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Fun Tails

and Time loops in stories. Time, Time travel

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The Pecman mentioned that he was working on a story with time travel elements and that it was hard to avoid gags and setups that other stories/ movies had aready done.

So I thought, just for reference, we should compile a list of time travel story cliches as well as some suggestions for Fresh takes on time travel.

On top of that we could discuss the time paradox and time loop problems in stories.

For the uninitiated,

The paradox is where you travel back into the past, kill Hitler and then come back to find that the Earth is ruled by giant lizard aliens because you changed things, which means that you never built a time travel machine, which means you never travelled back to kill Hitler, so he lived, which means that the Lizards never took over the world but that means that you DID build the time machine.....

The loop is where you realize that whatever you do when you travel back already happenned. The movie 12 monkeys was like that, where we begin by being told that the past cannot be changed. The main character realizes that his actions in the past *CREATED* the situation in the future which sent him into the past.

I personally find time loops frustrating and unrealistic because it ignores causality. Of course, that's what makes them appealing to others, but to me, a time loop would never form, unless there is some process of recursion by which a time paradox can shift into being a time loop? hmm, maybe that's a story idea worth thinking about...

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The first thing you have to do is work out the theory of the time travel you are using because that will control what paradoxes are possible OR why they aren't possible. You need that so you can be consistent on what is happening.

For example, under the parallel timeline theory, going back in time and changing history actually creates a new future BUT leaves the original future there as well. You have just moved to a new timeline. You may be "orphaned" as far as building a time machine (ie. in the new timeline you didn't), but as you aren't a native of the new timeline, there's no paradox.

Another issue is best shown by asking a simple question: How do you prove who built the first time machine?

If a time machine is built then others will be built and you will have a multitude of time travellers. Someone could travel back to the 1500s (say) and build another one there and start sending people from that era around the time-verse.

In one science article I saw, the theory for time travel required a machine at BOTH ends. So if you built a time machine NOW, then people from the future could come back to NOW, but not any further.

A very good novel with solid theory on time travel is James Hogan's "Thrice Upon a Time". If you can find it (he can be hard to find in most bookstores), have a read.

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The guy who, to me, is the current reigning "King of All Time-Travel Knowledge" is my old friend David Gerrold, famous Star Trek writer (and neighbor of mine in Northridge). David's theory, from his much-admired book The Man Who Folded Himself, was that the moment you went forward or backwards in time, the time line itself splintered into multiple time-lines, just like separate lanes on a freeway.

That meant, for example, the moment a major historical event occurred -- say, the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy -- several different time lines were created: 1) a world where Kennedy had only a minor wound, but lived; 2) a world where someone other than Kennedy died; 3) a wound where Kennedy had a serious wound and still had to resign the presidency; and 4) immediate death from a head-shot, which is what happened in the time-line we live in now.

These time-lines don't interset. They go off and each become their own little self-contained universes, otherwise identical, except for the widely varying paths of what followed in life. For example, with item #1 above, there's a good chance that the Vietnam war would've been curtailed, saving the lives of millions of American and Vietnamese soldiers. Protest music might not have ever existed. Thousands of new lives would've been born in a completely different world. I suspect Nixon would never have been elected in 1968. And on and on and on.

So I see paradoxes not having to be a problem if you buy into the concept of separate time-lines. That way, I could "theoretically" go back in time and kill a family ancestor but still not affect my own life -- because I jumped into a different time-line. If I stayed in the same time-line and killed my grandfather, *poof* I'd immediately disappear. (Which begs the question, how was I born in the first place if I was eventually going to grow up and kill my grandfather?) According to Gerrold, you can't tamper with your own time-line, and that makes sense to me.

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Very few time travel stories actually address the most serious concern of all. The earth is travelling around the sun, and the sun in hurtling through space as part of our galaxy. If we time travel only a moment, we end up in space, whether we travel to the future or the past. To travel in time yet remain at the same geographical point, the machine needs to have movement capabilites. In one story, the moment a small object travelled in time, it effectively became a projectile travelling at thousands of miles per hour since it had stopped, relative to the earth's motion in space. Just think about what it would be like if you actually stepped out of a jet going at full speed. You stop, it continues on. Conversely, a relatively stationary bird can enter the cabin (or engine) like a meteor.

Dan Kirk has taken a whole different approach, in taking time travel to be possible only by memory transfer, and only into your own younger self.

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Then there's (5) someone else was the shooter.

Star Trek's various series initially were clever with the time travel story, but in Voyager, they often overdid their time travel stories by going through loop iterations too many times. Ultimately, it can be either confusing or ho-hum to the reader/viewer/listener.

I'd second James P. Hogan's "Thrice Upon a Time" and recommend "The Proteus Operation," his "Giants" novels, and "Code of the Lifemaker." His writing's a mix, IMHO.

"Temporal mechanics always gives me a headache."

-- Capt. Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager

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The first thing you have to do is work out the theory of the time travel you are using because that will control what paradoxes are possible OR why they aren't possible. You need that so you can be consistent on what is happening.

I agree with that, but it's not as hard as you think. I think as with any fantasy, you just establish some simple rules, stick to them, and don't throw in any quirks that confuse the reader.

I also read a ton of time-travel novels (some cited in my forward), along with references like Paul Nahin's Time Travel (Science Fiction Writing Series). He points out there's only a handful of ways to (fictionally) jump around in time: 1) machine [ala H.G. Welles]; 2) black hole/dimensional warp [ala Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time]; 3) faster-than-light travel (ala Star Trek); 4) magic [ala Harry Potter]; or the very rare 5) human thought, from Richard Matheson's beautifully-written Somewhere in Time. Just about any time-travel story ever written uses one of the above. (There are a few combinations, like Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic John Carter of Mars novels, where the hero goes into a cave, sniffs some gas, and winds up on Mars, thousands of years ago.)

The only way that worked for me for my story was #2: a wrinkle in time, a tesseract, opens up in a cave in 2007 and transports a kid back to 1864. Nothing else would work for the novel. And because we see all the people and events of 1864 from the viewpoint of a contemporary reader in 2007, I felt I had no choice but to write the story in 1st person (which I don't enjoy doing as much as I used to).

Another issue is best shown by asking a simple question: How do you prove who built the first time machine?

Not important. Who's to say there aren't multiple time machines? Dan Kirk wrote an entire series of novels that's basically about that problem: rival governments racing to be the first to build time machines, creating alternate pasts where one or the other succeeds. It winds up as quite a mess, albeit an entertaining one. David Gerrold's Man Who Folded Himself dealt with the problem of multiple time machines very well, though the story ends at the beginning, with the lead character wondering, indeed, where did the time machine he was using come from, and what happened to the inventor?

In one science article I saw, the theory for time travel required a machine at BOTH ends. So if you built a time machine NOW, then people from the future could come back to NOW, but not any further.

It's fiction. I say you can get away with it as long as it feels right. I once asked a NASA scientist about the Star Trek transporter, and he shrugged and said, "it's theoretically possible, but only if you had a machine on both ends -- one to take matter apart, and the other to put it all back together, atom by atom." But he agreed with me that, as fiction, it works 100% to just have people materialize and dematerialize with only the transporter on the spaceship.

I think time travel is in the same category. I say that the concept has been around for more than 100 years, and people grasp the idea and can work with it, as long as it doesn't get too confusing or screwed-up. The recent Butterfly Effect is an example of a good time-travel idea that goes very wrong by the end. Not a satisfying movie -- and yet, they're making a sequel to it.

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Very few time travel stories actually address the most serious concern of all. The earth is travelling around the sun, and the sun in hurtling through space as part of our galaxy. If we time travel only a moment, we end up in space, whether we travel to the future or the past.

Actually, I had already made notes on this exact problem more than a year ago, for my new novel. I have a short scene where my lead character wonders out loud, "shit! What if I materialize back in 2007, only the Earth has moved ten miles off course and I wind up frozen in outer space?" That was the reason for my scene where he finds another person from the future who wasn't as lucky as he was: the guy materialized inside solid rock. My feeling is: it's all luck, god, fate... whatever you want to call it. I buy that it's *possible* for somebody to luck out and reappear in very close to the same place he or she disappeared from.

Dan Kirk has taken a whole different approach, in taking time travel to be possible only by memory transfer, and only into your own younger self.

No, my good friend, the late Ken Grimwood, wrote a similar novel more than 20 years ago: Rewind, where a guy relives his life over and over again, aging to 45, dropping dead of a heart attack, and then instantly reawakening in his teenage body, 30 years ago -- but with all of his "future" memories intact. The big difference was that Dan used a machine for transporting the mind; Ken made it a Twilight Zone scenario, where the time-travel was never explained. Call that "reason #6" in my list: no explanation for the time-travel. The character is suddenly stuck in a different time, and has no idea why. "Submitted for your approval: the strange case of a man who winds up in a very different time and place than which he started. There's a signpost up ahead... he's in... The Twilight Zone." (This works much better when you hear my drop-dead perfect Rod Serling impression, which is really my impression of Dan Akyroyd's impression from SNL.)

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Ever since Mr. Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, which is these days being questioned, we have had a number of discussions in relation to time, space and dimensional displacement, reassignment etc.

From the point of view of a fictional story I can go along with pretty much anything provided that the events remain true to an intuitive logic or at least, as defined by the story.

Two things stand out to me in everyday language as not being well understood.

1. The idea that everything is cyclic and that we return to the same place, time or fashion on some predetermined scale of events.

My reading indicates that galaxies move through space in a spiral pattern, so while we may go round in circles we never end up in the same time or place in space. We sort of corkscrew our way in whatever direction we are going.

By extension I would say the same thing happens to our experience of life itself. We may have found ourselves a new boyfriend, but in fact he is still our basic idea of what we consider ideal. So we continue to repeat the experience, one lover after another, until we get sick of spiralling through the circle of our friends and acquaintances.

Unless we break the mould of expectation we never try the unknown possibilities of a totally different circle of friends to discover that wonderful Mr. Right who we thought was Mr. Not for me.

Time paradoxes are much the same.

2. There is often stated in Sci-fi stories the idea that there are multiple universes. This is an absolute absurdity. The definition of Universe is "Everything including whatever created it." (Pocket Oxford dictionary 1960 or thereabouts.) see also the first paragraph here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe

Uni-verse: uni = one

Verse = world (or body of worlds)

Hence: Universe is EVERYTHING, folks.

In any case the word Universe was, by convention, to be the one word that would always be the symbol for everything, whether within our sphere of experience or not. So it makes no sense to think in terms of multiple universes because they all will be part of the Universe already.

(Seriously I find it disturbing when Professors of physics and philosophy (especially metaphysics) do not understand this convention.)

Therefore multiple partners are all part of the same experience of maleness, but some males have a dimension all of their own, that we can never fully understand or even become acquainted with, e.g. Brad Pitt or other unobtainable male of your choice.

So time travel is probably like running around in circles trying to entice Mr. Perfect into bed when he thinks he is in a Universe all of his own.

Have I helped clear that up for everyone?

:lol::hug::hug:

PS. I love science fiction.

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A fascinating thread!

2. There is often stated in Sci-fi stories the idea that there are multiple universes. This is an absolute absurdity. The definition of Universe is "Everything including whatever created it."

Agreed ... but you can have an infinite number of them. Hasn't quantum physics pretty much proved the multi-verse theory?

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A fascinating thread!

Agreed ... but you can have an infinite number of them. Hasn't quantum physics pretty much proved the multi-verse theory?

And therein lies the fatal flaw in the multi-verse definition. There can only be one Universe. They should have called them multi-dimensions or multi-somethings.

All the "multi-verses" are a part of the Universe, given the definition of Universe as "Everything."

:hug::lol:

My braincell needs a rest. :lol:

Edit, addition: Of course the Universe by definition must also be infinite and eternal, because it goes on with out end or limits even if it is destroyed. Now that is the biggest paradox of all. :hug:

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Very few time travel stories actually address the most serious concern of all. The earth is travelling around the sun, and the sun in hurtling through space as part of our galaxy.

This one is relatively easy to do. Because of Einstein's theories, we have a concept of a space-time continuum. As such, travel through time and travel through space are related concepts -- they are just movement in different dimensions of the space-time continuum. Movement in more than one dimension at the same time (eg. time and space) is clearly feasible. How the machine handles it automatically is a separate question....

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I think mayb DesDU is being a bit too 'semantical' in his use of universe. True, the word started that way, but many words lose the meanign they started out with. Today, 'Universe' is pretty much a measure of the spacetime our earth sits in and any alternate Earths sit in parallel universes. To get upset about this natural shift in meaning is kind of futile. Think of all those people who say things like, "I want the word 'gay' back. I want it to mean happy and bright again instead of homsexual..."

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Anyways, the best way of dealing with potential story paradoces and loops that I've seen is in the movie Frequency. I mean best way in terms of story, not in terms of science. (IN terms of science, it was actually kinda weak.) What happenned in Frequency was that when an event in the past would change what came after, characters in the future, would develop duble memories, remembering both versions of events.

---------------------------------

I'm still waiting for us to start putting together that list of things that have been seen too many times in time travel stories.

Number one is the go back and kill someone to change the past story, I think.

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And therein lies the fatal flaw in the multi-verse definition. There can only be one Universe. They should have called them multi-dimensions or multi-somethings.

Aaaaaa, I agree with Fun Tails above. You're just being overly-concerned with semantics.

Whether you call it "galaxies within galaxies," or "alternate dimensions," or whatever you want, it's an exact replica of the place we're in now (virtually out to infinity in all directions), only with a few changes. Maybe even more than a few.

Read David Gerrold's Man Who Folded Himself. BTW, the most-recent edition (2003) adds back a lot of gay-related content that David had to omit from the book when it had first been published, 30 years earlier. Quite a lot of interesting ideas in that book -- I told him when I first read it in college, I thought about it for months afterwards. Easily among the top 5 best time-travel books I've ever read, and I read everything.

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When I was in the 8th grade I took my first Creative Writing class and was blown away by how much I loved it. I wasn't a very good writer (and I still have a LOT to learn), but it was the start of my second favorite subject (computers being #1). My first major class project was to write a 5,000 word story by the end of the first semester. Can you imagine what it was like for a 12 year old to have to write five thousand words? My mom's a writer, so I asked her how to get started. Like, what should I write about? It was a cry for help. What she told me was to think about a subject, something I'd read and enjoyed and been interested in, and use that subject (but not the story itself) and write my story based on that subject. I had just read a short story in Analog or Asimov's about time travel, and the paradox, and how the characters in the story met "themselves" in the past.

I thought about that. The plot didn't make sense to me, I was certain (as only a 12 year old can be) that you could never meet yourself if you traveled in time. Aha! Mom was right! There was my subject. I decided that traveling backwards in time could never happen, but someone could travel forward in time. My story was about a group of scientists trying to develop a time machine. One of the scientists got an idea and tried it out one night when no one else was around. (OMG, that is such a cliche!) He successfully traveled 5 minutes forward in time and waited for his friends to catch up to him, but they never could because he was always 5 minutes ahead, no matter what he did. He discovered that he couldn't go back, even 1 second. He couldn't do anything that would impact the past, even leave a note or a photograph. Everything would "move forward" with him. It was a different timeline, and he was removed from his own timeline so he only existed in one place, at one time, in one timeline. He could never tell his friends where he was, that while he'd succeeded he also proved that time travel was impractical. There was a lot more, which I don't remember right now. And some of these details probably aren't accurate. It has been 5 years, and that's a long, long time ago when you're 17.

I thought it was a good story, and I got an A for my writing, but the teacher said she didn't understand the story at all, that it wasn't rational. :hug: Obviously she wasn't a SF fan!

I'm glad this topic was started, it led me to remember that story, and that was fun. Maybe I should try to find what I wrote (it's stored somewhere at home) and use it as inspiration for a new story, a time travel story.

Anyway, that's my take on time travel and time travel stories.

Colin :hug:

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Colin, you really SHOULD revive that story, as it sounds fascinating, but you will have to resolve the issue of the protagonist being completely alone. It makes for a sad life, being completely alone, forever.

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The Pecman, Fun Tails,

At the risk of being thought of as pedantic, as well as semantic, I'm aware that insistence on a convention of definition of a noun is liable to bring us to a situation where "resistance is futile."

Notwithstanding that I try to accommodate irrational redefinitions of words for the sake of a good story, especially in science fiction, abandoning conventions of definitions in the academic scientific world, such as has occurred (at least in popular press articles) on such scientific theories as Quantum Physics and Chaos theory, brings to mind another much loved phrase: "Highly illogical!"

Maybe this is neither the time or space to look at these points. :hug:

Philosophically, perhaps we can explore these concepts in some stories or poems as have other writers.

:hug:

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Jesus, Des, you make my head hurt. :lol:

And I'm not saying anything about the collective intelligence of Funtails, The Pecman, or Graeme, because readng the very eye-opening posts you have made in just this forum, I know you are far smarter than I. But Des is the master of debate, no pun intended. Who would've thought someone on the bottom of the world would somehow manage to rise to the top, just like a bad yeast infection. :hug: Just kidding Des! :hug:

Anyway, I love this topic. Being a huge Sci-Fi fan and time travel in particular, I have my thoughts on time travel and have made a outline for a pretty fantastical story I hope to one day write.

But since this thread is really about clich?s in time travel stories, I'll offer one up.

I just watched a movie called A Sound of Thunder, I believe it was a Ray Bradbury short story written years ago. Matter of fact, the only person probably alive when it was written is poor Des. (wow, what is this, pick on poor Des day?)

To sum up a horrible movie, someone invented a way to go back in time, instead of using this technique to study the past, instead it was only used for taking rich men back in time to hunt pre-historic animals.

On one particular mission, a man accidentally steps on a butterfly, that's it, a single butterfly, changing the entire future of the world. Humans never evolved, instead the predominate species seemed to be a cross between apes and lizards. Really big fucking lizards.

But the future didn't change immediately, no, otherwise you wouldn't have a movie at all. Instead, it would change every twenty hours or so in what they called time ripples. With each ripple, more changes were made. They predicted that with the last ripple, humanity would be gone forever.

To me, this is the worst clich?, I will never believe that killing one butterfly, 50 million years ago, would really ever affect anything. The world is too big for that to be more than a hypothesis. Going back in time and introducing a virus that we brought with us, thus changing the future, I can see that more the killing of a single butterfly.

Jason R.

PS: I love Des down under. :lol:

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Jason wrote:

wow, what is this, pick on poor Des day?)

Don't worry Jason I am use to be picked on, its just that I never get picked by the muscle men.

Jason wrote:

Who would've thought someone on the bottom of the world would somehow manage to rise to the top,

I am quite capable of rising to the top but only if I really have to. I am very happy on the bottom, (downunder). :hug:

Seriously though, I think Jason should get an award for his intelligent and logical comment about viruses versus butterflies.

Great post Jason, you had me rolling on the floor with laughter. :lol::lol::lol::hug:

PS sorry if I hurt your head, I am usually quite good with head s.

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To me, this is the worst clich?, I will never believe that killing one butterfly, 50 million years ago, would really ever affect anything.

Ah, but that's because you never read Ray Bradbury's original brilliant short story from 1950, from which that travesty motion picture was made. The story made perfect sense and worked completely well, and was beautifully, beautifully written. It's considered one of the all-time great SF classics, also titled "The Sound of Thunder." I believe they later adapted it into an EC Comic a few years later, and that wasn't bad, either. The whole point of the story is that many events of modern life can stem from one tiny incident, like a domino that cascades forwards and causes a million different things to happen. Maybe stepping on a butterfly is a stretch, but I certainly believe that if you were to shoot the "wrong" dinosaur, it might lead to trouble.

The best adaptation of Bradbury's story I ever saw was one of the short pieces on The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" specials, where Homer tried to fix a toaster by jiggling with it in the garage, and managed to go back in time 100,000 years and wound up continuously changing the future, over and over again, by accidentally stepping on butterflies, coughing on T-Rex dinosaurs, etc. Absolutely hysterical from start to finish.

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Notwithstanding that I try to accommodate irrational redefinitions of words for the sake of a good story, especially in science fiction, abandoning conventions of definitions in the academic scientific world...

Aaaaa, you're being an old fuddy-duddy. I bet you cringe when you hear sound effects in outer space movies, too.

In cases like, I say you gotta go with your gut. If it works, it works. Sometimes, scientific accuracy has to fall by the wayside to make way for entertainment. Star Wars and Star Trek wouldn't have been 10% as exciting if all the outer-space battles had been silent -- as they would be in real life. Granted, this technique can work -- Kubrick's 2001 is a prime example -- but at some point, you have to concede that the public wants and expects "sound in space," even though it's wrong.

I think the same argument can be made for using the concept of "universes within universes" for science fiction. But to placate you, I will avoid using this phrase in Pieces of Destiny, and I'll just throw out some mumbo-jumbo about "alternate worlds" or "another dimension."

Do read Gerrold's book, though. As I often say around here, I will personally refund your money if you don't like it. The Man Who Folded Himself is the be-all, end-all best summation of time travel theory I've ever seen, and it holds up even 35 years after it was written.

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Did someone say 'debate'?

Now, I've got a hard on.

Colinian:

You should defintely dust off that story. You should also Defintiely get rid of the lone-scientist-in-the-night cliche and send his entire research team forward instead. this will allow you to have multiple characters to bounce off each other and show off different reactions to their predicament. Hell, you might even consider having the entire town transported forward into time. I'm sure the townsfolk would have a lot to say to the scientists then.

Also, read The Langoliers by Stephen King. He plays with this same idea, except his characters get left behind in the past.

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[quote name='The Pecman' date='Oct 13 2007, 09:24 AM' post='14347']

Aaaaa, you're being an old fuddy-duddy. I bet you cringe when you hear sound effects in outer space movies, too.

In cases like, I say you gotta go with your gut. If it works, it works. Sometimes, scientific accuracy has to fall by the wayside to make way for entertainment. Star Wars and Star Trek wouldn't have been 10% as exciting if all the outer-space battles had been silent -- as they would be in real life. Granted, this technique can work -- Kubrick's 2001 is a prime example -- but at some point, you have to concede that the public wants and expects "sound in space," even though it's wrong.

I think the same argument can be made for using the concept of "universes within universes" for science fiction. But to placate you, I will avoid using this phrase in Pieces of Destiny, and I'll just throw out some mumbo-jumbo about "alternate worlds" or "another dimension."

Do read Gerrold's book, though. As I often say around here, I will personally refund your money if you don't like it. The Man Who Folded Himself is the be-all, end-all best summation of time travel theory I've ever seen, and it holds up even 35 years after it was written.

I do feel terribly misconstrued here.

The point of my argument on the whole Universe topic is not how fiction treats the word, but that misuse of the word has been adopted in academic circles, thus denying us of a word for "it" all.

Scientific accuracy in movies (and the arts in general) is something of an essential oxymoron.

In other words literal representation is a soul destroyer in art unless it used as a means to justify the artistic statement. That doesn't mean however that suspension of disbelief is aided by illogical references. The nature of the story must be true to its own rationale.

Far from cringing at scenes as happen in space movies with sound effects, I actually champion them. Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, is a strange choice to use to illustrate, no use of sound in space, as most of the space sequences have a 100 Piece orchestra playing in them, creating one of the most exhilarating, mystical and philosophically meaningful experiences of mankind's' relationship to the Universe as well as a thrilling cinematic experience. The fact that it is also the most objective statement of the human Universal experience is what makes it so difficult for most movie audiences to cope with it. Of course this particular movie experience is less than accessible in anything other than a large (curved) screen presentation.

I am appalled by people who criticize 2001 because "the stars move" is cited as a flaw in the movie. What this tells me is that they do not understand that on small TV screen the stars do move, but it was never meant to seen on such a small screen. It was in fact meant to be seen on a giant 90 foot deeply curved screen that enveloped the audience so that when the camera panned the stars in space, the audience felt like they were shifting their view of them.

Granted, the scene where Dave chases after his companion in space, the space scenes are silent, but even here, this a deliberate artistic choice to heighten the suspense and drama rather than just to be accurate.

I would have thought a better example of literal use of silence in space would have been ALIEN, where as the advertisements proclaimed, "In space no one can hear you scream."

Pecman I have just finished (last year) working with a group of (some quite young as well as old) fuddy-duddies, all of whom think of themselves as connoisseurs of "film." For these people, Hollywood hasn't produced a decent film since Casablanca and only then because of its popularity.

The European art film or independent film are these peoples' reference with the rather boring absence of dramatic sound effects or music. They "loooove" the accuracy of an under-statement as well as under-budgeted, pretentious, pseudo-intellectual, self-righteous indulgence on film. They lacked any ability to even begin to understand the mechanics of the medium in which they proclaim interest, simply because they are obsessed with the image on the film at the expense of the sound along with professional expertise in film-making. These people have little or no knowledge of the audience/screen relationship from a technical point of view let alone how that relationship interacts with the dramatic art form.

Nowhere is this sent-up better than in the delightful new film, "Mr Bean's Holiday" where Mr. Bean's holiday video is mistaken for a Cannes film Festival masterpiece.

To return to the Universe definition, it is a hallmark of the arts that an entertainment can reveal and enlighten as well as while away the time. Great movies, books, poems, etc., all contain great experiences as well as great insight into the human condition. How they do this is usually by substituting reality with a higher or deeper understanding of that human condition through a constructed art form of literature, music and image often in combination with each other and with no small measure of drama. Artists understand that they make break the rules for the dramatic effect they wish to create. Science has to abide by the conventions of its abstracts or mislead itself as it has done in the adoption of the phrase multi-universes instead of the obvious "multi-verses."

To sum up:

Universe is the word used to define everything including its "creator." (whatever it might be.)

Multi-verses are the various worlds, or ideas of worlds including any variations thereof that make up the Universe.

Not too difficult to understand is it? :hug: Please send this definition to your local science professor.

As for the movies, stories, poems and books etc., Multi-universes are delightful misconception particularly if the music is good.

Whew!

:hug:

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Did someone say 'debate'?

Now, I've got a hard on.

Colinian:

You should defintely dust off that story. You should also Defintiely get rid of the lone-scientist-in-the-night cliches and send his entire research team forward. this will allow you to have multiple characters to bounce off each other and show off different reactions to their predicament. Hell, you might even consider having the entire town transported forward into time. I'm sure the townsfolk would have a lot to say to the scientists then.

Also, read The Langoliers by Stephen King. He plays with this same idea, except his characters get left behind in the past.

I think I will go through my stuff from intermediate school and find that story the next time I'm home from college. There's a very remote chance that it might still be on my desktop PC at home, but that's 3 PCs and 5 years ago, so "the chances are slim to none" as my granddad likes to say.

Colin :hug:

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