Many years ago I read a short story that I think was titled "Blood and Lust". It featured two entities named Blood and Lust who would travel through history making very small adjustments to see how events played out after. I recall one instance where one of them slightly altered the trajectory of a bullet, resulting in a failed assassination attempt.

Googling turns up a bunch of hits, but I'm not finding that specific story.

1 Answer 1


This is "The Game of Blood and Dust" (1975)1 by Roger Zelazny, originally published in Galaxy.

It is about two characters, Blood and Dust, altering history through time travel. They have the power to go to any time.

Apparently, they fail to prevent Lincoln's death (emphasis mine):

Blood entered Chewy's Theater on the evening in 1865 when the disgruntled actor had taken a shot at the President of the United States. Delicately altering the course of the bullet in midair, he made it reach its target.

However, they stop Nikita Khrushchev's death (emphasis mine):

Blood entered the century at a farther point and assured the failure of Leon Nozdrev, the man who had assassinated Nikita Khrushchev.

Credit to Adamant for finding this from another question, answered by Mark Olson.
Quotes from here; other content from ISFdb. The link to that text is dead; here it is live.

  • 2
    Ahh! I forgot to check "dust" instead of "lust," and I knew I had that wrong. Thanks!
    – Rick
    Mar 22, 2019 at 3:38
  • Dust to lust is a huge change semantically, if only it is just a one-letter variation :D
    – CinCout
    Mar 22, 2019 at 4:36

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