Time Travel

Herbert George Wells was the first person to think about traveling through time in a direction other forwards and one second at a time. Since then there have been many stories and movies using the same plot construct.

In 1985, Robert Zemeckis directed the movie Back to the Future starring Christopher Llyod and Michael J. Fox. The time machine in this movie was a DeLorean motor car, and the Doc tells Marty that the machine will transit when the speed hits 88 MPH. Using Josh’s rule of ten times (from the first version of the book), the speed of Dr. Herbert George’s time machine was set to 8.8 MPH, or 8 knots. Well not quite 8 knots for you observant readers, as 8 knots is 8*1.15 which is 9.44 MPH.

Interesting date, the movie’s release – reverse the two sets of numbers and you get the date Wells’ book was published – a bit like 1984 was written in 1948.

Some Wells’ fans, and perhaps some fans of the Back to the Future movies, too, may take exception to  Josh’s statement that he and Ses will be the first human to travel through time. In the footnotes to the first draft of this book, Josh said that he and Ses were the eight and ninth people to travel through time. Marty McFly was the first, Doc the second, Marty’s girl. Jennifer third, the Doc’s wife Claire and their 3 children fourth to seventh. And if you’re complaining about The Time Traveller in Well’s book, remember it was fiction.

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