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Life Line


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A short story in Robert A. Heinlein's future history compendium of short stories.  Robert takes two concepts of modern day physics and turns them into the basis for a plausible future.

 

1.  There exists an electronic device called a TDR (time domain reflectometer) with which one can locate a break or an open circuit within several miles of wiring (for example, the wiring harness of a modern jet fighter).  It's not magic, but it works very well.

 

2.  In space-time diagrams, the three spatial dimensions are reduced to one along a horizontal, and time is a vertical axis.  Penrose diagrams are an example, and they can demonstrate why time has a direction, how time becomes space, and other nifty things.  The lines of an object as it progresses through spacetime are called 'world lines'

 

Consider that your birth was a point in spacetime that began your world line.  As you grow, that point starts to become wider and begins to travel (either through space, time or both).  Your death marks the end point of your world line, and your entire existence then looks like a worm (whose length is determined by your age at death)

 

Now for the money shot; if you are a conducting point in spacetime, there's a way to find the terminus of your world line?

 

Life Line

Life Line

(Future History or "Heinlein Timeline" #1)

 3.90  ·   Rating details ·  799 ratings  ·  14 reviews
CONTENTS:
Introduction by Damon Knight
Life-Line
The Roads Must Roll
Blowups Happen
The Man Who Sold the Moon
Delilah and the Space-Rigger
Space Jockey
Requiem
The Long Watch
Gentlemen, Be Seated

GET A COPY

 
 
 
Edited by RichP714
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Are we in the Crazy Years?

 

Not to hijack your thread Rich but I'm a huge fan of Heinlein, read him while in the Air Force. Jack Chalker, Piers Anthony, Orson Scott Card and all of the guys who wrote Conan too. Can't forget Anne McCaffery's Dragon Riders of Pern. 

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2 hours ago, Magnaryder said:

I'm a huge fan of Heinlein, read him while in the Air Force. Jack Chalker, Piers Anthony, Orson Scott Card and all of the guys who wrote Conan too. Can't forget Anne McCaffery's Dragon Riders of Pern. 

 

He's one of my favorites as well.  You might also like Neil Stephenson and Greg Egan

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