Douglas Anstruther’s story “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 31 August 2018.
I wanted to explore the idea that perfect prediction of the future could be confused with, and possibly be indistinguishable from, actually experiencing the future. As I wrote, I discovered that for someone with the ability to do this, the concept of the present became less relevant, and along with it, the notion of mortality.
In addition to the intentionally unanswered questions of whether or not Stig is really immortal and whether or not a real, objective present exists that he has lost, the story raised other questions along the way. I wasn’t able to address these in the short story format and they were better left to the reader’s imagination anyway. For example: If Stig’s mental facilities are impaired (from drugs or sleep) does he lose his ability to jump away from danger? Is there some sort of meta-time that allows the linear progression of Stig’s own experiences? If he doesn’t go back to a thread, does time pass on it? If there were two people with the same ability, could either one extend the same thread? I do hope that the list goes on and that many more questions are raised among readers.
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