Squiders, I am bringing this to you even though I have overdosed on candy and may die. That’s how dedicated I am.
Time Travel is generally considered a subgenre of science fiction, but there’s been some controversy lately. You see, Einsteinian physics state that time travel is impossible. No can do. You’d have to destroy the universe to do it, and that’s just not worth it in a lot of people’s eyes. (Those fools!) As such, some people are now clamoring that Time Travel be considered fantasy, since it’s not scientifically plausible.
Those people are tools, by the way. As we discussed in Hard Science Fiction, not all science fiction has to be scientifically applicable. (You know what else is theoretically impossible with current physics? Faster Than Light travel, the backbone of Scifi series all over the place.) Intent and feel, as always, are important when determining genre.
So, Time Travel, a common trope that science fiction writers love to exploit over and over and over…whether you can slingshot around the sun to rescue some whales, fly through time and space in a police box, or whether your genes determine that you can puncture the fabric of space-time. (I’ve read a couple of books now where people are genetically predisposed towards time travel. It’s like the best of scifi’s two favorite tropes, time travel and genetic modification.)
Time travel can involve people from the past going into the future, people from the future going into the past, or people from the present going whichever way they want. They can bounce around in their own lives or visit the span of human history. They can influence events or merely watch. They can go by machine, ship, genetics, or their own minds.
Often time travel is mixed with alternate history and alternate universes. (All of which are awesome.)
And for those of you that are sad that science says it’s impossible, well…Einsteinian Physics has some problems, and some of the new physics show that it might be possible. (New Physics also like multiple universes. New Physics is awesome.)
What are your favorite time travel tales, Squiders? I highly recommend the rather excellent The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger if you haven’t read it.