PDA

View Full Version : Time Travel



katatonic
10-05-2008, 04:29 PM
Hey everyone,

I'm having a little trouble coming up with ideas on how one could time travel without a time machine.

I guess i'm looking for a new, original way that doesn't require a time machine or some sort of device/mechanism.

Any input would be greatly appreciated

Cheers

Julie Worth
10-05-2008, 04:35 PM
A knock on the head worked for Mark Twain. Or going through a door, a dream, walking through a mist, or staring into the eye of a supposedly extinct fish. A heart attack. Death. Anything violent. Rubbing an ancient coin. Step around a column of the Parthenon, and there you are in ancient Greece. Combine them: rub a coin, then have a heart attack. Get mugged in the Parthenon, knocked out; wake up and the builder is yelling at you.

Puma
10-05-2008, 04:46 PM
I'm not absolutely sure about this - but what about human will through time regression? I don't know whether you've ever seen anything on "out of body" experiences where people have been able to will themselves out of their bodies and into the "spirit world". My idea would be an extension of that wherein the character would be able to work his or her mind back through time (maybe in a somewhat hypnotic situation induced by a natural event like falling rain or snow) and then at whatever point the character wanted to join the past - will himself/herself out of the body and into the period of time. One caution, from what I've read about out of body experiences (and from the one person I know who tried it), it's damned hard to get back. Puma

katatonic
10-05-2008, 04:57 PM
Thanks for your replies. Some great ideas there, both complicated and simple.

I guess i should state that he needs to do it more than once. I'm also having a hard time figuring out how to differentiate it from the Butterfly effect. I want that same kind of thing where he can go back and redo parts of his life. However, in my story the focus won't be on the unintended consequences but more of a "you cant change fate/destiny" kind of thing.

Julie Worth
10-05-2008, 04:59 PM
You can get around paradoxes by appealing to the "many worlds" theory of quantum physics. As for the you can't change destiny, that's rather old.

katatonic
10-05-2008, 05:07 PM
Yea, you're right the destiny thing is old but what isn't. Everything's been done. However, it will be fairly subtle in my story and only really emerges at the ending where it results in the same outcome.

I should also mention that this is a screenplay too and i don't want to make it all sci-fi'ish, if you get what i mean.

Cheers

Oh, Julie i was wondering where does staring into the eye of a supposedly extinct fish come from?

comradebunny
10-05-2008, 06:51 PM
My mind jumped to a play by David Ives. Every time the couple (who were just meeting) said something wrong, a bell would ring and they would get a second or third chance to do the right thing.

Perhaps, you could give your character something that allows him not to just go back, change one thing, and return to the present, but jump back to a point and then relive everything (while retaining the same knowledge). Put a limit of times he can do this. Then, after he's used all his chances and he achieves the same fate, he realizes that fate is set.

benbradley
10-05-2008, 07:50 PM
Yea, you're right the destiny thing is old but what isn't. Everything's been done. However, it will be fairly subtle in my story and only really emerges at the ending where it results in the same outcome.

I should also mention that this is a screenplay too and i don't want to make it all sci-fi'ish, if you get what i mean.

Cheers

Oh, Julie i was wondering where does staring into the eye of a supposedly extinct fish come from?
Hmm, if it's not "sci-fi-ish" then the other big alternative is metaphysical. Perhaps have an angel take the person back. The angel doesn't have to say anything, just appear, and then in a whiff of Holy Smoke they're both at the desired place and time period.

Who's decision is it to do this? From what little context you've given, I'm thinking it might be the angel's. Just before disapppearing and leaving the character in the past, the angel might say "once you complete your task here, you will return home," thus the character knows he/she's got to do something.

RJK
10-05-2008, 08:00 PM
Time Bandits had a map that led them to the holes in the universe. You could use something like that, on a localized basis.

Deb Kinnard
10-05-2008, 08:40 PM
If it works for your story, perhaps a talisman? Suppose he finds an old astrolabe or a compass (no, not the Omni from "Voyagers"), and if he twiddles with it exactly right, it will take him back-? Of course, there'd be a limit on how many times he could invoke it, and the device won't indicate its limit. So he never knows if it's hit its limit, so he could get stranded in 1740, or go back to his own time and be unable to time travel further...

Just a thought.

ManyAk
10-05-2008, 08:49 PM
The movie Donnie Darko gives an interesting view on time travel. I suggest you watch it, it might be really helpful (if it's not, at least you'll enjoy a really good film).

FinbarReilly
10-05-2008, 09:48 PM
1) Human Will Regression: Watch "Out of Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

2) YOu could have the person be the one that seals the fate, and realize that if he hadn't gone back, the fate wouldn't have been sealed....

RG

mscelina
10-05-2008, 09:51 PM
Witchcraft.

At least that's what I'm running with.

Memnon624
10-05-2008, 10:30 PM
Robert E. Howard wrote several stories about a character named James Allison -- a wheelchair-bound man from Texas who was but a shadow of his former self. In the story "The Marchers of Valhalla", Allison is visted by a goddess who unlocks his memories of a "Pre-historic Texas filled with barbarian hordes, lost cities, and that magnificent, beautiful, death-loving sense of wonder REH had."*

REH had several other stories that explored past lives and 'racial memory'.

Best,

Scott


*From a review at Fire and Sword (http://www.fireandsword.com/Reviews/marchersofvalhalla.html).

Calla Lily
10-05-2008, 10:55 PM
1) Human Will Regression: Watch "Out of Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.


Just to save Google-frustration, the movie is Somewhere in Time, based on the novel/story (not sure) Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson.

I'm not an anal-retentive geek. Naah...

FinbarReilly
10-06-2008, 01:42 AM
Weird...I always get that title wrong...

So, how about the action is happening in the past, but there is some sort of opportunity to change the past, like in that X-Files re: the ship where Mulder just slips into the past? You don't need a mechanic unless it's realy important...

FR

Perks
10-06-2008, 01:46 AM
1) Human Will Regression: Watch "Out of Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

It's 'Somewhere In Time' and I was thinking the very same thing. Plus, it's a very pretty movie. And it makes me cry.

rtilryarms
10-07-2008, 07:22 PM
Traversable wormholes have not been exploited enough in Sci Fi.

It is a true strong current theory.

Einstein proposed that a time machine IS possible but from the moment a special machine is made and engaged on. He believed in wormholes as the best way to go back in time.


If I wrote a time-based sci fi I would go back in a wormhole, make Einsteins machine and come back. I think under that theory, I would come back to just prior to the time I went back since I would have to program the machine before going back in the past.

The complications resulting from tht scenario are awesome. Hey, maybe I wil write one lol.

Higgins
10-07-2008, 08:04 PM
Hmm, if it's not "sci-fi-ish" then the other big alternative is metaphysical. Perhaps have an angel take the person back. The angel doesn't have to say anything, just appear, and then in a whiff of Holy Smoke they're both at the desired place and time period.

Who's decision is it to do this? From what little context you've given, I'm thinking it might be the angel's. Just before disapppearing and leaving the character in the past, the angel might say "once you complete your task here, you will return home," thus the character knows he/she's got to do something.

Or the Ghost of Christmas Past could shove them into the scene...

jannawrites
10-07-2008, 09:56 PM
Hey everyone,

I'm having a little trouble coming up with ideas on how one could time travel without a time machine.

I guess i'm looking for a new, original way that doesn't require a time machine or some sort of device/mechanism.

Any input would be greatly appreciated

Cheers

I'm currently reading a novel - Time Lottery (http://www.amazon.com/Time-Lottery-1/dp/1586605879) - in which characters "travel time" when scientists and doctors help them subconsciously revert to places in their memories. I can't explain it eloquently, but the "travelers" are able to change their past by the decisions they make and, potentially, choose to say there. Check it out! I think it's done feasibly, in a fascinating way.

:)

Sean D. Schaffer
10-08-2008, 07:07 AM
I read an article in one of those Science magazines (Not an SF mag, a Science mag) where someone wrote that time travel is scientifically possible -- IF you go forward in time. According to the article, going back in time is an impossibility.

The methods the article listed included everything from flying in an airplane (they say you travel ahead in time depending upon which direction, East or West, you travel in a jet liner), to traveling forward in time using a Supermassive Black Hole, etc.

Of course, I don't know where to find this information, so you'll have to do some digging to find this article. I do seem to remember this article being located in an Astronomy magazine, and in fact, it might have been named 'Astronomy' Magazine. So you might want to start your search there.

I hope this helps you out to some extent. Best wishes with your manuscript. :)

rtilryarms
10-08-2008, 05:33 PM
The impossibility of going back in time depends on how you define it.

It is a reasonably strong scientific theory that if you could be on a planet 100 light-years "right now" and had the technology to see earth with something like a big-ole-hairy telescope, you would be observing earth 100 years ago.

hence the wormhole theory. hop a wormy and you are on planet 100 and get you a Hubble X 1,000,000,000,000 and you are observing The Chicago Cubs Defeating the New York Giants (yes NY) 4-2 to get into the World Series with Detroit in thier last World Champ year.

Kind of makes ya wanna do it huh?

hammerklavier
10-08-2008, 05:57 PM
The impossibility of going back in time depends on how you define it.

It is a reasonably strong scientific theory that if you could be on a planet 100 light-years "right now" and had the technology to see earth with something like a big-ole-hairy telescope, you would be observing earth 100 years ago.

hence the wormhole theory. hop a wormy and you are on planet 100 and get you a Hubble X 1,000,000,000,000 and you are observing The Chicago Cubs Defeating the New York Giants (yes NY) 4-2 to get into the World Series with Detroit in thier last World Champ year.

Kind of makes ya wanna do it huh?

There was a book written, I think it was called Macroscope, by Piers Anthony, maybe? Anyway, it had that idea. Only problem is, there would really be no resolution to actually see anything of that detail from such a distance, regardless of how powerful the telescope.

hammerklavier
10-08-2008, 05:59 PM
Go to Amazon and read the description of a book called House on the Strand by Daphne Du Maurier. Some interesting time travel caveats in that book.

There was some book, can't remember the exact title, something about an exile, where a scientist built a time machine that only worked in one location on earth, only could send people back in time, and only went to one particular time period. Adding lots of twists and complications to something like time travel makes for a better story. Seems like the time traveler's wife did that as well.

hammerklavier
10-08-2008, 06:02 PM
If it works for your story, perhaps a talisman? Suppose he finds an old astrolabe or a compass (no, not the Omni from "Voyagers"), and if he twiddles with it exactly right, it will take him back-? Of course, there'd be a limit on how many times he could invoke it, and the device won't indicate its limit. So he never knows if it's hit its limit, so he could get stranded in 1740, or go back to his own time and be unable to time travel further...

Just a thought.


I like that idea. Another would be to have some Da Vinci fanatic going through his notes and finds some diagram of a device with only a few criptic notes by Da Vinci. He tries building the device and it causes some version of time travel.

MelancholyMan
10-08-2008, 07:46 PM
Just say "no." I hate time-travel plots.

benbradley
10-08-2008, 09:02 PM
The impossibility of going back in time depends on how you define it.

It is a reasonably strong scientific theory that if you could be on a planet 100 light-years "right now" and had the technology to see earth with something like a big-ole-hairy telescope, you would be observing earth 100 years ago.

hence the wormhole theory. hop a wormy and you are on planet 100 and get you a Hubble X 1,000,000,000,000 and you are observing The Chicago Cubs Defeating the New York Giants (yes NY) 4-2 to get into the World Series with Detroit in thier last World Champ year.

Kind of makes ya wanna do it huh?
Yes, but simply moving 100 light-years in less than 100 years effectively IS time travel. Time travel and going faster than light are the same thing in Einstein's world of relativity.

But if there just happened to very conveniently be a large perfect mirror 50 light years away reflecting right back at Earh, you could aim your big telescope at that and see everything 100 years ago.

There was a book written, I think it was called Macroscope, by Piers Anthony, maybe? Anyway, it had that idea. Only problem is, there would really be no resolution to actually see anything of that detail from such a distance, regardless of how powerful the telescope.
I remember that novel. As I recall, the macroscope didn't "see" with light, but instead some fictional particle. It was "aimed" at the Earth at where it was at a particular time, much like the attempted communications (hope that's not a spoiler!) in "Timescape."

Witchcraft.

At least that's what I'm running with.
Yeah, exactly. The "dark side" of what I was suggesting.

Just say "no." I hate time-travel plots.
A lot of people do read these things, but maybe we can get a bunch of Senators' wives to get the covers of such novels stamped with "EXPLICIT WARNING: Contains Time Travel Plot" so you don't accidentally buy and read one, subjecting yourself to such filth.

Hmm, this could be a new stealth marketing ploy to underage readers...

Deb Kinnard
10-09-2008, 02:03 AM
Haha! MM, you won't wanna read my next book, then. "Dear Author" said: 'What? An inspy time-travel?'

I say: Yes.

MM, you can read the other ones, but my new one is unabashedly a t.t. and I'm tickled pink that it sold.

FinbarReilly
10-09-2008, 04:29 AM
There's also the Trancers method: Only information can go back in time, so you can interrupt TV transmissions for messages. By the same measure, a person can travel through their genetic lineage to the past.

Suffice to say, there were some interesting jokes, such as the big beefy commissioner with a potty mouth in a little girl's body.

FR

hammerklavier
10-09-2008, 06:48 AM
A knock on the head worked for Mark Twain. Or going through a door, a dream, walking through a mist, or staring into the eye of a supposedly extinct fish. A heart attack. Death. Anything violent. Rubbing an ancient coin. Step around a column of the Parthenon, and there you are in ancient Greece. Combine them: rub a coin, then have a heart attack. Get mugged in the Parthenon, knocked out; wake up and the builder is yelling at you.


Following this coin idea... it could be an enchanted money belt from ancient rome. You put in a certain combination of roman coins and it takes you to that year (could also transport you to the some other location based on the types of coins, where they were minted or whatever). So the first time the MC uses it he goes way back in time and then has to figure out how to get back to his own time (might have to scrape up a sizable amount of denarii).