SciFi and Fantasy Book Club discussion

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GoodReads Authors' Discussion > Authors of TIME-TRAVEL books. Share theories and discuss the quantum mechanics of it all.

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message 1: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Gerard (ryandavidgerard) | 4 comments Hey all!

Time-travel is an intensely intriguing and imaginative subject.
I always loved Back To the Future as a kid! LOL.

I've written a time-travel novel series in which I tried to stray from the normal clichés though...
Because it's been done so many times, I wanted to do something different.
Maybe some of you on here would be interested in chatting about the "quantum mechanics" behind my theories.

So, the physicist in my books who's responsible for the creation of time-travel, stumbles upon the elements for time-travel during a childhood experiment. Eventually he uses electro-magnetism, combined with radiation and the experimentation with tachyons, to build a machine.
But his machine is global!
He builds a tunnel system around the world--6 points across the globe--gigantic electro-magnetic rings, the size of sky-scrapers, and bigger--big donut shaped structures with hollow centres in which the "pilot" passes through. He sits in a metal capsule that is drawn through each ring by magnetism. Radio signals channel the electro-magnetic energy to create the tunnel-like field through each ring, creating something like a magnetic "Jetstream" around the globe. Radiation is used to amplify the energy to create speeds high enough to zip the subject around the globe ( YES, like Superman, LOL ) the capsule itself is a miniaturized particle accelerator that emits the tachyons necessary, combined with the super speeds, and time-travel is achieved.

There is more though...I need to start work.
I have to go for now, but I'll be back to explain...

Please share your thoughts!

RDG


message 2: by Anna, Circadian heretic (new)

Anna (vegfic) | 9645 comments Mod
This is in response to the discussion in Time Travel Books.


message 3: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 685 comments Well, I do write fiction novels, many of which involve time travel, but I keep the means to do time travel rather vague and in the background, as I believe that theorizing about how to travel in time will only result in long, boring (for most readers) and rather opaque scientific dissertations that would detract from the book's intent to entertain readers. The 'how' is not what most SF readers are after: it is the 'what happens' as a consequence of somebody travelling through time. Discussing about complicated scientific hypothesis may satisfy some authors, but it will not result in satisfied readers.


message 4: by Trike (new)

Trike Ryan wrote: "the capsule itself is a miniaturized particle accelerator that emits the tachyons necessary, combined with the super speeds, and time-travel is achieved. ..."

Kind of sounds like the method used in the TimeRiders series.


message 5: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Gerard (ryandavidgerard) | 4 comments I have never heard of those. I'll have to check it out!


message 6: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 946 comments In Back to the Future there is a strong human connection. The scientist is the familiar brilliant but odd character and his invention causes a lot of problems. What I'm curious about with your series, is how he got the funding to build these machines world wide. I'm sort of thinking along the lines of Timescape where funding is always an issue. Is the MC an Elon Musk of the future? And also, if you want to share it, does the invention have a name.


message 7: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Gerard (ryandavidgerard) | 4 comments M.L. wrote: "In Back to the Future there is a strong human connection. The scientist is the familiar brilliant but odd character and his invention causes a lot of problems. What I'm curious about with your seri..."

In my series, it's a tad supernatural actually...
Without saying too much, it's a deal that's made between God and the Devil in which the Devil challenges God to a "rematch" so to speak. God agrees and sets in motion the plan to restart the clock and actually bring ancient times to modern times.

The Physicist is actually a supporting role, not the main protagonist, but he takes the number 2 seat.
Long story short, a talent scout for an international government agency recruits him out of a science convention and hires him into the developmental/experimentation division where he perfects his "machine" it's simply called--no name.
The Devil character is also hiding in plain sight as an outside contributor of funds into the project. A fortune that he builds up over earlier years that we see in the books, in which he spends his time in U.S. politics. Obviously he backs the time-travel project to see his "second chance" at killing God come true.


message 8: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 946 comments It sounds like an interesting interaction. I wonder if he succeeds and what would happen given free rein. Just thinking out loud so to speak. I'm tempted to think about real politics here but won't go in that direction. It sounds good.


message 9: by Bree (new)

Bree Verity (breeverity) | 28 comments @Ryan - Your theory sounds a bit like Tesla's Death Ray, only modified for time travel! (All over the world)
Mine is biological as well as physics... the problem with time travel is that a person's molecules would scatter apart at the speed of light, but my scientist discovered a certain DNA strand that can be made kind of 'sticky' so the molecules don't separate as they are traveling. Having said that, the above is about as much information as the reader will get about the process - pushing too much science in can (a) bore someone looking for a light read and (b) opens up all kinds of discussions about real science that I could never follow, since I am but a humble pen monkey, not a physicist.


message 10: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Gerard (ryandavidgerard) | 4 comments I don't think people are reading fiction to glean any insights into the possibilities of time-travel. If they are they looking in the wrong place! LOL.
Most would sooner turn to some of Tesla's own writings or even Hawking.

I think in general people accept what they're reading as exactly what it is, being fiction. Fiction is a "what-if" way of story telling. Wouldn't it be cool "IF" things worked this way. That;s why is it's so fun to write fiction because the imaginative possibilities are endless! You can do whatever you want! From the readers prospective they can enter into whatever world they want, only if they don't let their reality compass distract them.

Who cares if it's not believable? It's not supposed to be.


message 11: by Trike (new)

Trike Ryan wrote: "Who cares if it's not believable? It's not supposed to be."

I’ve read quite a bit about what actual physicists think of time travel — the short answer is that the math allows it, but the engineering and energy requirements are, quite literally, astronomical (as in, it involves devices built on the scale of a small moon and a significant proportion of the sun’s output) — which is fascinating in and of itself, but it does shut down 99.9% of story possibilities. You couldn’t do it on or even near a planet, for instance, because it requires a pretty large black hole.

Doc Brown would have bigger problems than Libyan terrorists, in that case.

As long as the story is internally consistent and has a cool factor, the method of time travel is unimportant. None of them are “believable” in the scientific sense, but making a stab at verisimilitude with some handwavium technobabble usually suffices.

The great thing about Science Fiction is that it takes a technology and looks at all the ways it can impact society in general or a specific set of people in particular. That’s true of any tech, no matter how fanciful. Whether it’s time travel or whatever, the author needs to examine the idea from all angles and come up with an entertaining way to use it. And not just in the way it’s meant to be used, but also the unintended consequences.

My favorite SF stories, including the best time travel ones, are those that serve up something unexpected that derives logically from the concept. Heinlein’s short story All You Zombies is a perfect case in point. It’s time travel, yes, but it’s really an exploration of narcissism and self-love, made literal in the protagonist’s case. It works as a metaphor, but it’s also crazy cool, all because Heinlein didn’t flinch from the possible consequences of that character in that situation.


message 12: by Varun (new)

Varun (varunsayal) | 17 comments The biggest caveat of time travel is location, and even HG Wells missed it. His time machine was stationary at the same place. But earth and planets and the solar system are moving all the time. Which is why I like to think of time travel as moving consciousness from one body in one time slice to another body in a different time slice.


message 13: by Ken (new)

Ken | 1 comments Virginia Hamilton actually had a series when I was younger titled Justice and Her Brothers. They managed to do so by linking together somehow - psychic powers iirc - and then moving their bodies through time.


message 14: by Carol (new)

Carol D | 42 comments Well, ironic this topic should arise because I'm actually an Enthusiast of Doctor Who. One of their writers Nigel Planer just came out with this Audio Drama Jeremiah Bourne in Time which took a different look at Time Travel.

I've seen the DW discussions on certain episodes though I've always been partial to the idea that while a fixed point must remain fixed, how it happens is always in flux, so when all of the Doctors saved Gallifrey, it still disappeared, but how it did could be changed. That's how I looked at it.

As to the 'possible hows' of Time Travel. Well, I'm not strong in maths so I'd have to see what others say.


message 15: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 964 comments My time-travel trilogy is coming out next year. My hero, a Victorian clergyman-scientist, has his own theory about space/time, which actually ties into string theory and the multiverse theories of quantum mechanics. His device is made of brass and steel, and looks like dividers.


message 16: by Tom (last edited Aug 06, 2018 12:04PM) (new)

Tom Wood (tom_wood) | 83 comments A tangent is retrocausality:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroca...

"Retrocausality is primarily a thought experiment in philosophy of science based on elements of physics, addressing whether the future can affect the present and whether the present can affect the past."

It could be an interesting plot to set up the story in the future where climate change has led to an impending tsunami that will destroy the story world. If only the hero can release the retrocausality thingy that will change what we are doing today. Powers that be stand in the way. As the huge wave rises, the hero is able to release the thingy, thereby causing a ripple effect through time that results in the tsunami vanishing just before it comes through the window.

It could happen...


message 17: by Trike (new)

Trike Brenda wrote: "My time-travel trilogy is coming out next year. My hero, a Victorian clergyman-scientist, has his own theory about space/time, which actually ties into string theory and the multiverse theories of ..."

Sounds interesting. What do you mean by “dividers”?


message 18: by Carol (new)

Carol D | 42 comments To date these are stories that I've seen with direct or indirect methods of Time Travel:
Doctor Who (of course)
Sliders (through parallels that had different time speeds)
A Wrinkle In Time (Tesseracting)
Jeremiah Bourne in Time (has to do with Memory and moving in time by not place)
The Time Machine
Outlander
Lynn Kurland's got a whole romance series of time travelers by means of magical phenomenon
Star Trek
The Librarians (I think? )
Buck Rogers......
There's a really huge list honestly. I think what matters is for the means of travel to follow the logic of the story world itself really.


message 19: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 946 comments One of my favorite movies is time travel, The Terminator. I would like to read a similar book.


message 20: by Carol (new)

Carol D | 42 comments M.L. wrote: "One of my favorite movies is time travel, The Terminator. I would like to read a similar book."

I'd forgotten about that one. And the one with Christopher Reeves in it. I was little so I don't quite recall the title but he goes back to like an early 1900's time but makes a mistake and winds up coming back to the more modern time all because of a penny.


message 21: by Tom (new)

Tom Wood (tom_wood) | 83 comments Deadpool 2 involves a time traveler.


message 22: by Trike (new)

Trike M.L. wrote: "One of my favorite movies is time travel, The Terminator. I would like to read a similar book."

The Harlan Ellison story “Soldier Out of Time” is similar enough that he successfully sued Cameron.


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