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Developing the DeLorean

Great art often jumps ahead of its time, and science fiction is no exception. It has anticipated cellular phones and submarines, geostationary satellites and touch-screen electronics. Sci-fi characters began time traveling, too, long before Einstein told us that something called “spacetime” existed, and could be bent and twisted. But this imagination doesn’t flow out of nothing. Authors—and later filmmakers—have been inspired by actual scientific and technological breakthroughs, taking leaps which can be surprisingly prescient. The time machines they make are cultural prisms reflecting society’s anxieties and hopes surrounding new science and technology, whose implications can be far from clear. Join us as we travel back in time, to visit some of science fiction’s most memorable time machines.


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