Analog May1988.jpg
Author Harry Turtledove
First Appearance Analog Magazine
Collected Departures
Genre(s) Science fiction
Publication date May, 1988

"Lure" is a time travel science fiction short story by Harry Turtledove. It was first published in Analog Magazine in May 1988. It was reprinted in the Turtledove collection Departures in 1993.

The story deals with Harvey Cutter, a hunter, who time travels to Miocene Italy to capture specimens of primates for the San Diego Cenozoic Zoo. Cutter has difficulty finding the best lure for his last specimen, until he hits on the best idea on how to catch his prey.

He uses creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, i.e. Oreos. The story ends on a pun by revealing just what Cutter was trying to catch: Oreopithecus.

When the story was collected in Departures, Turtledove wrote in his introduction to the story that the Oreo-Oreopithecus pun was made by his wife Laura Frankos, and then he wrote a story around it.

See also[]

  • "Hatching Season," another story about using time travel for paleontology. Turtledove has not specified whether the stories are connected.