Friday, January 15, 2016

Chance Encounters

15th January 2016

One of the great things about writing is that you get to play God. Randomly at some event or other a woman I know started talking to me about a new invention, a way of travel called Hyperloop. Remember how in the old days in department stores, and in the new days in the drive-up banks, they use a little device called a pneumatic tube to transport small objects from one part of the building to another? So, imagine people-sized vacuum transportation, and imagine you could climb into one in New Hampshire on Monday morning at 7:30am and get sucked along at 800 miles an hour and get out in New York twenty minutes later.
I walked away from that conversation thinking that perhaps this lady had come unscrewed, but I started looking this thing up on the internet, and lo and behold, she knew what she was talking about. Over the next few days, the thought of this wouldn't leave me alone: Imagine if we hadn't gone the way of fossil fuels, but had developed this hyper-clean mode of travel from the start, how different life on earth would be. Cities would empty out in a flash. One small juncture in our history would have changed everything (like so many small junctures.)

It preoccupied me so much, I started writing this into my current novel-in-progress about an alternate future, because this mode of transport is already being developed and funded and probably will happen, and then after the book comes out, in years to come readers will be looking back and saying, how did she know about that back then?
Don't believe me? Remember this?

Star Trek inventor Gene Roddenberry pre-invented cell phones in 1964!
Writing always involves taking a leap, some wilder than others, whether it is filling in gaps in our knowledge of the past, or projecting ideas into the future. So, let your imagination run riot. It may know something you don't.

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