The Consequences of Time Travel

If you see me standing in line at the market, or in any line for that matter, and I have a spaced out look, chances are this is my thought:

Not only do I never have enough time to write, but my reading list is growing like a geometric progression.  I have to figure out how to slow time, build a time machine, or read faster and organize my time better.

Of course, what’s the easiest of those options? Hint: it’s not the last one.

Consequences

Let’s say that someone went into the local ice cream parlor and left the keys in the ignition:

The keys are in the ignition

Speed Limit: 88 mph

Sweet. Just make sure the time computer isn’t set to 1955. Now you can read as much as you want. Ignore the world.

“Wait, wait, wait,” you say, “You can’t reset the past. That’s not how the DeLorean works.”

“Right, right. Wrong time machine.”

I would have to go back in time, kill my former self, take over his role and that’s how I would reset time.

Or, would going back in time alter the threads of time, maybe creating a new one where I die on the timeline at the exact moment I appear in the past thus keeping continuity?

OK, OK, this is why time travel gives people headaches.

Freezing Time

Not Science Fiction Anymore

Not Science Fiction Anymore

This is the idea I like the most. Let’s say I could exist outside of time? Something similar to an Alcubierre Warp Bubble (not science fiction, by the way). I would still need an energy source, but let’s ignore that plot-breaking problem. Then I could exist outside of time. I could read and write for as long as I want while the world around me is paused.

But, but, but then I would age. My wife and children might notice when I suddenly appear as:

Read list is done. Finally.

Reading list is done. Finally.

Back to the Beginning

Looks like I need an even more improbable confluence of events: a cure to aging and the ability to freeze time. Now there’s an interesting premise for a story.

Back to organizing my life. Or, rather, back to spacing out.

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6 thoughts on “The Consequences of Time Travel

  1. you know what… you should read The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert A. Heinlein… though it doesn’t necessarily revolve around time travel… it talks about living years side ways… or something like that… anyway… there’s a woman in it that’s like 200 years old but only looks about 30… though some of it is is futuristic medicine… but then again it never really explains the living side ways thing… that’s the problem with Heinlein… hmmm… perhaps I should just reread it… but that’s what your post made me think of…

    • I read that book a long time ago. Maybe the late 90’s. I don’t remember the plot specifics, but I do remember that the story was quite trippy.

      I cannot think of a story where time travel was handled so well that the story left an imprint. Haldeman kept within the realm of physics with The Forever War, where the soldiers skipped outside of time using time dilation.

      Going back into the past. That’s a tough one.The Prisoner of Azkaban handled it well–do not be seen, but still affect the past while your doppleganger wanders around.

      It’s a fun subject in which to delve.

      • you know… I can’t think of any book… but the movie Somewhere In Time had an interesting thought about it… the whole idea that it would be all in your mind is probably the best way to think about it… ooo… Improbability by Adam Fawer… which is just a great book… doesn’t directly deal with time travel but it has a concept of seeing the future but it also deals with the theory of thoughts and memories traveling through time… and I think if it were to ever happen it wouldn’t be our physical selves necessarily but our minds that would… which they did on the show Eureka… but then again they did all kinds of junk to the time line in Eureka…

      • That’s actually Improbable by Adam Fawer… seriously a book everyone should read…

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