One Universe At A Time

By Kevin J. Phyland

sfgenreWe’re going back ... again. Time travel worked out ... in a way. It turned out that the Many Worlds hypothesis is right. Every small change affects everything else in the upstream timeline. Which basically means that every change you make is in a different Universe to the one you leave from ... and return to. And that’s a lot of Universes ... so ... you get back home ... where nothing has changed.

The usual order of business is assassination ... start out early.

The bad part is we never know if we make a difference for good or evil. We just get paid.

First mission I had was some Sumerian king. No idea what he did. We just took him out. Now, I kiss my badge every job, hoping we did the right thing.

Then there was this Greek dude named Ptolemy ... I had to write it down ... apparently he delayed science by about a thousand years. Here.
So. You get the idea ... we won’t fix it here and now but we might fix it for some other timeline.

I guess my favourite one is what I call ‘The Hitler Debacle’. Got him at birth. Got him in World War I. Got him in prison, and got him at Berchtesgaden.

Didn’t change a goddamn thing here.

Must have killed nearly everyone that was famous in my timeline at one time or another.

Jesus (seemed ok), Henry VIII (he wasn’t), Stalin, Pol Pot, and that Cuban dude. Orders are orders.

We must have sent fifteen missions preventing some prince being assassinated ... then spent an equal number assassinating others. Ebb and flow.

We aren’t selected for our knowledge of history. More like the exact opposite. No preconceptions.

I guess this why I had to write this missive. We are one of the unnumbered Universes. And in some other one they have also invented time travel. Although each Universe is random, I suspect they will try to prevent it here, eventually.

Tomorrow I have three missions. All very bizarre. I must assassinate a bloke who invented the steam engine. Then a guy who invented the microchip. Then some woman who discovered radioactivity. All in the same Universe.

Even I know that one may influence the other.

And I’ll come back to the same Universe. The one where nuclear weapons were invented...and used. The one where chemicals were used for good and evil. The one where most people are poor and angry and hungry.

But the military officer who runs me assures me that we are doing the right thing. And he’s right. “Change is good,” he says.

But the change doesn’t happen here.

There will be another Universe that has nutted this out, and they may not be thrilled with what we are doing. They may even be better at it than us. They’ll be able to target history because we can’t. Yet.

And if we eventually can ... there will be a new war ... across eternity and every Universe ever created.

But at least my job is secure.

I’m helping to save the world ... one Universe at a time ... until someone comes to assassinate ... me.

rocket crux 2 75

About The Author

Kevin J. Phyland

Kevin J. Phyland

Finally officially retired. Writing will now take up a bit more of my time. Still working on longer pieces. 33 years spent teaching. Writing since I was 12 on and off. Something had to give. I have a penchant for short, choppy, staccato sentences with too many adjectives.


AntiSF & The ASFF

AntipodeanSF supports the ASFF

asff col

Please visit the ASFF website and consider joining for up-to-date info about Australian SF cons, awards, competitions, and to receive the Foundation's newsletter, Instrumentality, and more.


About AntipodeanSF

Download AntiSF E-Book

Epub version: 

Kindle version: 

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 225

A Chip In Time
by Garry Dean

Election Day
by Lee S. Hawke

Five Characters In Joyful Masks
by Robert David

Lament To A Barman
by Susan Cornford

Live Long & Whatever
by Wes Parish

Out Of Time
by Chris Cole

by C.A. Clark

The Most Powerful Man On Earth Is An Alien
by David Scholes

by Maria Arena

Trojan Crocodile
by DW Walker

Get Dimension 6


Get Dimension 6 Speculative Fiction

From Coeur De Lion Publishing

Here at AntiSF
Download D6 Now!

"Trust me, you want this free speculative fiction e-zine."
(Rob Hood)

AntiSF March 2017



Speculative Fiction
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

rocket crux 2 75

Radio Show Schedule

Triangulum Galaxy: March 4

Mr Bensen — by Zeb Carter
Raising Ghosts By Way Of Japan — by Matt Thompson
Panel presentation "Of Men & Monsters", at Contact 2016 — Grace Dugan (Moderator), Robert Hood, Jason Nahrung, Kaaron Warren, Liss Caldwell (part 1)


Ursa Minor Dwarf: March 11

Trusts Is A Hand Full Of Sand — by Laurie Bell
The Patent Office — by Kevin J. Phyland
Panel presentation "Of Men & Monsters", at Contact 2016 — Grace Dugan (Moderator), Robert Hood, Jason Nahrung, Kaaron Warren, Liss Caldwell (part 2)


Virgo A: March 18

Selfie — by Harris Tobias
The City — by Mark Tremble
Panel presentation "Of Men & Monsters", at Contact 2016 — Grace Dugan (Moderator), Robert Hood, Jason Nahrung, Kaaron Warren, Liss Caldwell (part 3)


Whirlpool Galaxy: March 25

It's About Time, Sport — by Brent, Ben, & Dean Lillie
Life — by Natalie J.E. Potts
Panel presentation "Of Men & Monsters", at Contact 2016 — Grace Dugan (Moderator), Robert Hood, Jason Nahrung, Kaaron Warren, Liss Caldwell (part 4)


2NVR - Nambucca Valley Radio

20:30 EADST — every Saturday


Live Stream 2NVR Here

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show Podcast

antipod-show-50The AntipodeanSF Radio Show delivers audio from the pages of this magazine.

The weekly program features the stories from recently published issues, usually narrated by the authors themselves.

Listen to the latest episode now:

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show is also broadcast on community radio, 2NVR, 105.9FM every Saturday evening at 8:30pm.

You can find every episode online here: 

SF News From The ASFF

Ditmar Awards
Nominations are now open. If you have been active in fandom over the last year (and you are given you are a member of the ASFF) you can nominate works for the awards. The Ditmars are presented by the Australian National Science Fiction Convention; this year Continuum 13 Triskaidekaphilia is the Aussie Natcon. Details about the Ditmars and how to nominate can be found on their website. A list of eligible works can be found here.

Aurealis Awards 2016 Short List
The Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation (WASFF), organisers of the 2016 Aurealis Awards, are delighted to announce the finalists for the Awards. Winners of the 2016 Aurealis Awards and the Convenors’ Award for Excellence will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony, on the evening of Friday 14 April, 2017 as part of the Swancon 42 convention. Details of the evening and a link to the online booking website will be available soon.

For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <>


CON 80: The Ultimate 1980s Sci-Fi Experience will be held at the Amora Hotel Riverwalk 649 Bridge Rd, Richmond, Victoria from 11-13 March 2017. More information at: <>

SWANCON 42 will be held at the Pan Pacific Hotel, 207 Adelaide Terrace, Perth, from 13-17 April 2017. (The Easter Weekend). The Guests of Honour will be Wesley Chu, Traci Harding, Douglas Adams (in Memoriam) and Davina Watson. More information at: <>

CONTINUUM 13: TRISKAIDEKAPHILIA will be held in Melbourne from 9-12 June 2017. (Jasper Hotel, Melbourne) It will also be the 57th Australian Natcon. The Guest of Honour will be Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. More information will become available at: <>

Starwalking — 40th Birthday Gala Dinner. Celebrating 40 years of Star Wars. 3 June 2017, Jasper Hotel, Melbourne. <>

Supanova — Melbourne April 28-30 2017, Melbourne Showgrounds. Guest David Boreanaz For more information <>

Oz Comicon —  Perth March 25-26 2017 Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre. Adelaide 1-2 April, Adelaide Showgrounds. <>

For more up-to-date Aussie SF info join the ASFF: <>

S5 Box

Login Form

S5 Register

You need to enable user registration from User Manager/Options in the backend of Joomla before this module will activate.

SF Quote

Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.

Isaac Asimov