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ISFDB.org Magazine Entry



Let's look back at today.

7000 years from now, no more may be known of today than we know of almost legendary Troy, buried less than half that long, or of the Toltec and Pre-Dynastic Egyptian empires. Civilizations can not be reconstructed from archaeological data alone. And books are one with dust after 7000 years.

What then will they think of us in the great future that is to come'? Not surely that each and every one of their scientific, fiction-like wonders had its origin and factual basis in OUR TODAY.

Yet that is what we shall find in this first and subsequent Roundabout views of the present, while adventuring in remote time to come.

* * *

Punctually at five minutes to nine on the 2nd of sol, in the year 9193, E.S. Technician Jonz entered the main lecture hall of Tellurian University and, in the only chair with which the auditorium was equipped, seated himself facing the rows of ground glass screens that filled the huge room. His entrance having served as a signal to the engineers in the balcony control room, in a moment the screens were glowingbrightly beneath the iridium number plates that surrounded each. Immediately the class began to assemble.

The young Educational Science Technician, his plain but not unattrartive features set in their characteristic serious mold, composed himself to wait while in their homes scattered across the face of the globe the thousands of his students bolted their breakfast tablets to be before their televisors on the stroke of the hour. Rapidly their life-size images began to appear on the numbered screens. Soon there were but a score or two of screens still blank, then a dozen, three, one—and still one.

Frowning, the technician regarded the uncompromising emptiness of the ninteen-hundred-and-thirty-ninth screen. Unprecedented! Twenty-three seconds past the hour and—His frown vanished as a girl's fare appeared with startling abruptness on the screen.

The face, as no. 1939 sat back triumphantly from suddenly mastering the enigma of her televisor's tuning dials, revealed itself as that which a forgotten age might have called lovely, giving due heed to shado...

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