quinta-feira, 13 de novembro de 2008

Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time - William F.Wu

In “Robot Visions,” Dr. Isaac Asimov writes about a question inherent in any time travel story—whether individuals traveling in time will alter events that would have occurred without the interference of a time traveler. Most writers who tackle this question write about changing the past and whether doing so is desirable or not. The Good Doctor, once again exhibiting the originality of his own vision, chooses to focus on a more rarely examined concern: of traveling into the future, and the possible consequences of doing so.

Stories that merely take place in the future are not the same as stories about individuals who travel from their own time, whatever it is, to their future. To my knowledge, the first science fiction novel to tell such a story is the classic novel by H. G. Wells,The Time Machine. In it Wells writes of a man who travels to the distant future from Victorian England, the time and place in which Wells was writing the novel. However, Wells presented a dystopian vision of the future as a warning of what could happen if the rigid social and economic divisions of his own society worsened to the extreme. The possibility of avoiding that vision lay not with the time traveler, but with the people who lived in Wells’s time. Wells did not really examine whether his time traveler’s report to his friends back in his own time would bring about a different future.

Two theories of history influence the tale any writer tells about time travel. One belief is that only large forces such as technological advance, economic change, and the development of religions and philosophies determine the direction of history. The other theory is that any event, “no matter how small, sends out ripples of influence that profoundly affect all other events. An historian told me that his colleagues are about evenly divided in their support of these theories.
Authors of time travel stories always write with one or the other implicit, if not explicit, in their work.

I first discovered the science fiction of Isaac Asimov as a child and have read both his fiction and nonfiction in the years since then. Writing time travel stories about his positronic robots and his Three Laws of Robotics is therefore a special honor for me, and I hope you will enjoy theRobots in Time series. By way of introduction, this book presents the late Dr. Asimov’s fantastic “Robot Visions.”

William F. Wu.

Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time [ Download ]