Time-travel novel where character fights himself

ClassicalMark

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Aug 31, 2019
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I have a atrong memory of a scene in a time-travel book without remembering many other details.

The main character is trying to accomplish something (I don't recall what, but call it X). In a wooded valley, he comes across a guy wearing some kind of suit that makes him unrecognizable. The guy is repairing a timeship. The guy attacks him, and they have a fight. Later, the main character accomplishes X, but it turns out to be disatrous. He uses a timeship to go back and stop himself. So the fight is between him and himself from a different time stream. At first he thinks X is a good idea, but later realizes it isn't.

I imagine I read this in the 60's or early 70's, but it may have been written earlier. Most likely it's a novel, not a short story, and I probably read it in paperback. For a while I thought it was Time and Again, by Clifford Simak (it's not), and then I thought it was The Door Into Summer, by Robert Hienlein (also not). Both of these books have similar time-travel situations, but not the guy fighting with himself.
 

psychotick

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Hi,

It doesn't match well but for a man fighting different temporal versions of himself I'd be thinking "By his bootstraps" by Heinlein.

Cheers, Greg.
 

ClassicalMark

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I've read a lot of Heinlein, but I don't recall that one. I'll read it, see if it's the one.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Mark
 

Elckerlyc

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Hi,

It doesn't match well but for a man fighting different temporal versions of himself I'd be thinking "By his bootstraps" by Heinlein.

Cheers, Greg.
As it happens, 'By his bootstraps' is my all-time favorite time-travel story.
It does contain a scene where the protagonist is fighting with a future self (and even a third self), but that's as far as the comparison goes with the description ClassicalMark gave.

Something in that description, though, makes me think of Keith Laumer.
 

ClassicalMark

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Thanks, @tinkerdan, for the suggestion. I've actually been through a number of these lists, but I'm not sure I tried that one. I'll take a look.

Mark
 
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