Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Time On Your Hands

While I was watching the various documentaries on the Back to the Future boxed set, one question that kept coming up to cast and crew was, if you could travel in time, where would you go? That's a hard call. It's tempting to want to see dinosaurs. It's also tempting to want to go to some time period where I could meet a favorite author. Jump back to 1895 London and hang out with Conan Doyle or to Cross Plains Texas in 1934 to see Robert E. Howard at the height of his pulp writing career. Maybe visit some SF Con in the 1970s and speak to Lin Carter or Karl Edward Wagner. Have to be careful when traveling within ones own lifetime though. I'd probably run into Cliff before he'd actually met me.
The thing to keep in mind is that the past is a dangerous place. Jump back much before 1800 and you've got a good chance of meeting a messy death. Anyone who wants to visit the Roman Empire or Ancient Greece would do well to remember that our ancestors had precious little tolerance for anachronisms.
Then there's the amenities or lack there of. The middle ages probably looked more like Monty Python and the Holy Grail than Prince Valiant. Sanitary conditions weren't good. Still, I guess if you carried a first aid kit and some antibiotics you could make a short Holiday in the distant past.
A couple of the folks on the DVD said they'd like to visit the future. That holds less interest for me than the past. Figure I'll get there on my own eventually.
Anyway, feel free to comment. You've got a De Lorean with a Flux Capacitor. Where would you go?

1 comment:

Brett Brooks said...

I will now state my theory on time travel: it is possible, but only in one direction--forward. Given that we are already "traveling" forward in time, I believe that at some point, or possibly already, someone will develop a means to move forward through time at an accelerated rate, thus creating a form of time travel. But, seeing as how they cannot return to the "present" their discoveries and revelations stay trapped with them.

Now, with that stated, I would still rather go to the future. I know what happened in the past, but I don't know what the future holds. But, with my own theory, I wouldn't do it because I wouldn't be able to share that experience with my loved ones.