Time Travel and the rigidity of fanfiction timelines (33)

1 Name: Gouken 20xx : 2009-12-01 19:02 ID:kAu3OsxY

"The most dangerous thing about time travel is how easy it is to cause a paradox. However, the worst kind of paradox is caused not by going into the past, but going into the future, since, no matter what you do...
YOU'LL ALWAYS FIND SOMETHING YOU'LL END UP WANTING TO CHANGE 'FOR THE BETTER'!" - Personal opinion.

Now, this is nothing about my latest little rant... well, not quite.
Whenever someone has knowledge of the future, it'll never go well. They always want to change something for the better, and end up rendering their future knowledge inaccurate or worse.

However, In fanfiction, for some stupid reason, people could go back to when they're only a dream in their parent's minds, and they wouldn't go out of their way to change ANYTHING of merit.
They'd treat it like they're suffering from the Butterfly Effect, or events seem to ignore all attempts to change them.

What are other people's experiences with time travel stories?
Am I wrong, or do more writers write a looser canon than normal and call it 'time travel' than actually change the past to make a better future?

2 Name: Marth : 2009-12-01 21:13 ID:t1/D/E0K

I actually prefer time travel stories where the past CAN'T be changed; where any "changes" made to the past either end up causing the future that the protagonist is familiar with, or the timeline just ignores any attempted changes.

If changes absolutely have to be made, I'm generally more on board for divergent timelines (in which the protagonist is basically shunted off into a "what if?" alternate universe stemming from the changes s/he made while the original timeline continues to exist unaltered) that for changing the One True Future.

So I guess I don't get what your argument is. By your own logic--where attempting to affect the future "end[s] up rendering their future knowledge inaccurate or worse,"--NOT trying to make huge sweeping changes to the future is the smart thing to do. Are you saying that you'd prefer more stories where the future gets screwed up because of people trying to change it? Or that you think it would be more realistic if they did try to change things, even if it ended up screwing up the future?

If it's the latter it all depends on whether s/he is used to time travel. If s/he is from a canon where time travel doesn't happen, it would make sense for him/her to try to change stuff, but if time travel is more-or-less normal in the canon, and ESPECIALLY if the protagonist has time-traveled him-/herself before, s/he should already know and obey the time travel laws of his/her verse, which may include knowing better than to try to alter the future.

3 Name: Gouken 20xx : 2009-12-02 05:22 ID:kAu3OsxY

What I'm getting at is this...

Even in canon where people don't understand the impact of time travel, they don't change much.
I know of a Evangelion story that had a odd case of cause and effect, where Third Impact kept still happening, and it ended up near-canon due to Asuka 'resetting' most of Shinji's good work.

I hate sweeping changes, true, like Minato meeting Naruto and finding some way to negate most of Naruto's hardships, but I also hate the idea of a One True Future.

I go by the theory that time travel into the past to put right what once went wrong is fine. It's if someone goes into the future and assumes something went wrong that's when the mess begins.

4 Name: Ran Fan : 2010-01-15 01:16 ID:SbYLpOSE

I hate it when people write correction fics. I'll accept mostly when they do it's because whatever idiot wrote the original scene was pants-on-head retarded, but it bugs me when people immediately jump to change back whatever got changed.

With a few major exceptions, such as Torchwood sereis 3 and the amount of people who get ganked at the end of Deathly Hallows, people need to realise change is good. Without major change, like say a plot twist that people don't like, or a character death, things get stilted, stuck in a rut and mostly deadly of all, boring.

5 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-15 03:09 ID:+TdtKIgQ

That said, correction fics do not have to remove plot twists and the like - in fact, more can sometimes be introduced if the characters behave rationally and consistently. Certainly, that's the principle I was intending to go for with my planned Code Geass fic - I think, for instance, that having Lelouch as just a very smart teenager hopelessly out of his depth and struggling to keep up would be most interesting.

6 Name: OCDx : 2010-01-15 09:18 ID:3vLG4n4H

i think going forward has to have one of two things happens...the person/people doing the traveling lose their memory of it when they return, or they go off into an AU

going back is the same sort of idea, except the people in the past are the ones who can't remember or go off into the land of AU.

changing the past/future doesn't work. it kind of ruins the whole point of the story - what happens to characters makes them who they are ie in Harry Potter, Harry doesn't just want rid of Voldemort because he'll kill him if he doest. Voldemort killed his parents (james & lily), then took away the only family he got back (sirius), then his mentor (dumbledore) - if you take out one of those events, you change the character.

7 Name: OCDx : 2010-01-15 09:19 ID:3vLG4n4H

i think going forward has to have one of two things happens...the person/people doing the traveling lose their memory of it when they return, or they go off into an AU

going back is the same sort of idea, except the people in the past are the ones who can't remember or go off into the land of AU.

changing the past/future doesn't work. it kind of ruins the whole point of the story - what happens to characters makes them who they are ie in Harry Potter, Harry doesn't just want rid of Voldemort because he'll kill him if he doest. Voldemort killed his parents (james & lily), then took away the only family he got back (sirius), then his mentor (dumbledore) - if you take out one of those events, you change the character.

8 Name: Lupa Dracolis : 2010-01-15 13:37 ID:zHLoFsLy

Something that's quite interesting is in the X-men TV series from the sixties. They have people from a post-apocalyptic future go back to the present day to 'fix everything', and they do - but as a result something else goes wrong. Basically the future is still screwed, just in a different way. Eg - They go back in time to stop the assassination of the president by a mutant to stop all the mutants being hunted in the future, and as a result the anti-mutant baddies create a 'plague' that is supposedly spread by mutants. They fix this, but then millions of people die due to the plague, etc etc.

9 Name: tiger002 : 2010-01-15 13:59 ID:3+2GY++M

Time travel is fun. One of my favorite fics involves the world nearly being destroyed, so the hero goes back in time to help his past self grow strong enough to stop the evil from destroying the world.

10 Name: Iaculus : 2010-01-15 14:47 ID:+TdtKIgQ

... You do realise you just described roughly 90% of the Peggy Sue fics in existence, right?

11 Name: ... : 2010-01-15 15:41 ID:0JGcQazR

>>8- X-Men TV series from the SIXTIES?

12 Name: Lupa Dracolis : 2010-01-15 16:13 ID:SMdEZU+O

>>11 Yeah! It's truely awesome!...least, I think it's the sixties...

13 Name: ... : 2010-01-15 16:34 ID:0JGcQazR

If you mean the animated series, it's from the nineties. Quite a difference. There was one other pilot episode in 1982, and nothing before it, television-wise...

14 Name: Chris000 : 2010-01-17 13:18 ID:ZozQP3nD

Time travel is simply impactical, not impossible. Do most authors even realise how time travel works? Even if they want to change something for the better be it for personal gain or someone else, they would create a scenario where they wouldn't need to travel back in time in the first place, thus negating that the trip took place at all, and destroying the very fabric of the universe as we know it.

Sorry, had to let my inner. Hard SF fan out.

15 Name: ... : 2010-01-17 13:25 ID:0JGcQazR

Technically, nobody knows how time-travel works, as it currently doesn't.

16 Name: Chris000 : 2010-01-18 13:03 ID:Mwiyz9bQ

Well no, you're right, but theoretically that is how it would work. Some people have even speculated that one can only travel between points where a time machine was invented in the past and in some future point in time. Otherwise, it is impossible.

17 Name: Lupa Dracolis : 2010-01-18 15:46 ID:z67K8LSM

>>16 I think I heard that idea too. I'm going to go with 'you don't travel back, you travel sideways, ie. to a parallel dimension'.

18 Name: LASER : 2010-01-18 16:07 ID:ZXCQfBNu

time travel will never work for three very simple reasons

1) too many people would end up stepping on prehistoric bugs and we all know how that ends

2) too many people would try and kill hitler, the traffic would be unbearable

3) too many people would forget about arriving in the past naked, the embarrassment alone would be enough to disrupt spacetime

19 Name: Chris000 : 2010-01-18 21:48 ID:ZtVU6n13

Yes, we've all seen the Simpsons, we know how screwing with the timeline would work.

I had to lol at #3.

But even more traumatic than messing with the past is messing with the future, because whatever you did there, you unavoidably cause as soon as you get back to the present! For instance, you travel to future, find out monkey uprising takes place, one gets into your time machine back to present and monkey causes revolution!

This is, of course, assuming Free Will doesn't exist.

20 Name: Chris000 : 2010-01-18 21:48 ID:ZtVU6n13

Yes, we've all seen the Simpsons, we know how screwing with the timeline would work.

I had to lol at #3.

But even more traumatic than messing with the past is messing with the future, because whatever you did there, you unavoidably cause as soon as you get back to the present! For instance, you travel to future, find out monkey uprising takes place, one gets into your time machine back to present and monkey causes revolution!

This is, of course, assuming Free Will doesn't exist.

21 Name: Lupa Dracolis : 2010-01-19 10:09 ID:z67K8LSM

Free Will doesn't exist in a story. It's Author's Will. And if the author wills there to be time travel...well, so long as it's written well, and not obviously stolen from something else (eg; in a telephone booth, d'lorian...) then I have no problem with it.

22 Name: LASER : 2010-01-19 10:36 ID:ZXCQfBNu

Simpsons?

uh... I was actually talking about that Ray Bradbury story

23 Name: LASER : 2010-01-19 10:41 ID:ZXCQfBNu

oh I think I've seen that one actually

24 Name: Chris000 : 2010-01-19 17:09 ID:ZtVU6n13

@21,

I dunno, I still don't feel comfy with it unless it fits into the general framework of reality.

25 Name: Lupa Dracolis : 2010-01-20 00:45 ID:ezTuQmXp

and yet on checking your link, I find several fics about a blue hedgehog who can talk? Doesn't seem all that realistic to me!

26 Name: Wolf-Kaiserin : 2010-01-20 15:07 ID:SQfRE4xk

Hey there :)

I'm a fan of backward travel fics but not forward travel. I'm for example planning a Count Cain/God Child X-over with the Time Travellers Wife. Seems random but I have some really good ideas for the main femal OC (always use OC's XP) however that's more to do with finding a place to belong rather than changing the past. I think that so long as a fic is written well and has a good plot it can pull anything off.

27 Name: Chris000 : 2010-01-20 22:15 ID:PvXZBVkA

@25

There's a difference between plausibility and scientific and physical impossibility (at this moment). Ha ha, I was on the receiving end for that one though.

Well, I explain HOW such things happen. It's not like, BOOM this happens with Applied Phlebotinum (look it up...). I like to explain what goes on and how it happens within the limits of reality. Anthropomorphic animals? Scientifically possible to make. I'm sorry, 'make' is unkind. Uplift sounds better.

Technically I induce time travel where one place is located 12,000 years from the current date in the story. The other is our 'present'. I am totally guilty of not explaining how this works, but I'm TRYING to cook something up to satisfy spacebattles.com.

But that's another story...

28 Name: Lupa Dracolis : 2010-01-21 09:05 ID:QtDEnDRi

Uuhh.. a temporal anomaly in time? A wormhole? The scientists discovered it by accident while trying to teleport?

29 Name: Chris000 : 2010-01-24 20:49 ID:6YgDNPrG

Hey, it can happen! Wormholes are theoretically possible and have been theorized not only to transport a user between two points in space, but also along time as well. Theoretical physics makes major appearances in my stories (a hedgehog able to crack the sound barrier for example, or a fox being able to lift his own body weight with helicopter rotors for tails), but I also point out that most great discoveries were made by accident.

Other than this, physics and time works exactly straightforward, Newtonian Physics and Space Stealth and all that.

30 Name: zhan198578 : 2011-11-13 23:53 ID:E9nfUCtO

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31 Name: Anonymous : 2011-11-18 14:47 ID:eiaGuevh

>>29 How do you know any of that? I have a genuine curiosity and would like to know your sources, if you have them available. (=

I think a character going back in time to change something just disagrees with me - I'm all about lives moving forward, dealing with the past, not trying to erase it. A character going back in time to watch something and learn something is much more interesting for me.

32 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2011-11-26 22:55 ID:2WeThoRE

>>32 - There are various time line theories out there. For example, some state that if you future and past self meet, you'll have a grand old explosion, while others state that if they meet, nothing will really happen. I got most of my timeline theory knowledge from reading and watching stuff that deal with timeline theory.

33 Name: Chris000 : 2012-02-03 19:07 ID:2PwDQXjC

@31 Here's a Wikipedia source on Time travel since my initial comment was made two years ago.

"Wormholes are a hypothetical warped spacetime which are also permitted by the Einstein field equations of general relativity, although it would be impossible to travel through a wormhole unless it were what is known as a traversable wormhole."

This is a chapter I wrote on the semi-plausible nature of Slipstream travel

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5001987/16/UNSC_Galactic_Codex_3238_Edition

In other words: we don't. That's why it's a theoretical model!

and to @28: No teleportation was ever involved. This was a proto-FTL concept that was meant as a slingshot towards another high gravity well, like a star (Proxima Centauri was the target), however, a gap between alternate universes (theoretical in nature) was broken and I have written a detailed entry on alternate universes in context with my storyline here:

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5001987
/18/UNSC_Galactic_Codex_3238_Edition

Also take into account that the story you're talking about was THE FIRST STORY I EVER WROTE IN 2006! I have taken astronomy classes since then and learned more about the nature of the universe so my ideas can better fit accepted cosmological laws.

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