Time Travel, Part 1


Like Dan, I have a Science Fiction passion that I have spent years reading about and pondering.  In my case it is Time Travel.  Unfortunately I find that there are far more bad time travel stories out there than good ones.  That tends to lead into long rants in person where I can’t help but get off topic and bore people to tears.  So in the vein of Dan’s Capital Ship Combat articles I, too, would like to explore my Science Fiction passion and share my views in a series of blogs.  If you have any interest in Time Travel or just Science Fiction in general, I hope you will enjoy this series.  I also hope it will give everyone something to think about and generate many interesting debates and conversations.

What kind of Time Travel will we be discussing?

When it comes to time travel there appear to be two options.  You can either send your physical body through time, or you can project your consciousness back into a previous version of yourself or others.  The physical travel seems to be the most common method used by Science Fiction writers, but there have been interesting stories about both.  If you are sending only your consciousness, you usually have the extra plot hooks of having to live the day-to-day life while doing whatever you have come back to do.  Physical travel tends to put your characters outside of day-to-day events until they ultimately make a mistake and change something they were not supposed to.  For the case of these articles either method of time travel could be used, but from this point on I will focus on physical travel unless otherwise stated.

There are many concepts and many different takes on Time travel and how it would work.  I will avoid going into too many Einsteinian principals except were absolutely necessary such as when discussing absolute time and space and spacetime. To be clear though, at least at first I do not want to get into the actual methodology and theory behind how the travel itself works.

Ok, but what about Time Travel do you want to talk about then?

I want to start off by framing my initial discussions.  The far more interesting conversations revolve around how Time Travel works once you reach your destination and what that means to the travelers and society.  To give you a framework: drafts of the first three installments are already written and will focus on whether you can change the past, having the effects be the cause, and how a society would be impacted by time travel technology. I will keep this very high level at first to see what kind of feedback I receive, but in each case I could easily go into much more detail on any topic if there is an interest.

Finally I will be giving examples for many situations, but I will be creating each example myself and will intentionally try to avoid giving TV, movie, or book examples because I feel that will lead to conversations about those properties and not about the intended example.  That does not eliminate the chance of a future installment focusing on time travel in various media and what I think some of the major stories did right or wrong.

Comments (3)

LunatykOctober 26th, 2009 at 4:05 am

Sounds like this is going to be a very interesting read…

AnZsDadOctober 26th, 2009 at 9:20 am

I agree with Lunatyk. I actually enjoyed reading Mr R’s series on capital ships as I have always enjoyed well-informed discussion of a topic one is passionate about. Wayne, I enjoy your style of writing and have a bit of a jones myself for time travel. I’m looking forward to this! :)

BurrowowlOctober 26th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

I would like to humbly suggest looking into the RPG Continuum for a rather interesting take on how time travel may work out in a fictional setting.

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