Like me, you may have noticed . . . fiction is often a precursor to reality. Individuals with an overabundance of imagination come up with an idea, like concentrated light focused into a tool or a weapon for instance. Years later, a modern day team of wizards take the idea and turn it into reality. Now we have lasers. Someone once believed the power of lightning could be harnessed and used by mankind. Again, the idea was developed, and we now have electricity in our homes. It seems a thing only has to be imagined, and eventually that concept will manifest in our world. Consider wireless microwaves sent through the atmosphere, television, computers, etc., etc. Kind of mind blowing when you think about it.
Many of us are fascinated by the concept of time travel, with the concept of a multiverse rather than a universe frame of reference, of parallel planes of existence, dimensions far beyond the three we are able to perceive. We imagine. What we imagine eventually manifests itself in the physical world; therefore time travel must be possible. If not now, at some time in the future. In fact, physicists have already proven my point. Check out this article: Scientists Have Simulated Time Travel With Photons.
One of the most well known time travel stories from the past was written in 1895, by H.G. Wells, who wrote THE TIME MACHINE. However, he was not the first to dabble in the concept. Indeed, in 1733, Samuel Madden wrote MEMOIRS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, about a time traveling angel. Then there’s ANNO 7603 written in the eighteenth century by Johan Herman Wessel. He wrote about a good fairy (Wait. What? All of my time travels involve faeries!) who moved a group of people to a future where gender roles have been switched, and only women are allowed to serve in the military. If you’re interested in perusing the history of time travel fiction, here’s a link to the list.
Kind of makes you want to read those early works, doesn’t it? As I went through the list with its brief plot summaries, I was struck by the similarities in our thought processes today, and the thought processes of those brave writers from centuries past. The more things change, the more they stay the same?? Time travel has fascinated us throughout the ages, and I wonder if the earliest humans drawing on the walls of caves ever contemplated the future or the past.
At some point, the idea of traveling through time will be developed and made real by some modern day wizards who call themselves physicists and engineers. (Aren’t those titles just new tags for age old occupations?) Can you imagine taking your vacation in the past or in the future? How would that change things? Can we or should we change things? Would you do it? Would you be brave enough to jump through time for a gander at the past or the future?
I’m not sure I would if I could. Perhaps my great, great, great grandchildren will find my Novels of Loch Moigh on some list of time travel fiction someday. And maybe if they do, they’ll be curious enough to visit me from the distant future. Wouldn’t that be a kick?
Have you read any of those earliest time travel stories?