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The Time Traders (Time Traders/ Ross Murdock, #1)
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2016 Reads > TTT: The Rules of Non-Interference?

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Rob  (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments Ok, so I get that this is not the kind of book where we're supposed to be thinking too hard about the rules, it's one where we're supposed to just let it take us on a fun ride (and a third of the way through I'm having fun!), but I can't get myself away from being bugged by their attitudes towards interference. Tarps from a parachute-- can't leave that behind! Someone might stumble upon it and get a couple of new ideas about weaving! But (view spoiler) yeah, THAT won't cause any problems!

Does anyone have a way to make sense of the rules here? Or should I just take a couple more drinks and shut that part of my brain up for the remainder?


message 2: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tassie Dave | 3656 comments Mod
It's the Reds who kill. They don't care about wiping out villagers in an area that in the future will be the land of their enemies.

Maybe they will get lucky and wipe out Hitler's ancestors. Therefore making the USSR a much stronger country during the Cold War. I would imagine they'd be much less likely to kill Eastern European tribes who are their forebears.

It's only the Americans who worry about the consequences of interference.

They wouldn't even need to kill someone to affect history. We are all a products of millions of million to 1 events, that even if 1 is changed we do not exist.
If Ross and Ashe delay a tribesman on the night he was conceive an ancestor of Churchill/Bonaparte/Henry 8 etc, history could be so different.


message 3: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Knighton | 158 comments Can anyone think of an example of sci-fi, whether time travel or space travel, where the rules of non-intervention are rigorously followed? I find that they're more often honoured in the breaking than the observance.

It's something I like in the Culture novels, that Iain M. Banks has his characters pragmatically assess acts of interference, and often try to do them covertly. It's part of the story.

But usually, I expect to just gloss over that aspect in the interests of story.


Rob  (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "It's the Reds who kill. They don't care about wiping out villagers in an area that in the future will be the land of their enemies.

Maybe they will get lucky and wipe out Hitler's ancestors. There..."


I can't remember where, but I do remember the Americans explicitly saying that the Russians followed the rules as well, because any major changes to history would change their country and possibly wipe they themselves out of existence.

But yeah, I do take your point about how even the slightest things should have massive reverberations.

Andrew: Honestly, any story with stable time loops by necessity will feature non-interference, but those are boring anyway.


Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1500 comments Only if it isn't a closed loop. I.e. the hoary idea that they go back because they have always gone back :-)


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