The Roads Must Roll
"The Roads Must Roll" is a 1940 science fiction short story by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, it was selected for The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964 anthology in 1970. The story is set in the near future, when "roadtowns" have replaced highways and railways as the dominant transportation method in the United States. Heinlein's themes are social cohesion; the fictional social movement he calls functionalism, advances the idea that one's status and level of material reward in a society must and should depend on the functions one performs for that society. In the first section of the narrative, the protagonist Larry Gaines is entertaining Mr. Blenkinsop, an Australian, looking into Road technology on behalf of his government. Gaines's explanation of the Road machinery to Blenkinsop is a device to bring the reader into the world of the Roads. Larry Gaines, Chief Engineer of the Diego-Reno roadtown, is dining with a guest from Australia, Mr. Blenkinsop, in a moving restaurant on the road, when one of the moving sidewalk strips unexpectedly stops.
This causes a chain reaction of people falling from the stopped strip onto the fast moving strips next to it, vice versa. The entire length of the Road becomes a scene of carnage. Gaines learns that the stoppage was sabotage and that the technicians who maintain the Stockton section of the road are responsible, they have been persuaded by a radical social theory, that their role in maintaining the nation's transport infrastructure is more important than that of any other workers and that they should therefore be in control. Blenkinsop is left behind at one of Road stations as Gaines takes charge of the advance on the Stockton office; the roads are managed by the Transport Cadets, an elite paramilitary organization formed by the US Military to keep this crucial infrastructure running. The rebels have stopped the strip as a demonstration to encourage their fellow technicians around the country to rebel against the Cadets, start the Functionalist Revolution. Going into the machinery under the roadway that runs it, Gaines takes command of the response.
He doesn't order the Road stopped, since that would leave millions of commuters stranded, but instead has the military evacuate the riders, a time-consuming procedure. In command of a hastily gathered corps of armed cadets, he proceeds up the underground access tunnel toward Stockton, on "tumblebugs," motorized and gyroscopically stabilized unicycles much like the real-life Segway; as the military advance proceeds, they arrest rebel technicians and cross connect the wiring of the machinery, motor by motor, to take control away from the rebels in the Stockton office. Gaines calls the Stockton office and learns that the leader of the rebellion is "Shorty" Van Kleeck, the chief deputy engineer of the Sacramento sector. Over the videophone Shorty threatens to kill millions of people with a button that he has rigged to blow up the Road if Gaines doesn't capitulate. Gaines doesn't understand. Gaines realizes that Deputy Shorty was able to move revolution-prone workers into his sector because, as deputy, Shorty had access to the psychological files on the technicians.
Gaines accesses Shorty's psychological profile and studies the neurotic traits that have made him a demagogue. Asking for a parley, Gaines faces Shorty. There he uses his knowledge of Shorty's psychology to push him into a nervous breakdown, overpowers him, gaining control of the'suicide' button; the Cadets attack the rebellion is ended. Gaines ponders the changes that will have to be made to make sure there is never a recurrence of these events: more psychological testing, more careful oversight, more esprit de corps, he concludes. Damon Knight, in his introduction to the paper-back edition from the New English Library edition of The Past Through Tomorrow, Vol 1. Compares the story to the then-current power of Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters Union, he notes that Heinlein predicted urban sprawl driven by cheap and efficient transport, as well as the development of'pseudopods' of urban development between communities. "The Roads Must Roll" was adapted for the radio shows Dimension X in 1950 and X Minus One in 1956.
Slidewalks Moving walkway Silverberg, Robert, ed. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964, Tom Doherty Associates, ISBN 0-7653-0537-2 "The Roads Must Roll" title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Astounding Science Fiction, June 1940, scan of issue including full text of "The Roads Must Roll" The Roads Must Roll - Radio Play from 1950
Dewey Decimal Classification
The Dewey Decimal Classification, colloquially the Dewey Decimal System, is a proprietary library classification system first published in the United States by Melvil Dewey in 1876. Described in a four-page pamphlet, it has been expanded to multiple volumes and revised through 23 major editions, the latest printed in 2011, it is available in an abridged version suitable for smaller libraries. OCLC, a non-profit cooperative that serves libraries maintains the system and licenses online access to WebDewey, a continuously updated version for catalogers; the Decimal Classification introduced the concepts of relative location and relative index which allow new books to be added to a library in their appropriate location based on subject. Libraries had given books permanent shelf locations that were related to the order of acquisition rather than topic; the classification's notation makes use of three-digit Arabic numerals for main classes, with fractional decimals allowing expansion for further detail.
Using Arabic numerals for symbols, it is flexible to the degree that numbers can be expanded in linear fashion to cover special aspects of general subjects. A library assigns a classification number that unambiguously locates a particular volume in a position relative to other books in the library, on the basis of its subject; the number makes it possible to find any book and to return it to its proper place on the library shelves. The classification system is used in 200,000 libraries in at least 135 countries. Melvil Dewey was self-declared reformer, he was a founding member of the American Library Association and can be credited with the promotion of card systems in libraries and business. He developed the ideas for his library classification system in 1873 while working at Amherst College library, he applied the classification to the books in that library, until in 1876 he had a first version of the classification. In 1876, he published the classification in pamphlet form with the title A Classification and Subject Index for Cataloguing and Arranging the Books and Pamphlets of a Library.
He used the pamphlet, published in more than one version during the year, to solicit comments from other librarians. It is not known who received copies or how many commented as only one copy with comments has survived, that of Ernest Cushing Richardson, his classification system was mentioned in an article in the first issue of the Library Journal and in an article by Dewey in the Department of Education publication "Public Libraries in America" in 1876. In March 1876, he applied for, received copyright on the first edition of the index; the edition was 44 pages in length, with 2,000 index entries, was printed in 200 copies. The second edition of the Dewey Decimal system, published in 1885 with the title Decimal Classification and Relativ Index for arranging and indexing public and private libraries and for pamflets, notes, scrap books, index rerums, etc. comprised 314 pages, with 10,000 index entries. Five hundred copies were produced. Editions 3–14, published between 1888 and 1942, used a variant of this same title.
Dewey modified and expanded his system for the second edition. In an introduction to that edition Dewey states that "nearly 100 persons hav contributed criticisms and suggestions". One of the innovations of the Dewey Decimal system was that of positioning books on the shelves in relation to other books on similar topics; when the system was first introduced, most libraries in the US used fixed positioning: each book was assigned a permanent shelf position based on the book's height and date of acquisition. Library stacks were closed to all but the most privileged patrons, so shelf browsing was not considered of importance; the use of the Dewey Decimal system increased during the early 20th century as librarians were convinced of the advantages of relative positioning and of open shelf access for patrons. New editions were readied as supplies of published editions were exhausted though some editions provided little change from the previous, as they were needed to fulfill demand. In the next decade, three editions followed on: the 3rd, 4th, 5th.
Editions 6 through 11 were published from 1899 to 1922. The 6th edition was published in a record 7,600 copies, although subsequent editions were much lower. During this time, the size of the volume grew, edition 12 swelled to 1243 pages, an increase of 25% over the previous edition. In response to the needs of smaller libraries which were finding the expanded classification schedules difficult to use, in 1894, the first abridged edition of the Dewey Decimal system was produced; the abridged edition parallels the full edition, has been developed for most full editions since that date. By popular request, in 1930, the Library of Congress began to print Dewey Classification numbers on nearly all of its cards, thus making the system available to all libraries making use of the Library of Congress card sets. Dewey's was not the only library classification available. Charles Ammi Cutter published the Expansive Classification in 1882, with initial encouragement from Melvil Dewey. Cutter's system was not adopted by many libraries, with one major exception: it was used as the basis for the Library of Congress Classification system.
In 1895, the International Institute of Bibliography, located in Belgium and led by Paul Otlet, contacted Dewey about the possibility of translating the classification into French, using the classification system for bibliographies. This would have
"Ulysses" is a poem in blank verse by the Victorian poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, written in 1833 and published in 1842 in his well-received second volume of poetry. An oft-quoted poem, it is popularly used to illustrate the dramatic monologue form. Facing old age, mythical hero Ulysses describes his discontent and restlessness upon returning to his kingdom, after his far-ranging travels. Despite his reunion with his wife Penelope and son Telemachus, Ulysses yearns to explore again; the character of Ulysses has been explored in literature. The adventures of Odysseus were first recorded in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Tennyson draws on Homer's narrative in the poem. Most critics, find that Tennyson's Ulysses recalls Dante's Ulisse in his Inferno. In Dante's re-telling, Ulisse is condemned to hell among the false counsellors, both for his pursuit of knowledge beyond human bounds and for creating the deception of the Trojan horse. For much of this poem's history, readers viewed Ulysses as resolute and heroic, admiring him for his determination "To strive, to seek, to find, not to yield".
The view that Tennyson intended a heroic character is supported by his statements about the poem, by the events in his life—the death of his closest friend—that prompted him to write it. In the twentieth century, some new interpretations of "Ulysses" highlighted potential ironies in the poem, they argued, for example, that Ulysses wishes to selfishly abandon his kingdom and family, they questioned more positive assessments of Ulysses' character by demonstrating how he resembles flawed protagonists in earlier literature. "Ulysses" and "The Lotos Eaters" are companion pieces but in tone and thought they are opposites, whereas "The Lotos Eaters" teaches us the lesson of rest and inaction, the second poem "Ulysses" inspires and excites us to be active and energetic in our life. As the poem begins, Ulysses has returned to his kingdom, having made a long journey home after fighting in the Trojan War. Confronted again by domestic life, Ulysses expresses his lack of contentment, including his indifference toward the "savage race" whom he governs.
Ulysses contrasts his present restlessness with his heroic past, contemplates his old age and eventual death—"Life piled on life / Were all too little, of one to me / Little remains" —and longs for further experience and knowledge. His son Telemachus will inherit the throne. While Ulysses thinks that Telemachus will be a good king—"Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere / Of common duties" —he seems to have lost any connection to his son—"He works his work, I mine" —and the conventional methods of governing—"by slow prudence" and "through soft degrees". In the final section, Ulysses turns to his fellow mariners and calls on them to join him on another quest, making no guarantees as to their fate but attempting to conjure their heroic past: The speaker's language is unelaborated but forceful, it expresses Ulysses' conflicting moods as he searches for continuity between his past and future. There is a marked contrast between the sentiment of Ulysses' words and the sounds that express them.
For example, the poem's insistent iambic pentameter is interrupted by spondees. Many of the poem's clauses carry over into the following line; the poem's seventy lines of blank verse are presented as a dramatic monologue. Scholars disagree on how Ulysses' speech functions in this format; some see the verse turning from a soliloquy to a public address, as Ulysses seems to speak to himself in the first movement to turn to an audience as he introduces his son, to relocate to the seashore where he addresses his mariners. In this interpretation, the comparatively direct and honest language of the first movement is set against the more politically minded tone of the last two movements. For example, the second paragraph about Telemachus, in which Ulysses muses again about domestic life, is a "revised version for public consumption": a "savage race" is revised to a "rugged people"; the ironic interpretations of "Ulysses" may be the result of the modern tendency to consider the narrator of a dramatic monologue as "unreliable".
According to critic Dwight Culler, the poem has been a victim of revisionist readings in which the reader expects to reconstruct the truth from a misleading narrator's accidental revelations. Culler himself views "Ulysses" as a dialectic in which the speaker weighs the virtues of a contemplative and an active approach to life. Tennyson completed the poem on 20 October 1833, but it was not published until 1842, in his second collection of Poems. Unlike many of Tennyson's other important poems, "Ulysses" was not revised after its publication. Tennyson blocked out the poem in four paragraphs, broken before lines 6, 33 and 44. In this struct
Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain was a military campaign of the Second World War, in which the Royal Air Force defended the United Kingdom against large-scale attacks by Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe. It has been described as the first major military campaign fought by air forces; the British recognise the battle's duration as being from 10 July until 31 October 1940, which overlaps the period of large-scale night attacks known as The Blitz, that lasted from 7 September 1940 to 11 May 1941. German historians do not accept this subdivision and regard the battle as a single campaign lasting from July 1940 to June 1941, including the Blitz; the primary objective of the German forces was to compel Britain to agree to a negotiated peace settlement. In July 1940, the air and sea blockade began, with the Luftwaffe targeting coastal-shipping convoys and shipping centres, such as Portsmouth. On 1 August, the Luftwaffe was directed to achieve air superiority over the RAF with the aim of incapacitating RAF Fighter Command.
As the battle progressed, the Luftwaffe targeted factories involved in aircraft production and strategic infrastructure. It employed terror bombing on areas of political significance and on civilians; the Germans had overwhelmed France and the Low Countries, leaving Britain to face the threat of invasion by sea. The German high command knew the difficulties of a seaborne attack and its impracticality while the Royal Navy controlled the English Channel and the North Sea. On 16 July, Adolf Hitler ordered the preparation of Operation Sea Lion as a potential amphibious and airborne assault on Britain, to follow once the Luftwaffe had air superiority over the UK. In September, RAF Bomber Command night raids disrupted the German preparation of converted barges, the Luftwaffe's failure to overwhelm the RAF forced Hitler to postpone and cancel Operation Sea Lion. Germany proved unable to sustain daylight raids, but their continued night-bombing operations on Britain became known as the Blitz. Historian Stephen Bungay cited Germany's failure to destroy Britain's air defences to force an armistice as the first major German defeat in World War II and a crucial turning point in the conflict.
The Battle of Britain takes its name from a speech given by Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the House of Commons on 18 June: "What General Weygand called the'Battle of France' is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin." Strategic bombing during World War I introduced air attacks intended to panic civilian targets and led in 1918 to the amalgamation of British army and navy air services into the Royal Air Force. Its first Chief of the Air Staff Hugh Trenchard was among the military strategists in the 1920s like Giulio Douhet who saw air warfare as a new way to overcome the stalemate of trench warfare. Interception was nearly impossible with fighter planes no faster than bombers, their view was that the bomber will always get through, the only defence was a deterrent bomber force capable of matching retaliation. Predictions were made that a bomber offensive would cause thousands of deaths and civilian hysteria leading to capitulation, but widespread pacifism contributed to a reluctance to provide resources.
Germany was forbidden a military air force by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, therefore air crew were trained by means of civilian and sport flying. Following a 1923 memorandum, the Deutsche Luft Hansa airline developed designs for aircraft such as the Junkers Ju 52, which could carry passengers and freight, but be adapted into bombers. In 1926, the secret Lipetsk fighter-pilot school began operating. Erhard Milch organised rapid expansion, following the 1933 Nazi seizure of power, his subordinate Robert Knauss formulated a deterrence theory incorporating Douhet's ideas and Tirpitz's "risk theory", which proposed a fleet of heavy bombers to deter a preventive attack by France and Poland before Germany could rearm. A 1933–34 war game indicated a need for fighters and anti-aircraft protection as well as bombers. On 1 March 1935, the Luftwaffe was formally announced, with Walther Wever as Chief of Staff; the 1935 Luftwaffe doctrine for "Conduct of the Air War" set air power within the overall military strategy, with critical tasks of attaining air superiority and providing battlefield support for army and naval forces.
Strategic bombing of industries and transport could be decisive longer term options, dependent on opportunity or preparations by the army and navy, to overcome a stalemate or used when only destruction of the enemy's economy would be conclusive. The list excluded bombing civilians to destroy homes or undermine morale, as, considered a waste of strategic effort, but the doctrine allowed revenge attacks if German civilians were bombed. A revised edition was issued in 1940, the continuing central principle of Luftwaffe doctrine was that destruction of enemy armed forces was of primary importance; the RAF responded to Luftwaffe developments with its 1934 Expansion Plan A rearmament scheme, in 1936 it was restructured into Bomber Command, Coastal Command, Training Command and Fighter Command. The latter was under Hugh Dowding, who opposed the doctrine that bombers were unstoppable: the invention of radar at that time could allow early detection, prototype monoplane fighters were faster. Priorities were disputed, but in December 1937 the Minister in charge of defence coordination Sir Thomas Inskip decided in Dowding's favour, that "The role of our air force is not an early k
Parallel universes in fiction
A parallel universe known as an alternate universe or alternate reality, is a hypothetical self-contained reality co-existing with one's own. A specific group of parallel universes are called a "multiverse", although this term can be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute reality. While the three terms are synonymous and can be used interchangeably in most cases, there is sometimes an additional connotation implied with the term "alternate universe/reality" that implies that the reality is a variant of our own, with some overlap with the similarly-named Alternate history; the term "parallel universe" is more general, without implying a relationship, or lack of relationship, with our own universe. A universe where the laws of nature are different – for example, one in which there are no Laws of Motion – would in general count as a parallel universe but not an alternative reality and a concept between both fantasy world and earth; the actual quantum-mechanical hypothesis of parallel universes is "universes that are separated from each other by a single quantum event."
Fiction has long borrowed an idea of "another world" from myth and religion. Heaven, Hell and Valhalla are all "alternative universes" different from the familiar material realm. Plato reflected on the parallel realities, resulting in Platonism, in which the upper reality is perfect while the lower earthly reality is an imperfect shadow of the heavenly; the lower reality is similar but with flaws. The concept is found in ancient Hindu mythology, in texts such as the Puranas, which expressed an infinite number of universes, each with its own gods. In Persian literature, "The Adventures of Bulukiya", a tale in the One Thousand and One Nights, describes the protagonist Bulukiya learning of alternative worlds/universes that are similar to but still distinct from his own. One of the first Science fiction examples is Murray Leinster's Sidewise in Time, in which portions of alternative universes replace corresponding geographical regions in this universe. Sidewise in Time describes it in the manner that similar to requiring both longitude and latitude coordinates in order to mark your location on Earth, so too does time: travelling along latitude is akin to time travel moving through past and future, while travelling along latitude is to travel perpendicular to time and to other realities, hence the name of the short story.
Thus, another common term for a parallel universe is "another dimension", stemming from the idea that if the 4th dimension is time, the 5th dimension - a direction at a right angle to the fourth - are alternate realities. In modern literature, a parallel universe can be divided into two categories: to allow for stories where elements that would ordinarily violate the laws of nature. Examples of the former include Terry Pratchett's Discworld and C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, while examples of the latter include Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series. A parallel universe may serve as a central plot point, or it may be mentioned and dismissed, having served its purpose of establishing a realm unconstrained by realism; the aforementioned Discworld, for example, only rarely mentions our world or any other worlds, as setting the books on a parallel universe instead of "our" reality is to allow for magic on the Disc. The Chronicles of Narnia utilises this to a lesser extent - the idea of parallel universes are brought up but only mentioned in the introduction and ending, its main purpose to bring the protagonist from "our" reality to the setting of the books.
While technically incorrect, looked down upon by hard science-fiction fans and authors, the idea of another "dimension" has become synonymous with the term "parallel universe". The usage is common in movies and comic books and much less so in modern prose science fiction; the idea of a parallel world was first introduced in comic books with the publication of The Flash #123, "Flash of Two Worlds". In written science fiction, "new dimension" more – and more – refer to additional coordinate axes, beyond the three spatial axes with which we are familiar. By proposing travel along these extra axes, which are not perceptible, the traveler can reach worlds that are otherwise unreachable and invisible. In 1884, Edwin A. Abbott wrote, it describes a world of two dimensions inhabited by living squares and circles, called Flatland, as well as Pointland and Spaceland and posits the possibilities of greater dimensions. Isaac Asimov, in his foreword to the Signet Classics 1984 edition, described Flatland as "The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions."
In 1895, The Time Machine by H. G. Wells used time as an additional "dimension" in this sense, taking the four-dimensional model of classical physics and interpreting time as a space-like dimension in which humans could travel with the right equipment. Wells used the concept of parallel universes as a consequence of time as the fourth dimension in stories like The Wonderful Visit and Men Like Gods, an idea proposed by the astronomer Simon Newcomb, who talked about both time and parallel universes.
G. P. Putnam's Sons
G. P. Putnam's Sons is an American book publisher based in New York. Since 1996, it has been an imprint of the Penguin Group; the company began as Wiley & Putnam with the 1838 partnership between George Palmer Putnam and John Wiley, whose father had founded his own company in 1807. In 1841, Putnam went to London where he set up a branch office, the first American company to do so. In 1848, he returned to New York, where he dissolved the partnership with John Wiley and established G. Putnam Broadway, publishing a variety of works including quality illustrated books. Wiley began John Wiley, still an independent publisher to the present day. In 1853, G. P. Putnam & Co. started Putnam’s Magazine with Charles Frederick Briggs as its editor. On George Palmer Putnam’s death in 1872, his sons George H. John and Irving inherited the business and the firm's name was changed to G. P. Putnam's Sons. Son George H. Putnam became president of a position he held for the next fifty-two years. In 1874, the company established its own book printing and manufacturing office, set up by John Putnam and operating out of newly leased premises at 182 Fifth Avenue.
This printing side of the business became a separate division called the Knickerbocker Press, was relocated in 1889 to the Knickerbocker Press Building, built for the press in New Rochelle, New York. On the death of George H. Putnam in 1930, the various Putnam heirs voted to merge the firm with Minton, Balch & Co. who became the majority stockholders. George Palmer Putnam's grandson, George P. Putnam, left the firm at that time. Melville Minton, the partner and sales manager of Minton Balch & Co. became acting president and majority stockholder of the firm until his death in 1956. In 1936, Putnam acquired the publisher Coward-McCann, ran it as an imprint into the 1980s. Upon Melville Minton's death, his son Walter J. Minton took control of the company. In 1965, G. P. Putnam's Sons acquired a mass market paperback publishing house. MCA bought Putnam Publishing Group and Berkley Publishing Group in 1975. Phyllis E. Grann, running Pocket Books for Simon & Schuster was brought on board in 1976 as editor-in-chief.
Grann worked with MCA executive Stanley Newman on a financial model to make Putnam profitable. This model emphasized publishing key authors annually and took Putnam from $10 million in revenue to over $100 million by 1983. While keeping the list at 75 titles a year, Putnam focused on winners like Tom Clancy whose book Red Storm Rising sold nearly a million copies in 1986. Putnam along with other publishers in the 1980s moved to a heavy discount hardcover model to keep up with demand and sales through bookstore chains and price clubs. Phyllis Grann was promoted to CEO of Putnam in 1987 becoming the first woman to be CEO of a major publishing house. By 1993, the publisher was making $200 million in revenue. In 1982, Putnam acquired Grosset & Dunlap from Filmways. In 1982, Putnam acquired the book publishing division of Playboy Enterprises, which included Seaview Books. In the 1990s ownership of Putnam changed a number of times. MCA was bought by Matsushita Electric in 1990; the Seagram Company acquired 80% of MCA from Matsushita and shortly thereafter Seagram changed the name of the company to Universal Studios, Inc.
The new owners had no interest in publishing, but Phyllis Grann stepped in and was able to broker the deal for Putnam to be merged with Penguin Group in 1996, a division of British publishing conglomerate, Pearson PLC Putnam and the Penguin Group formed Penguin Putnam Inc. In 2001, Grann abruptly left after speculation over tensions with Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino. In 2013, Penguin merged with Bertelsmann's Random House. Books in the United States About Putnam at Penguin Group
Time travel is the concept of movement between certain points in time, analogous to movement between different points in space by an object or a person using a hypothetical device known as a time machine. Time travel is a widely-recognized concept in fiction; the idea of a time machine was popularized by H. G. Wells' 1895 novel The Time Machine, it is uncertain. Forward time travel, outside the usual sense of the perception of time, is an extensively-observed phenomenon and well-understood within the framework of special relativity and general relativity. However, making one body advance or delay more than a few milliseconds compared to another body is not feasible with current technology; as for backwards time travel, it is possible to find solutions in general relativity that allow for it, but the solutions require conditions that may not be physically possible. Traveling to an arbitrary point in spacetime has a limited support in theoretical physics, only connected with quantum mechanics or wormholes known as Einstein-Rosen bridges.
Some ancient myths depict a character skipping forward in time. In Hindu mythology, the Mahabharata mentions the story of King Raivata Kakudmi, who travels to heaven to meet the creator Brahma and is surprised to learn when he returns to Earth that many ages have passed; the Buddhist Pāli Canon mentions the relativity of time. The Payasi Sutta tells of one of the Buddha's chief disciples, Kumara Kassapa, who explains to the skeptic Payasi that time in the Heavens passes differently than on Earth; the Japanese tale of "Urashima Tarō", first described in the Nihongi tells of a young fisherman named Urashima Taro who visits an undersea palace. After three days, he returns home to his village and finds himself 300 years in the future, where he has been forgotten, his house is in ruins, his family has died. In Jewish tradition, the 1st-century BC scholar Honi ha-M'agel is said to have fallen asleep and slept for seventy years; when waking up he returned home but found none of the people he knew, no one believed his claims of who he was.
Early science fiction stories feature characters who sleep for years and awaken in a changed society, or are transported to the past through supernatural means. Among them L'An 2440, rêve s'il en fût jamais by Louis-Sébastien Mercier, Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving, Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, When the Sleeper Awakes by H. G. Wells. Prolonged sleep, like the more familiar time machine, is used as a means of time travel in these stories; the earliest work about backwards time travel is uncertain. Samuel Madden's Memoirs of the Twentieth Century is a series of letters from British ambassadors in 1997 and 1998 to diplomats in the past, conveying the political and religious conditions of the future; because the narrator receives these letters from his guardian angel, Paul Alkon suggests in his book Origins of Futuristic Fiction that "the first time-traveler in English literature is a guardian angel." Madden does not explain how the angel obtains these documents, but Alkon asserts that Madden "deserves recognition as the first to toy with the rich idea of time-travel in the form of an artifact sent backward from the future to be discovered in the present."
In the science fiction anthology Far Boundaries, editor August Derleth claims that an early short story about time travel is Missing One's Coach: An Anachronism, written for the Dublin Literary Magazine by an anonymous author in 1838. While the narrator waits under a tree for a coach to take him out of Newcastle, he is transported back in time over a thousand years, he encounters the Venerable Bede in a monastery and explains to him the developments of the coming centuries. However, the story never makes it clear whether these events are a dream. Another early work about time travel is The Forebears of Kalimeros: Alexander, son of Philip of Macedon by Alexander Veltman published in 1836. Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol has early depictions of time travel in both directions, as the protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, is transported to Christmases past and future. Other stories employ the same template, where a character goes to sleep, upon waking up finds themself in a different time. A clearer example of backward time travel is found in the popular 1861 book Paris avant les hommes by the French botanist and geologist Pierre Boitard, published posthumously.
In this story, the protagonist is transported to the prehistoric past by the magic of a "lame demon", where he encounters a Plesiosaur and an apelike ancestor and is able to interact with ancient creatures. Edward Everett Hale's "Hands Off" tells the story of an unnamed being the soul of a person who has died, who interferes with ancient Egyptian history by preventing Joseph's enslavement; this may have been the first story to feature an alternate history created as a result of time travel. One of the first stories to feature time travel by means of a machine is "The Clock that Went Backward" by Edward Page Mitchell, which appeared in the New York Sun in 1881. However, the mechanism borders on fantasy. An unusual clock, when wound, transports people nearby back in time; the author does not explain the origin or properties of the clock. Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau's El Anacronópete may have been the first story to feature a vessel engineered to travel through time. Andrew Sawyer has commented that the story "does seem to be the first literary description of a time machine noted so far", adding that "Edward Page Mitchell's story'The Clock That Went Backward' is described as the first time-machine story, but I'm not sure