In the real world, contingencies and individual events tend to impose their own unique characteristics on physical law so that tendencies can be revealed only by averaging over repeated, controlled experiments.
[David Peat ]
On these pages, you'll be visiting with some of my favorite writers of fantastic stories, be these science fiction, proper, or just superb products of human imagination, creativity, and contemplation.
This section starts modestly, that is, with reference not to a book but to a short story which, to date, remains among my very favorites.
This is quite an original story, to start with the fact that it is a science fiction tale regarding the past, not the future, as it is usual: The Flying Machine, written in 1953 by , the same year he produced the well known , based on which is with the same name.
In addition to being a fascinating story, The Flying Machine touches a sensitive ethical area and, much in Bradbury's style, imprints in the reader plenty of motivation to ponder. Here the crucial question is how much it matters how one accomplishes a worthwhile goal. Or, put in a simplistic way, what of means and ends? And how much, if at all, can one be used to justify the other?
Well, read The Flying Machine and let me know what you think!... I recall some very enriching discussions with a group of advanced English students who once read this story. If they ever land on this page, I'm sure they will remember, too:)... (and then drop me a line, please!:)
Now, do you know that 's time-travel fable will be coming in movie form? You can read more about this , where you can also view an interview with the author.
A quite different, though no less engaging, plot based on time-travel is the story in 's . Far more renouned for his , , and other series. Asimov offers us a number of original reflexions on the old time-travel paradox, as well as on the development of the human race. Asimov's closing words, It was the end of Eternity. And the beginning of infinity., brought me inevitably to mind the words once written by one of my favorite English poets, (cited now from memory – see MieNet's Quotes on Time):
To see a World in a grain of sand,
and a Heaven in a wild flower,
hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
and Eternity in an hour.
others), who shared the 1966 Hugo Award with . On that page, I also mentioned the great , who's given us a number of unforgettable titles, the most famous of which, , inspired with the same name, and later motivated Clarke to produce a number of .
Conceding that taste is taste, and so each of us will of course have our own preferences, we should have no problem agreeing, though, that Clarke is in excellent company. Not only have there been great masters of science fiction since , but they have also enriched this literary style with extraordinary diversity.
Take, for example, ( and , among others), on one hand, and ( and ), on the other. Though incontestable great masters, they won't equally share the preference of any number of science fiction fans.
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I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmitted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmitted into a power that can move the world.