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"I went back to science fiction to try a few experiments …and my first experiment was a disaster…"
- Alfred Bester

Time Capsule  
  A hollow block of metal, impervious to the elements, used by time travelers to send messages to the future.  

Most time capsules were tossed in the ocean, apparently, then recovered (on the average) about 100,000 years later. They were then kept in the "Post Office" for as many centuries as were necessary.

We use the Fed to house the vault somebody nicknamed the "Post Office" many years ago, no doubt because the vault is clogged with packages that are not delivered for years or centuries.

The Post Office is one of those weird side-effects of time travel. It proves once more that paradoxes are possible, though only strictly limited ones. ..

A time capsule is a block of very tough metal about the size of a brick. ..On the outside of the brick is a name and a date: "For __________. Do not open until _________."

…Under no circumstances has one ever been opened before its time. .. Time travel is so dangerous it makes H-bombs seem like perfectly safe gifts for children and imbeciles.

From Millenium, by John Varley.
Published by Berkley Books in 1983
Additional resources -

The danger arises from the paradoxes of time travel; too many alterations in the past can disrupt the present; the timestream is described in this novel as being somewhat flexible, but not very. For example, if you went back in time, and took a can from a stack in the grocery store back to the future, there would be little disruption, despite the fact that a change was made. If you went back to the past and saved JFK, on the other hand, you would change everything.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Millenium
  More Ideas and Technology by John Varley
  Tech news articles related to Millenium
  Tech news articles related to works by John Varley

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