Three Trips in Time and Space
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Each major advance in the technology of communication or transportation has brought profound transformations and dislocations to human society. Three of science fiction's greatest authors—Larry Niven, Jack Vance, John Brunner—explore what would happen if teleportation were invented.
Suppose it were possible, technologically and economically, to transport oneself to any point on the earth's surface in virtually instantaneous travel? Let us have trips in time as well as in space... a quick passport not merely from Brooklyn to Arabia but to Arabia in the time of Mohammed, tours to the dawn of history or to the end of time. If all things are possible, if all gates stand open, what sort of world will we have? This is the challenge Robert Silverberg poses, to which three of science fiction's highest award-winners have responded with a trio of short novels displaying the variety and scope that outstanding literary craftsmen can bring to the same basic concept.
In "Flash Crowd" Larry Niven describes some of the social perils that may follow instantaneous travel. In "You'll Take the High Road" John Brunner's hero finds that man's technological accomplishments are steadily matched by his perfection of the snafu. "Rumfuddle" is Jack Vance's eerie tale of historical coincidences.
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