Monday, June 21, 2004

Time Travel

I've always been interested in time travel stories. I recently watched Kate and Leopold, which has the premise of "meant to be" time travel - it doesn't affect history because the person already entered the past, even though they haven't left the future yet. The "portal" time travel device employed is one of my favorites so far.

After that I read a Christian time-travel novel I've had sitting around for a while, Twice upon a Time. A man travels to past for about a minute and his friend stays. When the man goes home, he finds out his son drowned four years ago, though the man saw him alive just yesterday. No one else in the world knows anything happened, and the man has to go back and figure out what his friend did that changed history. He's the only one who knows that his son's alive since he went back for that one minute. It's quite complicated.

But in the young adult time travel novels I've read, there's very little about changing history. The most mentioned is an object brought from the future and accidentally shown to someone. Is this because young adults can't grasp the concepts? Or aren't the books long enough to go into this?

Perhaps time travel changing history is only a plot device used when need, ignored when not.


Derek said...

I haven't read Randy Ingermanson's time travel novels set in first century Jerusalem, but I plan to. I'd like to see how he handles it.

A friend of mine was working on a sort of time-travel novel called The Time Camera, which is based on a theory that says every particle in the universe is tied to another somewhere--an "entangled pair". I can't understand it, but the science was fascinating, as were the implications.

Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

I haven't read Randy's novels, either, though I've gleaned a little from his site. Time travel fascinates me - science does not. I'd rather stick with writing about separate worlds (i.e. Narnia) until I understand the scientific concepts of time travel.

Derek said...

I've always been kind of a science geek--although not enough of one to major in one of the disciplines in college. My wife, who writes far better than I do, has a degree in molecular biology. She's a great help when it comes to details for the sci-fi conspiracy type stuff we write.

A great site for inspiration, and a great reminder that science and scripture are not mutually exclusive, is Lambert Dolphin's website ( In his "library" you'll find dozens of articles by accomplished scientists who also accept the Bible as written, from Genesis to the Revelation.

But back to time travel. It seems to me there are quite a number of issues raised by time travel: Temptation, either to change the future or use knowledge of the future for personal gain; responsibility; self-control; sacrifice (would you change the past if it meant saving someone you loved, or would a sense of responsibility to the future give you the strength to resist that temptation?); and, one I haven't seen addressed, how would God respond to somebody messing around with the fabric of space and time?

No One said...

Nonsense, I think young adults can fully grasp time travel, much more clearly than adults can. When I was a teen (before accepting Christ) I was reading (most of) Michio Kaku's "Hyperspace". Not to mention X-men, star trek and other sci-fi does a great job of making time travel understandable.

Now the question is, and one I've thought about for my own fiction, is what are the theological implications of time travel? That's all I can say really. I haven't even started it yet, but I have a great way to make time travel work from a Christian perspective, though it may raise other problems, but those little wrinkles can be ironed out as they appear.

For now just putting finishing touches on my very first (completed) novel, then it's finding an agent/publisher and off we go. What's it about? Well, that's sort of a secret too. But if it gets published I'll let u know.

No One said...

Wow, an old derek gilbert post! Love PID, we're facebook friends now, but man small world for us Christian nerds!

Pat said...

Who is the author of Twice Upon a Time? It sounds interesting. Time Lottery by Moser is a good one with a Christian theme.

Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

The author is Dennis M. Van Wey.

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