Closing the Timelid

"Closing the Timelid"
Author Orson Scott Card
Country United States
Language English
Published in Unaccompanied Sonata and Other Stories
Publisher Dial Press
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Publication date 1980

"Closing the Timelid" is a short story by Orson Scott Card. It appears in his short story collections Unaccompanied Sonata and Other Stories and Maps in a Mirror.

Plot summary

In the future, time travel machines known as timelids exist, but are expensive devices and thus available only to corporations and wealthy people. One wealthy playboy, Orion, has discovered a way to get a powerful new thrill out of his timelid: since a safety device built into it ensures that the time traveler is always reassembled no matter what happens to him in the past, one can experience the excitements of death without actually dying by traveling to the past and committing suicide. Much to the chagrin of the temporal enforcement authorities, Orion has gathered together a band of his fellow thrill-seekers to try out this amazing new source of amusement, and they are tormenting a trucker fated to die by throwing themselves in his path to commit their suicides.

Although the authorities' plan to build up a legal case against Orion so they can arrest and try him for his cruelty to the truck driver fails, their inside man Gemini successfully talks Orion into seeking the ultimate thrill: suicide with the machine turned off so that his death will truly be final. Thus, Orion's self-destructive impulses ironically serve the cause of justice as he quite willingly carries out a sentence of capital punishment on himself.

See also

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External links



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