Short story - time-travel - Harlan Ellison??

Incanto

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Aug 30, 2013
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This was an old time-machine story by, perhaps, Harlan Ellison. He was not someone I read much, but this story mischievously returns to mind whenever I see three generations of a family, retrogressing from (say) a famous scientist, to his son - a distinguished but uninspired professor, to his son in turn - a fantasy writer.

An assortment of VIPs (something like 6 scientists and 2 politicians) gathers to witness the first experimental test of a time-machine. Someone, I think, was supposed to go back in time, but the machine appears to be a failure. Disappointed, they depart.

Replay. An assortment of VIPs with some oddballs (something like 2 scientists, 5 politicians, and a screwball) gathers to witness the first experimental test of a time-machine. The machine appears to be a failure. Disappointed, they depart.

Replay ... and replay repeatedly. Eventually, an assortment of oddballs including a few kids and a dog gather to witness the demonstration of some "time-machine", a fancy contraption put together out of springs and old wire. They even push the control lever, but of course nothing happens, as expected.

Does anyone know the title? Sorry for the incorrect details, but this story had a curious rhythm which I was trying to emulate.
 

j d worthington

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May 9, 2006
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Sorry, no; but I may save you a bit of time by saying that, given my fairly hefty reading of Ellison, this really doesn't ring a bell at all, nor does it particularly sound like his sort of material....
 

Incanto

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Aug 30, 2013
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Ah, I was afraid of that. I suspect now that the link with Ellison was just that this short story happened to be in the same anthology as one of his. Thanks ...
 
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