The Red Queen's Race
|"The Red Queen's Race"|
|Genre(s)||Science fiction short story|
|Published in||Astounding Science Fiction|
|Publisher||Street & Smith|
|Publication date||January 1949|
The Red Queen's Race is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov that uses the Red Queen's race from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass as a metaphor for the final plot twist. The story also makes reference to Asimov's psychohistory. "The Red Queen's Race" was first published in the January 1949 issue of Astounding Science Fiction and reprinted in the 1972 collection The Early Asimov.
The events of the story revolve around an investigation into an atomic power plant completely drained of power and the death of a research physicist, Elmer Tywood. As the investigation progresses, it is revealed that Tywood had developed a means to send objects back in time and that his plan was to improve the world by giving Hellenic Greece advanced knowledge in the form of chemistry.
The government agents investigating the case gradually realize that the changes introduced into history might, through the butterfly effect, cause the deletion from existence of every human being alive.
The trail eventually leads to the doorstep of Mycroft James Boulder, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, who had been hired by Tywood to translate a textbook of chemistry into Attic Greek. He states that he had figured out Tywood's plan and translated only enough to coincide with historical accounts.
- Asimov, Isaac, "The Red Queen's Race" in The Early Asimov ISBN 0-385-03979-4.