“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion,” Albert Einstein, the creator of the theory of relativity was quoted as saying. When we created the Young Adult fiction series CUL8R, we used Einstein’s point of view as the basis for when the protagonists in the stories would live.
The stories behind the time travels of Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey are serious, their outlook in spite of life threatening events unfolding around them are suspenseful and the science that enables them is current, relevant and compelling. What makes the possibility of time travel so engaging for generation after generation is the failure of very smart people over history who should have the ability to see the future but in fact do not. Many well known examples exist such as:
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” (Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895)
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” (Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943)
“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” (Ken Olsen, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977)
“The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” (Western Union internal memo, 1876)
And the list could go on and on. Smart people. People on the inside and in the know. People who never saw it coming.
Today on popular and entertaining television shows like The Big Bang Theory, discussions about string theory are tossed around as background noise. We think all these ideas came together recently on the television series NOVA on PBS. To quote NOVA, “There is a strangeness to the cosmic symphony that may encompass time travel, higher dimensions, quantum superspace, and parallel universes—worlds that resemble our own and perhaps even occupy the same space as our own in some ghostly manner. Stephen Hawking has even proposed using wormholes to connect our universe with an infinite number of parallel universes. Edward Witten is working hard on superstring theory, which has already created a sensation in the world of physics because it can explain the nature of both matter and spacetime. By realizing that the fundamental laws of physics appear simpler in higher dimensions, string theory can unite Einstein’s theory of gravity with quantum theory in ten dimensions. Our heirs, whatever or whoever they may be, will explore space and time to degrees we cannot currently fathom. They will create new melodies in the music of time. There are infinite harmonies to be explored.”
As the authors of the CUL8R time travel mystery series we used the time travel element to heighten the risk of any adventure, showcase the talents of the protagonists and humanize and place in perspective the issues facing teens today. Maybe next time we’ll talk about the paranormal elements and science into the blog. Stay tuned.