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I was wondering if you have any recommendations for SF stories
which try and handle the various Paradoxes in TT, reasonably.
I have always been anoyed with, say, such simple problems as the atoms in the TT heros body. Do they simultaneously exist in 2 places?
The gold in his/her ring came from a supernova and if they travell far enough back...?
I suppose the "many worlds" approach might work but it is rarely explicitly mentioned.
I did enjoy timescape by benford and accept the sheer escapism of most TT tales but most of the genre is just that.
I suppose I'm looking for something a bit "meatier".
Yes I do have various popularizations of Physics which are almost SF but would be interested in your thoughts.
On the fiction side, I found Robert Silverberg's Up the Line very funny, and internally consistent with regards to its approach to time travel and the inherent paradoxes.
I tend to look on time travel in a story as simply a tool to help tell a story and only find it irritating when the tale is inconsistent or self contradictory.
There is another novel I'm thinking of that involved time travel by archaeologist back to medieval times. I will try to find/remember its name. It did have a good treatment of the paradoxes.
In Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, certain adepts are able to enter the corridors of time, which permits them to travel to the past or future.
If the wish to travel in time is the ultimate escapism, along the lines of "Stop the world - I want to get off!" then being able to 'slide' through the dimension we call time without also being able to significantly extend our own short life-spans wouldn't really be of much use to us.
Thanks for your thoughts, "Honestly, I would totally agree if it wasn't for the hairy-nosed wombats."
Sorry my brain went sometime else :-)
I am surprised how many of the "older" TT tales mentioned I had already read.
And here I was thinking I didn't really like TT or perhaps rather that it annoyed me.
I WILL look up/read/borrow some of the newer ones but please don't expect any reviews etc. I doubt my reviews would be of any interest other than to myself.
Guido, with thanks.
If time didn't pass for a time traveller, he wouldn't exist. So there isn't any way of extending your own personal duration in any of the "likely" time travelling stories that I have read. You live X hours or days while sitting in your time machine, just as you would live that many hours sitting in your house. Subjective time passes.
You start in 1990, travel back to 1980, "live" normally until 1990, and "voila" you are ten years plus however many seconds you spent in the machine travelling back, older. If the method of time travel dictates that you have then stayed in your own timeline coming "forward", then your house isn't ten years older then when you set out, but you are.
I have read a lot of very unsatisfactory TT stories where the author bluntly states that a time traveller "can't" die in a time that is before his/her birth date. Or implies somehow that travelling backwards in time is some how different physiologically to travelling forward in time. Or implies somehow that your atoms can't be in close proximity to the younger atoms taht are in your body when you set out, so "You mustn't see yourself whatever you do!, The Universe will blow up!! ! !! !"
On a side note, the clearest proof to me that time travel will never happen, is not as the man said "Where are all the time tourists" but, "how come someone from the future hasn't nobbled Hitler".
Alternative Universes semi solve those issues.
Although I don't really understand that buisness of "NOT DYING" in TT.
I must confess that, that idea, had never come up in my readings :-)
Can you point me to a Tale which explicates those ideas?
His short story "All You Zombies" takes the idea even further.
Both can be found in his collection Off the Main Sequence.
Well, Alternate universes might semi solve the problems, but then they are not the same thing as "straight" time travel stories, so it is kind of a non-sequitur for us to talk about them. Again, or otherwise.
As for giving you a list, I USUALLY throw memories of books I hated out of my skull, but , I will try.
Poul Anderson wrote a couple where the people couldn't die "out of their time" I think, maybe one was called Time Out of Mind?. Not sure at all about that.
Phillip Jose Farmer wrote an otherwise cool story called "Times Last Gift" that of course had Tarzan in the cast, and Lar of Opar too, naturally :P where scientists go back and find themselves "stuck" in the stoneage and find that only accidents can kill them, they don't age "because of time" or something.
And that is about the limit. I can remember a story where a guy gets an unreliable time belt, and then he loses his diary, so is always panicking when he travels to somewhere because "It might be somewhere I already "exist" and our atoms will explode the universe", but have discarded the rest of the experience in disgust.
Nice theory geneg. Care to offer conclusive proof?. I mean, you seem so certain, that I guess someone has proved the point you make.
I think the tv series 7 days addressed this issue a bit when the guy's sphere would pop out into space and then glide to earth in some kind of trippy montage but I don't remember any explanation.
Timeline got around this by having a wormhole that happened to join two areas, not just a jump to the past. Anyone know of real live physics or sf constructions that address this issue? Or are those aliens just trying to get rid of me and fondle my coin collection?
Wait, what? Hmmm, not sure that makes sense. Let's try to figure out what monkeys sound like when they collide at near lightspeed.
in their experiments?
The WORLD MUST be told the truth.!
"Tarzan, Cheetah and Higgs Bozon swung though the trees!"
It does have a ring to it. Monkeys and apes unite.
And from ALL us "primates", I thank you.
Although a Miss. Boson might be a different matter.
Time does have a forwards direction - the entropy of the universe continually increases. You may only subjectively experience the presence, but around you the universe is absolutely increasing in time.
I'm not sure that this automaticlly implies that there is a backwards direction, but it seems to me that it should.
I too am a big disliker of timetravel stories, precisely because it is so frequently handled so badly.
statistical mechanics + observed increasing entropy = objective time.
Time is real; it's not just a construct (as if that needed to be said). The gods created it to prevent everything from happening at once.
As a mother of 3 I am horrified.
Oh wait I am a single guy with NO kids.
Oh dear, can someone explain those "quark thingies"?
Your, male, confused,
I just bought cowl on Amazon.
So I guess this type of web discussion does work!
Well, I'd like to believe that it's not true, because, to quote the article, "...with funding cut off, the future of our nation's monkey collision program looks bleak."
With my layman's popular knowledge of physics, I don't see room for time travel. Managing the quanta is impossible for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is the ever-shifting nature of the quanta itself.
I don't think this question makes sense. Didn't the famous Aether experiments prove that there is no way to specify a grid as being at rest compared to everything else in the universe. As Einstein pointed out, everything is relative, so what reference would the Universe use to locate your point in space when you go back in time. You can choose the center of the Earth, the center of the Solar System, the center of our Galaxy, or somewhere random, they all make as much sense.
So, it you were writing a TT story, you might as well make it easy and say that you will end up in the same position relative to the closest mass (the Earth). But you still wouldn't wind up at the same spot on earth since it rotates and if you go back far enough there's continental drift. If you had your time travellers go to the South Pole and not go too far back into geological time you eliminate some of the difficulties.
No U in Qantas mate, isn't actually a word. Stands for Queensland And Northern Territories Airline Service.
So it wasn't a fact you are quoting, more an opinion about time travel, which is fine mate, don't take that as critical, I really did want to know if you had "an established fact" with references, to your idea of "the past' and "the future" not existing like you said.
You said "Aside from the paradoxes there is no actual past or future. All there is is the present" and that last part seemed quite likely to me, I just wanted you to tell me where I could go to see the reasoning of it, if it "was fact".
And seeing as certain physicists have suggested ways of BUILDING time machines, stands to reason THEY don't think you have to re-arrange all the quanta in the universe to go back in time.
In fact it seems inelegant to go about it that way. :)
You reminded me of a "family" story which shows how opertune our existance is.
My Grandfather fought in WWI and subsequently in the Russia Revolution.
He became a POW and as was the wont in that theatre he was being lead out to be SHOT. In lots of 10. Yes, always shoot the privates not the generals :-(
Well, so the story goes, an officer on horseback came up to this operation waving a sword and just said "...not this lot..."
This was a few years before my Mum was born.
Obviously, the why's will never be know.
Though I am sure that each and every reader has a similar "serendipity" in their history. (splng?)
I worked out how to spell "serendipity.
Members of my family survived the Napier Earthquake in 1931 because they were out of town at a funeral. People didn't/weren't able to travel far as easily as we do now, very unusual for them to be away from home in a whole family lot. The house was empty. Luckily too, most of a hill fell on the houses in their street.
250 or so people died in the town.
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