Messages From Here In…

rod-taylor-time-machine COMP

In theory, the current date displays as Filers draft their comments. In theory.

Every so often, however, for reasons that have never been explained, WordPress comes unmoored from the space-time continuum and displays random years instead. Filers have turned that bug into a popular running gag.

Whenever I’ve had a spare moment I’ve been collecting examples for the post that is now before you. It is far from complete – I admit I haven’t even made a complete sweep of September 29, which was an extraordinarily productive day for this game.

Thanks to everyone who added to the fun, in whatever year you played…

P.J. Evans

It’s 8608: shouldn’t we all have built-in locators by now?

Robert Reynolds

This post was brought to you by the year 1062, Marrakesh and the Order of St. Benedict.

Robert Reynolds

In 8756, we no longer give awards collectively.


Here in 372 we’re too busy fighting barbarians to give literary awards.

Robert Reynolds

Here in 372, I’m not thinking about anything other than a safe place to sleep and my next meal.

Lis Carey

That’s how low we’ve sunk, here in 8608.


BTW I’d probably donate a little towards crowd funding. In Soviet year 4560, funds crowd you!

James Moar

It’s better known as half of his novel Norstrilia. Not read the Brunner, but The Planet Buyer would be my pick of the others.

(Posted from 6979, sometime in the middle of the Instrumentality of Mankind timeline.)


Here in 7253 we are shocked anyone would avoid such books, merely because being reminded of historical guilt hurt their man-feels.


Lovecraft Country is sitting at the top of my post-Hugo reading TBR pile. (Which somehow I still haven’t gotten to here in the year 7853.)

Soon Lee

Whereas comments on File770 posts quickly [de/e]volve into book recommendations? [Been doing that since the year 984]

Lis Carey

It’s 1098. Bad year for sleeping.

Robert Reynolds

Here in 9476, we know how this turns out, but I’m not allowed to tell you anything.

Jim Henley

Mind you, here in 9476 (has that ever happened before, the same year in a quick succession of comments?) we sometimes fly vehicles designed like that for the lulz.


May I suggest that you try reading the post before you decide to opine on it, or is that too much trouble for you? Here in the year 9476 we have at least managed to grasp that reading something before you pontificate about it is helpful, even if it’s not mandatory…

Simon Bisson

Also, hello from Seattle! It’s 7867 and we have a huge statue of a pixel in every city.

Paul Weimer

Here in 3766, of course, we’re arguing over the latest adaptation of Lord of the Rings as a low-gravity opera recorded on the Moon.

El Pistolero

Excuse me for changing the subject, but I just wanted to point out that we have an historic opportunity tomorrow/today to observe a total breakdown of causality, as a solar eclipse will begin on Wednesday, but end on the prior Tuesday.

Here in 8032, we now realize that this isn’t at all unusual, as predicted by Clarke in Childhood’s End.

PJ Evans

That sounds like it might make an interesting novel. From here in 1864, it’s alternate future history!

Lis Carey

@Laura– I haven’t found a print edition, either, and Goodreads isn’t aware of anything but the audiobook, either.

I guess here in 3417, print has finally died.

Vicki Rosenzweig

(Here in 5216, there are still people arguing about calendar reform, but even the most fervent advocates admit that the changes won’t stop people from overscheduling themselves.)

Paul Weimer

Now I am thinking of Latin speaking Daleks Here in 5768, Latin is back in vogue again, and we write it grammatically, and the locative case is a thing again.

Vicki Rosenzweig

(The time machine has me in 0322, which is before the invention of the dollar; I don’t suppose Wiscon would like a bit of silver jewelry, or half a pound of salt.)

Doctor Science

It’s 5360, and pheromone art is the latest thing.

Robert Reynolds

But I’m in 9584, where we can surf to Mars, so what do I know?


Here in 3118, we solve that by the simple measure of repeating every year twice.


Meanwhile, here in the year 5868 AD, we get our Hugo PINs uploaded right into our brains.


Here in the year 7273 we abide by Pyanfur Chanur’s dictum: never shoot at anyone you can’t talk to.


Also, yay for the Dracula Dossier! Unfortunately my list of games I want to run is even worse than my tbr pile, so here in 4849 I still haven’t got round to it.


If only Neelix had left Voyager instead of Kes. We still wish that here in 3650.

Jack Lint

Here in 610, paper is just arriving in Japan from China. Waiting for the first manga to appear. Probably center around the wacky adventures of a samurai who turns into a cat at night.


In the year 7473 (yay? I’m back in a time warp, after not seeing that in a long time), these two shows are considered mythical.


So now here in 0x53FFBCD5.112A4553 we no longer have those concerns, and are free to delurk and mock those who still use antiquated non-base-2 time systems.


Admittedly, now that I am here in 5010 it looks as if my master plan didn’t work too well when it comes to handbags, but Jove seems to be doing pretty well as gas giants go…


Well, I’m fine with being mocked, in 3856 mockery is the sincerest form of flattery.

Lis Carey

  1. ALIENS WITH AGENDAS Alien (1979) The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) Tie. Quietly whimpering in agony, buried under an entire case of lavender-scented, organic, fire-resistant forehead cloths. Just be warned that, here in 5344, this sort of thing is considered a war crime.


Here in 3670 we have still not come to terms with those fear mongering about the return of Boudicca; you’d think we could let bygones be bygones, but there’s something about chariots with very sharp scythes attached to the wheels which seems to deprive people of their common sense…


Thank you for the link; it’s rather uncanny reading that after the 2015 Hugos. As you say, there seems an element of prophecy; it’s either that or prescience, but since I’m writing from 1429 I’m hesitant to be too specific for fear of falling foul of this era’s views on sorcery…


Here in 9800 science has progressed to the point where we can reconstitute the stalest foods, but hasn’t yet been able to solve the problem of beer going flat.

Paul Weimer

All of these alternate dates and what’s happening reminds me of the song “In the year 2525…”. Of course here in 8476, that song is mostly nostalgia for the past.


Meanwhile, here in the year 8023 AD, we have not just survived enough collapses to appreciate Ms. Hoyt’s post, we also have given up on sentimentalising children and their creativity.

Vicki Rosenzweig

(Checking in from the year 3298 ab urbe condita, when the streets and plazas of Rome are thronged with people, including a lot of buskers, most of them human.)

Cadbury Moose

Hmmmm, from out here in 8326 it’s difficult to remember how moose started reading SF&F. The Archive (what remains of them) have references to Public Libraries and lists (sadly almost unreadable due to their age) of books and authors of same. “Out of this world” and “New Writings in SF” appear regularly among the fragments, along with Dobson, Gollancz and Robert Hale. There is scope for further research here, but it requires unorthodox engineering (and probably verges on causality violation, which is liable to upset the Eschaton, and nobody wants to risk the consequences of that).

I must think on this some more.

Lis Carey

My first science fiction might have been Encounter Near Venus by Leonard Wibberly. Or the Mushroom Planet books. Or the Danny Dunn books. Or…

I really don’t remember. My dad read science fiction, my dad’s family had this thing about Words In A Row, and then don’t really remember starting to read science fiction any more than I remember starting to read.

Here in 3390, of course, no one has any idea who Leonard Wibberly was.

Heather Rose Jones

Here in 842, the grandsons of Charlemagne are quarreling over which language to write the Oaths of Strasbourg in and end up settling for “all of them” to the endless delight of historical linguists everywhen


Here in 9560, I am being blinded by the early morning sun glinting off the 30ft bronze statue of P. C. Hodgell in the town square.


Here in 5263, our desire for the occasional sense of danger in our utopian lives means that all Psi-links have an artificially built-in chance of crashing at dramatically appropriate times.

Beth in MA

Here in 4170, we have managed to get apples to grow in biodomes on Mars, and I have made an apple pie.


(Here in 7241, I still haven’t finished Anathem.)

Cora Buhlert

Here in the year 5147, the original Muppets Show is considered one of the greatest treasures of 20th century television and Miss Piggy is an intergalactic icon.

Doctor Science

Here in 8690, we’re hip-deep in sauce tomatoes — I picked extra because we’re expecting Joaquin later this week.

Al the Great and Powerful

here in 2119 the Hugo has become the symbol of resistance to the one-language, nutty nuggets party that advocates forced linguistic per^^^conversion for everybody so that none might miss the sacred words of the great prophets Jack C Rite and Edward Beel. Party orthodoxy is maintained (as it has since the prophets ascended to Castalia (Land of Happiness) by the dread cyborg Tank Marmot and the space princess wannabes.

Raise the Rocket high against tyranny!

Jonathan Edelstein

Not to mention that if you’re a jerk to your publisher, you might find it harder to reach the readers. Except here in 2837, of course, when you can transmit your writing directly to their neural implants.

Cheryl S.

I really wonder what it is that I’ve been reading for the past 15 years. I thought it was a lot of SFF, but apparently not. I’ve read both books in just three brackets and voted for three more about which my enthusiasm is boundless, even here in 4861, where I’ve finally caught up on my reading.


Well, kids, I’ve been watching “Star Trek” since the beginning (which makes me REALLY damn old here in 4683), and understood that NONE of the novels were canon. NONE of them. Never ever ever.


Reporting from 6763, where satirical sensatoons still haven’t got past butt jokes. I mentioned a new magazine called Capricious a few days ago. I’ve got round to reading the stories, and with two I liked and two I didn’t I think it’s promising enough that I’ll check out the next issue.


Unfortunately if those stories will only appear in the magazine in 6763 they aren’t eligible for a Hugo just yet.

TooMany Jens

On the upside, they will be eligible in 6764, and by then the Hugo prize will be an actual rocket.

(Unlike here in 437, where it’s just a sharpened stick.)

Bruce Arthurs

Can I just say I’m feeling a little jealous of all the time-travelers in these threads, posting in from past and future, whereas I seem to be perpetually stuck in boring old 2015?


Don’t be, here in 7004 most of the solar system has been colonized by the Chinese. Those of us still clinging to the notion of democracy are trying to eke out a living on Venus under the `one galaxy, two systems´ rule.


Here in the year 6440, we have forced all of our architects to focus on good storytelling, rather than these social justice themes!

Simon Bisson on

And this comment comes from 4807, where an aging generation ship discovers that the red giant it has been planning to slingshot around is in fact the IR waste from a feral Matrioshka brain. Singularities having proven to be existential threats to civilizations, it drops a warning beacon and fires up its fusion drive to accelerate away from danger.


I’m really feeling my age here in 9988!

14 thoughts on “Messages From Here In…

  1. I know what I’ll be nominating for the 2067 Retrohugos… if I ever manage to get back to my own time.

    [Note to self: speak to the vendor about the warranty on that Tipler cylinder]

  2. Making lemonade out of the lemons of WordPress glitches. 🙂

  3. I love when WordPress preview date glitches. Thanks for bringing back good memories. We haven’t had a time glitch in months have we?

    ETA to make more sense

  4. What a lovely way to start my Sunday reading. The time machine is always fun, but an aggregate of the reports is impressive as well as amusing.

  5. These are great! There are quite a few very clever people who post here.

    Thanks for taking the time to collect a number of them, Mr. Glyer!

  6. The only time travel I get to do now-a-days is the three hours between File 770 time in California and my time on the East Coast. :~(

  7. It’s good to see Robert and I survived 372. Tough year.

    Thanks for the collection, Mike. It’s been a while since we had a glitch, sadly.

    IIRC, we always end up at 2-something PM no matter what year it is.

  8. I loved reading these though I am reminded that either the glitch never happens to me, or I don’t notice it…..*alas.*

  9. What!? The rest of you aren’t actual time travelers? I feel betrayed and unfairly outed!

    (Oh wait. Maybe if I don’t say anything, none of you will realize….)

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