Who Invented Hyperspace? Hyperspace in Science Fiction.

by Sten Odenwald

Copyright 1995

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Along side these stories which more or less toe the line with special relativity, proclaiming that FTL travel is impossible are stories that took the next step following the developments in Einstein's General Theory of relativity. Authors began, tentatively at first and then with increasing boldness, to find technological solutions to space travel that did not involve moving through ordinary 3-dimensional space with its nasty "thou shalt not exceed the speed of light" edict. These methods might be termed 'inter dimensional travel' since that is often the manner in which the problem is solved. This sub-genera of writing probably had its inception when authors began exploring certain conceptual ideas in general relativity. As they became more comfortable with the ideas of multi-dimensional space, developed an increasing array of applications for it. At first, these journies were limited to laboratory experiments that went badly wrong.

The story by Donald Wandrei The Blinding Shadows(1934) described an inventor who builds a complicated optical machine that rotates in all maner of directions, with lenses made of Rhillium. This fictitious element has the unusual property, according to the stories Dr. Dowdson, that 50 percent of the energy falling on it just vanishes, presumably into the fourth dimension. The rotation of the Rhillium lenses are so complex that, not only does motion occur in the normal 3 dimensions to space, but occasionally into a fourth as well. The good doctor's goal is to image objects from the 4th dimension in 3 dimensional space. What happens is that the black shadows of alien beings soon appear, escape from his lab and start to gobble up most of the inhabitants of New York City!

This idea that some new element might emit or transform radiation in this way also appears in Milton Smith's The Mystery of Element 117 (1949). Our universe extends a short distance into a fourth spatial dimension. Because of this, it is possible to rotate matter completely out of 3-space by building a 4-dimension translator. Element 117 is a fictitious, magnetic monopole substance which can be made into an optical lens and used to open a window into this new dimension. It turns out that this other world is the one inhabited by already dead humans. They live in a neighboring world to ours, but just slightly shifted from ours along the fourth dimension. We also read in this story that our 3-space is but one 'hyperplane of hyperspace'. Succeding layers are linked together via their quantity of imaginary mass just like page numbers in a book.

Rog Phillips in The Cube Root of Conquest (1948) proposes that we co- exist along with other universes in space, but are separated in time. These universes are separated from one another along a 3-dimensional time continuum which are in the 'imaginary' direction from normal 3-dimensional space. Travel to these parallel worlds requires solving a cubic equation, whose roots give the proper time-like shift to enter these worlds.

In 1940 Robert Heinlein's shor6t story '...and He Built a Crooked House' followed the misadventures of a California archetect who built his house to resemble the projection in 3-dimensional space of a 4-dimensional hypercube; a shape identified in the story as a 'tesseract'. An earthquake triggered the collapse of this inherently unstable shape into a real hypercube with amusing consequences to its inhabitants! Some windows, for example, look out over a desert, or a street intersection from a vantage point hundreds of floors above the ground. One window even looks into Nothing. This 'nothing' is described as a view of a place where space doesn't exist at all, lacking color, form or magnitude. Evidently pure nothingness this is an unsettling thing for the human brain to try to interpret, giving the residents of the house a very unsettling feeling. This idea that entry into other dimensions can be caused by sufficiently violent natural phenomena also appeared in Orphan of Atlans(1947) by William Hamling. A natural cataclysm unleashes forces and "...a rent was made in the ether itself...A great space warp was formed around [Atlantas]". This catapulted the last few survivors of Atlantis out of their normal space-time and into the future, to arrive in the 20th century.

Alan E. Nourse's Tiger by the Tail (1951) describes a civilization living in the 4th dimension that manages to coerce a human shoplifter to send them more aluminum through a gateway into our dimension that resembles a pocketbook. The shoplifter is apprehended by police who devine the purpose of the pocketbook immediatly. Lowering a hook nto the pocketbook, they manage to "pull a non-free section of their universe through the purse, putting a terrific strain on their whole geometric pattern. Their whole universe will be twisted" a fact which the humans now use as a ransome against invasion.

A similar story of human misadventure in the 4th spatial dimension can be found in Arthur C. Clark's short story Technical Error(1950). A technician working in the bowels of a superconducting electric generator was rotated through the 4th dimension due to an unexpected power surge in the magnetic field. He becomes laterally reversed and can no longer metabolize food unless it is provided to him in the 'left-handed' state. As the story goes, the magnetic surge produced a momentary extension into the 4th dimension termed 'hyperspace' by Dr. Hughes. Since time is the 4th dimension, the doctor reasons that the actual rotation must have been through the 5th dimension. The Doctor explains that "...space of several million dimensions has been frequently postulated in sub atomic physics". Of course, no such statement of this kind ever appears in real scientific literature by 1950.

In Clifford Simak's Shadow of Life (1943) we hear of martians who had learned how to shrink themselves to subatomic size by extending themselves into the fourth dimension, causing them to lose mass and size in the other three dimensions. That all matter has some extension into higher dimensions is also stated in Simultaneous Worlds(1938) by Nat Schachner. A machine is used to image the supposed 'heavy photon' precursors to cosmic rays. The images formed turn out to look a lot like earth, but with subtle variations. the idea is soon developed that since all matter has wavelike properties, more than three dimensions are required to describe matter. Every particle extends into higher or 'ultra' dimensions which can be imaged using this device, however, there is also an inevitable time displacement between these alternate earths.

The first useage of the term 'hyperspace' is difficult to track down, but by 1950, readers of the magazines Amazing Stories and Astounding SF had already been introduced to it several times. By this year, stories such as Robert Abernathy's The Ultimate Peril describe Venusian psycho-physicists attacking earth with hyperspace weapons, and S. M. Tenneshaw's Who's that Knocking at my Door?, about a honeymooning couple whose hyperdrive breaks down near a white dwarf star en route to Deneb. The origin of the technology becomes, to some authors, an impossibility for earth scientists to have figured ot by themselves.

Secret of the Yellow Crystal(1948) by Guy Archette, a mysterious crystal is found on Mars among the empty ruins of the martian civilization. The 'Thulani' as they were called, knew how to re arrange the molecular structure of crystals without mechanical technology, to tap 'extra-dimensional or sub-spatial energies'. They also knew about hyperspace, and apparently used it in some unfathomable way to leave Mars rather than face extinction. This notion that, just as for FTL travel, humans had to be shown how to use hyperspace or 'space warps' for spaceship propulsion also appears in Nelson Bond's 1943 sort story That Worlds May Live.

We also hear of "warp generators" in The Flight of the Starling by Chester S. Geier in 1948. The maiden flight of the reserach vessil 'Starling' involves a circumnavigation of the solar system in 3 hours at a velocity close to the speed of light using atomic-powered warp generators. These generators "...create a warp in space around the ship...a moving ripple in the fabric of space." The ship rides this ripple like a surfboard. The speed of light is acknowledged to be the absolute maximum velocity, however, the Starling is thrown out of normal space and into negative space, whose entry occurs once the ship nears the speed of light. Upon exiting they find themselves thousands of years in the future orbiting another, older earth. A modification to the 'Hyperspace Equations' showed that in between normal space and negative space is a zone called hyperspace. They had overshot hyperspace and entered negative space where time travel is possible. To travel to distant points in their own universe, they have to carefully accelerate into the hyperspace.

In 1947, Asimov's short story Little Lost Robot has 'Hyperatomic Drive' shortened to 'Hyperdrive' and goes on to describe how "...fooling around with hyper-space isn't fun. We run the risk of blowing a hole in normal space-time fabric and dropping right out of the universe".

The term 'Hyperspacial Drive' also appears in Chester S. Geier's 1944 story Environment but aside from the comment that "... You go in here, and you come out there..." and that where you come out is uncertain by several million miles, that's all that is said about it.

Nelson Bond in 1943 describes the first artificial space warp into the 4th dimension, but humans are not the ones to have discovered its secrets. Humans have to travel to Jupiter to consult with the scientists there who then show the humans how to build FTL ships. The operating principle of this 'quadridimensional drive' is described as "...the Jovians create a 4 dimensional space warp between points in 3 dimensional space. A magnetized flux field warps 3 dimensional space in the direction of travel...its as easy as that." Also in 1943 A.E. van Vogt's M 33 in Andromeda recounts the exploits of the expedition ship 'Space Beagle' which receives mental messages from an advanced civilization in the Andromeda galaxy. Earthlings use 'hyperspace' in planet to planet matter transmission. Hyperspace s described as not 'strictly an energy field' but requires external pressre in the form of gas pressure at both the outlet and inlet positions otherwise, the hyperspace opening takes millions of years to heal itself and an explosion could result. Focussing a hyperspace transmitter on a spaceship moving FTL requires specifying coordinates in a 900,000-dimensional space and is impossible to control.

The famous 'Lensman' and 'Skylark' series written in 1928 by E.E 'Doc' Smith represented a complex universe where some attempt was made to create 'new' physics apparently patterned after field theory and quantum physics developed during the 1930's. Much of the language used to describe the propulsion mechanisms involve terms normaly found in nuclear physics such as 'fields', 'rays' etc.

Grey Lensman published in December, 1939 has several references to 'Dirac Holes and negative energy weapons' and we also hear of a scientist who had developed a new math capable of handeling 'the positron and the negative energy levels'. The '5th order drive' developed by a scientific race called the Norlamins, could create controlled timewarps and allow the travelers to voyage anywhere in the universe at millions of times the speed of light. The only catch is that the rays that give rise to the 5th-order drive are only emitted by a rare element called Rovolon: an element found only in some stars. To get to these stars which can be identified spectroscopically, you have to travel for years at sub-light speed. Also in Grey Lensman the Boskonians attack the Lensman ship Dauntless with a weapon that made the crew feel as though they "... were being compressed, not as a whole, but atom by atom...twisted...extruded...in an unknowable and non-existent direction". They were no longer in the space that they knew and speculated that they "...wouldn't have surprised me if we'd been clear out of the known universe. Hyperspace is funny that way..." . In addition, a weapon known as a 'hyperspatial tube' is mentioned and used by the Boskonians and their alies the Delan's to attack earth. It is descrived as an 'extradimensional' vortex. the terminus of such a tube cannot be established too close to a star due to its apparent sensitivity to gravitational fields. In 1947, Children of the Lens by E.E. 'Doc' Smith describes the planet Boskonia attacking Telus by sending a fleet of warships through a 'hyperspacial tube'instead of through normal space. This transport method is regularly used by Palainians and was not invented or discovered by earthlings.

In 1940, Nelson Bond had also aluded to hyper-space in a story The Scientific Pioneer Returns. Using a 'velocity intensifier' powered by hypatomic motors, a ship accelerates into 'imaginary space' which turns out to be a parallel universe. Exceeding the speed of light in normal space is impossible, and instead of traveling to a distant point in normal space, the ship is thrown into another universe entirely. "...Einstein and Planck fiddled around with hyper-spatial mechanics and discovered that mass is altered when it travels at high velocity. Thay gadget worked better than you expected."

An attempt was made several times in the 1950's to combine the limitations of relativistic travel in 'normal' space with the perceived unlimited possibilities of inter dimensional travel. In Citizen of the Galaxy(1957) by Heinlein, and The Stars Like Dust by Isaac Asimov and published in 1950, for example, a space ship would first have to boost to near-light speed in normal space using atomic motors, before it could make the transition into hyperspace. FTL travel is acknowledged to be impossible in normal space. Great expenditures of energy are needed to enter this 'space within space'. Traveling into and out of hyperspace can be a tricky, and even deadly, process.

Overall, the secret to interdimensional travel is an extreemly difficult one to discover. It represents a technology and understanding of the physical world that in many instances only mysterious supercivilizations possess. Earthlings are reduced to passively using this technology without really understanding it. Journeys through hyperspace are not willy-nilly. The trajectories taken must be computed beforehand with considerable care. Entry into hyperspace can ocur by a variety of means: The sudden unleashing of natural forces; the application of powerful magnetic fields; traveling to places in space where natural 'incongruities' exist, or the application of the emenations of mysterious new elements.

In Starman Jones(1953) by Robert Heinlein describes how the transition into something called 'N-space' was a delicate matter requiring careful calculations. At some points in interstellar space, space was folded over on itself in 'Horst Anomalies'. These gentle foldings of space do not represent 'warpage' so, apparently, do not cause unusual gravitational fields in empty space. This makes them difficult to locate. We learn that to attempt to travel faster than light speed causes a ship to 'burst out' of normal space. If the ship does this carefully near a Horst Anomaly, however, it is merely shifted to a distant point in normal space. Anomalies have to be carefuly mapped by exploration ships to find out just where the journey ends. Astrogation consists of putting the ship at exactly the right spot in an Anomaly, with exactly the right velocity and acceleration to insure that the Jump ends up where you want to go. The relationship between 'N-space' and hyperspace is a bit unclear, but they function in similar ways in the story so we can probably assume that they are equivalent.

Some other periles of hyperspace are pointed ot by Milton Lesser in his 1950 short story All Heros are Hated. The year is 2900 AD, interstellar travel has been a commonplace for centuries. Travel to the Magellanic Clouds takes a few years, and a hop to the colonies around Fomalhaunt takes 6 days; at least until the 12 billion inhabitants of these 6 worlds were annihilated. The spaceship Deneb exited hyperspace with its drive still turned on by the time it entered normal space. This caused Fomalhaunt to go nova and incinerate all life in this planetary system! An even more terrifying possibility is described in Alfred Bester's The Push of a Finger(1942). By creating an 'osmotic spatial membrane' scientists are able to tap a limitless source of energy from hyperspace. This energy, however, begins to drain into our universe causing our universe to come to a premature end. Fortunately, this event was stoped by a time traveler from the future who interceded at just the right moment!

In the Foundation series by Asimov, hyperspace travel in 'Gravitic ships' had to be made far from strong gravitational fields otherwise the calculations became progressively more difficult and physically uncomfortable for the human cargo. These ships isolate themselves completely from external gravitational fields. Asimov's epoc of the fall of the galactic empire also presents us with the scenario that the secret of FTL travel, and the building and servicing of such ships, is a skill that can be easily lost to a civilization.

The magic of hyperspace became the favorite mode for FTL travel that circumvented completely the ordinary relativistic prohibition against FTL travel in 'ordinary' space. From this, vast galactic empires and sprawling epocs of adventure were created almost over night. With few exceptions, the need for explaining the details of 'hyperdrive' became less intense as the story lines were developed with ever increasing depth and complexity. With the entire galaxy as a stage, the scale of human science fiction imagination grew by orders of magnitudes.

In the imagination of Larry Niven as well, humans did not invent FTL travel as discussed in The Borderland of Sol (1974), but had to buy this secret, along with entire preassembled spaceships from a civilization known only as the Puppet Masters. Evidently, there are many levels of hyperdrive. The unlucky space traveler that enters a strong gravitational field can easily get scattered into one of the other hyperdrive levels and never find their way back to normal space.

Jerry Pournell also developed a new mode of transportation in He Fell into a Dark Hole (1974). A new 5th force discovered by the physicist Alderson is found to have a 5th dimensional component to it, and is produced in all nuclear reactions. Every star becomes the node for a complex network of field lines called 'tramlines' in the Pournell-Niven novel A Mote in God's Eye, which voyagers may take advantage of since the Alderson force propels the traveler along the tramlines through hyperspace. Again, expedition ships have to identify the destinations for each tramline emerging from the sun. When the ship arrives near its intended destination, the local gravity snaps the ship out of hyperspace and back into normal space. Arthur J. Burk's The First Shall be Last also describes spaceships that travel along 'gravitic lines of force' from planet to planet at nearly light speed. The solar system is a complex webwork of lines connecting each planet and crisscrossing interplanetary space. Navigation is a complex matter of starting out on one line and switchingover to others to get to the desired destination. These lines do not run straight. Similar accounts of mysterious currents flowing through space are found in Raymond F. Jone's Correspondence Course(1945). These 'magnetic currents' can be ridden by space ships to various destinations.

Arthur C. Clark's 1968 novel 2001:A Space Odyssey is a less complicated introduction to hyperspace travel that involves mysterious black 'monoliths' built by a supercivilization, which act as gateways to other locations in the galaxy or the universe. It is never actually made clear whether the journey by Bowman is to another location within our spacetime, or if he actually leaves our universe entirely. No details are given how the transfer occurs from place to place, or what role the monoliths serve in this process. The novel by Carl Sagan Contact (1985) is a story that runs along similar lines to 2001:A Space Odyssey in terms of FTL technology. A message we receive from a supercivilization gives us the intructions for building a vessil, creating a 'dimple in spacetime' to which alien engineers may attach a 'wormhole' bridge. The voyagers find themselves traveling across space to the center of the galaxy after a stop over at Vega.

A similar story is Age of Miracles by John Brunner published in 1965. Earth is invaded by dozens of 'cities of light. An advanced civilization has decided to set up a local node for their interstellar transportation system in our solar system. The 'cities' are not made of matter as we know it, but 'slowed down coagulations of energy'. Their interiors are twisted into higher dimensions and result in disturbing sensory shifts to any unshielded human who enters. Eventually, earthlings find themselves free to use these doorways to travel much as rats cross the Atlantic Ocean on ships. The aliens are indifferent to our invasion of their 'subway' system.

More aggressive suaries into alterate Realities are explored by Michael Moorcock's novel The Sundered Worlds (1966) which is probably one of the most detailed excursions of its kind. During the 26th century, human civilization extends to the limits of the galaxy thanks to hyperspace drive. To navigate through hyperspace and the other 'alien dimensions to space time', rare individuals called 'Space Sensors' with ESP-like talents are used. Renark was one of these, and the 'hero' of the story. He meets up with strange humanoid beings from the galaxy M 31 who tell him that the universe will recollapse in a few years. To save humanity, Renark must find a way for humans to leave our 4 dimensional continuum completely. He heads for a strange solar system called the 'Shifter' whose orbit is at right angles to the rest of spacetime and which passes through our universe every few hundred years. Our 4-dimensional universe coexists with an infinitude of other universes in multi-dimensional space; a view which is called the 'Multiverse' theory. Like the separate pages in a book, each continuum has its own laws and indigeneous intelligent race. In the Shifter, Renark meets the beings called the Originators. The Originators are multi-dimensional beings who created and maintained the multiverse as a nursery for a lifeform to replace them and keep Reality from decaying into chaos. Renark finally learns from them the secret of the 'inter-continuua drive' and saves humanity. The Originators then evolve humanity to serve as their replacements, and thereby save the Multiverse from destruction.

In The End of Eternity(1955) by Asimov an even more complex tale is woven in which in the distant future, humans have learned how to exist outside normal spacetime. They then set about making minor alterations to the unfolding of human history in order to minimize strife and maximize human progress. This story spans millions of centuries and developes through the guidance of computer calculations of probabilities for various earth histories. Technicians re-enter normal spacetime and make subtle adjustments whose propagating effects multiply down earth's timeline and lead to the correct, desired result. A barrier in spacetime is discovered millions of years in the future, which is caused by even more advanced humans who are trying to protect themselves from the world-line tampering going on during these earlier ages. This future earth civilization and discovered that they lived on a very low probability worldline for human history and used this fact to uncover the tamperings during the early ages. A similar story is Fritz Leiber Jr's Destiny Times Three(1945). Eight humans obtain possession of the 'Probability Engine' which is a supermechanism operating outside spacetime. In secrecy, they use it to split time and create alternate histories for the earth, allowing only the best to survive.

Another story about alternate time streams in found in A.E. van Vogt's Recruting Station in 1942. Future earthlings from 200,000 years from now recruit 20th century earthlings to fight a war against a second group of earthlings from the rest of the solar system. The terrestrial time stream is manipulated to create 18 alternate solar systems in which the battles over political control are waged. Eventually, a more advanced race of humans from the 4900th century step in to save the embattled underdogs against doimination by the hostile pseudo-facist party.

Patterned after Arthur C. Clarks' Rendezvous with Rama, Gregory Bear's Eon and Eternity begins with the entry into our solar system of a hollowed-out asteroid. The drama unfolds rapidly when the human explorer's discover that although its external length is only a few hundred kilometers, inside it extends billions of miles! Built by earthlings called Geshels, 13 centuries in our future, it is fashioned out of artificially twisted spacetime. This cylindrical world called the 'Way' is an entry corridor into superspace. Every thousand kilometers of travel down its axis represents a time shift of one year in history. Within each fraction of a millimeter along the axis are 'stacked' individual spacetime geometries representing the alternate possibilities. Artificial gateways can be created into these alternate spacetimes and searched for habitable versions of the earth. The walls of the way are described as being formed from 'jammed-up probabilities' from alternate universes attempting to take-on a particular state, or in the slang of the human geometrodynamicists 'superspace trickery'. Its creation, however, turns out to be a disaster to the harmonious laws of superspace and, ultimatly, must be destroyed.

It took several decades for this to become an established principle of SF fact, but it is now widely recognized that so long as we travel through ordinary space, we must abide by the limitation that we cannot travel faster than light speed. Few of the spaceships carry their own reaction mass with them to reach these high velocities which means that in the world of SF, humans have learned how to finesse the laws of physics to avoid the conservation of momentum difficulty. Arthur C Clark's 'Quantum Drive' or Poul Anderson's 'Interstellar ram jet' are plausible basis for such ideas.

If the techologies in the worlds of SF can overcome the need for reaction mass, then the door is wide open for what you might call 'wonder drives' technology which has no basis in the workings of the known universe, although they sound plausible.

The underlying common thread behind nearly all FTL or trans dimensional technology is that space drives can produce the appropriate conditions needed for them to operate including 'space warps', 'new forces' or 'phase shifting'.. They do so by expending only a miniscule portion of their own rest mass. Ordinarily, enormous energies have to be marshaled by the universe to create locallized space warps called black holes whose sizes are only a few kilometers. If we were to use black holes as a probe of the relevant physics, to warp space at a scale of 100 meters in order to accomodate a small spaceship, this would require expending 3% of the sun's rest mass! The resulting gravitational field would shred all forms of matter into their constituent elementary particles, and although a 'throat' might be created, so too will an event horizon. Only a 'Quantum Drive' has the potental of harnassing this much energy since the quantum fluctuations of space that provide the energy contribute 10 to the 60th power solar masses per cc of space. The manner in wich such energy would be converted into a useable 'hyperspace doorway' is unknown to SF authors.

Clearly, in the world of SF we are currently living in the brute force era of space technology where we do not as yet know how to manipulate space and its structure without expending vast amounts of energy and at the same time, having to deal with lethal gravitational fields.

It is also taken for granted that the passage out of our continuum and into hyperspace will be comfortable enough for humans to travel through. By some means, future science will have mastered the ability to create large 2 meter to 100 meter class wormholes while holding at bay the enormous gravitational fields that such openings in spacetime invariably represent. Without proper shielding, humans and ships alike will be crushed or fractionated. Only for some authors is this travel described as unpleasant or psychologically upsetting, and no special precautions are needed to survive the gravitational forces.

SF written during much of the Space Age appears to be comfortable with the notion that spacetime is a 'fabric' that we will eentually learn how to work as in Eon or Contact. Travel through space will still be limited to sub-light speeds, but the conviction seems to be great that a shortcut around this annoying limitation will be found. With modern technology and scientific nderstanding, it is infinitly easier to part the waters of the ocean and to walk upon air, than to alter the geometry of space. But perhaps, oneday, just as we readily create magnetic fields from electrical fields, we may discover how to convert electric fields into gravitational ones, without at the same time vaporizing our laboratory equipment.

SF has been with us as a recognizable literary genera for nearly a century and represents an evolving network of ideas that develope almost parallel to revolutions in scientific thinking. Jules Vern's submarines and airships were almost patentable. Then came atomic powered rockets of the Buck Rogers variety, followed by a progressive refinement of drive technology into 'warp engines', hyperdrive and teleportation. As the technology of SF has become more sophisticated, it has also found itself more in the league of magic. It has all but left the real world, or reasonable extensions of it. Only the setting (the Galaxy) and the human condition ( greed, power, love, war) remain as fixed reference points operating in recognizable ways. Has SF finally evolved beyond its own definition?

Unlike the science fiction of the past century, modern SF provides no satisfying linkage between what we know today and a plausible route to the technology of the future. The old Maine saying 'You can't get there from here' applies to nearly all of the SF worlds the genera is curently obsessed with. Without this linkage, SF has perhaps unintentionally transformed or evolved itself into the category of Fantasy; a landscape also populated by magical solutions to physical problems. Isaac Asimov's injunction that a sufficiently advanced civilization will have technologies that are imperceptable from magic might amelorate this difficulty. However, it is probably just as well that SF as such masters as Arthur C. Clarke to serve as a necessary regulator on unbridled scientific fantasy!

Yet there is not one of us who has never been inspired by the awesome possibilities opened up by FTL travel, the opening up of the alaxy to human commerse and colonization. Whether we will ultimately be able to create furnature from curved space, partake of a multidimensional reality, or directly view all of humanities alternate histories, becomes less of a issue than being able to fuel the imagination with these endless possibilities.