Saturday, January 05, 2013

The alternative to welcoming 2013

is, of course, indulging in time travel. Back in 2005 a group of sci fi fans organised a convention for time travellers in a Massachusetts hall. As they pointed out, only one time travellers' convention ever needs to be held: 'travellers from all eras' can meet at a specific place and time, and 'make as many repeat visits as they want'. No self-declared time traveller announced him or herself at the convention, but the organisers reckoned that some might have attended incognito, 'in order to avoid endless questions about the future'. Why did the geeks assume that temporal nomads would arrive from the future, rather than out of the vast, perhaps immeasurable, regions of the past?

At about the time of the time travellers' convention I was constructing my first book, which includes this passage, along with many others I now struggle to understand except as the psychic byproducts of too many late nights and too much classic-era Doctor Who:

Please, put down the bow and look at my diagram. This dot is you. You lived your life, thousands of years ago, and died. Your skeleton proves my proposition: there it sits, almost invisibly, under your flesh, like a wicker chair holding a corpulent man. The bones are cruel and ambitious, and long to emerge, but they did not reckon with my time machine. Borrow the machine again, if you need to go home, to test my argument, but remember to drop it back before you leave. The only way back from the past is further into the past: from the Neolithic flint mine you must strike backwards, right through the Big Bang, to a previous, identical time-cycle. Save that arrow for the double who'll be waiting there for you. 

Welcome, anyway, to 2013, or to wherever else you find yourself! And, if you're a time traveller, don't be afraid to leave a note: I won't ask you about the future, though if you've been back a hundred or so years I might have one or two questions about the historiography of the Pacific in general, and Tonga in particular. You could even drop by in a couple of months and give a guest lecture or two for me year at 'Atenisi!

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

time travel is SO last year...

7:41 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

That's some very good writing Scott. Your prose-poetry (if we can separate tes things) seems the best. In the future you might write prose poem short stories or even long poetic novels?

I am certain you were onto some great ideas with Crowhurst and also Rountree.

Time travel is fascinating and scary. I'd settle for knowing the right lotto number in say a $12 million winner!

7:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

richard time travel IS A REALITY.


7:49 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

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1:58 am  

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