Thursday, July 07, 2005

Message in a Bottle

PBW's Le Grand Giveaway Finale

To win a complete set of all 5 StarDoc novels (StarDoc, Beyond Varallan, Endurance, Shockball and Eternity Row), help me make an online Time Capsule. In comments, write a personal message you'd like to send to the future*. Say whatever you want, and everyone who posts a time capsule message here by midnight EST on Friday 7/8/05 will have their names put in the drawing for this set. The winner's name will be posted by noon EST on Saturday, 7/9/05.

*I will also be adding your messages to a real time capsule that the kids and I are making.


  1. Anonymous12:37 AM

    To the future:

    Hey, we did the best we could with what we had on hand. I'm sure you're doing the same. I hope we left you with some good tools and the right resources.

    All the best,

    -- Those of us who came before.

  2. Choice, not Chance, determines our eternal destiny. If you want to live forever after you die, don't wait until after you die to make that decision.

    (I'm sure that advice will be as good later as it is now...)

  3. Today my daughter left for "home" -- back to where she spent the last year without me -- to get ready to go into the military. I worry for her. And I worry what our future, the one you're living in, will be like. I hope we've found our way to peace, a way to end hunger, a way to end poverty, and not just in places like Africa, but here at home as well. But it just seems man's nature doesn't easily fall that way. Too many times we say we want all these things and yet we do nothing about them.

    I hope, if we haven't found the way, that you will.

    In 10 days my daughter will be in the Army. It was her decision. I don't like it, but she's grown up now and I have to support it because I love her. Every day since she told me she was joining I've heard of our young people dieing, not for our freedom as our government makes it out to be, but for another country's freedom. I'm scared for her. It probably means nothing to you, but she means a whole lot to me.

    If we have yet to find our way to peace, I hope you can find it for us. If we haven't found a way to keep our families whole and safe, I hope you find it for us. And if a war must be fought, I hope it is fought with more wisdom than we've shown in the past. And if we haven't made it there yet, I hope you in the future can see how hard it is to step in the right direction and not be bitter toward us. And I hope you see, when you look back on our mistakes and successes, the things we've done to make your world the way it is now, that a lot of us really did want to make the world a better place for all us.

  4. Anonymous1:30 AM

    To the future:

    As our lives go by, seconds fade into minutes, which then fade into hours, which then dissapte into days, weeks, months, years... Time is, in itself, essentially counting down. Before we know it we've become adults having to live independantly and make a living to support a growing family. This has never changed, nor will it until time holds no value. Will this ever be? Time is priceless, captured by so many of us in pictures and videos and memories. We try to hold onto the past and get scared when it slips out of our fingers like water through a sieve. We have the embrace the future and make the most of what we have. Someone in my life once said "Remember, relive, savour the past but never before embracing the future."

    Every generation trys to make the most of what it has. Sometimes the efforts are not as effective as others, but the attempt has been made. Hopefully this generation's attempt is successful. Worldly views need to be assessed and "out-of-the-box" thinking needs to be implemented. We need to think about the people less fortunate than ourselves and we need to be strong and stand up for our beliefs.

    Stay strong and help those who need you. Every generation has the capacity to be awesome and the potential to reach that. Realise your dreams and stay true to who you are.

  5. Anonymous2:19 AM

    Dear Future-kin
    If you're reading this, well done! You have survived the tempest that is humanity and a great many things have happened. My best message to you is this: Learn from the past, enjoy the present, act for the future.

    If an alien is reading this: G'day mate, pull up a pew, and open a cold one for me: you're gonna need it!

    Jaye Patrick

  6. Anonymous3:25 AM

    Sorry -- in advance -- for ruining 80% of the planet. Really. Our bad.

  7. To the kindly time travellers:

    Thanks so much for leaving the time capsule under that rock in my back garden. Sounds like you're all having a ball in the fourth millenium!

    I'd also like to express my gratitude for your gifts - the Digital Versatile Stamp containing 'cures for all known diseases' and 'some really rad grooves' (couldn't quite make out your writing) looks interesting, but we haven't got around to inventing something that can read it yet. Does it really hold 9.5 terabytes of data, or is that a misprint?

    Anyway, when you read this perhaps you could pop back and leave another set of disks in a more appropriate format.


  8. Anonymous5:54 AM

    Dear Future,

    On behalf of all of us, I would just like to humbly apologize for Paris Hilton. We don't know how and why she got famous either.


  9. Anonymous5:59 AM

    If you enjoy peace and prosperity, never forget that it was purchased with the blood of your great grandfathers and that of their fathers and grandfathers.

    Do not confuse the sheepdog with the wolf, or the vaccine with the disease.

  10. Anonymous7:20 AM

    Be better then we were.
    Strive to create, not destroy. Freedom is infinitely precious.
    Don't squander it.
    Learn from our mistakes so you are not doomed to repeat them.
    Knowledge is indispensable.

  11. Anonymous8:11 AM

    A 100-year-old woman said in a radio interview, "If I'd known I was going to live to be 100, I would have taken up the violin at 60. I'd have been playing for 40 years by now."

    You may regret things you didn't do while these words have been buried, whether it's been 40 days or 40 years. Try to put it behind you.

    Whatever you wish you'd done in the past, do it today. You're alive. There's still time.

  12. Anonymous8:23 AM

    There are things everyone - no matter what century they live in - must always remember if they want to survive what is a very hostile planet:

    1. There are never two sides to an issue - there are five million sides, and each one is convinced it's the only correct one. Find as many as you can, and then create another one for yourself that has nothing to do with the issue.

    2. Mother Nature always has the last word. Do what you like, but never forget that she is standing behind you, looking over your shoulder, and planning your downfall in careful detail.

    3. Live. Go outside the lines, scream into silence, step off the cliff with open eyes, break a spleen or two - just get out there and live. You have a life; don't waste it.

  13. We've made a terrible mess of things. I hope that if there's anything left worth saving by the time you get this message that you can repair the damage and begin again, wiser and kinder than we were.

  14. Dear Future,

    Don't let the beliefs of others dictate your own. Open yourself up to new experiences and ideas.

    Be bold. Be honest. And in the immortal words of E.T., "Be good."

    Best Wishes,

  15. Anonymous10:08 AM

    Dream of modest means and infinite care.

  16. Take heart! Times might be tough, but you are that much closer to the Lord's return. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13

  17. Anonymous11:05 AM

    Be open to more than one will drive the bigoted, bullheaded and biased nuts!


  18. Enjoy life!

    Love the Lord.

    Never give up on your dreams.

  19. Anonymous11:42 AM

    Don't put my name in for the books. I already have a set and recommend it heartily. But I wanted to post something for your time capsule.

    Life will always have its tragedies. People will always be greedy. All of the things people write about that are bad will always be there. Each of us has a choice to wallow in self-pity and drown in the bad stuff, complaining that it's awful or to be one little voice to make life better for ourselves and those around us. Maybe we can't change the world. But we can be kind to other people. We can see others with loving eyes, not judgmental, critical ones. We can build good memories into the lives of other people around us. Good memories are a lot like the glue that holds people together. We can dwell on the good memories to keep us strong during the bad times. We can take the old adage to heart when life gives us those lemons. After all, lemonade is so much more fun. :)

  20. I suspect that even with all the changes the future will bring, some things will always be the same. There will always be a quorum of petty, ignorant, hateful people ready to form a mob, and there will always be a few brave souls ready to stand up to them. And, rarer still, those who are prepared to hold up a light.

    Here's hoping that your time will have its full complement of stars. And I'm not talking about Paris Hilton.

  21. I'm out for the books too. Let one of these other deserving folks have a better chance because I've had all my copies a long time now :D. But I did want to drop a note to the future:

    I have no idea what the world you now live in is like or how much has changed. It is my sincerest hope that things have moved forward and for the better. No matter what you strive for, don't let stagnation or repression become the hallmark of the Earth. Those who do not remember their history are doomed to repeat it so pay attention to what has gone before and use it as a foundation and a warning to take with you into your own future.

    As a make believe alien once said, "Live long and prosper." Let the pursuit of true happiness be your goal, however large or small the scope.

  22. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Howdy, all.

    Sorry we burnt up all the fossil fuels. I hope you can still breathe and I hope that you've found other methods of supplying your energy needs. I hope the sun hasn't blown up. I hope Yellowstone hasn't blown up. I hope all is well with the world.

    Things that have been invented or come into common usage during my lifetime to this point (1970 - ):

    Microwave Oven
    Personal Computer
    Laptop / Notebook Computers
    Handheld devices (PDA, Palm Pilot, etc.)
    Mobile & Wireless Phones
    Digital Audio
    Gas/Electric Hybrid Automobiles
    Compact Disc
    VHS Tapes
    Video Rental
    Fax Machine
    Many of those little Eastern European countries (Bosnia, Macedonia re-emerged, etc.)

    Things that have gone the way of the dinosaur during my lifetime:
    Vinyl Records
    Plymouth and AMC (Auto Manufacturers)
    USSR (United Soviet Socialist Republic)

    Things that are eternal:
    Corporate Greed
    My love for my wife

    Things that are fleeting:
    Puppy Love (but not love of puppies)

    Here's best wishes that the future is better than the past. In most respects, ours was.

    Hopefully published author by the time you read this.

  23. Anonymous1:12 PM

    Today is July 7, 2005. Our current age is one of strife and uncertaintly, but also such beauty and promise. Terrorists have bombed gorgeous cities like New York, Madrid, Jerusalem, London...but those cities still remain, the good people of those places keep living their lives, and though our hearts break for the people killed, their love lives on in the people who loved them.

    When I look back on my own life, I want to believe in Anne Frank's famous declaration: That people are good at heart. The terrible evil of our times has to date been eclipsed by the bravery and good of ordinary people.

    Please, live your life with simple kindness. Enjoy every moment. Love the people around you. Courage is born not of grandiose intentions, but the quiet decision to do "the right thing" -- not the grand thing, the ideologically correct thing. Let love guide your life.

  24. I hope that you found the peace that we seek.

    I hope that you have traveled to worlds more beautiful than imagination permits.

    I hope that your knowledge is surpassed only by your compassion.

    I know that if you are reading this we did not fail.

    Remember always to see the beauty in the simple things around you, for you never know when that beauty will change.

    Don't forget the time traveller party at MIT in 2005. Sorry but I don't remember the exact date. But I'm sure that they would love to have you there.

    Jen W.

  25. Anonymous2:16 PM

    Oh future people --

    You may have fusion power, but I am willing to bet you don't have flying cars in every garage.

    Everyone overestimates change in the short run, and underestimates change in the long run.

  26. I'd love to be optimistic just this once. I want to say "Congrats on World Peace" or "Good job on ridding the world of child molestors."

    Truth is, that will never happen. The world will always have opposing views, criminals, perverts, and the like. Utopia is simply not an attainable goal.

    I'm sure that you live in tricky times just like we did. If your tally sheet has just one less tick in the worse column and one more in the better, then my ashes are happy and humanity has a chance.

  27. Anonymous7:01 PM

    By the time you read this, I pray there is peace in the world.

    ~ Karen W.

  28. Every age has it's bright days and dark moments: mine is no different.

    This is the first age of the Internet, and a time when home computers are still new. I don't know if you can imagine the wonder of being able to instantly contact people all around the world. It has, in some ways, made us more understanding of other's cultures. It has broadened our definitions of friendship, and widened our knowledge of other's lives.

    We live in an age when knowledge is easily within reach of many people. Having a house full of books is no real surprise. Being able to go to a shelf -- or a web site -- and find an answer to almost any question is taken for granted by many of us. Music, of whatever type you might like, is as accessible. We can travel to other places in hours that would have taken days and even weeks in previous times. Those three things, which in other ages might have only been available to the rich with leisure time, are now ours. We accept them as normal.

    But this is also an age of global terrorism, prejudice and war. Fear of assassination has made our leaders more remote and haunts anyone with a public image. On a more personal level, fear of a nuclear holocaust has pervaded our lives, dulled to embers by decades of living under the threat, and suddenly fanned to flames by outbreaks of war and violence in which we are sometimes not even directly involved. World leaders have been killed by fanatics, and parts of the world poisoned by uncaring leaders of industry.

    I've also seen New York's Twin Towers fall, AIDS spread with alarming speed through the population, and a tsunami kill more people in a single sweep of the land than I can imagine. I watched the Civil Rights movement grow in the 60's and 70's, and yet even at the turn of the century equality was still not as perfect as we could wish.

    Don't let the darkness be all that you learn about us.

    During my lifetime I've seen the first satellite launched, man walk on the moon, and microwave ovens become standard appliances in homes. Sometimes it is the little things that add up to a sudden change in life that we never even saw coming. One day we woke up in the Computer Age and found ourselves exchanging notes with people half a world away, just because we have a common interest.

    In my parent's days social life revolved around the neighborhood, and you had to fit in -- to be one of them -- or you would be an outcast. That has changed. Our neighborhoods are now becoming websites on the Internet where we are joined by common causes and interests, rather than a street name. It has changed us. We might not know our neighbors as well as we should, but at the same time we are no longer tied to their interests. There will be a balance, I'm sure -- but like anything new we've thrown ourselves into it to see how far we can swim.

    Maybe this should be called the Age of Entertainment. We've seen the advent of cable and digital television, VCRs -- and those replaced by DVDs -- albums replaced by CDs -- computers common in many homes, and digital cameras replacing film. We have made our lives easier, more comfortable, and filled with fun -- for those who can afford it. Yes, there is always a darker side to the good, but that doesn't mean that the good should not count as well.

    We've made tremendous breakthroughs in the science of genetics, but at the same time there is famine and war in the world. Astronomers have widened the universe for us, but we still don't know many of the secrets of the ocean. The rate of extinction among the living creatures of the world, much of it due to our own careless expansion into their ecological niches, is appalling.

    And yet people gather on the shorelines to try and save beached whales, and nearly extinct animals are guarded and nurtured to make a comeback. California Condors have been released back into the wilds, and bald eagles gather in the hundreds at a nearby wildlife refuge.

    You'll have read about the cruelty, oppression, wars, and all the other sinister parts of the world we live in. I know this, because I've read the same about earlier ages. But even with all that darkness, we have had our great moments, too: The fall of the Berlin Wall, the rush to help others after a natural catastrophe, and the smaller moments when we still find ourselves a part of the physical neighborhood, and help the people next door with their needs.

    There is one truth to remember: you would not be who you are now, except for us -- as we would not be who we are without those others, stretching back into the past who made both good and bad choices.

    We've made our stupid mistakes, but we've made our brilliant discoveries as well. We are no different than any other age in that respect. But it's a good age to live in. I hope yours is as well.

    And I hope, somehow, that you have found the one thing that continues to elude us.

    I wish you peace.

    Lazette Gifford
    July 7, 2005
    South Sioux City, Nebraska, USA

  29. Damnit Lazette made me cry!

    And Stuart took what I was gonna say, so I'll say this instead.

    If you ever forget where it is you're going, just take a look at where you've been.


  30. Anonymous3:12 PM

    "Follow your enthusiasm." ~ Jim Henson

    ~ PK the Bookeemonster ~


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