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Time Travel Fiction

Mysteries and Time Travel

It is perhaps little surprise that time travel is often regarded in fiction as a bit of a mystery, especially considering that time travel itself is a total mystery. Time travel as a mystery genre is so prevalent, time travel mystery authors frequently prove their own inability to see into the future by timing their releases at the same time - as is the case with the two upcoming games profiled above, "D4" and "Quantum Break".Equally as time travel is perfect for setting up mysteries, it also resolves almost as many. That's important, because our world is a pretty mysterious place, and so time travel is often used by authors to resolve the things we don't get about our world, even as they set things up for a pretty awesome mystery story.If time travel was ever to be discovered - and as such cease to be a "mystery" - would time travel in writing die? Or at least not be as popular as it is now? Or is the mystery of time travel really that compelling?Image:

At the Theater

We've got lots of books and movies about time travel, but surprisingly few theater pieces (probably because time travel is really hard to reconstruct on a live stage since the actors can't actually travel in time). "Bay and the Spectacles of Doom" by Julia Cho challenges that.The plot is a time travel classic - a guy gets to go back in time to turn his life around, but of course, things are never quite that simple with time travel.The play premieres today in Aberdeen. You can read more here....

Crowdfunding Campaign

Breaker is set 2000 years in the future; Earth now resembles that of Mars mainly due to humanity draining the planet of its precious resources. Society now live in vast futuristic pods to survive and the world is run by one global government.This government creates TRP, the ripple project and build a race of beings called Breakers who are part human and part robotic that have the ability to time travel. The objective is to send these beings back in time to eradicate or collect people who have had a hand in Earths demise. The hope is to affect history changing the future, replenishing the planet back into a more habitable place, hence The Ripple Effect.Of all the things currently being crowdfunded, this has to be among the most cool. Breaker is a short film being developed by the award-winning Mike Le Han, and he's already got a decent team onboard. Judging by the visuals released already, its certainly going to be interesting.Interestingly, though, despite the popularity of time travel as a genre it often does very poorly in crowdfunding. Breaker is still in its early days of crowdfunding, but the initial response has been far from enthusiastic. Either way the film will be made, so perhaps fans are happy to wait a little longer to see what Le Han comes up with. Or maybe they have time machines and have seen it already.

Cool Fiction Event

Love reading / writing? Check out this week's concept writing prompt on - with a time travel theme. The prompt is for an old time machine that goes up for sale (see also the picture). Writers simply write a short story on that site's comments, and so far there have already been loads of really great entries, with lots of imaginative and different takes on the theme. It's a good broad topic so there's definitely something for everyone in there. Check it out!

Worth Looking Out For: Interstellar

Christopher Nolan, best known for recently producing the Superman reboot and directing the Dark Knight trilogy, is also the producer for an upcoming time travel film called Interstellar. It's got an all-star cast and some of the greatest minds in Hollywood - like Hans Zimmer and Steven Spielberg - have been working on it.But the real story is that the film tries to be scientifically plausible.The script is based on the work of Kip Thorne, the scientist who came up with the idea of using Wormholes for time travel when Carl Sagan needed help to make his book Contact viable. Amazingly enough, Kip surprised much of the world by inventing a method that worked. Contact was then made into a feature film starring Judy Foster - but Hollywood didn't push nearly so much into the film as they are for Interstellar (Contact ended up delivering a moderate gross profit).Not only is the film's story based on real science, but Kip himself is an executive producer. Whether this stark clash of what could well be scientific reality and what is just a bunch of entertainers in front of a camera works out remains to be seen, but it's interesting nonetheless.You can read an interview with Kip about all this here....

Ron Moore to make time travel series

If you know the hit sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica, Ron Moore is the guy who made that (he's also made another sci-fi series this year already, called Helix). And if you don't, know that there are probably few people better placed to adapt Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" novels into a TV series."Outlander" takes place in two time continuities, 200 years apart, in Scotland. It was the best romance novel of 1992 in the RITA awards. This is the first time it has been adapted for screen.The series will be 16 episodes long and begin filming in October. Not too long after the next book in the Outlander series is due to come out.Read more here....

The 7 Basic Types of Time Travel

Forget the seven basic plots - it turns out there are seven basic ways to time travel as well. Of course, human imagination is not really limited to seven of anything, but these are the seven ways in which time travel has generally manifested itself in writing. You can find a more complete description of each of them at Time Passes NormallyIn almost all books, characters travel at a constant rate through time. Though the most familiar and probably the most scientifically accurate model of time travel, it's also (as the article points out) really boring.2. You can go back, but you can't change anythingAlthough the past can be changed, the present will always for some reason remain unchanged. This, of course, begs the question of WHY you can't change anything, but there's a number of good reasons writers have come up with (dumb luck being the favorite).3. You can go back, but only changing certain things has big consequencesThis model is entirely ridiculous from a scientific or logical standpoint, but it also is among the most entertaining (think "Back To The Future" or "Star Trek"). It allows writers to focus on what's important in the story rather than on how every line of dialogue will have an impact.4. You can go back and you WILL change historyThis is a kind of inversion of (2) - no matter how hard you try not to disturb the past, the present will be changed as a result of anything you do. Again, this model is plagued with philosophical issues, not least the fact that big changes you cause should have probably affected you getting into that time machine in the first place.5. There is more than one "timeline"A sort of "easy way out" for writers, this turns time machines into doorways to parallel worlds. Of course, this means that you can never go back to the world you started in, but that's a small price to pay for reasonably consistent time travel, right?6. Time is a loopA very clever and popular kind of time travel that essentially involves a person bumping into themselves over and over again (at the same point in time). Although more fiction than science, time loops and breaking them somehow does make for interesting and head-spinning narrative.7. Timelines convergePerhaps the most difficult kind of story to craft, you might travel back in time to change somebody's history, but then somebody else goes back in time to change your history, and makes everything alright again. Although almost impossibly complicated to keep track of since the story has to be essentially written backwards to make sense, it also incorporates most of what makes the other models entertaining....

Time Travel Humor

Science fiction and humor go together like hitchhikers, guides and galaxies, but time travel comedy can sometimes be among the best.Satirical newspaper The Onion reported a month ago that time travel has been invented in the form of "snooze" buttons on bedside alarm clocks. As they report:Gahh, he [the time traveller] added as he eyed his current time coordinates with disapproval, immediately discerning with the insight of years of time-travel experience that he had yet to journey far enough into the future.With a vigorous and confident strike of his hand, Conley reportedly engaged the ignition button again, initiating a second staggering surge though the chronological ether. Quickly assuming the proper supine position necessary for time travel, the temporal voyager pulled close his duvet heat barrier for the fantastic light-speed journey before him.Read the article at,32339/Also worthy of note is the list of predictions internet legend "captain obvious" has made on the parody website "Uncyclopedia", including...People all over the world will have to purchase a new calendar within the next twelve months.~ Captain Obvious on the futureWithin two to three years the price of stamps will increase by an amount.~ Captain Obvious on the futureSomeone will die today.~ Captain Obvious on the futureSomeone will be born today.~ Captain Obvious on the futureYou will eat food within the next thirty days.~ Captain Obvious on the futureTomorrow will be another day.~ Captain Obvious on the futureThe future is coming.~ Captain Obvious on the futureRead more at

Roses in Moonlight

Check out this book review of this romance/time travel crossover novel by Lynn Kurland: Seems to be a bunch of new books and films appearing around now on the topic of time travel and romance, although the two genres have gone hand in hand for almost as long as time travel stories have existed. Still, one this actually looks to be pretty good, as Lynn Kurland has been writing similar stories (like "A Dance Through Time") for a very long time, to consistently positive reviews. This one also has loads of mystery elements so it's pretty exciting too. Here it is on Amazon....

Famous Time Travellers

This article from TruTV (who are usually known for crazy reality shows) gives a pretty solid overview of the most famous time travel stories of all time, except that it somehow misses H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine"! Interestingly the first fiction story of time travelling sounds most like what scientists today believe might actually be the most plausible form of time travel (accelerating in time). Since the epic story of "The Mahabharata" stems from c. 900BC (according to Wikipedia anyway), time travel is almost as well established as fiction itself.Check out the article here....