between the two times.

Daughter gets very jealous over time and plans to use the machine in order to meet the man before her mother does. She goes to the past and succeeds. I think they even got married. They live happily and since daughter has memorized all the important business developments she makes a lot of money by predicting the stock market development. Man finds out that daughter is from the future and thus starts researching time travel to discover it is possible but can't be done with 1950s technology.

Daughter gets pregnant and suddenly realizes from what she knew of her mother's past that she is in fact her own mother. She freaks out at that point and shoots the man in the head in order to prevent the construction of the time machine. She then turns herself in to the police, but when they get to her place the victim is gone. Apparently he crawled a little distance and then disappeared. The daughter realizes that he made it into the gateway through time and travelled to the 80s where her mother/she herself had insured that he'll survive.

****Spoilers end****

So, if anyone knows title and author, I'd be very grateful. I've been looking for that story for more that 10 years but noone has ever heard of it except for the person that lent me that book. Unfortunately I've been unable to contact him for more than 10 years, he seems to have disappeared somewhere in Switzerland.

2006-Jul-08, 08:17 PM
There is a Story by Charles L. Harness which was published under the german name "Der Elektra-Komplex" (HEYNE-Anthologie 30, 1969, edt. Helmuth W. Mommers). It seems the original title is "Child by Chronos". I do not have the book (I just have a list which story appeared in which edition of the anthologie) so I can't verify that it's the same story, but it sounds plausible that this is what you're looking for.

-- eike

2006-Jul-09, 04:26 PM
Thank you sooo much! I'll be checking that out shortly.

EDIT: Yes!! That's it! Another one of life's mysteries solved... ;)