Science Fiction Short Story Review: “The Day Time Stopped Moving” by Bradner Buckner
All Dave Miller wanted was to commit suicide in peace. He was drunk. His drugstore was going under and he was doing nothing but drinking only more. His refinance scheme involves race horses. Now Helen was leaving him. Well, he would show her! So he picked up his gun and—
Opened his eyes. He heard a bell ring, like a cash register. No St. Peter. No Pearly Gates. There are people around, but no one is moving. While their skin is warm to the touch, it is hard. The only exception is a dog. Dave heads to the library and there he meets John Erickson of the Wanamaker Institute, first laboratory of the them all when it comes to exploding atoms and blazing trails into the wilderness of science.
Erickson is doing his own research as to how this situation came about. Seems the time impulsor he made didn’t quite work the way he intended. Is Dave Miller dead or alive? Is it purgatory? And what will happen to the dog?
This is a bit longer than many of the short stories and the ending not a surprise. While this is not among my favorites, I enjoyed it. The technical explanations were a bit far-fetched to say the least.
Author Edward Earl Repp (penname Bradner Buckner) wrote some pulp science fiction in the 20s and 30s. After WWII, wrote some 50 screenplays. Most of his postwar published fiction was westerns. He conducted the last interview with Wyatt Earp before his death.
Title: “The Day Time Stopped Moving” first published in Amazing Stories Oct. 1940
Author: Bradner Buckner (legal name Edward Earl Repp) (1901-1979)
©2015 Denise Longrie
An earlier version of this review appeared on another site. It has since been removed from there and has been expanded and updated for its inclusion in PP.
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