Saturday, July 18, 2020

Time To Murder and Create

T. S. ELIOT didn't know it at the time, but in his poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915) he anticipated the underlying theme of today's story by well over a century, in which what is meant to be a well-intentioned murder unexpectedly leads to an opportunity to create . . . what?

   There will be time to murder and create,
   And time for all the works and days of hands
   That lift and drop a question on your plate;
   Time for you and time for me,
   And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
   And for a hundred visions and revisions,
   Before the taking of a toast and tea.

There could also be "time for you and me" if only someone could tame . . .

"The Oh My God Particle."
By Ian Stewart (born 1945).
Illustration by Jacey (Jason Cook; HERE).
First appearance: Nature/Futures, 17 June 2020.
Short short short story (2 pages).
Online (HERE; PDF).

     "'You murdered him!' the Medical Man cried, aghast."

They don't call them "mad scientists" for nothing: "There is only one universe. But it 
is . . . mutable."

- "I call it a chronon.": "A chronon is a proposed quantum of time, that is, a discrete 
and indivisible 'unit' of time as part of a hypothesis that proposes that time is not continuous." (Wikipedia HERE).
- A somewhat different take on the theme of today's story is Sylvia Jacobs's "Time Payment" (HERE).
- Our author Ian Nicholas Stewart is an emeritus professor of mathematics and Fellow of the Royal Society, putting him in the same ranks as Isaac Newton and giving him a splendid background for "The Oh My God Particle"; he's been generating SFF since the late '70s; see Wikipedia (HERE), the SFE (HERE), and the ISFDb (HERE).

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