Turning inner space into outer space

October 14, 2020

Introducing, Captain Gullivant

Captain Gullivant, like Lemuel Gulliver of Gulliver’s Travels, journeys far and wide on voyages of discovery and adventure. But he lives far into the future — so far that it might be considered an alternative reality — and goes from planet to planet throughout the universe.

Technology has advanced to the point where you can build a spaceship capable of going anywhere within a few days. You don’t buy the spaceship, because resources are so abundant that they have become free for everyone. The knowledge required to build such a craft is also freely available.

Captain Gullivant is not actually a captain. There are no ranks in this far future. Everyone can be anything they want to be. “Captain” is his first name, which was bestowed upon him by his parents. Many people change their names in this far future, but “Captain” has a special meaning for him. He is inspired by the last two lines of Invictus by William Ernest Henley:

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

It’s not clear whether he takes true inspiration from the poem, as have famous people through history, or whether he has a more superficial relationship with the poem. His last name, after all, is a combination of gullible and gallivant.

But it definitely shines through in his actions. Wherever he travels, he is certain that he knows better than the inhabitants of the planet, that they should change to be more like him. And just as certainly, they prove him wrong, usually with irony or some twist of fate.

None of the matters to him. He learns nothing, always knows himself to be right, and moves on to the next planet in his travels.