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Different approach to time travel

Discussion in 'General Writing Discussion' started by RVM45, Aug 2, 2011.


    RVM45 Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    I want to start a time travel story using the following premises:

    1.} There aren't an infinite number of Alternate Universes--Philosophically, that seems to make everything pointless.

    In this Reality, you Rescued the Treed Kitten, In another you failed, in yet another--you blasted the Kitten with a 12 Gauge, and in that reality, you fried it with a Flame Thrower.....

    2.} There are astronomical numbers of Alternate Realities--and the number is always growing exponentially--but not Infinite. Every possibility does not get manifested.

    3.} There are High-Probability Timelines that are in some, only partially understood way, Privileged.

    4.} Time travel rarely if ever plays a major role in the History of "Main-Lines".Time travelers almost always come from a Main Line--In some way, they are more "Real" than folks from Branch Lines.

    5.} It isn't terribly difficult for any Determined Main-Liner to travel in time. However, the longer and the more times a Time Traveler travels in time--the more all (the Billions) of Main-Lines Repel him, and the farther he drifts laterally.

    Generally, he doesn't realize that he can never go home again 'till its too late.

    If time can be compared to a River--and people do it all the time.....

    Sometimes a River will carve a new channel; cut a horse-shoe bend out of the River; and create an Ox-Bow Lake.

    6.} Time does that too--although some of the Apparent Logical Contradictions are Mind-Blowing. An Ox-Bow Lake, cut off from the River, would have no Flow.

    Temporal Ox-Bows stretch over tens of Thousands to millions of years, have no beginning and no end.....

    But yet there is a temporal Flow--Though causation and the conservation of Mass-Energy isn't enforced terribly literally there.

    Actually, very melodramatic, Space Opera Type Occurrences are perfectly Plausible to folks who live in a Temporal Ox-Bow.

    The more Time Travelers Travel, the more of Eternity they absorb--and the harder to kill or frustrate they become--Almost Godlike.

    There is also some very complex and partial evidence that it is the comings and goings of these Time Travelers that unintentionally keeps the Ox-Bows, and other outlying areas from dissolving into pure Chaos.

    Our protagonist likes to live in an Ox-Bow--many Time Travelers Do. He's just starting to catch on that he is somehow "Special" and probably fills a necessary "Purpose" in the Multiverse--and then It seems everyone in the Multiverse is out to kill him, or destroy him, or whatever--while he's desperately trying to figure it all out.

    Thats remarkably concise--compared to my usual efforts--but that's because it is almost pure exposition.

    I'm trying to explain exactly what the Ox-Bow is where the Time Traveler lives, at the same time I show him rising; having a light breakfast of Fruit and then going Swimming in a very deep, very clear, rather chill lake inhabited by Watermelon-Sized Tadpoles.....

    And then as he's drying off, he's assaulted by twenty-five or thirty "Attack Chimps"--Chimps augmented by extra Intelligence and with Pitbull, and other Genes spliced in for Fierceness.....

    And he doesn't hardly have time to fully evacuate his bowels at one time, through the whole rest of the book.

    I just Can't seem to Weave Description, Dialog, and descriptive Exposition all seamlessly together.


    .....RVM45 :cool::eek::cool:

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

    Jan 5, 2001
    Way on Down South, London Town
    I'm not sure your Ox-Bow Lake analogy is relevant to Time Travel, but I certainly subscribe to your idea that not every possible Alternative Reality is a viable one. I think that the Evolution of Species might be a better analogy. So, just as there are Extinctions and Mass Extinctions, so various Realities will also die out - think Nuclear War, Global Warming, Asteroid Collision. So, I agree, certainly not an infinite number of possibilities; definitely finite but very large.

    And you could also get Parallel Realities just as there is Parallel Evolution, so that the Reality looks practically the same, even though it has been achieved from a completely different direction. (If you ever watched 'Sliders' think of the squeaky gate hinge.)

    I think you also have to consider the impact of Time Travel itself upon the Reality. We don't have Time Travel, so no one has left our Reality, but people could still arrive. In other Realities which do have Time Travel then maybe practically every one has left. (would this be your Ox-Bow Lake scenario?)

    Have you read Michael Moorcock's 'Dancers at the End of Time'? That would be your Ox-Bow Lake scenario.

    jchris Science fiction fantasy

    Aug 9, 2011
    That's the biggest conundrum of fiction. You want to make everything seem life like and real and yet no one ever goes to the loo.

    Boneman Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2008
    Working with the Bare Bones of talent
    Yeah, that sums all of us up...

    Ox-bow lakes! I recall writing about them in my Geography O Level. I like this idea, and perhaps the protagonist, for whatever reason could be the ultimate conundrum - that maybe there's a danger he will meet himself and the whole space/time continuum will collapse, destroying the world/universe/galaxy, this is why all the 'inhabitants' unknowingly, but instinctively want to kill him. Can he go back to a reality he's visited before, for example? Time travellers could watch themselves rescuing the kitten, and maybe he has to prevent himself from doing something, and really he set the chimps upon himself, as he cannot attack himself, himself... Each Ox-bow created could be a safe haven for a while, but real reality - always trying to maintain the balance - has to destroy them.

    Have you read the Amber Chronicles? Brilliant ideas of parallel worlds that only certain people can move through - I could see that sort of idea working really well in your time-travel reality.

    Dravidd Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    Just brought a drum kit.
    My 'Lords' time travel a slogging maraton in the 'eater', nothing is for free.
    Some lords are time travel specialists a small 22 foot yacht.
    To create a time line - Do a signifant deed in the past.
    Lord Ren saved Jimi Hendrix and had a private concert at Blackwood RSL.

    Helion Helion

    Aug 11, 2011
    Everything science fiction and fantasy.
    This is a fantastic idea and I can already see the possibility for dozens and dozens of spin offs. Try reading the chronicles of amber. It uses a similar premise but with dimensionality beginning at opposite ends of the spectrum with chaos on one side and order on the other. I think just the idea of the transition from one to the other and the way that the main characters had the ability to travel between the seemingly infinite dimensions even without intending to.

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

    Jun 29, 2010
    Scottish Highlands
    I think Scalzi's skip drive in Old Man's War worked a bit like this but not time travel. IIRC it skips you into a different but almost identical timeline and that skipping allowed you to move vast spatial distances at the same time. Then as they are so close every other instance of yourself skips into another timeline at exactly the same time. I seem to recall one of the protagionists speculating that the people he was talking with can't be the exact same people that he was talking to before.

    (I should mention that this was only a passing scene and played no futher part in the books other than to establish their means of star travel.)

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