Our final postcard from the future comes from Professor Saul Deveraux himself, inventor of the Retro-Temporal acceleration technology being deployed at Geneva’s ‘Even Larger Hadron Collider’ to send messages back in time…
I hope you’ve enjoyed the previous nine messages over the last nine months. The same time as the gestation of a human child, perhaps not coincidentally. You see, the Retro-Temporal Postcard Program is very much my baby, my lifetime’s work, albeit so well assisted by thousands of other dedicated scientists, the world over. I thank them all.
Will you people of the early twenty-first century believe that these messages are real? –That we in the 23rd century, really have mastered such incredible technology as to be able to send information back in time to you? As I write, there is no evidence in any of our libraries or history annals that these attempts were successful. But I confidently expect to go to the same data sources tomorrow and find that history has updated itself. Of course it will. But will I know? This paper I write on would have to disappear into thin air, in order for me not to know, and that seems unlikely. So history is going to change and we’re going to see it change, almost instantly before our eyes. How extraordinary. That has never happened before in the history of our planet. Or has it? You see the irony? Continue reading “Postcard From The Future #10”
This month’s postcard from the future comes from an information technology technician…
Everybody in the past thought we’d be building robots here in the future, didn’t they? Well, you got that kind of half right and half wrong I guess, all at once. Let me explain. There’s tons of robots alright, except that none of them look human. Dust-vacuuming robots for the home, grass-mowing and weeding robots for the garden, garbage robots for the street sweep-up. These guys are all just a foot and a half high by two feet long at most. They don’t have silly faces on them and they don’t talk back. Mostly they don’t talk at all, just get on with it. Continue reading “Postcard From The Future #9”
This month’s postcard from the future comes from a 23rd century policeman…
A message to the past, eh? Tell you what, I’ve always loved reading detective novels and I’m kind of envious of you guys back then with real crime and real criminals. All we get to do these days is fill out forms and liase with sociologists and behavioural psychologists. In fact, I had to get a degree to get this job. Surprised eh? Yeah, in theory I could still “beat the crap out of a punk” (God, I love that old 20th century noir cop patois), but I rarely get the chance these days. My history tutor used to tell me that all those old crime novels were “romanticised” and “escapist” but that strikes me as weird. What kind of screwed-up century were you living in where murder, robbery and rape seemed like escapism? Oh I know…. I’ve answered my own question. I enjoy reading that stuff now because I’m bored and there’s so little crime today, but come on guys, you had plenty of the real things, wars, famine, terrorism, plagues, riots… why did you have to make up shit too? Continue reading “Postcard From The Future #8”
This month’s postcard from the future comes from a 23rd century medical practitioner…
My area of speciality is the old, or Senetics as we call it, a word which will be unfamiliar to you people of the past, if what the scientists are saying is correct and they can indeed send a message back to you. In your time when people became advanced in years they had no choice but to decay slowly, their skin giving way under the onslaught of the sun’s radiation, their bowels becoming unreliable, their bones brittle. In short, by one route or another, they usually died a slow, painful and undignified death. I have great admiration, even astonishment, at how people were able to suffer such a situation, since it is scarcely necessary any longer in our present. Continue reading “Postcards From The Future #7”
This month’s postcard from the future comes from a 23rd century exotic flower seller…
My working day is pretty ordinary I guess. Selling flowers to passers-by from my little booth at the west street entrance to the Nor’London Rocket Port. You’ve probably passed by me a few times and not even noticed me. I was pretty honoured and surprised when one of the terminal managers suggested I write a message to the people of the past. Time travel, eh? There’s a prospect to hurt your head. Nobody seems to actually have any time here apart from the maladjustniks I see occasionally come maundering in here, begging spare change and pilfering litter. Everyone else is usually in such a big hurry, trying to get to some meeting on time. They stop and buy flowers, for a wife or mistress, for their mum, whatever. Or maybe just to sit in the middle of the table at some big board meeting, or at a reception desk, or maybe just in the hallway of somebody’s house, wafting their aroma around, cheering folks up with thoughts and memories of spring and summer. Sometimes, when I’m bored or sad here in a quiet moment, I like to close my eyes and imagine all the different places my flowers might have found their way to the day before, and where they might go next. It helps me to connect with all those people who don’t seem to have time to stop and talk to me, although some do, occasionally.
Continue reading “Postcards From The Future #6”
This month’s postcard from the future comes from a 23rd century archaeologist…
I was keen to get involved when I heard about this project and I hope they use my postcard as one of the ones they send back in time. My area of speciality is early 21st century dig sites. I’ve spent that the last ten years working on excavations at the Bradwell Nuclear Disaster Area, which includes most of what was known at the time as Greater London. Like the doomed towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum two thousand years earlier, the suddenness of the tragedy that befell this once proud city has afforded present-day archaeologists a rare opportunity to observe a frozen snapshot of everyday life.
Last year, we famously uncovered an entire “Routemaster” bus filled with passengers, most incinerated instantly at the moment of the explosion. Poignantly, there were mothers with babies and young children, even two young lovers hand in hand. Modern archaeological techniques have enabled us to reconstruct newspapers and advertising billboards from the underground tunnels in which people were sealed up after the initial blasts. My job is to try to gather together these jigsaw pieces and try to create narratives for our displays at the International Museum of Urban History.
Continue reading “Postcards From The Future #5”
“Hyperboloids of wondrous Light
Rolling for aye through Space and Time
Harbour those Waves which somehow Might
Play out God’s holy pantomime.”
His favourite story: Snow white and the way the witch in disguise handed her the poisoned apple. He fills the syringe with cyanide and injects it through the apple’s perfect skin, then lies down on the bed and places the fruit on the cabinet, ready to eat. Then closes his eyes and thinks. Wonders if he can go through with it. Decides on balance in the end that he will. The apple of knowledge from the forbidden tree, knowledge of both good and evil. That painting by Magritte: The Son of Man. The poem by Tessimond: The Man In The Bowler Hat. The anonymous suburban desk clerk in his tweed suit: face obscured by the apple, negated by his own desire. The commuter man, erased by history. Emasculated by injection. Every day another bite, hard to swallow. The face obscured by the flying dove. Imprisoned by his thoughts of freedom. He reaches out his hand and lifts the apple, feeling its coolness in his hand. Continue reading “Colossus”
This month’s postcard from the future seems to come from somebody a little less (or more?) than human…
They suggested I take part in the Postcard To The Past project, only they should have left me more time because I still find it hard to hold a pen stylus. I’m quicker with the keyboard keys, but they want all the postcards hand-written, for the personal touch. I’m surprised they think I’m eligible to take part, but I suppose it’s a good gag and will give you 21st century folks a bit of a shock, if you believe it at all.
I have a busy day today as usual. Cooking the breakfast, dropping the kids off at school, flying over to Martworld to pick up the shopping for the week. Some people still give me hostile looks in the check-out queues. Some drivers toot at me, expect me to give way to them cos’ I’m some kind of second-class citizen. They know and I know that there’s legislation in place now, equal rights. But they don’t know it in their hearts, do they? Deep down, and in some cases pretty damned near the surface, they still think I should bow my head in their presence, not make eye contact. Continue reading “Postcards From The Future #4”
This month’s postcard from the future comes from a genetic nurse working in the Social Engineering Department of the World Family Commission…
They tell me I should enter this competition, because they’re going to select the best postcards from a whole cross-section of people in society and send those cards back in time through that new machine they’ve been building. And that makes me think: what should I warn the folks in the past about to try to stop them making mistakes? But that makes my head hurt, because without those mistakes we wouldn’t be here… but resumably bigger brains than me have looked into that conundrum and put it to bed. Continue reading “Postcards From The Future #3”
In the year 2210, on the brink of a time-travel breakthrough, an anonymous international competition is held to find the most appropriate and entertaining postcard messages that should be sent back in time to the year 2013. Anyone can take part. The winners are surprising…
In the brave new world of the future, not everyone gets to partake of perfection. I am what in your time was called a tramp, a misfit. Here and now they call me a Maladjustnik, a word that of course you will not know. But I think you will understand the condition all too well, if this message ever reaches you. Continue reading “Postcards From The Future #2”