Friday, October 16, 2020

"Take it as a lie— or a prophecy."

Time travel has been a staple theme when it comes to science fiction. Many writers- popular, unpopular, brilliant, weird- all of them have used this theme. As kids, we loved it. And as adults, we still do. H. G. Wells, one of the greatest and most prolific writers in the literary world, in The Time Machine says a statement that resonates indefinitely and captures the true spirit of the idea of travelling in time. 
"Take it as a lie—or a prophecy."
The world is progressing at breakneck speed, and what wasn't possible yesterday has become very probable today, and is inching towards being a significant possibility for tomorrow. So, through those words he captures the essence of scientific progress, and time travel- take it as a lie, or a prophecy!

I love science fiction, and I have read great authors like H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur Clarke, Orson Scott Card- and I loved them all. The Foundation Saga, and the series of novels in Ender's Game are some of my all-time favourites. But, when it comes to time travel my favourite is A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’ Engle that I first read when I was 12 years old. I actually love the whole Time Quintet series by her, but the first one is the favourite. I love the entire family- Meg Murry, Charles Wallace Murry, and their friend Calvin O' Keefe, and all their adventures wrapped in time. It's just an absolutely beautiful series. 

Time is something we Earthlings can't control. But, if you really understand time, and you love reading the novels, the first thing you understand is time is a dimension, and as the books says:
“A straight line is not the shortest distance between two points.” ― Madeleine L' Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

But as Wells puts it again, we have a beautiful way of travelling time at present while we wait for a prophesied future when we figure out how to actually travel in time. 

“We all have our time machines, don't we. Those that take us back are memories...And those that carry us forward, are dreams.” ― H.G. Wells

We have already developed tools to preserve memories- photos, albums, video tapes, journals, letters, so many! But, it is also true that the more we focus on recording them, the more the forget to keep them in etched in our minds forever. We have memories at all points and all phases, only that what a 'memory' is changes over time. So, when we time travel in the future, what do you think would a 'memory' really be?

If you have a favourite sci-fi novel or a time travel classic- please share it in the comments below, I'd love to try them out!

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