Letter to H.G. Wells

In this exercise, I imagine a young time traveler named Filby writing a letter to the esteemed Victorian author and visionary Hebert George Wells of a voyage into the present day world of glass buildings, computer networks and cell phones.


Dear Mr. Wells,

It is worse than I had feared. 

Herbert, You made a very insightful argument when you pointed out that, although it is not difficult to overcome the physical obstacles of time travel, the human mind is not capable of overcoming the mental paradoxes and psychological strain of the actuality. After this last voyage into the future, I strongly concur. I urge the committee to discontinue all future experiments in time travel.

As per our plan, I set the coordinates of the first time voyage to 106 years in the future. This would bring me to the year 2001. I would see the world as it exists at the turn of the grand third millennia.

Assuming that the cities of the new world would display the greatest effects of new technologies, I set the coordinates to the downtown region of New York City in the United States of America. To minimize the temporal effects of the excursion, I limited the duration of the voyage to three hours.

Truly, the future holds great marvels for human kind. All of ground was covered by some sort of continuous blue stone. Illuminated buildings of glass towered thousands of feet into the stratosphere.

As I marveled at the wonders, I saw a strange pale human shaped beast with spikes of orange hair walk up to one of the translucent buildings. He rubbed his side against the glasswork as a cat rubs itself against the leg of a chair. A door appeared and the orange haired beast entered a secret chamber. 

I approached the entry point into the glass tower, and found an imperceptible outline of a door in a solid glass wall. I tried to rub my side against the wall to no avail. I could not open the door.

My attention was averted by the sound of a man yelling. The man was poorly kept, with a ring in his ear. He wore a tattered leather jacket and blue trousers. 

The man paced back and forth near the rear of the building. He held his hand to his ear as if he were in great pain.

The man was obviously mad. He was yelling half finished sentences into his hand, but there was no-one to hear. He spoke about "power supplies" and "the installation of the new servers."

The turn of the millennium seems to have brought up some sort of dramatic political upheaval. Apparently, "if the new servers were not correctly configured, they could crash the entire network." The man seemed agitated that these new leaders (the servers) were unhappy with his work. He emphasized that the new servers were "eunuchs" and not "NT," and that they needed to be "behind a firewall."

NOTE: A study of this new government where the rulers were castrated and separated from the people with a wall of fire would be quite interesting. I believe the orange haired beast I saw earlier was one of the "eunuch servers."

Not wishing to draw attention to myself. I ventured into the main streets. There was a large number of loud, foul smelling vehicles speeding along the blue stone streets. Several of the metal beasts were yellow. The yellow beasts were apparently were apparently the most dangerous, and people had to jump out of their way.

The people in the city were forced to the sides of the road, and moved along a walkway of white stone.

I heard some type of loud horn from the street, then noticed that the great majority of the crowd was headed into some sort of deep underground chasm. I could feel a trembling of the ground near the entrance to the chasm. Hoping to avoid unnecessary risks to my personage. I stayed above ground, and attempted to find a locale where the people moved with less frenzy.

It was then that I noticed that none of the people on the street talked to each other. They all moved along holding their hands to their ears and speaking into the thin air.

I saw a young couple. They were walking along-hand in hand. Their heads turned away from each other. Curious, I inched forward to listen to their conversation.

The man spoke about wanting to "put AMZN" and to "get MSFT." The woman was talking in even stranger terms. She said something about "microwaving a chicken." I adduced from her words that the people of the future had some device for miniaturizing poultry, and other animals. This would explain the complete absence of horses and other livestock on the streets.

As I watched the couple in conversation, I realized that they had completely lost the ability to communicate with each other. They stood next to each other and made sounds, but they were both locked in disparate conversations—all but oblivious to their companion.

It was then that I remembered the time machine and my mission. The people on this street were obviously incapable of building the grand towers and locomotive devices on the blue stone road. The only possible explanation was that my materializing in the future caused a complete and sudden outbreak of mass insanity.

Seeing a society where everyone ignored those around them and muttered into thin air could lead to only one conclusion. All of mankind has gone insane.

My only hope is that those who were living in the deep underground chasm were shielded from the temporal waves. I strongly encourage the committee to destroy the time machine and all research related to this project.

Your partner in time,


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