Excursions Into Possibility

Gene Szafran's cover for Signet's 1953 publication of Robert Heinlein's "Assignment In Eternity"
Gene Szafran’s cover for Signet’s 1953 publication of Robert Heinlein’s “Assignment In Eternity”

What exists beyond the borders of our intents and purposes are possibilities.  These possibilities aren’t simply things that might be (but probably won’t), or things that might’ve been (but weren’t), but entail by their very exclusion from our intents and purposes different possible ways of being known.  The existence of unapprehended possibilities in any field of inquiry therefore requires at least the possibility of the existence of as-of-yet unexperienced ways of knowing them.  Therefore, when a young time-traveler travels outside of her experienced life of maximum probability, she might find herself in any number of (infinite) situations, situations where she has remained, for all intents and purposes, herself, albeit in a logic-less world without physical bearing, or she might find herself as someone else completely, with scraps of her former self floating around in her memory.  Such is the reality of time travelling in Robert Heinlein’s 1941 novella, Elsewhen, in which a subject’s ability to travel through time is also her ability to explore the possibilities of that which is beyond our intents and purposes.


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