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The first of his masterpieces. Ballentine, ; revised first hardcover edition, New York: Crown, ] in later had a sequel, "The Shores of Another Sea. Other terms for this popular genre include: Trevelyan published a nominally nonfictional article about what might have happened if Napoleon had won at Waterloo.

Alfred Toynbee, in his "A Study of History" tried the same sort of academic experiments in allohistory. Some other splendid examples are: It is one of the most enthralling science-fiction books ever written. At once a fantasy adventure, an exceptional mystery, it is a new concept that touches the very framework of reality. The fantastic events that follow from its deceptively simple opening are the sort of stuff from which Charles Fort wove his world-shaking books and A.

Merritt wrought fabulous novels. Lapses into Imaginary History", edited by J. A Drama of the Reconstruction Period", by Arthur Goodman , "Ancestral Voices", by Nat Schachner , flawed time-travel change-the-past story, in which the accidental consequence is the passage into never-beingness of tens of thousands of descendants of one killed ancestor "Sideways in Time", by Murray Leinster , gives a four-dimensional view of alternate timelines, and a protagonist who switches from one to another, some in which humans never evolved.

The breakthrough into explicitly science-fictional allohistory. Dick , Germany and Japan conquer and split the U. Alternate Histories Are True SF" Fairly thorough search results, including anthologies, references, and listings by author may be found in: Schmunk also check out: Berkeley There is a scientific basis for such speculations, namely the "Many Worlds" interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.

The notion is that each time a subatomic particle can one of several things, it actually does all them, splitting the universe into multiple copies which differ only in that one micro-event.

The universe splits, splits again, and ramifies into an astonishing tree of alternative realities, a quintillion times a second. This theory was developed by Hugh Everett in , but he had philosophical predecessors. Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake A. What really got him in trouble was his specific example that there must be a world identical to ours, except that the Mass was spoken in the vernacular instead of in Latin.

Small differences can be a matter of life or death. Rudjer Josip Boscovich [] gave a qualitative description of alternate universe theory in "Theoria Philsophiae Naturalis" []. See "New Scientist", 24 May , p.

Each possible universe is a single point in a much larger infinite? Well, we Science Fiction folks can handle the idea! For more on the Many-Worlds interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, particularly as it related to consciousness, extraterrestrials, philosphy, and immortality, see: One involved building an iron vehicle, then throwing a lodestone natural magnet into the air, which pulls the vehicle upwards, at which point the adventurer throws the lodestone higher, and thereby hoists himself up by his own bootstraps.

Wells in "The First Men in the Moon" , almost three-quarters of a century later. We have built actual Gravity Wave detectors, perhaps the first of which was constructed by Dr. Robert Forward, now a full-time science fiction author. We believe that gravity has caused the existence of "Black Holes", which I tend to lump into this category.

For that time in fan history, it was an impressive effort. There have been some recent reports of purported antigravity in the laboratory, including Avon, ] a fine description of tales in which animals speak, think, or act human. Dolittle" stories are so captivatingly charming and yet realistic that they make us forget that talking animals are Fantasy. Some such tales are designed to show how humans fit into a world that contains many more species of beings, all deserving our compassion.

Other stories are designed to make people look bad by comparison. Still others scarcely have people in the background, and are self-contained stories from the point of view of creatures with somewhat different perceptions and social structures.

It is said that Soctrates, on "death row" in B. Herodotus records that Aesop was a slave who lived around B. The moralized beast tale associated with Aesop is common worldwide, surely not his invention, typical of 7th century B.

Greek poetry and the oldest parts of the Old Testament. Few today recall his prose works "Contes" of the genre of Boccacchio and Marguerite de Navarre, yet they were the works he cared for most.

There are many novels and stories about intelligent animals, either as straight fantasy, or if science fiction , often resulting from genetic engineering: Little Brown, is a sort of rewrite of H. Capek introduced the word "robot" into literature in his play "R. The author told me that he wrote this abord a ship in Sydney Harbor, Australia, which was infested with ordinary rats.

Sam Moskowitz calls this "the first fictional exposition yet discovered of breaking matter down into energy scientifically and transmitting it to a receiver where it may be reformed. How this is accomplished is usually not explained in detail, but the general idea seems to be that the original object is scanned in such a way as to extract all the information from it, then this information is transmitted to the receiving location and used to construct the replica, not necessarily from the actual material of the original, but perhaps from atoms of the same kinds, arranged in exactly the same pattern as the original.

A teleportation machine would be like a fax machine, except that it would work on 3-dimensional objects as well as documents, it would produce an exact copy rather than an approximate facsimile, and it would destroy the original in the process of scanning it. A few science fiction writers consider teleporters that preserve the original, and the plot gets complicated when the original and teleported versions of the same person meet; but the more common kind of teleporter destroys the original, functioning as a super transportation device, not as a perfect replicator of souls and bodies.

Bennett, confirmed the intuitions of the majority of science fiction writers by showing that perfect teleportation is indeed possible in principle, but only if the original is destroyed. Meanwhile, other scientists are planning experiments to demonstrate teleportation in microscopic objects, such as single atoms or photons, in the next few years. But science fiction fans will be disappointed to learn that no one expects to be able to teleport people or other macroscopic objects in the foreseeable future, for a variety of engineering reasons, even though it would not violate any fundamental law to do so.

Until recently, teleportation was not taken seriously by scientists, because it was thought to violate the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics, which forbids any measuring or scanning process from extracting all the information in an atom or other object.

This sounds like a solid argument against teleportation: But the six scientists found a way to make an end-run around this logic, using a celebrated and paradoxical feature of quantum mechanics known as the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen effect. In brief, they found a way to scan out part of the information from an object A, which one wishes to teleport, while causing the remaining, unscanned, part of the information to pass, via the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen effect, into another object C which has never been in contact with A.

Later, by applying to C a treatment depending on the scanned-out information, it is possible to maneuver C into exactly the same state as A was in before it was scanned. A itself is no longer in that state, having been thoroughly disrupted by the scanning, so what has been achieved is teleportation, not replication. The unscanned part of the information is conveyed from A to C by an intermediary object B, which interacts first with C and then with A.

Can it really be correct to say "first with C and then with A"? Surely, in order to convey something from A to C, the delivery vehicle must visit A before C, not the other way around.

But there is a subtle, unscannable kind of information that, unlike any material cargo, and even unlike ordinary information, can indeed be delivered in such a backward fashion. This subtle kind of information, also called "Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen EPR correlation" or "entanglement", has been at least partly understood since the s when it was discussed in a famous paper by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen.

In the s John Bell showed that a pair of entangled particles, which were once in contact but later move too far apart to interact directly, can exhibit individually random behavior that is too strongly correlated to be explained by classical statistics. Experiments on photons and other particles have repeatedly confirmed these correlations, thereby providing strong evidence for the validity of quantum mechanics, which neatly explains them.

Another well-known fact about EPR correlations is that they cannot by themselves deliver a meaningful and controllable message. It was thought that their only usefulness was in proving the validity of quantum mechanics. But now it is known that, through the phenomenon of quantum teleportation, they can deliver exactly that part of the information in an object which is too delicate to be scanned out and delivered by conventional methods.

Compare conventional facsimile transmission with quantum teleportation. In conventional facsimile transmission the original is scanned, extracting partial information about it, but remains more or less intact after the scanning process.

The scanned information is sent to the receiving station, where it is imprinted on some raw material e. In quantum teleportation two objects B and C are first brought into contact and then separated. Object B is taken to the sending station, while object C is taken to the receiving station. At the sending station object B is scanned together with the original object A which one wishes to teleport, yielding some information and totally disrupting the state of A and B.

The scanned information is sent to the receiving station, where it is used to select one of several treatments to be applied to object C, thereby putting C into an exact replica of the former state of A. To learn more about quantum teleportation, see the following articles: Avon, ] a fine description of tales in which all the action happens in a magical world unconnected to our own by space or time. Tolkein , is a superb example. Tolkein said that the author of such fiction is engaged in "subcreation" of the other world, with an inner consistency and conviction: You are deluded -- whether that is the intention of the elves always or at any time is another question.

They at any rate are not deluded. This is for them a form of Art, and distinct from Wizardry or Magic, properly so called" [J. There is a greater or lesser degree of magic, sometimes central to the action, sometimes part of the taken-for-granted background, but always as something distinguishing this world from our technological one.

When we read such fiction, we feel ourselves drawn into the other world, and taking it as real, so that when we close the book, it is hard to wrench ourselves away from that world and reluctantly return to home. To capture the dream, we read the book again, or perhaps look for others that will produce the same magical emotion. Here are some places you might start your search.


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