Within A Thousand Years


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Post July 08, 2004, 07:16:02 PM

Within A Thousand Years

Good job!<br><br>The hiker was very Ford Prefect. Douglas Adams would doubtless spin in his grave, applaud, or shake his fist, depending on your universe.<br><br>While I hung on through "advert", the Austrailian phrase "shot through" left me befuddled. I assume the term means the same as "skedaddled"? (Or, as I like to say ever since I saw the movie O' Brother Where Art Thou, "R-U-N-N-O-F-T.") <br><br>Something I didn't like was when the hitch-hiker thanks the Lord for not producing future technology in front of witnesses, and a two paragraphs later recommends sending a false Messiah (or did it mean _the_ Messiah?) to inform this backward planet of its impending doom. While belief in higher powers is certainly not wrong or required in the advanced thought of those more enlightened than ourselves, it does stick out a little as unusual. Is he himself a servant of God or an agent of some far-flung government (or both)? From whence does this messenger of doom come, besides Aldeboran? <br><br>I can't say that I could match up what transpired in the story with the title. I'm simply terrible when it comes to coining my own titles, so I have to ask. Was it that he missed his mark by a thousand years, or that we have only a thousand years to change ourselves, a thousand years until we're just wisps of vapor in space, or am I just thick? <br><br>Nate
Last edited by kailhofer on July 08, 2004, 07:25:03 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post July 12, 2004, 07:41:29 PM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years

Interesting story. One strong point was the change in tones with each new character. Like to know more about why things have been changed on Earth (the traveller is visiting parallel Earths?), but then again not knowing gets you thinking about the story more. Stories like that have a habit of lingering in your thoughts.<br><br>Kathleen<br><br>
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Post July 15, 2004, 11:21:11 AM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years

"Any sufficiently advanced technology will have the appearance of magic." (Or words to that effect.)<br><br>So -- an even MORE advanced technology could appear as Divine Power.<br><br>Our time- and time-line jumping hitchhiker evidently comes from a civilization with VERY advanced technology (but things still go wrong -- Murphy's Law applies even for beings with god-like abilities!). This does not preclude the possibility that his culture (a) has a religion with a supreme deity, or (b) has HAD such a religion for long enough that expressions invoking that deity in everyday contexts is commonplace. And in either case, proposing that a false Messiah be used to convey a message 'for their own good' would not be sacrilege from the viewpoint of the hitchhiker. After all, there is nothing to say that the Christian Messiah bears any relationship to the hitchhiker's Lord.<br><br>Consider also the groundwork laid by the Bene Gesserit in the Dune novels. There, Messianic legends were planted on various worlds to give Bene Gesserit agents an advantage in the event that they got into trouble on those planets. At the same time, the Bene Gesserit themselves believed in prophecy with good reason, due to the precognitive flashes granted by ingestion of the Water of Life ...<br><br>Other oddments:<br><br>Whatever is wrong with the Sun that will cause it to nova 'Within a Thousand Years' is common to multiple timelines -- which makes sense, as the timelines could be different mainly in terms of variations in human actions -- although the hitchhiker seems to indicate that GEOGRAPHY is different between his intended target and Christy's world. Then on the other hand, 'geography' in terms of the boundaries of countries and locations of cities is also purely an artifact of human civilization. The hitchhiker never said that the underlying PHYSICAL topography was different from his target Earth ...<br><br>Then on the other other hand, he found the concept of temperature decreasing as distance from the equator increased to be unusual. But that could be relative to his native world, not to the alternate Earth(s).<br><br>I'm so confused ...<br><br>I wonder what COULD go wrong with the Sun that would be somewhat predictable ('within a thousand years'), but in no way detectable with current technology? Last I heard, the Sun was supposed to be good for billions of years yet -- of course, there is probably fine print that says 'your mileage may vary' ...<br><br>Robert M.
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Post July 15, 2004, 06:11:43 PM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years

This does not preclude the possibility that his culture (a) has a religion with a supreme deity, or (b) has HAD such a religion for long enough that expressions invoking that deity in everyday contexts is commonplace. And in either case, proposing that a false Messiah be used to convey a message 'for their own good' would not be sacrilege from the viewpoint of the hitchhiker....

Consider also the groundwork laid by the Bene Gesserit in the Dune novels. There, Messianic legends were planted on various worlds to give Bene Gesserit agents an advantage in the event that they got into trouble on those planets...
<br>Ok. Point taken.<br><br>
I wonder what COULD go wrong with the Sun that would be somewhat predictable ('within a thousand years'), but in no way detectable with current technology?
<br>If modern string theory is to be believed (the "M" theory), then all it would take is an extra-dimensional object (say, 8th of the eleven) to pass through our plane of existence/"membrane" where the Sun will be. If said 8th-dimensional object is heavy in gravitons, the particle/string responsible for gravity, it would cause the sun to implode suddenly--and we would be none the wiser.<br><br>We'll all take our steaks extra well done, crispy cajun style, that day.<br><br>Nate
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Post July 15, 2004, 08:29:12 PM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years

I took the scenario as the hitch-hiker's civilisation being a very advanced one, which used false religious concepts to warn the primitive earthlings of their pending doom- suggesting that they are not advanced enough to be talked to straight. We hear of the potential for procrastination and beaurocracy- just look at our pathetic efforts to curb environmental damage compared to the intensity of religious devotions we see in many people!<br><br>One or two things didn't quite make sense with the writing. Christy is a vegan but he has a sudden craving for fish???? True, I don't know how any one can resist the taste of a good bit of flesh but this didn't make much sense. Also, for the entire first section, I assumed Christy was a female, going by the name.<br><br>'...and we’re going north." "North-east," I corrected.'<br><br>This construction creates unnecessray confusion. It would be better to leave the entire dialogue under a single pair of quotes.<br><br>It was great the hear the three character's different voices coming through, but I'm not sure the slang word constructions really added to that.<br><br>I enjoyed the story. It was lighthearted and fast-flowing, the characters well-sketched in a short space of time. Go Aussie!<br><br>GG<br>
Last edited by Greg_Guerin on July 15, 2004, 08:38:00 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post July 15, 2004, 10:20:40 PM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years/

We hear of the potential for procrastination and beaurocracy-
<br><br>Bearocracy? The bears are taking over? Didn't Gordon R. Dickson write a comic novel or series featuring humans dealing with a planet full of ursinoids (Dilbians?)?<br><br>
One or two things didn't quite make sense with the writing. Christy is a vegan but he has a sudden craving for fish???? True, I don't know how any one can resist the taste of a good bit of flesh but this didn't make much sense. Also, for the entire first section, I assumed Christy was a female, going by the name.
<br><br>(a) Maybe Christy wasn't ALWAYS a vegan, or was just naming the most unlikely thing he could think of to test the hitchhiker's ability to pull anything out of his knapsack.<br>(b) I'm pretty sure that Christy can be a man's name, at least in England (I seem to recall male characters by that name in some British movies). Also, the feminine version of the name may be "Christie". Anyway, could have been worse -- could have been Leslie/Lesley!<br><br>Robert M.<br>
Last edited by Robert_Moriyama on July 15, 2004, 10:27:01 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post July 17, 2004, 10:43:21 PM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years

Hi Folks<br><br>Thanks for the insightful comments, most of which are right on the money. (There's an Aussie-ism for ya!) I'll reply to some of the easier ones ...<br><br>Nate - re the Australian slang, I was born in the UK but I've spent half my life in Australia, so I'm linguistically pretty confused. "Shot through" is UK and Oz. "Advert" ... this surprises me. I assume you're in the States. Don't you use "advert" over there? "I put an advert for my car in the paper." ??<br><br>Greg: "I took the scenario as the hitch-hiker's civilisation being a very advanced one, which used false religious concepts to warn the primitive earthlings of their pending doom- suggesting that they are not advanced enough to be talked to straight."<br><br>That's what I had in mind (but make mental note, "be clearer in the future").<br><br>Greg: "Christy is a vegan but he has a sudden craving for fish." <br><br>Good point! I guess he was stressed out and acting out of character. :-)<br><br>Christy can be a guy's name in the UK. It's an affectionate variation of "Chris."<br><br>Thanks again!<br><br>Terry
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Post July 18, 2004, 02:35:22 AM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years

- re the Australian slang, "Advert" ... this surprises me. I assume you're in the States. Don't you use "advert" over there? "I put an advert for my car in the paper." ??
<br><br>In the US, one puts an "Ad" in the paper. We dropped the "vert" years ago. We're in too much of a hurry to use all those extra letters!<br>Dan<br>
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Post July 21, 2004, 10:56:26 AM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years

Go Aussie!
<br><br><br>Speaking of Aussie SF (pure coincidence), have a look at:<br><br>http://www.ozscififorum.com<br><br>I launched it yesterday!!!<br><br>GG
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Post July 21, 2004, 06:39:56 PM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years

http://www.ozscififorum.com <br><br>Nice site!<br><br>Terry
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Post July 22, 2004, 05:49:13 PM

 Within A Thousand Years

Congrats on the new Oz forum.<br>The stroy: loved it from the very first few words. anything that starts with driving into the night gets my attention.<br>brilliant stroy, really, lots of tale for the buck, and the three-pronged angle works nicely. too bad the author's use of dialogue suffered from too many "I said", "he said" etc. <br>i don't think there's any need to discuss who the hitcher was, or delve into deep philosophies: this was a well-tailored short right out of the manual. could make for an excellent twilight zone episode.<br>also, good use of food to liven thigns up, particularly the hamburg joke: quite apt.<br><br>Lee
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Post July 22, 2004, 06:38:01 PM

Re:   Within A Thousand Years

The stroy: loved it from the very first few words. anything that starts with driving into the night gets my attention.
brilliant stroy, really, ...
Lee
<br>The STORY was interesting, too. (Give Lee credit, at least his typos are consistent here! :P)<br><br>Robert M.
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Post July 28, 2004, 05:39:02 AM

Within A Thousand Years

heh talk about losing face. Robert: thanks for bearing with me. Stroy=Story is a regular with me, as is Laways=Always. Don't ask why.<br><br>Lee
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Post July 28, 2004, 10:32:14 AM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years

Stroy=Story is a regular with me, as is Laways=Always. Don't ask why.

Lee
<br>Obviously, you have digital (as in finger) dyslexia. I think you need to wear special contact lenses on your fingertips, or something like that. ;)<br><br>Robert M.
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Post July 31, 2004, 04:47:29 PM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years

Interesting story!<br>I usually don't dig switching from character to character's perspective in such a short story, but I think it worked in this one.<br>My only complaint is that too much of your plot was summed up with the last character's narrative. I hate long narratives that sum up a short story. I would try and find a way to give more of the plot away in scenes or diaglogue.<br><br>-Cameron

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Post August 02, 2004, 07:10:33 PM

Within A Thousand Years

<br>What would that make me, a ten-eyes? story idea! oh, read stroy idea. thanks.<br><br>Lee
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Post August 02, 2004, 08:45:19 PM

Re:  Within A Thousand Years

What would that make me, a ten-eyes? story idea! oh, read stroy idea. thanks.

Lee
<br><br>Hmm. Normally, 'four-eyes' refers to a two-eyed individual with corrective lenses. If you had corrective lenses on all digit-tips, including thumbs (we're excluding 'toes' from the 'digits' category), you could be a twenty-two eyes (ten digit-tips, ten digit-tip lenses, two eyes). If you also wore regular glasses, you could be a twenty-FOUR eyes.<br><br>You could only be a ten-eyes if you wore lenses on only a subset of your finger (and thumb) tips and/or regular glasses.<br><br>Robert M.
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Post August 10, 2004, 02:47:17 PM

Within A Thousand Years

damn it this kind of logic has been tripping me up since grade school!<br><br>Lee

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Post July 12, 2011, 01:17:32 PM

Re: Within A Thousand Years

loved this one!! probably because I'm madly in love with the hitchhicker's guide and this reminded me of it! still, great story I would love to read more as it develops.
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