Monday, 31 July 2017

Round Trips II

Copied from the Logic of Time Travel blog:

See Round Trips.

The Time Machine is an inexhaustible text. See recent posts on this blog and on Poul Anderson Appreciation.

If I travel from Lancaster to York and back, then that is a "round trip" and its distance has to be exactly twice the length of the one way trip in either direction, whereas, if I travel from Lancaster to Lancaster around the circumference of the Earth, is that also a "round trip"? It is both round and a trip but not a "round trip" in the sense of to another destination and back again. In fact, it is considerably longer. And a round trip from Lancaster to Lancaster and back again would be twice the circumference of the Earth.

I ask this because time travel fiction presents both kinds of "trip." The Time Traveller visits the far future and returns to the late nineteenth century whereas Poul Anderson's Martin Saunders in "Flight to Forever" travels from 1973 to 1973 around the circle of time. Anderson goes further than Wells: not only to the transformation of the sun into a red giant and to the end of all life on Earth but also to the end of the universe and even beyond that. "Flight to Forever" and other time travel works by Anderson should be read after The Time Machine.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I'm starting to wonder now if I was being too harsh on Wells work when I wrote in another combox that I read his SF mostly from a sense of duty, from him being a founding father of SF, rather than from appreciation and pleasure.