This week, I found myself writing about time travel. I like time travel because it’s weird. You could spend the entire story just trying to deal with the paradoxes. I find it more interesting to ignore the paradoxes and just tell the story.
The idea for this one started with the first several paragraphs about alternate timelines. I wasn’t totally sure how everything worked. I just kind of allowed that to develop.
More than most of the stories I’ve written lately, this one feels a lot like the prologue to something a great deal longer. Maybe I’ll revisit it someday. But probably not…
As always, please comment with your thoughts, share, or ignore! Whatever works for you!
Time for my weekly short story post! I presented this at the Not-So-Silent Planet open mic last night. The requirement was for a story that is 5-7 minutes long and this is actually a bit on the long side. I actually think it needs to be longer.
The basic inspiration for the story was “what if time travel was super easy and there were no consequences?”
There are consequences, though. There are always consequences.
I’ve written some serious stories the last few weeks. This one is a lot more comedic. As always, if you read, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
The central argument being made by Jurassic Park and The Lost World is if we bring dinosaurs back from extinction, they will destroy us. Humans, we learn, are just too puny to survive the return of the giant lizards and we will become a buffet for T-rex and Velociraptors.
Not being a biologist, I can only speculate that there are gigantic problems with this assumption as the current climate on most of the Earth is not actually compatible with dinosaur physiology. Sure, Velociraptor infestation would a problem in New York but could they survive the winter?
Science aside, here’s the big problem with this premise: Who cares? Dinosaurs!
If a scientist stepped up to a podium tomorrow and said “I can re-create dinosaurs but there are going to be a few problems…” every reporter in the room would miss what came next because they would be envisioning parks where you could saddle up to ride an Apotosaurus, go Pteranadon gliding and feed goats to a T-Rex.
Time travel is probably one of the most tricky conceits for any movie. The moment you decide your movie will involve time travel, you are immediately faced with the unavoidable fact that you can’t write such a story without creating a paradox.
How can the Terminator possibly succeed at killing John Connor since he already hasn’t?
If you are going to tell a good story about time travel, you have to embrace the paradox. You have to just accept that it doesn’t all make sense but if time travel were really possible, it wouldn’t all make sense.
If they can go back to the exact point in time they want to get some whales, why couldn’t they come back five days earlier so they wouldn’t be crippled by the probe?