story that captivates me. As with all genres there are staples. One
of the common themes in Science fiction is time travel. I thought to
myself today, “What would I do if I could travel back in time? I could
make Archduke Ferdinand’s driver take a different street through Sarajevo.
He would not have been assassinated and the First World War would never have
been fought, right? Maybe not. Maybe another assassin would have
killed him later in the day. I would have changed next to nothing.
What came out of the war? The United States geared up their industry to
fuel the roaring 20s and earned superpower status for their efforts in the
war. Without the war, the USA would have been left behind the great powers
of Germany, Britain and France. Chemical weapons would not have been
banned. Democracy would not have taken route in the whole of Europe.
Emperors would have continued to rule. The Russians would not have
revolted and there would still be Czars. Communism would either have not
taken root or else done so elsewhere. What if I went back to 1923 and gave
Hitler a nudge during his Beer Hall Putsch and the bullet that hit him actually
killed him? No Hitler would mean no Second World War, right? Maybe
not. What if someone else in the Nazi party was equally as dominant but
never had the chance to shine in Hitler’s shadow. Could that person have
done the same things? I wonder. Perhaps the war would have come
earlier or later. That much tension would have boiled over
eventually. If it didn’t, would the Great Depression would have lasted
longer without the war to bring its end? Think of all the inventions that
came out of the war. There were weapons like the atomic bomb and the jet
fighter. Then there were the first rockets that led to the space race
years later. Penicillin was produced in large quantities and later made
available to the public. That was a huge change right there. Even
fabrics like nylon were invented to make parachutes in place of silk.
Synthetic rubber was created for tires and even Silly Putty in a failed attempt
to create it. The smallest changes could have made the most profound
effects. Then I looked at my world. If I chose a different college I
never would have met my wife and our children would never have been born.
If I had taken a different major, perhaps I would have lost my will to write.
(Doubtful) If I had taken one job instead of another, I might be in a
totally different field. When all is said and done I have an answer.
If I could go back in time I would remember to buy my wife flowers on our
anniversary this year. I did the dinner and the gift but forgot the
flowers. She’ll never admit it but I disappointed her. For that I am
sorry. She is the person always in my corner and I forgot such a simple
thing that hurt so badly. She deserves every flower I can find. That
is the thing I would change.