If you could travel back in time to observe one event in history, what would you choose?
I’ll stipulate that observing the event will not have evil effects on the timeline. If you return to the Cretaceous period and step on a caterpillar, when you return to the present day you will not discover that Tyrannosaurus Rex is actually a tyrant king, who sits on the throne roaring and waving a sword in his little T. rex arms. Nor will you get caught up in the event you’re observing. If you go back to watch the Mayans play football, you won’t end up with your head being thrown through the hoop to score the winning goal.
Me? Considering that my upcoming novel features people running for their lives in the New Mexico desert near the Trinity Site, and that I recently reread Richard Rhodes’ The Making of the Atomic Bomb, I might return to July 1945 to watch the first nuclear explosion. The morning that humanity broke open a power inherent in nature: it would be exciting and terrible and awe-inspiring.
Hey, I’m a thriller writer. Did you think I’d go back to watch something cuddly?
Plus, maybe I’d get to meet Richard Feynman.