Time Travel discussion

Not Quite Time Travel... > All the ways to "not technically Time Travel"

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message 1: by Scott (last edited Sep 09, 2012 09:33PM) (new)

Scott (ArtRobot) | 63 comments I was wondering about all the possible plot devices that are "...not technically time travel" but have some similar element(s) we love about the genre. Plot devices such as:

- Parallel Universe/Alternate History
Not necessarily the product of time travel, just a 'what if' or crossing the multiverse.

- Memory playback
It might be personal or ancestral. Even an object can be said to retain a history of its experience. "If these walls could talk..." This might involve advanced brain tech, display devices or be as simple as reading a diary.

- Nonlinear Existence
Deep Space Nine began with a character trying to explain the concept of human linear experience to temporal beings but ultimately realizing we live nonliniarly through our memories. What if our experiences were more literally nonlinear? I think this is a subject I would like to read more of. Any suggestions?

- Reincarnation or Long Lived with multiple Identities/"lives" through the ages
This seems to be the major element of Cloud Atlas which reminds me of The Fountain. The short lived show New Amsterdam included flashbacks to the protagonist's Highlander-esque long life of different identities that neatly wove into each episode and the overall arc.

- Reversed time/life
I believe the character (by some accounts) of Merlin is the most famous example.

- Clairvoyance/Fortune Telling
like Minority Report

Have you seen good examples of these or others?

note: My editing this post multiple times is like going back in time to rephrase something I've said for a more desirable outcome. (A reply)

message 2: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
I keep thinking we need a folder for some of these just because they can be closely related and fiction containing these elements are likely of interest to our members. Particularly, I find fiction containing parallel universes to be of interest. Hmm ... I wonder if our members would be interested in reading a "not technically time travel" novel for our next group read.

Another example of "not technically time travel" would be cryogenics or other methods that would keep a person in a biologically-unchanged state for a period of time such that they would awaken biologically un-aged in the future. What would you call this? A "long sleep"?

message 3: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Amy, I would vote for that & I agree that if you're displaced from your normal Timeframe, then you have Traveled.

It's (cryogenics) been called many things & I used 'deep sleep' in my first book, although not in this context in that it's not how the journey unfolds.

Good job, Scott.

You need to talk to Brenda; she's good at lists, too.

message 4: by Tej (last edited Oct 30, 2012 06:47PM) (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1675 comments Mod
I like the exclusiveness of the group being a time travel group but wouldnt this section be the right place for all the themes covered in Scott's excellent list, anyway? We can just create threads for each etc?

As for book of the month, I personally like to keep it Time travel based. There are thousands of time travel books of various types and genres to keep things fresh.

Having said all that, there over 600 members in this group, of which around 30-40 participates in the BOM nominations phase. Maybe a "not technically time travel" novel will spark up more interest if that's what we want. On the other hand, we know we all like time travel but not all of us may like the spin off genres.

So guys and gals here is your chance to voice your thoughts on what you really want, what you really really want, to spice up your travels :)

message 5: by Heather(Gibby) (new)

Heather(Gibby) (Heather-Gibby) | 404 comments I would be ok with one month of a "not technically time travel' but I agree there are hundreds of pure time travel books I still need to read as well.
My one caution about the "not technically time travel theme" is that we get inundation of Vampire novels, and I am so tired of those books.

message 6: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Heather wrote: 'My one caution...is that we get inundation of Vampire novels.'

Heather, I didn't think of that.

Seems that they ,as Vampires, don't die out easily & not only am I sick of them, but their Zombie friends as well.

What's the point?

message 7: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2196 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "My one caution about the "not technically time travel theme" is that we get inundation of Vampire novels, and I am so tired of those books. "

Ew. You're right. We'd have to be VERY specific about what we'd accept and what we'd not if we ever did a not-quite-time-travel selection as a themed read.

message 8: by Tej (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1675 comments Mod
One of our group member author books, Destined by Allison Kraft was a fusion of time travel and vampire hunting set on the Titanic. Was quite a fun read.

message 9: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 613 comments I could easily be persuaded to read a 'not technically time-travel book." An example might be Orlando.

But first we have to read the perennial contenders Disconnected and Tom's Midnight Garden!

message 10: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Tej, I've no problem with vampire stories that have some other twist, just the same thing over & over that's done, if you pardon me, to death.

You'd have to be a Zombie to wade through them.

'Destined' sounds interesting though & one I've never heard of & seems more than just piling on a fad.

I'll check it out, thanks.

message 11: by Tej (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1675 comments Mod
I'll have to add Cryogenic Freezing (or long sleep) in the not technically time travel.

Movies that would fit this category are:

Idiocracy (which I just watched and is the reason for me posting this)
Demolotion Man
Alien 3

message 12: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Tej, Many TV shows (Star Trek) have also employed this device.

message 13: by Scott (new)

Scott (ArtRobot) | 63 comments I think Star Trek has employed every time travel device. ;)

message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul (PaulLev) | 730 comments Similar to cryogenics would be emerging from a long coma (which can be real not just science fiction).

message 15: by Heather(Gibby) (new)

Heather(Gibby) (Heather-Gibby) | 404 comments I just finished reading Artemis Fowl, and this book contains "freezing time" as a plot element. although I cannot think of any off the top of my head, except episodes of "Charmed" I am sure freezing time is a device used quite frequently.

message 16: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Heather wrote: 'freezing time is a device used...'

Heather, I'd say so & this new chapter on Youtube describes what can happen when the device is employed by those that know just how best to exploit its use:


message 17: by Jacqueline (last edited Aug 15, 2013 05:19PM) (new)

Jacqueline Patricks (JacquelinePatricks) | 112 comments Idiocracy (which I just watched and is the reason for me posting this)
Demolotion Man
Alien 3

All great movies! Aliens is one of my top ten, and Idiocracy just gets funnier each time I watch it. Scary funny, but still...

I like your idea of inclusiveness, Tej, while still shooting for time travel-ish plot devices. I find myself, as a reader and writer, fascinated with everything this thread has mentioned so far. Science, and thereby science fiction, fascinates me to no end. I think pushing the boundaries of science and genre is part of what makes great story telling. It's not too often that I meet true purists of anything and find them 'fun' to hang out with. I'd rather play with ideas and have interesting conversations, even if the end result is just goofing around. You never know what might be sparked.

message 18: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1289 comments Mod
Anyone catch the new show Forever the protagonist can't be killed or at least when he is, he comes back...and has been alive for 200 odd years...sort of time travel but technically not. Sort of reminded me of Winter Tale

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