I grew up in the leafy suburb of a big city in the State of Ohio. My parents bought our house in a hilly neighborhood where the elementary school was a hill, a valley, and a hill’s walk away. The junior high school was a longer hill, a shallower valley, and another steep hill’s walk away, and high school was that longer hill plus a very long, but reasonably flat walk away. I could have taken a bus to the high school, but I liked being alone with my thoughts first thing in the morning. I walked everywhere, regardless of the weather.
I still do, for the most part, today.
A couple of blocks down from the high school stood the county library, a gorgeous old Victorian house that an Ohio pioneer’s maiden grand-daughter bequeathed to the county for that purpose. The house had an enormous greenhouse, as well. When snow was piled high on the ground, you could wander among orchids and lilies in the steamy greenhouse.
The library was quite a magical place but, when I was still in elementary school, quite a trek. So I didn’t go there as often as I would have liked.
The library is where I discovered Madeleine L’Engle’s marvelous children’s book, A Wrinkle In Time. The publishing story behind the book is that L’Engle was rejected by twenty-five publishers (there were actually twenty-five publishers in the early 1960s) before the book was bought by the literary imprint, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Why all the rejections? Because children’s books at the time were boy-centric, and a book carried by a brainy girl was deemed unmarketable. Wow, were the publishers wrong. A Wrinkle In Time has remained continuously in print to this day.
I was thrilled by the supernatural beings, Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who, who know everything. And I’ll never forget turning the page as Mrs. Who used her skirt to demonstrate how these beings traveled through time and space. The explanation was how they leapt about from place to place in space, but we know that space and time are a continuum. So this is the first demonstration of time travel I’d ever seen.
“’You see,’ Mrs. Whatsit said, ‘if a very small insect were to move from the section of skirt in Mrs. Who’s right hand to that in her left, it would be quite a long walk for him if he had to walk straight across.’”
“Swiftly Mrs. Who brought her hands, still holding the skirt, together.”
“’Now, you see,’ Mrs. Whatsit said, ‘he would be there, without that long trip. That is how we travel.”
I well remember looking at these illustrations and reading the explanation with electricity exploding through my nine-year-old brain. “Wow!” I thought. “So that’s how you do it.”
I really believed that I could fold space and time myself if only I could figure out how. I also talked to my cat, my horse, the old-growth oak in my backyard, and my guardian angels. That’s the kind of child I was.
I still believe that folding spacetime will be possible someday.
Fast forward a couple of decades. I’m wracking my brains to write my own time travel, called Summer of Love, and (don’t ask me why because I’ve completely forgotten about Mrs. Whatsit’s ant) I want to visually demonstrate how time travel—I call it tachyportation—works and what can go desperately wrong.
I remember lying down in the afternoon to get some blood in my head, my cats nestled on my feet, and that electrical feeling in my brain when the diagrams popped into my head. I seized the little yellow pad and my Blackfeet Indian pencil I keep on the nightstand for moments like these, and scribbled out three diagrams.
My far future hero, Chiron, uses his knuckletop to project a holoid of an Open Time Loop, from which a time traveler can safely return to his or her own personal present.
Then Chi shows the disastrous result if a time traveler dies in the past during a time travel mission. This is called a Closed Time Loop, and the time traveler can never escape.
Finally, Chi shows what happened to a much loved pioneer of tachyportation when she was trapped in a Closed Time Loop within her own lifetime.
It didn’t occur to me at the time that Madeleine L’Engle’s ant, long ago, was what inspired me! Seems clear now.
So there you have it, my friends. If you’re intrigued by all the twists and turns time travel can take, please peek at The Time Travel Bundle at StoryBundle.com. You the reader decide what you want to pay and whether you’d like to contribute to charity at this remarkable e-tailer. But this unique collection of twelve time travel books by as many authors, plus a bonus issue of Lightspeed Magazine, will only exit until April 8, 2015. Visit us now!
From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.
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