TRAVEL IN FICTION
An important question arises in the science fiction genre of "Time
Travel"? Which way to go, into the future or back into the
If it's the past, than we must look to the Babylon work of "The
Gilgamesh Epic", which is said to be the oldest series
of legends and poems about the King Gilgamesh of Uruk dating back
to 2000 B.C. Myth tells of him being part divine and part human.
The stories are preserved on eleven clay tablets that essentially
include many episodes that parallel the Bible.
The Syrian author, Lucian Samosata was maybe the first to write
about alien life forms. In his "True History"
(160 A.D.) he attempts to debunk the ancient sources of the fantastic
and mythical events as truths. In his literary criticism, he mentions
the works of "Homer and Ctesias of Cnidus" and justifies
his title "True History" by arguing that his
is the only truthful mythological story ever written because in
it he admits that it's all lies.
Today there is a belief that the ancient wall carvings and crypto
writings present strong elements of aliens visiting earth. According
to the present day "Myth Breakers", the technologies used
by our ancient ancestors to erect their cities were gifts from visiting
aliens. If so, then, I query, "was the French Apothecary Michel
de Nostredame an alien?"
"Time Travel" into the pass can create science fiction
paradoxes, which may not be fiction; it could be today's science
fact, or to be more precise, simply places where our own rational
minds bump into its own limitations.
Example: "The Grandfather Paradox", which is described
as a person going back in time to kill his grandfather and if he
kills his grandfather, he would never have been born, thus making
it impossible for him to go back in time. Interesting?
If it's the future, than it is about "Alternate Worlds"
or "Parallel Universes". These are mostly about "Time
Police". A good example is Poul Anderson's "Time Patrol"
(2006), which brings hopes of a better future by protecting the
future from fanatics, terrorists and dictators who would bring horror
and mayhem into the future.
One great book about "Alternate Worlds" is "A
Wrinkle in Time" (1962) by Madeleine L'Engle. This captivating
story is a "Tesseract", which tells a tale of
her searching through space to find her father.
An excellent example of a "Parallel Universe"
is Edwin Abbott's "Flatland" (1884) a novella,
which describes a two-dimensional world that is occupied by geometric
figures with a society rigidly divided by classes. Several movies
have been made from his story.
Better-known stories of "Time Travel" are:
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1889)
by Mark Twain
- The Time Machine (1895) by H.G.Wells
- Rip Van Winkle (1819) by Washington Irving
- Looking Backward (1888) by Edward Bellamy
Now, on the serious side, is "Time Travel" possible?
Many professors in physics believe it's not possible because there
would have to be some kind of constraint to prevent it. Then again,
what if some day a person knocks at your door and says they're a
distant relative? You're puzzled? You might want to think twice
before you close the door. Because there is the quantum theory by
go softly into the night. mgf
Behind the Fiction