—All You Zombies—

Publication date:1959.03
Genre:Science fiction short story
Preceded by:Have Space Suit—Will Travel
Followed by:Starship Troopers
Wikipedia page

“—All You Zombies—” is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein. It was written in one day, July 11, 1958, and first published in the March 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine after being rejected by Playboy.

In 1980, it was nominated for the Balrog Award for short fiction.

“—All You Zombies—” further develops themes explored by the author in a previous work: “By His Bootstraps,” published some 18 years earlier. Some of the same elements also appear later in “The Cat Who Walks Through Walls” (1988), including the Circle of Ouroboros and the Temporal Corps.

Exposition

A young man walks into a bar and meets a time‐traveling bartender whose origins and relation to the young man—are more convoluted and stranger than the snake‐swallowing‐his‐tail ring on the barkeep’s finger.