It’s Only Science Fiction IF It Isn’t True

In 1894, a young London college student submitted an essay entitled “Reality in Four Dimensions” to the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette. The editor could not grasp the mathematical concept that any object in the universe existed in four dimensions (three dimensions of space and a fourth dimension of time). He did, however, offer the young student a hundred British pounds to write a series called the “Chronic Argonauts,” which started the young scientist on a long and illustrious career penning science fiction novels. However, time would eventually prove there was more science than fiction in his collective works.

Twenty-seven years later, in 1921, a different scientist, Albert Einstein is awarded the Nobel Prize for his works in space-time relativity.

In 1914, this before mentioned prophetic writer published a book called, “In the Fourth Year”, during which every nation of the world selected a representative for a world state called, “The League of Nations.”

Six years later, The League of Nations was eventually formed following World War I in 1920.

Perhaps the most astonishing, and terrifying, scientific prophecy made by this futurist was his theories on the usefulness of the natural decay of radium, a relatively new scientific discovery in 1914 when he published the novel “The World Set Free.” In the novel, mankind discovers how to harness unlimited “atomic” energy, and in January of 1940, the world is plunged into a world war which is fueled by use of “atomic bombs.”

In 1932 Leo Szilard read “The World Set Free,” and he admitted the book set his life’s work in motion. In August of 1939, Szilard and Einstein co-wrote a letter to President Roosevelt, warning that the creation of atomic weapons was indeed possible and probably in development by Germany. Roosevelt appointed Szilard to head The Manhattan Project. In September of 1939, World War II started and was ended by America’s first deployment of atomic weapons in 1945.

How did this author so accurately depict future events and scientific discoveries?

As a young student, he was identified as a gifted scientist and offered a teaching position, but he took ill and lost his standing. In 1895, he realized he would never be able to effect change in the world as a scientist, so he turned to the only medium available to him. From his series “Chronic Argonauts,” he published his first novel “Time Machine.” From that moment, author and scientist, H. G. Wells, changed the world. In “Time Machine,” he postulated the concept of a predestination paradox, which is the concept that a person could travel back in time and cause present events. H. G. Wells was often called a futurist, but given the precision and eventual effect of his work on future scientific and social events, is it possible he, himself, was a predestination paradox?

2 thoughts on “It’s Only Science Fiction IF It Isn’t True

  1. I love the Time Machine – such a great story. I’m just going to skulk away now and look up ‘predestination paradox’!
    Lynn :D
    (Done! and, ahh, it all makes perfect sense now!)

  2. Me too, Lynn.

    This is fascinating, David.

    I had never heard how detailed and accurate Wells’s predictions were. Anecdotal evidence for time travel … it’s a tempting thought.

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