forum Time travel!
Started by @garbage-owo

people_alt 44 followers


Does anybody want to share their own time travel systems and help others avoid paradoxes? I'll start with mine: the timeline is a never-ending string. It cannot be changed in any way. However, separate timelines can be bought (illegally) in packs of days or weeks. Events can be altered in these timelines, but they are secondary and ultimately do not affect the primary timeline, except if somebody is killed and their soul is removed from the timeline. This, however, never happens, as separate timelines are illegal, expensive, and generally extremely difficult to obtain. There's also incorporeal time travel, where you can visit any day in the primary timeline, but you cannot affect anything (you're basically a ghost).


I'm writing a story with a time loop (think Miss Peregrine's) that turns out to be inside the character's head as part of a science experiment.

@Penelope L

I'm probably not going to use this, but the basic idea is that if you travel the opposite direction as the Earth's orbit at light speed, and with the correct technology, you can travel backwards in time.


in my story, time is constantly in flux. It is possible to change things without nasty consequences. Most of the minor paradoxes sort themselves out. Though it is best to leave events before your time stream alone, as that could rewrite you and possibly delete you from the time-space matrix. observation is OK though. If you only change events that happen in and after your life you will stay basically the same, as time travel enables you to remember different streams of personal history.


In mine, my MC's soul is bound to a space-time sword capable of creating new dimensions, pocket dimensions, and traveling back and forth in time. Because the sword is bound to my MC, at the moment it can only travel throughout the timeline of my MC's world. The sword takes her to a pocket dimension where she sleeps, and then will randomly pull her out and transport her somewhere in time, and her actions are set. ex. She meet her father, and meeting her father causes her father to be banished, which is when he meets my MC's mother, and eventually my MC is born. She is then pulled back into stasis once her body can't handle the stress anymore (as she is both in the physical realm and astral realm given the nature of the sword, and it is physically exhausting).


I never heard ideas like these before - you all have an interesting perspective on the subject of time travel. Personally it's one of my favorite topics to discuss about - so I'm quite happy that a thorough discussion like this was started. And you've all done a good job avoiding the paradoxes that come with time travel. Not gonna lie, I'm impressed with all of your ideas! Keep up the impressive work!


Ah man, I loathe time travel with a fiery passion, which is why I set to find a way to work it into my universe paradox free. and the solution was to….make it just really boring. My time travel requires weeks of arduous and mind numbing research and math to find to learn about when and where the traveler is going. Then one needs enough electricity to punch through into the forth dimension and travel backwards in time to get where they need to go. in my universe time travel missions are highly restricted and the only missions that get approved are things that won't effect the time line which mostly means finding objects that were lost to history before they're lost. while in the past the rules are pretty much you can't talk to anyone or touch anything or draw attention yourself at all, when the mission is done the travelers have to go to these special hidden caves called hostels that are set up with cyrostatsis pods, and the travel has to sleep their way back to the present. It's mostly paradox free but, again… pretty boring. But I'm actually okay with that because again
I loathe time travel.


I see potential in your ideas. And the last bit was especially interesting - you should certainly elaborate on that.
The thing is, if scientists were to somehow invent a way to travel through time (not saying that they would), wouldn't they need a whole lot of calculations to get the results they wanted? Per say, they send me back in time to the American Revolution to get a first - hand account of the experience. They would have to do some bit of research to make sure I come back alive so I can inform them of what I saw - thus, getting the results of their experiment.
Your ideas aren't boring - they're realistic. And I'm not saying this to flatter you - this entire time - travel idea you have going on makes some sense and may ensure you a paradox - free universe after all.


Yeah a large sum of the research would be mathematics, because something that everyone knows but I think tends to forgot about is that the earth moves, so if you just sent someone back in time you'd more than likely send them back into the cold abyss of space if your math was wrong. (Something I like doing when I use it in my stories to is have the characters go back but arrive dozens of even hundred of miles from the place the wanted to be due to mathematically errors just to add "realism")
I like adding the cryosleep angle because it adds another level of risk, time travel is obviously dangerous to the timeline itself but also the traveler as they have to lie for hundred of years unconscious hoping nothing kills them as they sleep. And though I haven't had the guts to do this to one of my main characters I have had supporting characters die this way thanks to a pod malfunction or an outside force of man or nature destroying it.
I really appreciate your interest though thank you, even though the traveling itself may not but so fun I really enjoyed trying to figure out a way to make it work.


Why thank you! Personally I'm quite interested in the topic because I want something new - nowadays most of the media portrays time travel in a confusing, unrealistic, irrelevant mannerism that barely considers what paradoxes could come with such a feat. At least, what I have seen.
However, everyone in this forum has something interesting to say - and I love it. But I'm quite fond of your perspective, especially since it also takes reality into play and it, ironically, makes it more interesting.
My say on time travel also revolves around reality, with a twist(?) thrown into it. If it were to exist, I believe that many people would use it dishonestly. They would attempt to go back in time and change something in their previous experience for the better of themselves - or something along those lines. If time traveling was openly available to the public, anybody could use it - be an everyday citizen or a president withholding immense power. This would mean that major scientific companies would keep it hidden from the public for the better of everyone, really. Think about it - if too many people were traveling through the space - time continuum in one setting, it could really mess up the universe. Or, even worse, if someone chooses to time - travel with no knowledge whatsoever, they can end up doing something wrong which may end up the universe to fold in on itself or whatnot, getting humanity all killed in the process.
Maybe I'm overthinking it, I really don't know.
To me, it would be lesser of a paradox if time travel was available only to the scientific industry in the form of (only) one mini - vehicle that can only hold five scientists at a time. Additionally, none of the scientists can revisit events in their lives, no matter how old they are - they have to go back to true history for research purposes only. Then again, the vehicle might malfunction somewhere in the process, leaving any unfortunate scientists who were in it strangled within the spacetime continuum. And who could forget that some scientists in particular may screw up, disobey the rules set for proper time travel, and overall have straight - up bad intentions?
Sorry, I attempted to figure out the science behind time travel - it gets real confusing once you start considering it.


Yeah undoubtedly the safest option for time travel would be to have it done as seldom as possible, if it got to hand of the public certainty the world wouldn't last long. Then of course there is the multiple time line option, which I've always thought was an interesting solution's. Every time someone goes back and makes a change when they return they actually come back to a different world/timeline where that event happens and all is well for them, however the original world/timeline would destroy itself over the paradox - so as far as a narrative device it's interesting because though it does kill a universe off screen theoretically as long as you switch perspectives and continue the story in the new timeline nothing is effected. And then that just ties into the whole multiple verse theory over all.
I also think time travel is safe when its done solely for observational purposes, If a traveler is almost like a ghost as in they can't be seen heard or felt then there's really no danger in it at all seeing as they wouldn't have the physical ability to change things even if they wanted to, and their wouldn't be a problem with recreational time travel in the hands of the general public.
One thing I do for my universe is say that time isn't actually a line but a ray, meaning that this exact second is the furthest time has ever been and the future isn't made yet, this makes things a lot easier for me because it's just less time to worry about.
But that being said also traveling to the future can be paradox free IF the traveler never goes back, cause really nothing would change, going to the past is where things get messy.


As far as using Time travel as a narrative device I usually dislike it but there have been some shows that handled it in a really enjoyable and clever way that you might find interesting. So i thought I'd share some of my favorites

The 2003 movie timeline is a pretty fun flick, it begins with a team of archaeologist who are unearthing the grave of a married couple from centuries earlier, then they find a pair of modern eye glasses that are hundred of years old and discover their friend who went missing was actually transported to the past. the plot starts and they have to go back to 1350 to save their friends and end up trying to save a kingdom from an invading army and when all is said and done one of the team members decides to say in the past with the 14th century woman he's fallen in love with. Then when the team returns to present and finish excavating the grave they realize it had been the grave of their friend and the woman all along. There was a line (that I'm going to paraphrase) that still makes me smile after all these years, one of the team members read the inscription on stone coffin"Andre Marek died 1387-" and then added "-born 1983", the inscription also reveals he had three children, each of them named with the medieval equivalent of the archaeologists' names.

Years ago I watched the show Warehouse 13, they used a method of time travel that was kinda like quantum leap where a traveler's mind would be sent back into the body of someone from the past, that someone's mind would just be blacked out the whole time as the traveler used their body. In this show the two agents went to a very old retired agent for some information (I forgot what it was it's been years) She couldn't tell them what she need so the two present day agents went back in time into the body of her and her former partner/late husband when they were both young in the 1950s. Before they left though the old woman gave them a a charming old woman story about how she had had a crush on her partner for years but never had to the guts to say it until one day she woke up and he was kissing her in an apple groove and they were together ever since. The two agents go and get the information hey need, but since they can't bring it back with them they bury it under an apple tree (and you can guess where this goes) so they can dig it up in the present day. Once they get back the present the old lady says she wants to go back just to see her husband again but because of how old and frail she is the agents know that sending her back would be a one way trip and she'd only have a few seconds in her old body before she'd die. But the old lady does it anyway, and her mind is sent back into the body of her young self in that apple groove where the two agents had left their bodies. She kisses her partner who says something along the line of 'I had no idea you liked me' and then he kisses her back and it's at that moment to old woman's mind dies and her younger self mind wakes up in a lip lock again just the way the old lady described. This is obvious a major paradox but it was done so sweetly and forgivably


They do sound interesting - I appreciate your suggestions. You know, I'm going to take a look into these movies once I have the time - which doesn't happen often nowadays.
Also, the time - travelling method of quantum leap sounds interesting indeed. I'm going to do a bit of research on that.