The year was 2004. The following year would be the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein publishing his famous three papers including the one on special relativity. All sorts of preparations were under way to commemorate the event. It was also the year that my husband, Chris, wrote the following poem….
2005 – Einstein Year
Einstein deduced the sad finality.
His maths deny us all the precious right
to journey faster than the speed of light.
A mote enmeshed in space by gravity
and caught beyond escape velocity
is stuck inside a globe more dark than night.
Tho’ Mars we reach in time, the stars are quite
denied to us for all eternity.
How right he was and yet, how wrong he is.
His work explained the noted oddities
in light and planets’ orbits near the Sun.
Now quantum’s strings provide the genesis
of holes that worm around realities.
Despair can change to hope with what’s been spun.
Given CERN’s recent announcement that they have measured neutrinos traveling faster than light (and are looking for someone to say why they got their measurements wrong), this poem really is prescient.
The implications of these measurements, if independently are immense. Time travel of a sort becomes feasible… for one thing I can imagine there is going to be a big sales surge in SF time travel novels. Novels like H G Wells’ The Time Machine, and Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife.
But will today’s science fiction writers turn to writing much more about time travel? Or have most things that can said about it, been said and there’s nothing more say?
PS The above poem was published in Jupiter 32 Eurydome, April 2011.