Suddenly there seems to be a lot of interest in time travel.
I just finished reading a new book, Time Travel: A History from James Gleick, author of a number of books, including the influential Chaos. It’s a fascinating read that starts its history of modern time travel with a description of H.G. Wells’s 1895 book The Time Machine.
Gleick includes a number of chapters that discuss the history of time travel in science fiction and movies. He also writes about real science’s view of time travel, going back to Einstein (it may or may not be possible!).
Plato and other philosophers throughout history, their attempts to define what “time” is and whether it even exists are not neglected. Gleick eventually gets to a non-circular definition that matches my (simple) view of it: time is the measure of change.
At 353 pages, Time Travel: A History is not a quick read and sometimes Gleick seems to have more thoughts than he can organize on the pages. I found it to be a rewarding book anyway with lots of new and intriguing ideas.
If you’re interested in reading more about the subject, Gleick’s book also includes a wonderful bibliography of the science and fiction of time and time travel in books, movies and other literature.
I think I've been interested in "time" for as long as I can remember. I still have the Timex watch that I received for my 15th birthday. And one of my first tasks when I graduated from college was to enhance the "time services" in the new VAX/VMS operating system we were developing at DEC. I continue to enjoy learning more about time so I've just added an intriguing new book about it to my reading list: Why Time Flies, A Mostly Scientific Investigation by Alan Burdick.