EXCERPT: Flashed Forward by Bradley Beaulieu

Bradley P. Beaulieu is the author of the critically acclaimed epic fantasy series, The Lays of Anuskaya, which begins with The Winds of Khalakovo, continues in The Straits of Galahesh, and concludes in The Flames of Shadam Khoreh. Brad has high interest in Kickstarter, a great platform that he used to run two successful campaigns of his own, not to mention participating in several anthology projects. Along with fellow author Gregory A. Wilson, Brad runs the highly successful science fiction and fantasy podcast, Speculate, which can be found at speculatesf.com. Brad continues to work on his next projects, including a Norse-inspired middle grade series and Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, an Arabian Nights-inspired epic fantasy that will be published by DAW Books in the US and Gollancz in the UK. For more geeky goodness about Brad and his writing, please visit quillings.com.

Flashed Forward


Funded! This project was successfully funded on Jul 18.


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Backers

€7,532,012
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A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to send me, and perhaps some small part of you, beyond these days and into the future.

About the Project

Let me tell you a story.

My name is Foster Grace. I’m a scientist. I have been since I was five (at least in my heart), which was when my father showed me that old documentary on Hafele and Keating’s time dilation experiment. You know the one. With the caesium clocks and flying on the two airliners, one eastward, one westward. When those clocks proved that time was not the constant I thought it was, I was transfixed. Gobsmacked. Delighted beyond words.

I researched more. Ives and Stilwell’s cathode ray experiment. Rossi and Hall’s muon observations. Pound and Rebka’s gravitational red shift observations.

Those early experiments in time dilation were the cornerstone of my obsession. They spurred me to recreate them, to make my own, and that in turn led to an invitation to the University of Copenhagen (among others) when I was thirteen, an honor I’m still immensely proud of. I gladly accepted Copenhagen’s invitation, earning my Bachelor’s in Quantum Physics in eighteen months and my PhD in the new Temporal Engineering program in another twenty. Stints at the Niels Bohr Institute, CERN, the Max Planck Institute, and the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology followed, and in each of these I helped, along with my fellow scientists, to further research into quantum physics and that most elusive of dimensions.

Time.

You can imagine my excitement when I was invited to join the Kurt Gödel Institute in Vienna and head a team of our world’s brightest to unlock (to whatever degree we could manage) our ability to manipulate time. No doubt you’ve already heard of our successes. Seven years ago, we successfully slipped mundane objects forward a few seconds. In the months that followed we managed a few days, then a few weeks. Then a full year.

Flashing, we called it. The objects had been flashed forward.

In the years since, we have flashed mice, rabbits, and only last week, a chimpanzee named Six-Gun (for the way she pretends to shoot her trainer whenever she sees him). You can see where this is going. The time has come (everyone recognizes it) to run the experiment on human subjects.

I immediately volunteered, of course.

And the institute immediately denied my request. I was a key member of their team, perhaps the key member (in their eyes), but the truth of the matter is my protégés outstripped me years ago. I threatened to resign so that I would be a civilian once more. They gave my threat no credence whatsoever, thinking that not in a million years would I do such a thing.

But the more I thought about it, the more it felt right. I offered my resignation the moment that bit of clarity arrived.

I’m an old man, you see. I’m seventy-eight now, and though I’m proud that my faculties have lasted as long as they have, I can no longer deny that they are waning. And, I’ll admit, I’m tired. It’s time for me to step aside and let the beautiful minds of our younger generations carry this immense load forward. Believe me when I say that we are in good hands. Do not think, however, that my drive to know more has diminished. It hasn’t. It is as bright as ever, perhaps even more so than in my younger years.

Now free of an official post, I pressed this upon the institute’s board (believe me, I can be persuasive when I wish to be) and they finally relented. In acknowledgment of my contributions to the field, the seats in the trials will be expanded from four to five. I may now, at last, travel forward in time, my life’s dream, but as a now-private citizen the board (in true bureaucratic fashion) demanded that I independently fund, if not the energy, time, and manpower required to run the experiment, then at least their equivalent in currency. I can admit now that I was shocked, but truly, it is not an unreasonable request—traveling through time is not an inexpensive affair, believe you me.

But, as I’ve said, I’ve been a scientist my whole life. I am not a rich man.

And so I turn to you, my dear friends. The crowd, as they say. I am in a unique position to offer some very enticing rewards. I have also been allowed some leeway in regard to what I may bring with me, which I’ve used to devise additional enticements that will, I hope, convince you to back me in this terribly selfish obsession of mine.

Please, look them over, but do hurry! There’s so little time left! (You’ll forgive, I hope, the use of a single, fourth-dimensional pun!)

How Will The Money Be Spent?

The base backing level will go to the costs of the time travel, but I recognize that an experiment such as this may, for lack of a better term, grab our collective consciousness. Which brings us to:

Stretch Goals

For each €75,000 beyond the initial goal, I’ll be able to go five years further into the future, which I would very much like to do. There are limits, however. The outer bounds of the experiment (and my desire to travel forward in time) can fit roughly into a five-decade box. Money raised beyond that general outer limit will be donated to Oxfam’s foundational programs to teach physics to children.

 


~ END EXCERPT ~

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