Time Travel discussion

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Time Travel Books > The rules of time travel

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message 1: by Parker (new)

Parker Rimes | 4 comments Hi, this is my first post/comment after dropping it in the wrong place earlier.

I'd love to know what are the rules of time travel. I've recently received two reviews for my book The Backward Time Traveler, that mentioned it wasn't really a time travel book.

All TT novels have a device to hurl the protagonist back in time. Some use machines, some rely on lightning strikes, others, like S King, simply make their protagonist walk through a mysterious door.

All I did was to use out-of-the-techniques to allow the protagonists' consciousness to float away (there is no time on the astral plane) and channel into the bodies of a couple of Sioux and pass themselves off as locals living 200 years ago. Fifty percent of the book is set in the past with a modern POV.

Sounds like time travel to me.

Have I broken an unspoken rule?


message 2: by P.R. (new)

P.R. (columbyne) I wasn't aware there are any rules at all, in which case my book has definitely broken some or all of them!
Your book sounds intriguing and I wouldn't take any notice of the criticism - you're the author. If it's time travel in your eyes, then it's time travel.


Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) | 908 comments I don't think so. I think your approach is creative and could be effective. Now, there are lots of folks who read TT for the element of physical travel back & forth. But so what? That's not what you did. Good on ye'.


message 4: by Greg (new)

Greg Tatum | 8 comments Considering that no one knows how to travel through time, or if it is even possible, I don't see how there could be rules. Your method seems as plausible as any others I have heard. While some authors may try to use current scientific theories to explain their method of time travel, others like Stephen King, as you mentioned, don't explain it at all. I don't think I would be worried about a couple of reviewers that don't understand this.


message 5: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Tomamichel | 6 comments There are a few sci fi ones (Andre Norton, although I can't remember the title) where they are transported into another body. Norton's one has a time difference in that it is the personality from the past imprinting on the body and mind of the future.

With a time difference, then I guess yours is time travel. Do they travel back and forth or stay in the past?


message 6: by Parker (new)

Parker Rimes | 4 comments Cindy wrote: "There are a few sci fi ones (Andre Norton, although I can't remember the title) where they are transported into another body. Norton's one has a time difference in that it is the personality from t..."

They definitely come back. They were on a mission.


message 7: by Parker (new)

Parker Rimes | 4 comments P.R. wrote: "I wasn't aware there are any rules at all, in which case my book has definitely broken some or all of them!
Your book sounds intriguing and I wouldn't take any notice of the criticism - you're the ..."


I've always considered Time Travel books as a nifty way of writing a historical novel without being overwhelmed by the masses of research required to get everything right. The story told from a modern POV neatly sidesteps this extra work.


message 8: by Dean (last edited Jan 22, 2017 01:52AM) (new)

Dean | 163 comments I do have a preference for a physical piece of equipment that transports a person through time, but I am open to other ideas and don't dismiss a book because it doesn't explain how the TT takes place (though I always prefer a description of sorts - the more plausible the better).

I think my preference stems from wonderful childhood memories of watching 'The Time Machine" over and over again, and no doubt my love for the Back To The Future Films reinforces that feeling - after all, A DeLorean is the ultimate time-travel device.

It has occurred to me though, that Replay being my favourite TT book doesn't back this up! I suppose a physical machine works much better in a film, whereas in a book other methods are easily able to be explored as well.


message 9: by P.R. (new)

P.R. (columbyne) Parker wrote: "P.R. wrote: "I wasn't aware there are any rules at all, in which case my book has definitely broken some or all of them!
Your book sounds intriguing and I wouldn't take any notice of the criticism ..."

Indeed, and this is yet another take on the concept of 'Time Travel'. Interesting point.


message 10: by P.R. (new)

P.R. (columbyne) Dean wrote: "I do have a preference for a physical piece of equipment that transports a person through time, but I am open to other ideas and don't dismiss a book because it doesn't explain how the TT takes pla..."
I agree that 'devices' enabling time travel are usually (but not always) necessary in the visual arts. The beauty of the written word, however, is that other methods can be explored and utilised most successfully.
(I too spent many hours watching TV time travel series... Time Tunnel and Time Trax were among my favourites, alongside all the regulars :) )


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