(illo: archeologist dogs finding Hugo statue)

OURS HAS BEEN ESSENTIALLY a philosophical age; in fact the supreme age of philosophy. Such questions as "Is it fair to throw a stick to where it can't be retrieved?" or "How many angels can dance on a tin of dogfood?" -- all of these long-debated points which have troubled previous generations have been answered. Even the runt of a litter can now give a reply which would have confounded such giants of the past as Rover CVII or Boy CCXL.

But there remains the baffling question: what happened to Man? Where in the Cosmos has he gone? It is a scentless trail. Our archeologists, digging furiously into the midden-heaps of the Past, have discovered many tasty items, but this central conundrum remains unresolved by either hard science or philosophy.

We can conjecture, of course. We know that the interstellar drive was discovered by Man many aeons ago, and recent excavations into the temple (?) known as the Ackermansion have revealed that the dissatisfaction expressed by that select breed known as Trufen was also prevalent outside their sniffing territory. Did Mankind as a whole follow the lead given by the Trufen, out into the interstellar reaches? Or did the bulk of Mankind obliterate itself in a World War after the finer spirits had left? Is the fragment relevant which bears a short inscription in Early American Fan, Who Sawed Courtney's Boat? Brutus CCCVI, the philologist, argues that this is a mistranslation or typo, and that the second word should read saved. There has been much learned discussion of this.

Yet, this is a philosophical age, and whilst the practical dogs yelp and bark over the fragments that survive from the past, it is left to the philosophers to sum up the sweep of history. Leaving aside the question of whether there was a Divine Creator or not, we do know that at one time there dwelt on the Earth the Trufans, the Men, and the primaeval Dog. Towards the end of the Twentieth Century -- a phrase whose origin has been lost -- it appears that the secrets of rejuvenation and immortality were discovered. Soon afterwards, within two or three hundred years, the Bickerstaff Interstellar Drive was perfected, and Trufans left for the stars. The knowledge derived from the Ackermansion excavations ceases at this point; the alleged letter from one Harry Warner Jr. which appears to have been written about this period and which mysteriously states "We passed Sirius yesterday and had to gag Willis, Shaw and the other punsters ..."does not appear relevant. Brutus CCCVI has argued that the last word should read "punters" and has attempted to knot this in with the previously-quoted "Courtney's Boat", but grave doubts remain.

So Trufans left the Earth, and the remaining "mundanes" (to use an ancient Trufan phrase) appear to have gone through a series of wars, mutations, and emigrations. When Dog arose and built our present civilisation, Man had vanished. Had they followed the pioneering Trufans? In the millions of years that have elapsed since then only the diving operations in the Sea of California and the Temple excavations in Old New York's jungles have yielded clues to the Mighty Ones of the distant past. Now, with the Sun flickering dangerously -- as forecast by an ancient cleric named Vance -- we have reconstructed the Bickerstaff Drive and will shortly follow Trufans and Men to the stars. Appended herewith are some Time Scales, based on the latest findings, which may be of interest.

Translated from the Canine by Vin¢ Clarke

Time Scale 4

One hundred times the preceding
scale. Doubtless extremely

A long time ago ...... Egyptian Pyramids

Bloch born
Tucker born

A long time

1930 AD ........ Amazing Stories born
.........................Fandom born

Fancyclopaedia 1

1950 AD ........ Slant
........................ Quandry
........................ TAFF
........................ Enchanted Duplicator

1970 AD

TAFF flourished under
Nielsen Haydens

1990 AD

WorldCon:Hong Kong

2010 AD

2030 AD

? ................... Interstellar Drive
..................... Fans leave

Time Scale 5

One hundred times the preceding
scale. Doubtless extremely

Immensely long time ago ..... First mammals


A long time ago .................. Men

Fans leave

Pretty long time ago

Man vanishes

A number of years ago ..... Dog rises

Fairly recently ............ Emigration to Pluto (where else?)

Now ........................... Preparation for leaving Solar System

Time Scale 6

One hundred times the preceding
scale. This one's really wrong!

Millions of years ago ......... Sun formed

Planets formed


2000 AD

Fans go
Men go


Now ............. Goodbye

Data entry by Judy Bemis
Hard copy provided by Geri Sullivan

Data entry by Judy Bemis

Updated November 10, 2002. If you have a comment about these web pages please send a note to the Fanac Webmaster. Thank you.