Thursday, March 4, 2010
Finished reading the Mammoth Book of Golden Age Science Fiction, and guess what? The next story was a Time Travel tale...well, no one traveled in time, but they filmed the past. Having just grumbled about the inability of mathematically inclined sci fi authors to imagine a world without slide rules, I must give the author of the last tale credit for a remarkable prediction. The last story in the book was With Folded Hands by Jack Williamson,in which a character declares that his discovery makes possible, “A... drive which makes possible apparent speeds many times that of light -- by means of... deformation of the continuum”, While conceding the absolute speed limit set by the constant of the speed of light,some physicists today dream of traveling from place to place faster than light can travel the same distance, not by exceeding light speed, but by deforming the space time continuum so as to make the distance traveled much shorter. Since the story was written in 1947, that’s a pretty impressive prediction.