The dates of imagined events lend interest to a story, and help to characterize it.
If the dates are still in our future, they link the tale to us via the chain of year-numbers. If on the other hand the dates are in our past but in the author's future (like, for example, stories written in the 1930s but set in the 1980s), they piquantly contribute to the history of expectations -
Harlei: Or to put it another way, the history of what might have been. Particularly in our sub-genre! The entire OSS is a rich field for nostalgic might-have-beens. "If only the planets had been habitable / inhabited, if only cheap space travel had been invented, if only this, if only that." To give a date to a fictional event is to rub in the "if-only" with extra bitter-sweetness.
Zendexor: And yet you get some critics who complain that dating a story makes it somewhat...er...dated.
Harlei: They just don't get it. Like those who say that Apollo 11 destroyed the readability of fictional first journeys to the Moon because it mad them "out of date", as though from July 1969 onwards readers might as well throw Operation Columbus into the trash bin. I'm not trying to knock reality, I realize it has its points, but Operation Columbus actually has Apollo 11 beat hollow -
Zendexor: Well, we can simply say to all that, "Fiction is reality. A book is a thing that exists. The ideas in it exist - "
Harlei: - though it's a pity Hugh Walters doesn't give us a date for the events in Operation Columbus...
Zendexor: Never mind, we do have the dates of other first-trips-to-the-moon (for example see below, under "1975", "1978" and "2026").
And there are some dates which refer to the far more distant past, since the OSS is really old - that is, it's backed in its own terms by a venerable timeline, as well as "old" in the other sense of being outdated.
Future researchers might model a two- or even three-dimensional "date-space" as outlined in the Diary, Complex Dates. And if that ever happens, maybe the following list may be of some use as a starter.
Happy browsing, folks.
Beginning of Era One on Uranus (calculated from information given in Uranian Gleams).
I talked with the mind of... a general of the great-headed brown people who held South Africa in 50,000 B.C. [The Shadow Out of Time (1936)]
Year One in the reckoning of the hidden Martian colony on Earth [A Mirror For Observers (1955)].
I talked with the mind of... Crom-Ya, a Cimmerian chieftain of 15,000 B.C... [The Shadow Out of Time (1936)]
..."Let me explain, doctor," he purred, "just what you are up against. We're a very old organization, very old. Our leader group, which you see before you, can trace itself back to the year 3417 B.C. When a member dies, the survivors after careful consideration, elect a replacement..." [The Rulers (1946)]
The "Law of 27,140" (in the dating system of the Martian colony on Earth) states that no assistance can be given to Abdicators by the Martians of the Cities... but also that the Abdicators aren't to be acted against, so long as they do no positive harm.
[A Mirror For Observers (1955)]
I talked with the mind of... Theodotides, a Graeco-Bactrian official of 200 B.C... [The Shadow Out of Time (1936)]
...He had lived more than six hundred years, as few Martians do. His birth date was the year 1327 by the Western human calendar... [A Mirror For Observers (1955)]
Henri Lothiere, apothecary's assistant of Paris, is snatched through time to the year 1944 [The Man Who Saw the Future (1930)]
Zerko Tarkomas, Ruler of the Moon, leads a scientific expedition to Earth [The Moon Conquerors (1930)].
In Drozma's web of wrinkles were scars from the surgery which, about five hundred years ago, had made his face presentably human. His first mission into human society had been in 1471 (30,471), when he achieved the status of qualified Observer during the wars of York and Lancaster... [A Mirror For Observers (1955)]
A student named Carolus meets a stranded alien from another star system [The Power (1945)].
The year that Gonyl and Algoric found their vigil-station in Nebraska, to watch for possible invasion from the void.
"We were intrigued when we realized that this world bore a native human population. We chose this area for its remoteness," he went on, "near the heart of an almost empty continent. The year was 1827. We felt we had chosen well..."
[The House in November (1970)]
...in 30,854 he completed the history of the Tasmanians, which is still the recognized Martian text... [A Mirror For Observers (1955)]
Unexplained instantaneous transportation of Captain John Carter of Virginia from Arizona to the planet Mars (Barsoom), 4th March, 1866. [A Princess of Mars (1912, 1917).]
14th October: the first making of Cavorite. [The First Men in the Moon, chapter 2]
A year replete with cosmic horror in Massachusetts (threatened by malign undersea powers) and Vermont (infiltrated from space).
It was I who fled frantically out of Innsmouth in the early morning hours of July 16, 1927, and whose frightened appeals for government inquiry and action brought on the whole reported episode. [The Shadow Over Innsmouth (1931, 1936)]
The whole matter began, so far as I am concerned, with the historic and unprecedented Vermont floods of November 3, 1927. I was then, as now, an instructor of literature at Miskatonic University... [The Whisperer in Darkness (1931)]
Note: the Vermont floods really did happen.
Albert N Wilmarth discovers the dire secret of the Plutonian visitors to the wilds of Vermont. [The Whisperer in Darkness (1931)]
9 December, dusk: Time-traveller Ares Sen Kenlin (see 3059) is found unconscious by James Waters Bendell, on a roadside in the American West. [Twilight (1934)]
9 August: Battle of the California Coast. The battleship Minnesota uses a radar-like invention to save the US from defeat by an enemy who had won control of the Pacific. [Politics (1932)]
Appearance (on 5th June) of The Machine-Man of Ardathia (1927) from A.D. 29,940.
Miss Betty Mordan is reluctantly inveigled into an adventure in time with Roy Saber from 1951 [Wanderers of Time (1933)]
From Dormant (1948):
...At the very hub of the screaming waters lay Iilah, dead now almost for ever, forgotten by time and the universe.
Early in 1941, Japanese ships came and ran the gauntlet of dangerous waters into the quiet lagoon...
Determined to meet a Selenite, whom she has observed in the Mare Crisium by means of her giant telescope, Miss Dorothy Brewster leads an expedition to the Moon in Earth's first spaceship, the magnetically-launched Astronaut. [The Moon Conquerors (1930).]
11 September: Dr Homer Green undergoes the experiment which makes his tissues invariant (see 2170) [Invariant (1944)]
Descent of airmen Johnny Wild and Danny Black to the subterranean world of Red Valley [The Perilous Descent (1952)].
Atomic space-drive invented in secret [The Great Engine (1943)].
French scientists bring Henri Lothiere forward in time from the year 1444 [The Man Who Saw the Future (1930)].
Limited liaison between a motion-picture projector in 1946 and one in 2011. [Film Library (1946)]
From Dormant (1948):
...Something stirred in the depths of Iilah's awareness of himself, something that he had intended to do. He couldn't remember what.
That was the first real thought he had in late 1946, when he felt the impact of outside energy. And stirred with returning life...
From Seedling of Mars (1931):
It was in the fall of 1947, three days prior to the annual football game between Stanford and the University of California, that the strange visitor from outer space landed in the middle of the huge stadium at Berkeley where the game was to be held...
From The Great Engine (1943):
THE blue-gray engine lay half buried in a green hillside. It lay there in that summer of 1948, a soulless thing of metal and of forces more potent than life itself...
...Now he was alive again, but in so dim a fashion that there was nothing to do but wait for the end. He waited.
In 1950 he watched the destroyer float towards him... [Dormant (1948)]
Roy Saber sets off on his adventure in time [Wanderers of Time (1933)].
Some of the members of the 1942 Brewster expedition to the Moon now return to Earth, long after they were given up for lost [The Moon Conquerors (1930)].
According to No Man Friday (1956), p14, the Americans secretly launched the first artificial satellite in this year. (Four years in advance of reality, and the reality differed in being not secret, of course.)
From Evans of the Earth-Guard (1930):
...in 1954, the first crude rocket had thundered out from earth into the great void toward its shining satellite. Neither that rocket nor the twenty-first had reached their goal, but the next one had.
According to No Man Friday (1956) this is the year the Russians sent up their satellite - secretly, just like the Americans. (In reality, when it did happen two years later, the Russians, who were first in space, were happy for the world to know it.)
In the preamble to Into the 28th Century (1930) we are informed that
...In the year 1955 peace was restored to the stricken planet, reconstruction began, and the World-State elected a woman, known as the World President, as its Chief Executive...
For 1955 as the present (according to John Varley) see the OSS Diary, 7th December 2016.
First manned atomic rocket launched [The Legion of Space (1937, 1947), p.12].
SF authors don't claim to be prophets, but in guessing the year of the first probe to reach the Moon, Arthur C Clarke scored a direct hit in his Prelude to Space (written in 1947). 1959 was the year he said it would happen, and lo and behold, when 1959 came round, Lunik 2 hit the Moon in reality.
1959 is also the year when the mind of the unfortunate Hugh Macklin begins its temporal odyssey in Timeliner (1955).
14th June: the first pictures from the Russian Venus lander reveal humanoid life on Venus [The Sky People (2006)].
Elmis, the disguised Martian, begins his stint in Latimer, Massachusetts. [A Mirror For Observers (1955)]
This year, in my view, is the Present; what comes after is the increasingly weird future. See the OSS Diary for 7th December 2016.
10th June 1967: "Mars Day" - the first intelligible public message from Barsoom to Earth, broadcasting greetings to the world from the city of Helium. [Prologue to The Moon Maid (1923).]
There's a strong hint in A Fall of Moondust (1961) that 1967 saw the Russians make the first Moon trip - thus celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.
The Uncertain Midnight (1958) has 1967 as the year of the "Nine Days Tranquiliser", a nuclear holocaust that reduces the population by a factor of roughly a thousand.
...The Republicans have been fresh out of ideas since '968, when the Democrat Clifford got in... [A Mirror For Observers (1955)]
"...Many men lost their lives in trying to reach the Moon, and most people said it was impossible for them to do it - there was even a movement to get their attempts banned. But the men went on trying. Duncan, K.K.Smith and Sudden actually got there, but they crashed on the surface and were killed. Then came the great Drivers. In 1969 he managed to take his rocket right round the Moon and bring it safely back to Earth..." [Stowaway to Mars (1936), p.23]
On 27 February 1971 Howard Lester, narrator of The Philosopher's Stone, under goes the operation on his pre-frontal cortex which increases his willpower...
In Captain Future's Challenge (1940) 1971 is cited as the date space exploration began:
Gravium was the very life-blood of interplanetary civilization. For without it, gravitation-equalizers could not be made. And without equalizers, men didn't dare visit other planets of greater or lesser gravitation than their own.
The first space explorers, back in 1971, had found that out. Landing on worlds of lesser gravitation than Earth, their circulation, internal organs, their whole anatomy, were damaged. All were sickened, many crippled and killed...
The last mighty air war of 1972, which had ended in the total abolition of all national boundaries and the establishment of the World Government with its headquarters in the new world-capital of New York, had brought peace to the world, but it had also brought some measure of monotony... [The Universe Wreckers (1930)]
The great plague is released by an unbalanced member of the Organic Unity Party [A Mirror For Observers (1955)].
First trip to the Moon - but no return to Earth [Blindness (1935)].
At 0150 G.M.T. on December 1st, 1975, every telephone in the world started to ring.... [Dial F for Frankenstein (1962)] - full telephone interconnection unexpectedly creates an emergent intelligence.
War breaks out between the USA and the Sino-Japanese Federation [The Dimension of Chance (1932)]
"Selenine, derived from a fossil lichen found by the first rocket-expedition to the moon in 1975, has, as you know, practically wiped out the old-time curse of cancer..." [The Plutonian Drug (1934)]
US Secret Service operative Clement Morris encounters Japanese agent Sakamoto in The Dimension of Chance (1932).
Selenite ruins on Farside are "discovered by the circumlunar expedition of 1976" - see The Archives of the Moon.
First Mars expedition discovers the Doorway: an interstellar transportation system.
It was a cubicle of something that looked like slick brown glass. Ten feet high, six wide and deep. Inside, at waist level, on the far wall, a lever - curiously shaped, like the head of an old-fashioned walking stick, the slightly curved bar of the L parallel to the wall. Nothing more than that... [Ticket to Anywhere (1952)]
Sitting US President Jefferson Dayles faces a woman candidate in the election.
...She seemed to be aware of all the pitfalls, and though Dayles' agents kept a complete check on every statement and speech that she made in public, the months went by and she did not slip, and she did not fall.
Dayles observed the performance from a distance, at first with disbelief and then with admiration, but finally with alarm. "She's got to get tired," he said. "One of these days she'll be so exhausted she can scarcely stand, and that's the moment for our people to trip her up."
Whatever could be said about the rationality of the candidate did not apply to her followers. The millennium was about to arrive. Women could end war, bring peace to the troubled world. They would right the wrongs of society, control the rapaciousness of business, and once and for all they would end the infidelity of the American male...
From The Immeasurable Horror (1931):
I was with the first Venusian expedition, under the leadership of Admiral Carfax, in 1977. We were able to make no more than a mere landing, and were then compelled to return earthward because of our shortage of oxygen, due to a serious miscalculation regarding our needs. It was unsafe, we found, to breathe the thick, vapor-laden air of Venus for more than short intervals...
4 July 1977: Asher Sutton, man of destiny, comes from the future to encounter his ancestor John H Sutton, in a pasture in Wisconsin. [Time And Again (1951)]
From Blindness (1935):
...Garnall was drowned in Lake Erie, after returning from Luna, the first man to reach Earth again, alive. He didn't go on living, of course, but he was alive when he reached Earth. That we knew.
From Martian Blood (2013):
...no one knew for sure whether the planet was inhabited until Ares I landed there in 1977...
11th August 1977: Floyd Jones born, in Colorado [The World Jones Made (1956)].
The Refuge is constructed in that same year (p.6) - a building containing a simulation of the Venusian environment, to house a group of people biologically engineered in preparation for that environment.
From The Overman Culture (1971), p.173, the testament of the Mormon, Julius Overman, begins as follows:
"I was born in the year 1977 in London, England, to which corrupt and decadent country I shall not return until time and the will of God have wrought great and cleaning changes..."
From Theory of Rocketry (1958):
...Mr. Edel taught six English classes that year at Richard M. Nixon High School, and the classes averaged seventy-five pupils each...
The year of the first voyage to the Moon in both Prelude to Space (written in 1947) and The Man Who Sold the Moon (1949, 1951)
Regarding The Man Who Sold the Moon: the date of the flight is not given in the story itself, but it appears in Heinlein's own Future History time-chart: "First rocket to the Moon, 1978".
From Frogheads (2015):
"You've been on Venus thirty years?" Ronson seized the chance to change the subject. "That means you would have belonged to one of the first expeditions."
"Da." He nodded vigorously. "Second expedition, 1978. Chief petty officer, Soviet Space Force."
From The Immeasurable Horror (1931), narrating the Second Venusian Expedition:
In 1979 we went back, more fully equipped for all contingencies this time, and landed on a high plateau near the equator.
From The Earth Killers (1949): 17th July is B-Day - the "Bomb Day" when the USA suffers a nuclear attack; 40 million people killed.
The year of the secret Venusian invasion of Earth, in Three to Conquer (1956).
It was also, in Master of the Asteroid (1932), the year of the disappearance of the Selenite,
...the first known rocket ship to dare the zone of the asteroids.
At the time of its disappearance, fifty years ago, in 1980, a dozen voyages had been made to Mars and a rocket base had been established in Syrtis Major...
In 1980 was passed the UN Extraterrestrial Protection Act [The Sky People (2006), p108].
On page 40 of The Simulacra (1964) we learn that the "fracas of 1980" saw the Oregon-North California region hit by Red Chinese guided nuclear missiles.
First trip to Venus - in spaceship Astarte whose log is found over a century later in Space Cadet (1948).
First trip to Mars - when the Gloria Mundi blasts off from Salisbury Plain [Stowaway to Mars (1936), p.31].
The few hardy souls who had elected to spend the night upon the open inhospitality of Salisbury Plain slept no later than dawn upon the morning of the twelfth of October, 1981, for it was with the first rays of sunlight that the influx which would last all day began...
The premature explosion of the seventeenth Mars-rocket ushered in the year 1982... [Dreadful Sanctuary (1948)]
Birth of Susan Calvin [I, Robot (1950)].
...They were used to being frisked, ever since that fanatic Alaska nationalist publisher emptied a .32 at then-President Hutzmeyer in '83... [Critical Mass (1962)]
First expedition to Mars, according to Transit of Earth (1971).
First expedition to Ganymede, according to Farmer in the Sky (1950).
11 July 1987, at Bridport, Wisconsin: John H Sutton writes the letter that will be found by his remote descendant Asher Sutton over six thousand years later, in 7990, setting in train a series of events in the time-war between supporters and opponents of Asher Sutton's idea of universal destiny. [Time And Again (1951)]
Mr Yee migrates to Mars to set up his machine-repair business [Martian Time-Slip (1964), p.20].
April 3rd: during a world war between the "white" and "yellow" races, there's trouble in a lab in the Rockies, where Professor Laura Hart has accelerated plant evolution to replace warlike humanity with a supposedly more peaceful species... [The Bloodless Peril (1937)]
June 1990: Roger and Elaine Newton, hunted by bad guys who want to steal Newton's inventions, decide to seek refuge on the Moon. Elaine is pregnant with the son who will become Captain Future. See chapter 2 of Captain Future and the Space Emperor (1939, 1967). (Interestingly, although there are planetary colonies, the Moon has been left alone so far, being considered useless.)
"Ten weeks later" they set off for the Moon. And there, "a little later" (i.e. probably still in 1990), their baby boy Curtis is born.
The idea of the "dude farm" is put forward as a way of preserving old ways in an age of mechanisation. [City (1952), p.31]
Expedition led by the Cornell brothers sets out for Pluto [The Plutonian Drug (1934)]. (Returns in 1996.)
Round about this year, according to The Simulacra (1964), p.20, the position of First Lady begins to assume a stature greater than that of the President.
The Great Supernova of 1991 [The Crucible of Power (1939)]
From The Shadow of Heaven (1969):
...In 1992, almost a century ago, World War III had come and gone, and none of the theoreticians had been able to predict what form it would take. It had always been assumed that the Big War would annihilate most of the population and turn the major countries into vast uninhabited areas similar to what they had been in pre-history. That had been the first misconception. Humanity had survived practically unscathed - the only real casualty had been the land itself.
The second mistake had been in the assumption that - if war came - America, Russia and China would fight it out among themselves in one or another of the few simple permutations possible. In the real event, America, Russia, and China had found themselves on the same side; and they never did find out for certain who the opposition was. The enemy had assembled his forces, struck, and retired to safety before any of the Big Three discovered the war had started.
The first indication had come when the soil began to die...
In 1993 President Moraga signed into law the bill that terminated American economic development on Luna... [Time Out of Joint (1959)]
...in 1993 an Australian scientist had stumbled on the force field and, almost by accident, given mankind the stars... [Takeover Bid (1965)]
...The cloud of anti-neutrinos was first observed crossing the orbit of Jupiter on the third day of January, 1993 - and, because of the extreme difficulty of detecting its existence at all, the astronomers were quite content to use the term 'cloud' in their early reports. It was not until a month had passed that they dropped the word and inserted in its place the more accurate, though highly emotive, phrase 'rogue planet'... [A Wreath of Stars (1976)]
Later, as she sat in her robe at the kitchen table drinking coffee, her plate of toast and apple-sauce before her, she looked out on the sight of the ditch-rider arriving in his little flat-bottom boat which put-putted up the canal in its official way, never hurrying and yet always arriving on schedule. This was 1994, the second week in August. They had waited eleven days, and now they would receive their share of water from the great ditch which passed by their line of houses a mile to the Martian north. [Martian Time-Slip (1964), p.16]
...In February of 1994 a battle broke out at Base One, the nominal capital of the Lunar colonies. Soldiers from the nearby missile base were set upon by colonists, and a five-hour pitched encounter was fought. That night, special troop-transporting ships left Earth for Luna... [Time Out of Joint (1959)]
Australia, population 35 million, is on the threshold of discovering a means of interstellar travel. Col. Peter Chart, R.A.A.F., takes off in a force-bubble at near-light speed, and is physically recovered but catatonic...
...Nobody had bargained for the immense expansion that would follow the opening up of Australia to Asian immigrants and the impetus this would give to the development of the inland desert. Up to 1970 settlement was in most cases confined to a narrow strip of coastline seldom more than one hundred miles wide. Now, in 1994, there were market gardens in the far west where once a farmer had been lucky to graze two sheep to the acre, and they were well on their way to planting wheat where Lake Eyre had once turned a white mirror of dried salt to the sun. [Takeover Bid (1965)]
The Neptunians begin to tamper with the rotation of the Sun:
It was on the third day of May, 1994, that the world received its first news of the strange behavior of the sun... [The Universe Wreckers (1930)]
West Germany enters the Union as the 53rd of the United States in 1994 according to page 25 of The Simulacra (1964).
Astronomers observing Mercury detect an apparently artificial structure at the planet's north pole [Fire Pattern (1984)].
4th April: first encounter between security agent Cussick and the future world-dictator Floyd Jones [The World Jones Made (1956)].
He always remembered that day; the spring air was cool and full of new growth. The war had ended the year before.
...In those days he had been idealistic... the task of suppressing extremist political and religious sentiment had, in 1995, seemed merely bureaucratic...
Johnny Dahlquist foils an attempt by his superiors in the Interplanetary Patrol to stage a coup d'état. [The Long Watch (1949); date given in Space Cadet.]
The January 14, 1996 copy of Time has a picture of a world-saver on the cover and his biography inside - while the man himself had believed he was living in 1959 [Time Out of Joint (1959)]:
RAGLE GUMM - MAN OF THE YEAR
"...forlorn, frozen Pluto, which only one terrestrial expedition has so far visited - the expedition led by the Cornell brothers, John and Augustine, which started in 1990 and did not return to earth till 1996, when nearly everyone had given it up as lost. John, as you may have heard, died during the returning voyage, together with half the personnel of the expedition: and the others reached earth with only one reserve oxygen-tank remaining..." [The Plutonian Drug (1934)]
...If only Crockhouse had been elected in '96 instead of Braden, with his packed ballots in Indiana and Puerto Rico! [Critical Mass (1962)]
Expedition to Mercury to investigate what to telescopic observers seems like an artificial alien object [Fire Pattern (1984)].
By means of an electronic probe, Gilbert Austin and Wolfgang Reich discover the ruins of Kadath two miles below the surface of Karatepe, Turkey. [The Mind Parasites (1967), p.36]
Headline, 7th April 1997:
VENUSIAN ORE DEPOSITS OBJECT OF DISPUTE
[Time Out of Joint (1959), p.119]
Revolution in Saudi Arabia [The Ceres Solution (1981), p.50].
The Falling Sickness first attacked workers in a Greenland radium mine, in 1998. [The Crucible of Power (1939)]
"Upon the 14th of April, AD 1998, all was prepared for the great test. My financial affairs had been settled with an eye to the future in more ways than one. The time-travel room, lavishly set with windows and looking like a very large telephone kiosk, stood waiting in the middle of Farmer Wright's field. As I walked towards it, not knowing what Fate held in store for me, I thought what an incongruous object it looked standing amid the furrows. Without the slightest hesitation, I unlocked the door, stepped inside and relocked it, started the air-purifying apparatus, took one last look at Earth, fresh with the aura of spring, and closed the projector switch..." [Seeker of Tomorrow (1937)]
Shipping people between planets was expensive, even in this year of grace 1998... [Swords of Zar-Tu-Kan (2013)]
Ragle Gumm finds out it's not 1959 [Time Out of Joint (1959)]
The first two expeditions to Mars - as told in The Martian Chronicles (1950) - come to grief.
Date of the Saturnian visit to Earth in Crisis 2000 (1959).
We read in The Martian Chronicles (1950) how the Third Expedition to Mars, in April 2000, is bamboozled by the Martians.
22 Feb: date of Moon's departure from Earth orbit, in The Mind Parasites (1967).
The year of 2001 - A Space Odyssey (1968). In other words, the first expedition to the environs of Saturn (according to the book) or Jupiter (according to the film). (This tale is only borderline OSS - I include it here because after all its expectations do shed some light on the Old Space Program.)
According to The Martian Chronicles (1950) the Fourth Expedition to Mars, in June 2001, finds that the Martians have been more or less wiped out by disease brought by previous Earth expeditions.
The rise of Jones to power [The World Jones Made (1956)].
Gretana ty Iltha, from the plan Mollan, arrives secretly on Earth:
This is May 10th, 2002 AD. I am Greta Rushton, aged twenty-one, unmarried, American citizen, but grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland - which accounts for any atypical features of my accent or unfamiliarity with current American usage. My father was an oil company executive. Both he and my mother were killed in the Saudi Arabian revolution of 1997, but their overseas investments provide me with an adequate income which lets me indulge my interest in travel...
The Ceres Solution (1981), p.50
...the great Witness Revival of 2003... [Bridge (1952)]
From Seeker of Tomorrow (1937): re the Dublin-New York rocket flight of 2004: "Not to be outdone, another fool starts out from Dublin and plunges clean through a skyscraper in New York, smearing himself all - "
In 2004 the child-cripple Denny Hargate has his first, apparently magical, glimpse of the interstellar traveller Gretana at Cotter's Edge [The Ceres Solution (1981), prologue].
[ibid., page 58:]
Spring came early in 2004, bringing unconscious relief from a hard winter in which power cuts and commodity shortages had been particularly severe...
War on Earth causes most settlers on Mars to head back to the home planet - The Martian Chronicles (1950).
In August, a meeting in New York which has fateful consequences:
...Out of the infinite combinations there must always come the point at which Van Field Ruyter stood by the master control in the year 2005. It would be so forever and forever. And forever and forever would Stanley King and Merl Hudson, torn from their rightful lives, be sundered and dispersed, partaking of all possible experience, until again they were returned to that inevitable moment in the year 2005, when the cycle would begin all over without end -
[Finality Unlimited (1936)]
Invasion of Earth by parasites from Titan [The Puppet Masters (1951)]
From Seeker of Tomorrow (1937): DAILY VOICE headline of May 22, 2007: NEW ROCKET RECORD - TO N.Z. IN EIGHTEEN HOURS.
2 Feb: Spaceship Pallas departs for Pluto [The Mind Parasites (1967)]
Susan Calvin obtains her Ph.D. and joins U.S.Robots as a "robopsychologist" [I, Robot (1950)].
Time-liaison between a film projector of 2011 and one of 1946. [Film Library (1946)]
From Trouble with Time (1960):
...It bore the certificate of the Mars Bureau of Antiquities, guaranteeing that "this full-scale reproduction is an exact copy of the so-called Siren Goddess, discovered in the Mare Sirenum by the Third Expedition, A.D. 2012 (A.M.23)".
From chapter 1 of The Moon Maid (1923):
In 2015 Mars had dispatched a ship for Earth with a crew of five men provisioned for ten years. It was hoped that with good luck the trip might be made in something less than five years, as the craft had developed an actual trip speed of one thousand miles per hour. At the time of my graduation the ship was already off its course almost a million miles and generally conceded to be hopelessly lost.
From I, Robot (1950):
...it was in 2015 that the Second Mercury Expedition was sent out. It was exploratory and financed in part by U.S.Robots and in part by Solar Minerals...
IN MEMORIAM. 2016 A.D. NEAR THIS SPOT THE ENEMY OF THE SOL SYSTEM PALMER ELDRITCH WAS SLAIN IN FAIR COMBAT WITH THE CHAMPION OF OUR NINE PLANETS, LEO BULERO OF TERRA.
"Hoopla," Leo ejaculated, impressed despite himself. He read it again. And again. "I wonder," he said, half to himself, "if Palmer's seen this..."
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldtritch (1964), p.97
10 Feb: Captain James Ramsay sets out for Pluto to seek for traces of the Pallas [The Mind Parasites (1967)]; see 2007.
2 March: The Pallas is found, deserted, floating about 2 million miles from Pluto [The Mind Parasites (1967)]
On the first mission to Mars, all the explorers except one are killed by a mysterious vortex in Cydonia. Months later a second mission follows... [Mission to Mars (film, 2000)]
Liar! - the episode of Herbie the mind-reading construct [I, Robot (1950)].
From The Ceres Solution (1981):
The single Aristotle space habitat, completed in 2021, had been built in the form of a cone - a shape which provided environments with different gravities.
Among those benefiting from the conical configuration had been medical researchers, who were grateful for the opportunity to study the effect of low-gravity conditions on patients with certain types of cardiac trouble. They had been given their own facilities in the 0.3G and 0.5G bands on condition that all patients who were fit enough would accept jobs in the zero-gravity production areas...
From Trapped on Titan (1940):
"What's the name of this blob in the cosmos that we're hanging over?" Chadwick asked.
"Titan," Sands replied. Then he picked up an interplanetary pilot guide, thumbing through it. "To give it the way the book does," he announced. "Titan zoned area, one of the satellites of Saturn. Climatically uninhabitable, this world was deserted in 2021 when its radium deposits were exhausted."
The chubby pilot closed the book and looked at his companion.
"Hell," Chadwick replied sourly...
...And Vince would have been in on Maury Frauenzimmer's scheme, put by Maury to Sepp von Lessinger in person at a conference of ersatz engineers in New York in 2023, to make use of von Lessinger's time travel experiments to send a psychiatrist back to 1925 to cure Führer Hitler of his paranoia...
The Simulacra (1964), p.44
The generally accepted reality of AD 2024 was one which contained and also was bounded by things like energy crises, the third world war which seemed both inevitable and imminent, attritive strikes, terrorism, failing resources, social decay, famine, and advertising campaigns for children's knife-proof undergarments...
The Ceres Solution (1981).p.33
From chapter 1 of The Moon Maid (1923), describing the launch of the first spaceship to attempt to reach Mars from Earth:
Our estates were taken under trusteeship by the government. Our farewells were made at an elaborate ball at the White House on December 24, 2025, and on Christmas Day we rose from the landing stage at which The Barsoom had been moored, and amid the blare of bands and the shouting of thousands of our fellow-countrymen we arose majestically into the blue.
The main part of the action of The Ceres Solution (1981) takes place in 2025.
...She breakfasted early and spent an hour conscientiously absorbing TV newscasts, with special emphasis on her part of the United States and how its inhabitants were responding to their physical, political and cultural environment in the year AD 2025. The international news was no worse than usual - the smallpox outbreak in the Netherlands was being brought under control; Sarawak had tested a second fusion device in spite of protests from neighbouring countries; preliminary reports were coming in of some kind of major mishap on the Aristotle space colony; and Britain had introduced sugar rationing for a trial period of three months. In the U.S.A. the steel, coal and dock strikes were close to being settled, but there had been setbacks in the negotiations on the power workers' and the hospital staffs' pay claims; California police had discovered a partially-completed high-megaton bomb in an underground cavern close to the centre of the Palmdale bulge; in Flint, Michigan, the owner of a sporting goods store had killed his wife by tying her to a chair and hurling a total of 381 darts at her. And in the Annapolis area, because of a westerly wind, temperatures were comparatively high and the radiation count comparatively low.
Gretana took in the news with the practised indifference which preserved her sanity...
Sabotage of The Barsoom; forced landing in the Moon's interior. - See The Moon Maid (1923), chapters 1-2.
According to The Martian Chronicles (1950) a trickle of settlers return to Mars from war-torn Earth, and begin to realize that they are the Martians now.
Theft of the Earth:
A great year: The year of the first landings on the Runaway Planet that had come blundering into the solar system. Maybe those landings were a mistake - although they were a very great triumph, too; but maybe if it hadn't been for the landings, the Runaway Planet might have run right through the ecliptic and away.
However, the triumphal mistake was made, and that was the first time a human eye saw a Pyramid.
Shortly after - though not before a radio message was sent - that human winked out forever... The next thing that happened... astronomers all over the Earth reported and confirmed the astonishing fact that our planet was on the move... [Wolfbane (1959)]
9 September 2027: Victor Hunt's arrival at Houston - to investigate the Lunarian mystery. [Inherit the Stars (1977), p.101]
14 October 2028: Front page feature of the New York Times,
LUNARIAN PLANET LOCATED
Did Nuclear War Destroy Minerva?
...A tenth planet, christened Minerva after the Roman goddess of wisdom, is now known to have existed approximately 250 million miles from the Sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter... [Inherit the Stars (1977), p.104]
20 November 2029: Victor Hunt's report from Ganymede, setting out the solution to the mystery of the Lunarians/Minervans. [Inherit the Stars (1977), p.190-200]
The evasion tactics of the modified Nestor 10 as described in Little Lost Robot (1947).
The first lunar base is established, in the crater Ptolemaeus - see Timeliner (1955).
Mayoralty campaign of Stephen Byerley, who is accused by opponents of being a robot [I, Robot (1950)].
Hugh Macklin, victim of a deliberate "accident" in a 1959 experiment in "dimensional quadrature", awakes on the Moon in another man's body. [Timeliner (1955).]
Return of Julian 5th to Earth; birth of Julian 6th. - See the last page of The Moon Maid (1923).
The Regions of Earth form their Federation [I, Robot (1950)]. Stephen Byerley, suspected by some to be a robot, becomes the first World Co-Ordinator.
In May, 2047, the latest experiment having revealed only highly interesting but negative results, Malcolm Mackay looked at Burns.
"John, that settled it," he said slowly. "Something is missing, and we won't get it here in a pair of lifetimes, even long ones. You know the only place we can find it."
"I suppose you mean the Sun," replied Burns sadly... [Blindness (1935)]
Malcolm Mackay develops thermlectrium [Blindness (1935)].
The nations of Earth, having mostly disbanded their armed forces, are living in peace.
...And then in the year 2050 the blow fell. Lieutenant-Commander Orthis, after twenty-four years upon the moon, returned to Earth with one hundred thousand Kalkars and a thousand Va-gas. In a thousand great ships they came bearing arms and ammunition and strange, new engines of destruction fashioned by the brilliant mind of the arch villain of the universe.
The renegade Orthis and his Kalkars (Lunar communists) conquer the Earth. [The Moon Men (1925), p.190-200]
Launch of the ship Prometheus, headed for the Sun [Blindness (1935)].
The Impossible World  tells us how a product of biological science known as adaptene was able to fit people for life on other worlds:
...Now, in 2050 A.D., bio-conditioned Earthmen were to be found on ten different worlds of the Solar System - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Saturn and Titan. Adaptene had burst the former bonds of the narrow range of conditions under which the human body could survive.
...Some twenty thousand colonists lived there. They were miners, engineers, laborers, technicians in the food and maintenance centers. There were three doctors, a scattering of teachers and librarians and similar personnel, a handful of police and administrators. Exactly fifteen people were employed in brewing, distilling, tavern-running, movie operation, and the other non-essential occupations which men required as they did food and air.
This was New America, chief city of Venus in 2051 A.D.... [The Big Rain (1954)]
Stephen Byerley is completing his first term as World Co-Ordinator, when Susan Calvin finds out the truth, that the Machines are running the world [I, Robot (1950)].
...They could design the apparatus, and did, in September, three years and one month after lifting off for the final drop to the Sun. [Blindness (1935) - see 2054]
...They made it, piece by piece, and tested it in January. It wasn't winter there; there was no winter. Only everlasting heat. And Mackay's eyes were failing rapidly. His work was over. Both because he could scarcely work any longer, and because, on January 14, 2054, the energy of the atom was harnessed by man! The Great Secret was discovered. [Blindness (1935)]
11th November: the date of a historical document studied centuries later by the historians in Star's Reach - a communication from a General Burkert regarding the evacuation and relocation of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, at a time when messages are being received from another star system, amid crisis on Earth.
The Young expedition to Uranus - Planet of Doubt (1935).
...the quantum nature of gravity was finally established in 2063, and the successful detection of the graviton led directly to an understanding of betaspace and thus to the development of faster-than-light travel... [Ship of Strangers (1978)]
..."Excerpts from Samuel Lann's diary, June 1, 2071: Today I had another look at the three babies, and there is no doubt that here is an extraordinary mutation... This is perfection." [Slan (1940)]
..."June 7, 2073: A damn fool journalist wrote an article about the children today. The ignoramus stated that I had used a machine on their mother..." [Slan (1940)]
...The ice meteorites ranged in size from ten to a hundred cubic miles; and when they had melted their huge volume of water down on the surface, and into the atmosphere, Venus had oceans and oxygen... By 2081 A.D. the Institute of General Semantics, just then entering its governmental phase, realized the null-A potentialities of the bountiful planet. By this time, transported trees and other plants were growing madly... [The World of Null-A (1948)]
Wyatt and Carpenter's foolhardy, doomed attempt at a Brightside Crossing of Mercury.
The action of Tidal Moon (1938).
Amherst shook his head.
"That's ironic. In 2083, two months' old news has to be carried by hipp. It's like going back to post medievalism."
"It is. But you know radio is useless in the flood belt of Ganymede..."
Matt Dodson becomes a cadet in the Interplanetary Patrol - Space Cadet (1948).
Close approach of the star Helios to the Sun; interpenetration of the two solar systems; expedition to the planet Achilles [Fifth Planet (1963)].
August 8.... "Each of the girls had triplets. Wonderful. At this rate of reproduction, the period when chance can destroy them will soon be reduced to an actuarial minimum... I am continually impressing on the children that their descendants will be the future rulers of the world..." [Slan (1940)]
Concordat signed between the vugs of Titan and the UN [The Game Players of Titan (1963)].
Mysterious trouble occurs in the duplication of Old Masters.
...Ross Trafford was the senior technician of Public Art Galleries (S.E. Section). Under him was a team of electronic engineers, skilled, competent and unimaginative. From his city office he directed operations and dealt with all calls from the area. The morning of Tuesday, 12th May, 2096, promised to be typical of his routine...
..."An erratic Leonardo. Unusual. Probably something quite simple, a weakened coil or a sticking fuse. Just a little disturbing, though." It nagged at the back of his mind...
[Rogue Leonardo (1964)]
Implied date - since the Young expedition was "four decades earlier in 2060" - of the Hammond expedition to Uranus: Planet of Doubt (1935).
Julian the 9th born on 1st January 2100 in Chicago. [The Moon Men (1925), p.18]
The alien Sea Statue comes out of stasis in The World of Ptavvs (1966).
21st March: date of historical document shedding light on the crisis on Earth at that time, and how the project for communication with another star system continues amid socio-political disintegration.
"...We're going to have to figure out soon how much of an operation we can keep going here without outside help, whether there's a point to doing so, and what if anything we're going to tell the CETI team and the support staff..."
[Star's Reach, p.116]
March: disastrous return of the Gunderson Europa Expedition in Redemption Cairn (1936) - see 2111.
Jack Sands' adventure on Europa in Redemption Cairn (1936) - the adventure starts in September 2111:
There I sat, Jack Sands, ex-rocket pilot. Yeah, the same Jack Sands you're thinking of, the one who cracked up the Gunderson Europa expedition trying to land at Young's Field, Long Island, in March, 2110. Just a year and a half ago!
Conflict between a Terran colonist and native Martians [At the Bottom of a Hole (1966)].
Crisis in Ward T of the US Army Hospital beneath St Albans, N.Y., as victims of combat shock learn to vanish into their own created dimensions of reality [Disappearing Act (1953)].
John Markham, who was trapped and frozen underground in the 'Nine Days Tranquiliser' nuclear holocaust of 1967, is revived to find himself in a culture dominated by androids [The Uncertain Midnight (1958)].
Thomas Cornwall's voyage to the Moon [The Crucible of Power (1939)]:
Captain Thomas Cornwall was a young ordnance engineer, on leave from the army. His rocket was the first to attain the velocity of escape - 11.3 km/sec. His triumphant return, after two weeks on the Moon, won him the world's frantic acclaim. The feat seemed symbolic of the reawakening of man, after the long night of the Black Century...
First uprising against the Kalkars, led by Julian 9th. [The Moon Men (1925)]
Funeral of Nelson F Webster (2034-2117). His son and successor, Jerome A Webster, suffers from agoraphobia - a disability which turns out to have huge consequences. [Huddling Place, the second tale in City (1952)]
According to Vanguard to Neptune (1932):
...To date none of the other satellites of Jupiter had been visited, though the ill-fated De Castro expedition of 2117, which crashed on Jupiter itself somewhere in the region of the famous Red Spot, had intended including Io, Callisto and Europa in its itinerary...
Attempt by Garth Hammond's Volcano Steam and Metals Corporation to drill through Earth's crust ends in disaster [The Crucible of Power (1939)]:
...For, after a billion dollars had been spent to sink the great pit forty thousand feet, the bottom of it suddenly split. Men and refrigerating machines were drowned in flaming lava. A rain of boiling mud drowned the new city of Hammondspit, Virginia, taking twenty thousand lives.
Birth of Garth Hammond's son Chan, narrator of The Crucible of Power (1939).
Garth Hammond departs for Mars [The Crucible of Power (1939)].
New York City is "destroyed in the final World War of 2132" [Goddess of the Moon (1940)].
Carl Dennell, who was made immortal at the cost of his emotions, now finds that his intellect is no longer keeping pace with the progress of mankind [The Coming of the Ice (1926)]:
...to the intellect, monotony cannot exist: it was one of those emotions I had left behind. One day, however, in the year 2132, a great discovery was made by a man called Zarentzov. It had to do with the curvature of space, quite changing the conceptions that we had all followed since Einstein...
Return of Garth Hammond with the Martian secret of power - solidified "photon dust" [The Crucible of Power (1939)].
Marriage of Garth Hammond to Doris Wayne, heir to the Marine Mines billions [The Crucible of Power (1939)].
5 October: birth of Leon Cartwright, future Quizmaster of the Nine Planets.
..."You can't operate this," Moore said quietly. "This isn't your line. What are you? I examined the records. You were born October 5, 2140, outside the Imperial Hill. You've lived there all your life; this is the first time you've been on this side of the Earth, let alone on another planet. You had ten years of nominal schooling in the charity department of the Imperial Hill. You never excelled in anything..."
[Solar Lottery (1955)]
According to Flight on Titan:
The year 2142, as most people recall, was a disastrous one in the financial world. It was the year of the collapse of the Planetary Trading Corporation and the year that ushered in the resultant depression.
Tim and Diane Vick therefore resolve to try their luck prospecting for flame-orchids on Titan...
...And sure enough, his guess had been lucky: on May 4, 2143, a Bindman named William Rust Lawrence had died, killed in an auto accident in Arizona. And Pete had become his heir, inherited his holdings and entered his Game-playing group.
[The Game Players of Titan (1963)]
Officially, Boss Kellon was merely executive secretary of the Union of Spacemen, Managers and Engineers. But Boss, now in 2145, was equivalent to Caesar. From the unitron converters on Mercury to the lonely mining outposts scattered across the Jovian moons, the Union dominated mankind... [Breakdown (1942)]
The Solarion, in 2146, returning with her seventh cargo of sunstone, was accosted by a strange vessel in space - a slim red arrow of a ship, unlike the mirror spheres of SPC. Heliographs flashed a message, signed "Redlance", demanding surrender of the ship and cargo, "in the name of liberty and human right." [The Crucible of Power (1939)]
Report reaches Earth that the Sun Station has been lost [The Crucible of Power (1939)]:
The Solarion III, in 2148, safely reached the Sun and returned. But her holds were empty and she brought appalling news...
2161 Mind-sculptor Barkun Kris re-creates the personality of composer Richard Strauss and imprints it upon Jerom Bosch.
"...Naturally you'll realize that by this time nothing remains of your body but some bones, which we have not disturbed. The body you have now was born in our own time and was volunteered for your use..." [A Work of Art (1956)]
Disappearance of Kennicot Muir and founding of the Society of Thieves [The Paradox Men (1953)].
4 August: Carew, from the Institute, visits Dr Homer Green, the Invariant. (See 1943.)
...to tread on rugs, to see chairs covered in cloth with a nap, to see instruments for smoking, to see and hear a primitive radio... above all to see an open fire; all this gave me a sense of unreality, prepared though I was. Green saw by the fire in a chair, as we almost invariably find him, with a dog at his feet. He is perhaps the most valuable man in the world...
The peacefully seated man expresses confidence that the invariant-treatment will work on him.
"It does work, Dr Green," I assured him. "Indefinitely."
"We mustn't be premature," he said. "After all, a short time - "
"Do you recall the date, Dr Green?" I asked.
"September 11th," he said. "1943, if you want that, too."
"Dr Green, today is August 4, 2170," I told him earnestly.
The "Misadventure" - a nuclear war which leaves Earth a wreck.
[If There Were No Benny Cemoli (1963)]
The time-retracing Toynbee Twenty-Two crash-lands in the Ohio River near Wheeling on 21st July, five years before its launch.
On 22nd July a man is found wandering along the river bank,
dazed, almost naked, carrying a leather-bound book with him. The book bore the gold-stamped legend - T-Twenty-two...
The man joins the Society of Thieves and becomes known as Alar.... [The Paradox Men (1953)]
Spoken in 2177:
"...Four years ago the Lunar Station began sending me microfilm plates of both celestial hemispheres by the space second. One of these plates is of particular interest, and I feel that what it shows may have a bearing on the future of civilization. It should be analysed immediately." [The Paradox Men (1953)]
28th April: Will Carewe, believing that he has just taken an immortality drug, reflects...
...Could it be that there would come a day, perhaps only a hundred years in the future, on which he would have to check his diary to remember the colour of Athene's hair? Without absolute continuance of the personality was there such a thing as immortality? Or did it simply mean that his deathless body would be inhabited by a series of strangers, each fading imperceptibly into the next as the biological slates were wiped clean?
[One Million Tomorrows (1970)]
A momentous year. Bern Haze-Gaunt, the evil Chancellor of America Imperial, is plotting "Operation Finis".
6 June: the action of The Paradox Men begins on or just before this date. Evening: the masked ball in the Imperial Palace...
21 July: Launch of the transphotic universe-circumnavigating time-retracing history-re-writing Toynbee Twenty-Two [The Paradox Men (1953), p.97] - a second chance for the human race.
First visit to Erebus Valley, Mercury [Where the Nightlife Never Ends].
"Three years ago, in 2196, the results of the Holdane Expedition to the asteroids were published at some length in an official pamphlet by the Society for Interplanetary Research..."
[fragment of The Master of Destruction]
Beginning of the Venusian invasion and disastrous "Venusoforming" described in The Metamorphosis of Earth (1951).
In the year 2197, the first intimation of a strange peril of world-wide scope and gravity came and passed unrecognized for what it really was in the form of a newspaper dispatch from the Sahara, reporting a sand-storm of unprecedented fury...
Marcius Kemble, Dictator of Mars, is exiled to Pluto. [Escape from Pluto (1947)]
The events of Solar Lottery. To quote the blurb:
"Positions of public power decided by a sophisticated lottery. Everyone had a chance, could live in hope. Opium for the people. One day you too could be boss. And with it: The Assassination Game, which you could watch on TV. Would the new man be good enough to avoid his chosen killer? Survival of the fittest formalised into a game. Lots of excitement for everyone, keeps them all happily distracted while the Big Five industrial complexes run the world, the solar system, the people, unremarked, unopposed.
Then in the year 2203 a hitch developed in the system."
...He took out a much-folded paper, opened it with shaking hands, handed it across to Vallant. It was a map, creased and patched, grimy and oil-splattered. The legend in the corner read:
TERRESTRIAL SPACE ARM -
POLAR PROJECTION. Sol IX
The old man leaned, pointing. "See this spot right here? A river cuts through the mountains - a river of liquid nitrogen. The gorge is a thousand feet deep - and the falls come thundering down out of the sky like the end of the world. That's the place, Ame. They'd kill to get it..."
[The Other Sky (1964)]
Astronomer Eugenia Insigna discovers the Sun's neighbour star, Nemesis [Nemesis (1989)].
The Jovian moon Io is removed from the British Imperial Protectorate [Revolt on Io (1941)]
..."Kreuther!" said Mallory thoughtfully. The affair sounded like one of Kreuther's moves. That power-mad genius, exiled from Earth after the thwarted Lunar Campaign of 2234, was accustomed to strike in just this fashion...
[Revolt on Io (1941)]
The Rifflin expedition heads for the eighth planet [The Vanguard to Neptune (1932)].
First superluminal flight (15th January). Meanwhile, on the same day, on Erythro, habitable world in the Nemesis system, Marlene Fisher steps unprotected onto the planetary surface for the first time. [Nemesis (1989]
...I don't know how much time passed before I managed to say, "You found it."
Eleen glanced back over her shoulder at me, beaming. "Yes. This is everything they'd been able to figure out about the aliens by 2240 - more than two hundred years ago..." [Star's Reach, p.154]
...the Ceres Mining Company, organized in 2250 for the exploitation of the mineral resources of Ceres, Pallas and Vesta... [The Stars My Destination (1955), p134]
Mace Waldron, the famous pilot who saved that Martian liner in 2263... [Jay Score (1941)]
Jay Score's piloting rescues the Upskadaska City.
You may remember the stunt that the audiopress of 2270 boosted as "McNulty's Miracle Move"? It's practically a legend of the spaceways. Afterward, when we'd got safely home, McNulty disclaimed the credit and put it where it rightfully belonged. The audiopress had a good excuse, as usual. They said he was the captain, wasn't he? And his name made the headline alliterative, didn't it? Seems that there must be a sect of audio-journalists who have to be alliterative to gain salvation. [Jay Score (1941)]
Colonization of Erebus Valley, Mercury [Where the Nightlife Never Ends].
Erebus Valley, Mercury, is "inducted into the Republic" [Where the Nightlife Never Ends].
15 February: Ben Reich, megalomaniac boss of Monarch Utilities, having wakened screaming from his recurrent dream of The Man With No Face, comes to a decision: he will murder his arch-rival Craye D'Courtney of the D'Courtney Cartel.
It's D'Courtney who's giving me the screams. Not because I'm afraid of him. I'm afraid of myself. Known all along. Known it deep down inside. Knowing that once I faced it I'd have to kill that D'Courtney bastard. It's no face because it's the face of murder... [The Demolished Man (1953), p9]
Interstellar drive invented [Far Centaurus (1944)].
Construction of the Replicator (which of course is immediately used to Replicate itself) brings all former economics to an end. (This is part of the distant background to the ninth-millennium tale, Flame Lords of Jupiter.)
The plague known as the Gray Death strikes our planet; the Confederated Nations of Earth throw all their resources into combating it. However, the situation is saved only by a maverick scientist who organizes the first ever space-voyage, to obtain healing radium salts from the Moon. [Goddess of the Moon (1940)]
16 September: Gully Foyle, spaceman, marooned on the wreck of the merchant ship Nomad, sees the approach of what he trusts is a rescue ship. But the ship, Vorga, passes him by, leaving him to his fate. This act galvanizes the hitherto dull-witted, unambitious Foyle:
...the stereotype Common Man was no more. The key turned in the lock of his soul and the door was opened. What emerged expunged the Common Man for ever.
"You pass me by," he said with slowly mounting fury. "You leave me rot like dog. You leave me die, Vorga... No. I get out of here, me. I follow you, Vorga. I find you, Vorga. I pay you back, me. I rot you. I kill you, Vorga. I kill you deadly."
The acid of fury ran through him, eating away the brute patience and sluggishness that had made a cipher of Gully Foyle, precipitating a chain of reactions that would make an infernal machine of Gully Foyle... [The Stars My Destination (1955), p21]
Return of Hilary Grendon from a five-year space trip, the first space voyage, to find Earth has been enslaved by invaders from Mercury [Slaves of Mercury (1932)]
...The largest recorded crowd ever was of an estimated two hundred and ten million people who assembled for the event of the Joyous Declaration of the World God Uhuru movement on the Central African plain in A.D. 2381, this number being compressed into a remarkably small area thanks to the ingenious open-plan multi-storey stadia erected for the occasion...
[The Problem of Morley's Emission (1978)]
Yawning, Mr. Eric Stokes-Harding stood before the great open window, staring out. Below him was a wide, park-like space, green with emerald lawns, and bright with flowering plants. Two hundred yards across it rose an immense pyramidal building - an artistic structure, gleaming with white marble and bright metal, striped with the verdure of terraced roof-gardens, its slender peak rising to help support the gray, steel-ribbed glass roof above. Beyond, the park stretched away in illimitable vistas, broken with the graceful columned buildings that held up the great glass roof.
Above the glass, over this New York of 2432 A.D., a freezing blizzard was sweeping. But small concern was that to the lightly clad man at the window, who was inhaling deeply the fragrant air from the plants below - air kept, winter and summer, exactly at 20 degrees C... [The Cosmic Express (1930)]
Expedition of the spaceship Goddard to Pluto [Expedition to Pluto (1939)].
...All old Dr Full knew was that she was peering at the neck of the forceps and then turned white. Very carefully, she placed the half of the forceps back in its loop of cloth and then replaced the retractor and the speculum. "Well?" he asked. "What did you see?"
"'Made in U.S.A.,'" she quoted hoarsely. "'Patent applied for July 2450'."
[The Little Black Bag (1950)]
Passage of the Stability of the Social Order Act...
"Here we are - Section 64a - relating to the threat to social and economic stability caused by excessive time immigration from the belligerent centuries. Immigration by time, whether by Highway J, sub-dimensional transit, pathological hibernation, or whatever method, is an offense under the Stability of the Social Order Act of 2461, for which the maximum penalty is compulsory euthanasia..."
[Highway J (1953)]
Date of the Official Rule Book for the Annual Terran-Martian Football Game [Rule 18 (1938)]:
"Each player on the respective teams must be able to present documentary evidence that he is of pure blood of the planet upon whose team he plays for an unbroken span of at least ten generations. Verification of the aforesaid documentary evidence and approval of the players upon this point shall be the duty of the Interplanetary Athletic Control Board..."
Outbreak of the White-Yellow War [Seeker of Tomorrow (1937)].
From Seeker of Tomorrow (1937): "...Move those feet of yours a little more and your tongue a little less. And, just in case you want to keep up the play, Methuselah, may I anticipate a question by informing you that this is the year of disgrace 2486?"
End of the 2481-90 War...
...brought to an end by a militant organization of women who, first of all, refused to bear any more children, then deserted the munitions factories, causing both sides to withdraw great numbers of men to replace them, and, finally, took up arms and assassinated the individuals whom they considered to be the key men of the war. The conflict was the direct cause of the world matriarchy that held sway for the next three thousand years... [Seeker of Tomorrow (1937)]
The Fourth World War started in the year 2500... with the United States against the Mongol hordes, who had conquered all of Earth except this country. In their onward sweep of conquest, the yellow legions had seized the interplanetary colonies of all nations except Space Base 10, a U.S. possession... The Asiatic hordes are being led by Kama Khan, a direct descendant of his famous forerunner, Genghiz Khan... [Suicide Squadrons of Space (1940)]
"Thousands of you coming here. From where?"
"From the future, of course. Time travel wasn't developed until C/H 127. That's... oh say, A.D. 2505 by your chronology..."
[Hobson's Choice (1952)]
...Then came the fabulous "sea-rush" of 2507, brought about by the simultaneous development of two inventions... [Waters of Wrath (1940)]
I talked with the mind of... the Australian physicist Nevel Kingston-Brown, who will die in A.D. 2,518... [TheShadow Out of Time (1936)]
Attack on Venus by interstellar invaders.
...Population of Venus as of 2560 A.D. - 119,000,038 males, 120,143,280 females, the book said... [The World of Null-A (1948)]
...I was amused on my last day by a question asked by a ten-year-old boy, the son of one of the supervisors. We stood on a rampart overlooking one of the vast production pits, several hundred feet deep and miles across...
The little boy looked with awe at the scene, then turned his face upward, demanding, "What are we going to do when this hole gets so big that it takes up the whole world?"
We laughed... [The Dwindling Sphere (1940)]
....My part in repelling the attempted Martian invasion of Earth in the years 2675-77 was a limited one...
...On April 1st, 2675, war came in earnest, as dreadful as it was unexpected.
So suddenly were the raiders upon us that we knew it not. They struck Earth effectively in three places. Steel mills in Labrador, built to accommodate the large quantities of ore mined in the Republic of Greenland, were blown to bits in the night by roving bombs...
[When Planets Clashed (1931)]
End of the Martian invasion of Earth which began in 2675 (q.v.).
16th September: the incident on the Sun described by the Neutron Rig Operator in Incandescence (2017).
22nd October: Archiving of the story of Star's Reach into the central archive of the Guild of Rememberers.
The year from which the vessel Segomay 8 is snatched forward in time [The Winged Man (1944)].
"...It almost happened on Earth once... back in 2896. The Earth was almost wiped out when one man yearned for power and used biological warfare in its most hideous form. He knew what the result would be, but that didn't stop him..." [Cosmic Engineers (1939, 1950)]
Persian expedition under Prince Khan-Li discovers the ruins of New York City and of Washington, D.C.
...Turning suddenly upon me with a look of triumph, he exclaimed:
"It is ours!"
"What is ours?" I asked.
"The knowledge we sought"; and he pointed to the inscription:
NEW YORK STOCK EXC...
[The Last American (1889)]
D'Ormand sets off on his momentous time voyage [Ship of Darkness (1948)].
Legislation breaks up the great sea ranches [Waters of Wrath (1940)].
Gulf Stream open to public claim [Waters of Wrath (1940)].
Sudden raw materials shortage -
...Green’s fingers riffled the sheaf of teletyped flimsies.
“This is what I’ve got to tell you. Here are the latest reports from our
mines in the Andes and from the Moon. We’re faced with a drastic raw
materials shortage. Our supply of Uradonite is giving out.”
Uradonite. Nobody had to tell Chick Evans and me what that would mean.
The whole space-flying industry was dependent upon the volatile-active
element Z-470. Nullo-grav units had made vessels weightless. But that
could not provide propulsion. Then came the Mansfield cyclotronic
engine, a power unit by which the immensely heavy atoms of Z-470 were
broken down into electronic streams, the rocket-streams by which all
space-flyers are propelled...
An expedition is therefore quite rightly sent to Neptune... [The Wings of Icarus (1943)]
Ares Sen Kenlin's trip on a space-liner from Earth to Mars takes 5 days. [Twilight (1934)]
The Martians suddenly threaten Earth with a "Photo-Atomic Ray", which makes it imperative to send an expedition to Saturn in search of a substance called "tridium" which may neutralise the Ray.
...The Earth, in this year of grace 3057, was a wonderful place to live in, and Copia was the political and cultural center of the Earth. For nine hundred years now, the peoples of the Earth had lived at peace with one another as members of a single integrated community... No longer did region war against region, or group against group, or class against class...
[Cave-Dwellers of Saturn (1939)]
Ares Sen Kenlin of Neva'th City begins his voyage in time. (See 1932.) [Twilight (1934)]
The last of the Sutton family moves out of their area of Wisconsin. [Time And Again, p.185]
...He had fought in the deadly little wars of the Moons of Jupiter for years, then the Universal Debacle of 3368, after that the Martian Revolution...
[The Red Witch of Mercury (1945)]
The "Fostering of Ooranye" - when the inhabited Uranus of Uranian Gleams (2015) surfaces in this continuum. The Fostering is defined as
the one successful example in history of "reality engineering"; the action taken, and the process which took place, on 10th July A.D.3564, by which the gas giant planet Uranus became, and now always has been, more fully itself as the ice-giant planet Ooranye. By analogy the Fostering has been likened to the switching of points on a railway after a train has gone past: so that, if the train were to go into reverse, it would go back along a different track. In other words, a "new" past was grafted onto Uranus... Meanwhile the un-Fostered reality survives in one remaining clue: the "U" in the adjective "Uranian".
Note: the Fostering appears to have happened at two different dates; see 4160. Such an event can hardly have two stages; so either there is an inconsistency, or we may take it that cause-and-effect from the 4160 event cascaded backwards and triggered the 3564 event. I reckon the latter is right; it's what the Earth historian seems to be saying.
The historian says:
Everybody knows the bare outline of the events which ushered in our present era; how the Second Great Fleet did succeed in reaching Arclour and its ultimate sivvan, and how that discovery retro-triggered our retro-Fostering of Ooranye, that is to say, the grafting of Ooranye's true history onto the history of our solar system.
...it was in 4901 that nuclear war broke out between the planets... after a statesman on Earth made the mistake of using the old derogatory term "immigrants" about the inhabitants of Mars... Mars was silenced for ever... Earth was hit by no more than twelve 10,000 megaton bombs. It was enough... [Helliconia Winter (1985)]
I talked with the mind of Yiang-Li, a philosopher from the cruel empire of Tsan-Chan, which is to come in A.D. 5000... [The Shadow Out of Time (1936)]
...The Year 5000. He had become one of the Kotolies. The Kotolies, a strange, shy little animal native to Mercury, had been brought back to Earth in the fortieth century and crossbred with dogs. The new hybrid, a domesticated pet, could speak and think the language of Earth, while still retaining the lore of Mercury.
English had long formed the universal speech, but the white and coloured races had both disappeared... A blend, a merging, an amalgamation of the old stocks, the world-wide type now stood nearly seven feet tall, deeply golden of skin, richly varied in the coloration of hair and eyes... [Finality Unlimited (1936)]
Catherine Martin is awarded her diploma by the College of Science, Alkatoon, Mars [Cosmic Engineers (1939, 1950), p.18]
Jovian forces driven back to Jupiter; end of Jupiter's inconclusive war against Earth and Mars. [Cosmic Engineers (1939, 1950), p.27]
(Class-room lecture given by the Most Honorable Erru Saggus, Professor of Hamurriquanean Archaeology at the World-University of Toshtush, on the 365th day of the year 5998:)
Males, females, androgynes and neuters of the class in archaeology, you have learned, from my previous lectures, all that is known or inferred concerning the crudely realistic art and literature of the ancient Hamurriquanes. With some difficulty, owing to the fragmentary nature of the extant remains, I have reconstructed for you their bizarre and hideous buildings, their rude mechanisms...
[The Great God Awto (1940)]
I saw the first of the strange creatures who appeared among us in the year 6371, men who were later known to be from the planet Venus. But they were repulsed, for they were savages compared with the Earthmen, although they were about equal to the people of my own century, 1900... [The Coming of the Ice (1926)]
The year from which Robairst is snatched forward in time [The Winged Man (1944)].
Catherine Martin is revived from suspended animation [Cosmic Engineers (1939, 1950), p.20]
Return of Asher Sutton to Earth from his mission to 61 Cygni. [Time And Again (1951) - the book depicts an interstellar empire but the action takes place in the Solar System and is relevant to the OSS in its portrayal of Earth and asteroids.]
"According to the revision of the year 7990," said the robot, "arrived at by convention, any male human under the age of one hundred, sound in mind and body, and unhampered by religious bonds or belief, which are subject to a court of inquiry, must fight a duel whenever challenged." [p.28]
...War, the man had said. A war in time...
It would load the personnel of the Justice Department of the year 7990 with spies and fifth columnists and saboteurs. And it would do that thing so cleverly one could never find the spies.
But, as in an ordinary, honest war, there would be strategic points. As in chess, there would be one key square.
Sutton was that square... [p.126-7]
An advance in time-travel research.
"You don't know?" asked Case. "Why, it was a man in your own time. A man who is living at this very moment..."
"Case," said Pringle, "this is 7990. Michaelson really did very little with it until 8003."
[Time and Again (1951), p.118]
19th May: Resken 905 is summoned by the Flame Lords of Jupiter.
...Sutton sat easily and picked up the wrench. He weighed it in his hand. Blood, he thought, talking to the wrench. You'll have blood upon one end before the day is out.
"Tell me," said Dean. "Now that you're here, what do you plan to do?"
"Easy," said Sutton. "You're going to talk to me. You're going to tell me something I need to know."
"Gladly," Dean agreed.
"You said you came from the eighty-fourth. What year?"
"Eighty-three eighty-six," said Dean. "But if I were you, I'd go up a little ways. You'd find more to interest you."
"But you figure I'll never get even so far as that," said Sutton...
[Time and Again (1951), p.170]
Del Two-Forty A, time traveller, sets off forward in time - many millennia later he will meet a traveller from 1951, in a far future world. [Wanderers of Time (1933)]
Lord Clane Linn's archaeological researches on Venus...
...His own estimate of the time that had gone by since the great war was of the order of 8,000 years. He had enough data from other pits concerning the calendar system of the ancients to guess that by their reckoning, present-day Linn was existing in 12,000 A.D. [Empire of the Atom (1956)]
...it only made matters worse when someone in the computing section worked out the future history of our errant freighter. You see, nothing is ever really lost in space. Once you've calculated its orbit, you know where it is until the end of eternity. As we watched our lounge, our library, our games, our mail receding to the far horizons of the solar system, we knew that it would all come back one day, in perfect condition. If we have a ship standing by it will be easy to intercept it the second time it comes round the sun - quite early in the spring of the year A.D. 15,862. [Special Delivery (1957)]
I talked with the mind of Nug-Soth, a magician of the dark conquerors of A.D. 16,000... [The Shadow Out of Time (1936)]
The Earth's lands turn into soft mud and become uninhabitable [The Winged Man (1944)].
The US nuclear submarine Sea Serpent arrives in this year, having been snatched from the 20th century [The Winged Man (1944)].
28th or 29th March 29,940: starting point for the time-sortie of The Machine-Man of Ardathia (1927).
"...If I am not mistaken in my calculations, you are thirty thousand years in the past. What date is this?"
"June 5th, 1939," I replied, feebly. The creature went through some contortions, sorted a few metal tubes with its hands, and then announced in its metallic voice:
"Computed in terms of your method of reckoning, I have travelled back through time exactly twenty-eight thousand years, nine months, three weeks, two days, seven hours, and a certain number of minutes and seconds which it is useless for me to enumerate exactly."
From Seeker of Tomorrow (1937), regarding the cataclysmic events of 33,885 A.D:
...The Invader, we were informed, was a planet about twice the size of Jupiter, which had come through interstellar space, cleaved a path through the solar system and vanished into the cosmos. It passed between the orbits of Mars and the asteroid belt, its influence upsetting the normal balance of half the system, making the paths of the asteroids, Mars and Earth much more eccentric, capturing and taking with it two members of the Trojans group of asteroids...
From Seeker of Tomorrow (1937):
'...I rubbed my eyes and looked again. Standing beside the bed, his face expressive of kindly solicitude, was a bald-headed man garbed in rompers of brilliant hue....
'"You are within my house situated in the city of Leamore," he answered in a pleasantly modulated voice, "and the year is 772 by the new reckoning, or 34656 by the old. You have leaped a chasm of time representing about thirty-two thousand years!"
...The year 500,000. Man had disappeared from the planet Earth, and no longer occupied a position anywhere in the evolution of the universe. Yet many traces of him remained, and his influence persisted...
...interplanetary wars had weakened the race... Man survived on Saturn only through hybrid amalgamation with the conquerors... [Finality Unlimited (1936)]
...He must get a little more power out of the motor, or they would crash to their deaths in a few minutes! A fine ending for their daring dash to Jupiter - the first space flight since the great comet swarm of 800,768 A.D. [The Metal Moon (1932)]
The year the Time Traveller emerged into a far-future England divided between the Eloi and the Morlocks - as narrated in The Time Machine (1895).
...The solar system had altered profoundly. The tidal drag had brought the moon and Earth together millions of years before, with a collision that made them fuse, flame, and create a new star. The star circled around the old, dying sun which, as it cooled and solidified under the light of the new star, developed its first species of life-forms, simple forms radically different from the beginnings upon the former planet Earth. Pluto had been torn away from the system by a wandering star.
He was a nitrogenised metallic spore, clinging to the peak of a jagged, titanic range of mountains fifty miles high, composed of volcanic magma, and overhanging an acid sea. He was the life primeval, from which in billions of years of later time would arise the deathless, indestructible, purely intellectual and mathematical metallic beings who would shape the destiny of the cosmos for the inheritance of still more complex life-forms of still later trillions of years of ultra-time... [Finality Unlimited (1936)]
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