Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Time Machine And The Time Patrol III

In HG Wells' The Time Machine, published in 1895, The Time Traveler demonstrates time traveling by sending a model time machine into the past or future. In Poul Anderson's "Time Patrol," published in 1955, Manson Everard sends a message capsule from New York, 1954, to London, 1894, and receives a typewritten reply a few minutes later.

The dates and the similarity between the model time machine and the message capsule are subliminal parallels between the two works. My advice to anyone who wants to know what science fiction is about is: read Wells, then Anderson.

Everard had contacted the London office about an indication of time travel in a famous literary work. His message had arrived before similar ones from 1923 and 1960 and Patrolman Mainwethering expects to receive many more. It is curious to think that Patrol offices must communicate by letters or notes in message capsules. They have no inter-temporal equivalent of telephone or radio.

The last Time Patrol story was published in 1995.

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