Monday, October 16, 2017

The penultimate truth about 1425

In Philip K. Dick's 1964 novel The Penultimate Truth, one of his masterpieces, an episode that happened in 1425 is described: an alien attack against an Indian tribe in Utah. The whole episode is actually made up in 2025 in order to make a plot of land "of great scientific interest" and therefore confiscate it. The finds (alien weapons and skulls) are manufactured in a laboratory, then sent backward in time thanks to a machine that survived the Third World War. Fake scientific articles speculating on the existence of such extraterrestrial materials will also be written, then artificially inserted into an early 20th century magazine. The problem is, the time machine can still be activated, but nobody knows about its way of working any longer; so that the result will not be the one expected, just the opposite indeed -- perfectly in line with the Renaissance concepts of chance and Fortune. And the Cherokee will be avenged. A sci-fi version of Ariosto's narrative loops.