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This Day in Science Fiction History: 24 May

Fictional Entry—Friday, May 24, 2030

Scene from “The Time Machine” (2002, DreamWorks Pictures) where the Time Traveler and Vox NY-114 speak
Time Traveler in the New York City Public Library (© DreamWorks Pictures 2002)

To New York City Mental Health Agency

Inquiry Basis: Section 12.02.075(A)(1)(ad) of the New York City Mental Health Code (Initial Issue April 2027) Current (February 2030)  

Log: 2030-05-2030 / 17:32:18 through 17:36:29 GMT / Vox / NY-114

Inquiry: Unusual Interaction with Unknown Person, Possible Mental Health Issue

Primary Query: Time Travel, Practical Applications

 

Text Excerpt (Italics indicate statements and actions of unknown person)

 

Welcome to Vox system. How may I help you?

 

I didn’t see you there.

 

Always seem to have that effect. How may I help you sir?

 

What is that thing?

 

That is my photonic memory core. Or PMC as we say in the trade.

 

<Confusion in actions of unnamed male. Searches behind transparent display for person.>

 

Over here, sir.

 

What are you?

 

I’m the Fifth Avenue Public Library information unit. Vox registration NY-114.

<display image file NY-114 registration>

How may I help you?

 

Oh, a stereopticon of some sort.

 

Stereopticon? Oh no, sir. I am a third-generation fusion pod photonic with verbal and visual link capability connected to every database on the planet.

 

Photonic?

 

A compendium of all human knowledge.

 

Oh.

 

Area of inquiry?

 

Do you know anything about physics?

 

Ah, accessing physics.

<display image file Bohr model atom and periodic table>

<display image file nuclear interactions>

 

Mechanical engineering? 

 

<display image file gearing ratio transmission?

 

Dimensional optics?

 

<display image file magnifying lens deconstruction>

 

Chronograpy.

 

<display image file pocket watch patent drawing>

 

Temporal causality. Temporal paradox.

 

<clear image cache>

Time travel?

 

Yes

 

Accessing science fiction.

<display image file science fiction section>

 

No, no. Practical application. My question is why can’t one change the past?

 

Because one cannot travel into the past.

What if one could?

 

One cannot.

 

Excuse me. This is something you should trust me on.

 

Accessing the writings of Isaac Asimov.

<display image file Isaac Asimov biography>

H. G. Wells.

<display image file H. G. Wells biography>

Harlen Ellison.

<display image file Harlen Ellison biography>

Alexander Hardigan.

<display image file Alexander Hardigan biography>

 

Oh! Tell me about him.

 

Alexander Hardigan. 1869 to 1903.

<clear image cache>

American scientist given to eccentric postulation.

<display image cover of Explanative Science>

Found writings include Treatise on the Creation of a Time Machine.

 

<Excited and pointing>

Tell me about the time machine.

 

<clear image cache>

Time Machine was written by H.G. Wells in 1894.

<display image file H.G. Wells biography>

<change display image file to The Time Machine history>

It was later adapted into a motion picture by George Pal and a stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber

<display image file The Time Machine (1960) George Pal>

<display image file Time Machine (1995) Andrew Lloyd Webber>

Which ran on Broadway for fifteen years.

 

<Interrupting information flow>

No, no, that’s not what I mean.

 

<clear image cache>

<display image Time Machine (1995) musical poster>

Would you like to hear selections from the score?

<play music A Place Called Tomorrow>

There’s a place called Tomorrow,

<clear image cache>

a place of joy, not of sorrow.

Can’t you see, it’s a place for you and

 

<Interrupting information flow>

Thank you. That’s quite enough.

<Walks toward exit>

 

<clear play cache>

 

Will there be anything else?

 

Ah, no. No, I think I’ll have better luck in a few hundred years.

 

Live long and prosper.

<play Star Trek (Original Series) (1966) automatic door sound>

<clear play cache>

 

End Log

The Time Machine

Motion Picture

DreamWorks Pictures

2002

 

This Day in Science Fiction History examines notable events, real and fictional, concerning fantasy and science fiction in various media.

 

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