This week marks the 51st anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's trip as the first human into outer space. But who will follow his footsteps and be the first explorer into … time?
“So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel," by Phil Hornshaw and Nick Hurwitch, gives aspiring time travelers a guide to do’s and don’ts in any era they might wind up in. From how to befriend a Triceratops, to tips on living underground when robots inevitably rise up against humans, the book has you covered in any time period.
"One of the fun things about writing the book was to reconstruct history with using both history and pop culture. So we can figure out where Klingons fit into the mix and how the robot uprising fits into our own timeline," Hurwitch says. "Back to the Future," "Terminator," and "Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure" are just a few of the movies used for inspiration.
They shared some must-do's while time period hopping:
"Ride a dinosaur; it’s one of the great thrills in life."
"Be a cowboy; try not to get shot."
"Get dysentery, that stuff is a lot of fun. Get tied to some railroad tracks."
They’ve also teamed up with iam8bit in L.A., where 40 artists are exploring the theme of time travel throughout movies and music in a new exhibit.
The authors took a look at some of the pieces featured in the gallery. "Abraham Lincoln is made completely of felt by the talented Kelice Penney. This is an homage to Abraham Lincoln in 'Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,' where they gather up historical figures of note to bring them back to ace their history final," Hurwitch says.
However, Hornshaw was not so impressed with the time travel in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." "You can’t just gather up historical figures like that. That’s crazy. As soon as you bring someone from their timeline they’re gone, right? So you might get Napoleon and Lincoln and all of these people, but they might not be as important once they leave. You have all of these people, but they might not be as important and your teacher is going ‘Who are these people?’"
Before you start battling Vikings and space marines, Hurwitch says there are some rules you should really try to follow. "A lot of rules are pulled from our favorite time travel movies, such as 'Back to the Future,' so don’t make out with your parents in the past. Or in the present, just never make out with your parents." Noted.
"We try to recommend people against doing things like trying to go fix events of which they were a part," he says. "It really just gets messy and you can’t actually do it. It’s really difficult to change the past. History’s more powerful and time is more powerful than any one person, even someone as powerful as a time traveler or as horrible as Hitler can’t contend with the power of time. So, I mean, you could kill Hitler and then maybe someone worse takes his place," Hurwitch says. "You could disallow for your own existence, and then how would you ever go back? You’d create a paradox and then you’d implode the whole universe. And then, that makes you way worse than anybody in history."
Explore the universe, but whatever you do, please don’t implode the universe.