Stay Away from Time Travel, Please
Time travel can seem like a really cool idea for fiction in theory, but it is actually incoherent and ruinous: since people have free will, you can't count on them doing the same things again if you rewind time. Every story that has time travel and doesn't consider this is harmful because it's eroding our culture's belief in free will even more than it already has been by materialism.
Consciousness is immaterial
You can get around this by saying the people besides the travelers aren't actually experiencing things again, the events are just being re-played without consciousness, but for that to work you have to not change *anyone's* experience *at all*. That would be pretty useless.
Someone might label as "time travel" the ability to wipe everyone's memories and reset the universe and then not have any obligation to fulfill the events that led them to time travel. That's different; if that's what you mean then fine, fair enough (in fact I've done this in my own stories). As long as your story respects that things won't play out the same even if you don't interfere (and that people are still morally responsible for what they did in the "old future").
I should also mention the idea of a "prophecy". This has the same inherent plothole as time travel: you can't know a future that depends on free agents before it happens. Most especially one that's that far forward.
I'd also like to mention the idea of changing the relative *rate* of time but not reversing its direction. That is, a character who could slow down time for only them, giving them more time to think or act while everyone else is moving slowly by comparison (this could be confined to your mind and only give you more time to think or also affect an area of physical space). This is actually well within the bounds of logical possibility and in fact I wish more stories would do it to show us that this is the real definition of time - defined order of events so they can affect each other, not an equal continuum.
subscribe via RSS