“Common Time,” James Blish, 1953 – Time is subjective, especially when traveling near light speed. A traveler wakes up during a flight and is trapped in a moment. He encounters dream-like beings and his experiences become indescribable. When he returns to Earth, to his despair, the memory of the beings fades.
Comments: Introduction by Damon Knight discussing the sexual/death imagery in The Mirror of Infinity: A Critics’ Anthology of Science Fiction. Wikipedia: “The story is considered to be an archetype of symbolism in science fiction.” Damon Knight argues that the story is “a symbolic representation of fertilization of a female ovum by a sperm.”
Author: Wikipedia: “James Benjamin Blish (May 23, 1921 – July 30, 1975) was an American author of fantasy and science fiction. Blish also wrote literary criticism of science fiction using the pen-name William Atheling, Jr.”