VanderMeer: Time travel appeals because we are human

The largest collection of time travel stories assembled, The Time Traveller's Almanac, is to be published.

Time travel has long fascinated film makers and authors, with its limitless ability to allow the rewriting of history.

Speaking to the Today programme, Ronald Mallett, author of the book The Time Traveller, said that one of the books that inspired him was a book about Einstein, which said "time was something that could be altered".

He said: "As far as time travel into the future is concerned, we've actually already achieved that.

"Our heart is a clock, it beats, and this means that if you're travelling fast enough, the rate at which time travel goes for you, is a different rate for everyone else.... So you could arrive in the future, younger than everyone else," he added.

Ann VanderMeer, who co-edited The Time Traveller's Almanac, said during her research for the collection she learnt a lot about the appeal of time travel and why humanity constantly goes back to it. "We're driven by love... or some kind of human relationship... the thought that you might be able to effect a change, go back in time and make a difference... who wouldn't want to go into the future."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday 20 November 2013.

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