Monday, 31 July 2017

Interminable Voyage

Copied from the Logic of Time Travel blog:

The text in this image is an abridgement of lines in HG Wells, The Time Machine (London, 1973), Chapter 2, pp. 13-14.

" was the Psychologist himself who sent forth the model Time Machine on its interminable voyage." (p. 14)

When Time Patrolman Keith Denison is captured by some locals in ancient Persia, he kicks his "brazen horse"/timecycle into time-drive and later explains to his Patrol rescuer:

"'That's why the search party didn't find the thing. It was only a few hours in this century, then it probably went clear back to the Beginning.'"
-Poul Anderson, "Brave To Be A King" IN Anderson, Time Patrol (Riverdale, NY, 2006), pp. 55-112 AT p. 83.

Thus, both the model Time Machine and one Time Patrol timecycle are launched on an "interminable voyage." Neither can return because neither has a passenger able to control it. However, when the Time Machine travels from one Thursday in 1895 to a day in 802,701, it passes through every intervening time whereas a timecycle disappears at one set of spatiotemporal coordinates and appears at another so I think that Denison would have had to punch in a specific destination although he might not have noticed what it was.

On p. 14, the Time Traveller points out that "'...this lever...'" sends the model machine into the future whereas "'...this other...'" lever reverses its motion. He says that he will send the model into the future, then guides the Psychologist's hand to press the appropriate lever. However, on p. 15, he is not sure whether the model has gone into the past or the future.

The model Time Machine resembles the Time Patrol message shuttles which can be sent to specific coordinates.

The model:

"'...looks singularly askew...'" (p. 14);
has an oddly twinkling bar that seems somehow unreal.

Somehow unreal because it is not fully present in the here and now or because the notion of time travel is unrealistic? One of James Blish's names for an FTL drive is "the Imaginary Drive."

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I think one overlooked point needs stressing. Here we see the Time Traveler crafting a working MINIATURE time machine. BUT, I don't the technology was THEN (circa AD 1895) available for making tools and parts that fine and SMALL.