All the Time in the World

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Clarke, Arthur C. "All the Time in the World." Startling Stories July 1952. Collected The Other Side of the Sky, which see at internal link, pp. 97-108. For translations and many collections and reprints in anthologies, see Internet Science Fiction Database, as of February 2024, here.[1]

Applying a term from Isaac Asimov's "Social Science Fiction" essay,[2] we'll call "All the Time," in part, "gadget" science fiction, with the gadget an "accelerator" in "personal generator" form looking like a bracelet (pp. 100, 102, 103 in Signet pb). The story is also time-travel fiction (and uses the term "singularity" [Signet p. 10-5]). It is finally, apocalyptic SF.

Relevant here for the image of a man walking through a large city, with a device that effectively nearly freezes time outside him. By Clarke's Third Law[3] this is a kind of magic and an image of technology mediating a kind of sphere of separation from and interaction with the larger world (the man is a thief, being paid very well for a technologically-mediated caper).

Relevant also: the high technology referred to in "A placard" that "formed an impossible curve in the breeze that was blowing through this motionless world." The anti-heroic protagonist "Ashton read the crudely lettered words with difficulty: SUPERBOMB TEST TODAY" (p. 107). That test will trigger — in a sense has already triggered (p. 108) — a local apocalypse, destroying Earth.

RDE, finishing, 13/14Feb24