A Postcard from the Cambrian Era


Here’s a short piece Harry Harison wrote for the Puffin Post, a magazine for readers of the English publisher Puffin (the children’s imprint of Penguin) in 1978.

Three Puffin writer’s were asked to send a message back from an imaginary time-travel package holiday:

Try Our Space-Time Package Holidays

From Harry Harrison:
Dear Puffin Clubbers: 
Date: Sometime in the Cambrian Era 

Just a quick note to say that things are really super back here. Having a time machine makes it easy to find a good holiday spot. At first I thought of taking a look at the Battle of Hastings, but October 1066 was a very rainy month. Besides, with all those arrows and swords it would be easy to get hurt. Then I considered a trip to visit the Romans, but I don’t speak Latin and in those days the sanitation was something awful so I would be sure to get travel tummy. Whatever time I thought of visiting in the past seemed to have something awful happening that would be sure to get me into trouble. Then I thought of the Cambrian Era. Millions and millions of years ago. Lots of fish in the sea – but no animals on land at all. Just some plants. No bugs to sting me, no little nasties to bite me. So here I lie on a sunny, warm beach, very much enjoying myself. Wish you were here.

Originally published in Puffin Post, Vol.12, No.1, 1978.

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