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This Week on Mystery Theatre:”
The Conclusion of “Time is Out of Joint”

March 31st, 2022

In this week’s episode of Mystery Theatre’s “Time is Out of Joint,” we explore what mystery writer August LaFleur calls “the dream hemisphere.” That is, we consider stories that “depict time travel as a state of mind rather than a mechanical process.”

I’ve always been intrigued by such stories, exemplified by titles like A Christmas Carol, Somewhere in Time, Time and Again, and Slaughterhouse Five (all featured in this season of Mystery Theatre)—stories in which the engines of the unconscious prove to be the most powerful time machines of all.

Indeed, the notion of the mind as time machine is considered by H. G. Wells in his novel The Time Machine when the Time Traveler explains that “there is no difference between Time and any of the three dimensions of Space except that our consciousness moves along it.” Interestingly, such musings anticipate the theory of “block time” that physicists like Carlo Rovelli writes about in his nonfiction book The Order of Time, and which science fiction aficionado Joe Coluccio tells us “is the basis for all story.”

Joe presents his theory in a post to my March 22nd blog. If you missed it, here’s what Joe has to say:

Physicist Carlo Rovelli has this notion that past present and future are a construct of our consciousness, not the physical universe. I have always believed that time travel is the basis for all story. I’ve been looking for time travel in, for lack of a more interesting word, “mainstream” fiction. In his first novel, The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer uses a bare device which he calls the “Time Machine,” It is a segment that provides a rich story experience of character backstory, development, and mingles past and present. These segments are very much a travel in time.

Heinlein’s The Door into Summer, sinfully not mentioned, has always been a favorite of mine, don’t forget “By His Bootstraps” and “—All You Zombies—” these are definitive time travel tales. Finally, if you are in the mood, the greatest time travel novel ever, In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. It is a time machine for the author and the reader. Just let the page take you.

Given that I believe time travel is the basis for all story, I am on the search, like the Coaster’s song “Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade got nothing, child, on me,” like Bulldog Drummond, for more overt examples.

It’s amusing to think how Joe’s comment might lead August LaFleur to change his proposition that “stories are everywhere” and state instead that “stories are everywhen.”

If you’d like to keep the conversation going, please consider posting a comment below or by reaching out through the social media buttons in the top right corner of this web page. You can also leave a note at PrimeStage.com/contact. And while you’re there, please consider claiming one of the books that Prime Stage Theatre has to give away to the first six listeners who step up to become patrons of Prime Stage Mystery Theatre.

Click here for more information on the books offered in Prime Stage’s special promotion, the details of which are also covered in this week’s installment of “Time is Out of Joint.”

But be advised, the special offer ends on April 3rd, so unless you have a time machine, you’ll want to take advantage of it now.

Either way, the player below will transport you instantly to this week’s Mystery Theatre installment. I’ll meet you there!

This Week on Mystery Theatre:
Another Door, Another Time-Travel Story

March 24th, 2022

Which classic time-travel device would you use to escape the clock room in Prime Stage Mystery Theatre’s “Time is Out of Joint”? Find out in today’s installment, which also features some time-travel recommendations from folks active in the field of science fiction, mystery, fantasy, and horror. You can hear it all by clicking here or by activating the player below.

<<< The time-travel vehicle from The Time Machine as illustrated by Frank R. Paul for Amazing Stories, February, 1927.

As with all of our episodes, this one ends with a prompt that asks listeners to suggest what might happen in the next installment. This time, we’re asking you to suggest which of the nine remaining classic works of science fiction you would like to see explored in the final act of Season Four.

A complete list of the time-travel classics covered in “Time is Out of Joint” can be found in Season 4, Episode 1, or in the blog post “Solving the Mystery of the Clock Room.”

Also, if you have any suggestions about what surprises we might find waiting for us when our story resumes on April 1, please share those as well

Comments may be submitted via the Prime Stage Theatre contact page.

And now … on with the show!

This Week on Mystery Theatre:
An Escalating Puzzle for a Way-Out Mystery

March 10th, 2022

The electric sign reading Way Out glowed before the ascending treads of a stainless-steel escalator. Mounted on the wall beside the rising stairs were advertisements for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Blockbuster Video, and American Pie 2. But soon those early 21st-century advertisements gave way to ones for Crystal Pepsi, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Embassy Cigarettes, and Pan Am Airlines–for by riding the escalator, Freddie Fedora was being transported back in time.

— from The Whenever War by August LaFleur, pages 16-17.

Yes, it’s a real book … though you’d have to go to an alternate universe to get a copy. Nevertheless, folks attending last Friday and Saturday night’s performances of Prime Stage Theatre’s A Wrinkle in Time were able to check out a facsimile of that book … along with nearly a dozen time-travel classics from our own reality.

You can hear comments from some of those theatre-goers on the current installment of Prime Stage Mystery Theatre, where you’ll also get to tag along on an investigation of a scene from August LaFleur’s time-travel mystery The Whenever War.

You might also enjoy Tuesday’s blog post titled Solving the Mystery of the Clock Room, where you’ll find more details about how August LaFleur’s book fits into a larger mystery centering on some well-known time-travel stories.

You can read that earlier post by clicking here … and you can listen to this week’s Mystery Theatre installment by hitting the play button on the player below. (Or, if you missed the first installment, you can find it and all previous seasons of the series by clicking here.)

And as always, if you’d like to offer a solution to this week’s puzzle, you can do so by submitting a comment via Primestage.com/contact or by reaching out to us via the social media links you’ll find there.

And if you enjoy the show, please be sure to tell your friends and follow us via your favorite podcast app.

Now, on with the mystery …