The Butterfly Effect and Ray Bradbury


Monarch butterflies

Image via Wikipedia

So todays Prompt for the 30-Day Blogging Challenge was:

If you could give yourself a call on a past birthday of yours, what would you tell yourself?

To read my answer click the link.

This got me thinking about,`The Butterfly Effect‘, a principle of `chaos theory‘, in which one small change could create a massive difference to other events at a later time.

The classic example used, is of a butterfly flapping its wings and causing or altering a tornado.

Many years ago I read `A Sound of Thunder‘ by Ray Bradbury. It’s a short story which illustrates the above principle in relation to time travel. The story is that in the year 2055, a hunter (named Eckels) travels back into time to hunt a T-rex. He is guided along a path and warned by his hunting guide not to stray from it, ever. However, Eckles loses his nerve and veers off the path, crushing a butterfly. When they return to the present, their world has changed.

This beautiful, short story highlights how something seemingly so small and unimportant can be so vital to the timeline of events. Everything is interconnected and outcomes are unpredictable without considering the tiniest variables that effect them.

If you haven’t read Ray Bradbury’s short story then I would strongly recommend you do. He’s a fine writer. I’ve only read two of his short stories: `A Sound of Thunder’ and `The Pedestrian’ and was definitely impressed.

He is a very talented writer.


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10 thoughts on “The Butterfly Effect and Ray Bradbury

  1. I love the idea of the butterfly effect, especially in time travel. This was a very thoughtful answer. Your short, well thought-out posts are great reading. πŸ™‚ Guess I’ll have to keep my eye out for Ray Bradbury.

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  4. If you like short stories, Ray Bradbury is a master. I highly recommend his short “There Will Come Soft Rain” from The Martian Chronicles. His book on writing, Zen and the Art of Writing is amazing, as well. Probably the biggest influence on my own writing, to date.

    Bradbury writes good novels, but he excels at short stories.

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