Sunday, May 17, 2009

Time Travel Stories

When my son Thomas was preparing to head back to Dallas to start his new job, for no particular reason, we started debating modern physics and just how real this stuff was. I had great fun explaining vacuum decay and he was concerned that physicists were too likely to take math at face value and ignore logic. We also got into time travel and the paradox issue. Which was great, because I'm done with the plot editing of my upcoming Golden Girl and am down to tweaking the little things.

Probably, I'll have the novel converted over to InDesign and send it to Lulu to make the handful of pre-pub review copies I'll need sometime this week. This time, the cover art is lagging, so I'll make these early copies with plain covers. I still have months to go before release date, so I'm not worried (much) about getting the cover prepared. I'm getting it done by the same artists who did Emperor Dad, Lighter than Air, and Falling Bakward, and they've always been very professional.

Golden Girl is my first time travel novel, but I've written a number of shorter stories in that sub-genre. I'm seriously thinking of hauling out a few of those and letting them out in public, either as web-stories or possibly read them aloud as podcasts. I don't know yet. I even have enough of them to print a little anthology. Decisions, decisions.

I love time travel stories. There's nothing quite so likely to generate philosophical side-thoughts. From the writer's perspective, you have to tackle a number of issues right up front. Can history be changed? If not, why not. If so, then what happens to events and lives that were abandoned by the change. Do they vanish and fade away, and if so, what about the memories of the time-traveller? Does the change cause a branching universe? If so, then where does the energy of it's creation come from?

Lots and lots of questions, and for every choice, there's the possibility for a good story. That's one thing I kept trying to explain to Thomas. It doesn't matter which I believe, it just has to make a good story.

No comments: