Time in Advance

Last updated
Time in Advance
Front cover of the first Bantam Books edition of Time in Advance.
Author William Tenn
CountryUnited States
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Bantam Books
Publication date
June 1958
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages153 pp
OCLC 314994320

Time in Advance (no ISBN) is a collection of four noveletes by American science fiction writer William Tenn (a pseudonym of Philip Klass). The stories all originally appeared in a number of different publications between 1952 and 1957. Time in Advance was first published by Bantam Books as a paperback in 1958 and also published as a hardcover in the United Kingdom by Victor Gollancz in 1963, followed a hardcover edition in 1964 published in the United Kingdom by the Science Fiction Book Club and by a Panther paperback edition in April 1966.



Tenn (the pseudonym of Philip Klass) dedicated the collection his wife, Fruma, while referencing the title story of the collection.


A reprint of a story first published in February 1952 and featured as that issue's cover story. Here, Earth is visited by enigmatic and uncommunicative aliens who ignore humans and simply observe. Those who do meet with the aliens, gain extraordinary powers, such as telekinesis, but in human terms, also go mad. Algernon Hebster is a highly successful businessman, owing mostly to his dealings with primeys, who supply him with the knowledge for advanced technologies which he puts to use in commerce. The problem is that primeys are so dangerous that dealing with them is highly illegal and every attempt is made to confine them to the reservations around their perceived alien masters.

"Time in Advance"

This story was published in the August 1956 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction . The story presents a future in which citizens serve out sentences for crimes they have not yet committed. Two "pre-criminals", "Blotto" Otto Henck and Nicholas Crandall, manage against all the odds to serve out two full terms for murder in an off-world penal colony. They are returned to Earth as minor celebrities with the right to kill one person each. [1]

"The Sickness"

This story first appeared in the November 1955-dated issue of Infinity Science Fiction . In the story, Earth finds itself on the brink of nuclear war between Russia and the United States. As a last-ditch symbolic gesture of peace and cooperation, the two nations launch a joint crewed venture to Mars. After finding an alien city there, a Russian and then American astronaut first come down with a sickness, then gain superhuman power.

Front cover of a Russian edition of "Winthrop Was Stubborn". Russiantimeinadvance.jpg
Front cover of a Russian edition of "Winthrop Was Stubborn".

"Winthrop Was Stubborn"

A story first published in Galaxy Science Fiction in August 1957, under the title "Time Waits for Winthrop". The future, via time travel, contacts the present. The present day travelers find themselves stranded in a hedonistic future. The oldest, Winthrop, refuses to return to the past thus leaving all of them trapped. In the present he was a bum, but in the future he's a curio and encouraged to indulge his tastes to the point of gluttony. [2]


Anthony Boucher received the collection enthusiastically, describing the two novellas included as "models absolute of extrapolative with and insight" while finding the shorter stories "of almost comparable quality." [3]


The story "Time in Advance" was adapted in 1965 by Paul Erickson as one of twelve episodes of the first series of BBC anthology series Out of the Unknown . The episode survives, and has been released on DVD.

Related Research Articles

<i>The Star Beast</i> 1954 SF novel by Robert A. Heinlein

The Star Beast is a 1954 science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein about a high school senior who discovers that his extraterrestrial pet is more than it appears to be. The novel was originally serialised, somewhat abridged, in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction as Star Lummox and then published in hardcover as part of Scribner's series of Heinlein juveniles.

<i>The Rest of the Robots</i> 1964 short story collection by Isaac Asimov

The Rest of the Robots is a collection of eight short stories and two full-length novels by American writer Isaac Asimov, published in 1964. The stories, centred on positronic robots, are all part of the Robot series, most of which take place in the Foundation universe. Another collection of short stories about robots, I, Robot, was re-published in the previous year, which is why Asimov chose to title the collection as The Rest of the Robots. None of the short stories in this collection were in I, Robot, however all of them were later included in The Complete Robot, and both novels about Elijah Baley were also published separately.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Tenn</span> American journalist

William Tenn was the pseudonym of Philip Klass, a British-born American science fiction author, notable for many stories with satirical elements.

<i>Time and Stars</i>

Time and Stars is a collection of science fiction short stories by American writer Poul Anderson, published in 1964.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James H. Schmitz</span> American science fiction writer (1911–1981)

James Henry Schmitz was an American science fiction writer born in Hamburg, Germany of American parents.

Rebecca Ore is the pseudonym of science fiction writer Rebecca B. Brown. She was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1948. In 1968 she moved to New York City and attended Columbia University. Rebecca Ore is known for the Becoming Alien series and her short stories.

<i>Of Men and Monsters</i> 1968 novel by William Tenn

Of Men and Monsters is a science fiction novel by American writer William Tenn, published in June 1968 as a paperback by Ballantine Books. The book is an expansion of his story "The Men in the Walls", originally published in Galaxy Science Fiction in October 1963. Of Men and Monsters is Tenn’s only full-length novel, as the majority of his other stories are novellas.

<i>Immodest Proposals</i>

Immodest Proposals is a collection of 33 science fiction stories by British-American writer William Tenn, the first of two volumes presenting Tenn's complete body of science fiction writings. It features an introduction by Connie Willis. Tenn provides afterwords to each story, describing how they came to be written.

<i>Rogue Queen</i> 1951 science fiction novel by L. Sprague de Camp

Rogue Queen is a science fiction novel by American writer L. Sprague de Camp, the third book in his Viagens Interplanetarias series. It was first published in hardcover by Doubleday in 1951, and in paperback by Dell Books in 1952. A later hardcover edition was issued by The Easton Press in its The Masterpieces of Science Fiction series in 1996; later paperback editions were issued by Ace Books (1965) and Signet Books. A trade paperback edition was issued by Bluejay Books in June 1985. The first British edition was published in paperback by Pinnacle Books in 1954; a British hardcover reprint followed from Remploy in 1974. The novel has been translated into Portuguese, Italian, French and German. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form. Arc Manor's Phoenix Pick imprint reissued the book in both trade paperback and e-book format in January 2012.

<i>The Continent Makers</i> 1951 novella by Lyon Sprague de Camp

The Continent Makers is a science fiction novella by American writers L. Sprague de Camp, part of his Viagens Interplanetarias series. It was first published in the magazine Thrilling Wonder Stories in the issue for April, 1951. It first appeared in book form in the collection The Continent Makers and Other Tales of the Viagens, published in hardcover by Twayne Publishers in 1953, and in paperback by Signet Books in 1971. It has also been translated into Portuguese, Dutch, and Italian.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jim Harmon</span> American author and popular culture historian

James Judson Harmon, better known as Jim Harmon, was an American short story author and popular culture historian who wrote extensively about the Golden Age of Radio. He sometimes used the pseudonym Judson Grey, and occasionally he was labeled Mr. Nostalgia.

<i>This Immortal</i> 1965 novel by Roger Zelazny

This Immortal, serialized as ...And Call Me Conrad, is a science fiction novel by American author Roger Zelazny. In its original publication, it was abridged by the editor and published in two parts in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in October and November 1965. It tied with Frank Herbert's Dune for the 1966 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

<i>Of All Possible Worlds</i>

Of All Possible Worlds is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer William Tenn. It was published in hardcover by Ballantine Books in 1955, with a cover by Richard Powers. Ballantine issued paperback editions in 1955, 1960, and 1968; a British hardcover appeared in 1956 with a paperback following in 1963. It was Tenn's first collection.

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, better known as L. Ron Hubbard, was an American pulp fiction author. He wrote in a wide variety of genres, including science fiction, fantasy, adventure fiction, aviation, travel, mystery, western, and romance. His United States publisher and distributor is Galaxy Press. He is perhaps best known for his self-help book, the #1 New York Times bestseller Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and as the founder of the Church of Scientology.

<i>Explorers of the Infinite</i>

Explorers of the Infinite: Shapers of Science Fiction is a work of collective biography on the formative authors of the science fiction genre by Sam Moskowitz, first published in hardcover by the World Publishing Company in 1963, and reprinted in trade paperback in 1966. A photographic reprint of the original edition was issued in both hardcover and trade paperback by Hyperion Press in 1974. Most of its chapters are revised versions of articles that initially appeared in the magazines Satellite Science Fiction and Fantastic Science Fiction Stories from 1958-1960.

<i>Invaders from Rigel</i> 1960 novel by Fletcher Pratt

Invaders from Rigel is a science fiction novel by American writer Fletcher Pratt. It was first published in hardcover by Avalon Books in 1960. The first paperback edition was issued by Airmont Books in January 1964 and reprinted in December 1972, May 1973, January 1976, and at least one later occasion. The novel has also been translated into Italian. The book is an expansion of the author's novella "The Onslaught from Rigel," originally published in the magazine Wonder Stories Quarterly in the issue for Winter 1932. Pratt reused the name of the protagonist, Benjamin Franklin Ruby, in the form B. F. Ruby as an authorial pseudonym for later stories.

<i>A Treasury of Science Fiction</i>

A Treasury of Science Fiction is an American anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in hardcover by Crown Publishers in 1948, and reprinted in March 1951. A later edition was issued by Bonanza Books/Crown Publishers in March 1980. An abridged paperback version including eight of its thirty stories was published by Berkley Books in July 1957 and reprinted in January 1958 and January 1965.

<i>Invasions</i> (anthology)

Invasions is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh as the tenth and last volume in their Isaac Asimov's Wonderful Worlds of Science Fiction series. It was first published in paperback by Roc/New American Library in August 1990, with the first British edition issued in paperback by Robinson at the same time.

<i>The Best of Cordwainer Smith</i>

The Best of Cordwainer Smith is a collection of science fiction short stories by American author Cordwainer Smith, edited by J. J. Pierce. It was first published in hardback by Nelson Doubleday in July 1975 and in paperback by Ballantine Books in September of the same year as a volume in its Classic Library of Science Fiction. The Ballantine edition was reprinted in October 1977 and July 1985. Phoenix Pick issued a new edition in trade paperback and ebook in April, 2017. A British paperback edition under the alternative title The Rediscovery of Man was published by Gollancz in June 1988, and reissued in 1999, 2003, and 2010; Gollancz also brought out hardcover and ebook versions in September 1988 and November 2012, respectively. The book has also been translated into German.

<i>On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi!</i> 1974 science fiction novelette by William Tenn

On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi! is a 1974 science fiction novelette by William Tenn. At an Interstellar Neozionist Congress convened on Venus, weirdly-looking aliens claim that they are Jews. This legal quagmire was ingeniously resolved by the Great Rabbi of Venus. The story satirizes the question "Who is a Jew?". It was first published in the anthology Wandering Stars: An Anthology of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction edited by Jack Dann.


  1. "Time in Advance" at the Internet Archive
  2. "Time Waits for Winthrop" at the Internet Archive
  3. "Recommended Reading," F&SF , September 1958, p.98.