Sunday, September 01, 2013

When Do You Want to Be?

When Do You Want to Be?

Time travel. Want to see Vesuvius erupting? How about tickling a triceratops? Want to fight on the fields of Marathon? Trojan War suit your fancy? Find out what the universe is like in 3000AD? Easy enough, right? You just get your time machine and go to the past or the future.

Hold your horses (chariots, steam vehicles, or jetpacks). It isn't as easy as that. For example, do you plan to build a time machine a la H.G. Wells, go through a wormhole in space, or simply fall asleep like the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court? There are a myriad ways to accomplish time travel, but none (as far as we know) have yet been proven to work.

That doesn't mean we can't write and read about it in a thousand different ways. We'll have to make do until the Eureka moment when a brilliant scientist creates the device which can carry us through time. Or, we might get lucky and find a portal through space/time to jump backward or forward. My favorite would be to hitch a ride with The Doctor in his Tardis.

Authors imagine a future universe and we can envision it through their work. Others tell us the stories of people who lived through historic events by placing their characters in the firing line of known history.

Another way to re-imagine the past is to think of a "what if?" scenario. Many alternate histories have been devised by clever writers. One of my favorites concepts was written by Winston Churchill. Invited to write an alternate history story, he chose to write "If Lee Had Not Won the Battle of Gettysburg." Wait a minute, Winston. Lee didn't win the battle of Gettysburg, so what are you getting at? In this story, Churchill re-imagines a future that didn't happen as if an earlier event did happen (which it didn't). Dizzy yet?

A relatively (ha! get it? Einstein, relativity?) new genre, steampunk, is extending the 'what if' to a new level. Is steampunk showing us an alternate timeline? Maybe one of my guest posters can illuminate the subject.

This month on this blog, you'll discover some modern writers who want to present their concepts of time travel and alternate histories for your reading pleasure. They all have things to say about how they came up with their ideas. Maybe you'll be reading the H.G. Wells, Mark Twain, H. Beam Piper, Andre Norton, Robert Heinlein, or other greats who all had something interesting to say about the subject.

I invite you to visit this blog throughout this month to find your new favorite author. Who knows? It could happen or it already happened if you believe time travel is possible.

Here's a list of my upcoming guests who collectively know just about everything on time travel and alternate history:

Pat McDermott: Irish kings still rule the Emerald Isle...and a princess is in trouble.
Renee Duke: The two little Princes in the Tower disappeared five centuries ago – so what are they doing in our time?
Sherry Antonetti: “Everyone thinks they know what happened in the Trojan war and afterwards, but no one ever bothered to ask me.” –Helen of Troy
Richard Levesque: What if all you had to do to make your dreams come true was violate the laws of the universe?
Penny Estelle: Billy Cooper shrugs off a history assignment until he comes face to face with a 14th Century legendary hero!
Heather Albano: Time travel via a timepiece? If you get the right one.
Pippa Jay: Space, time, sexy. What more can one say?
Penny Ehrenkranz: Lindsay Baker’s purchase of an antique mirror sends her back in time to salvage a love torn apart by class restrictions.
Nancy Bell: Would you like to be one of King Arthur's knights? No problem.
Frank Allan Rogers:  Can a 21st C. man survive in 1847?
And lil ol me to fill in the gaps with an Alt History story and using a wormhole to travel between worlds without taking any time at all.

To grab some classic time travel tales in EPUB, MOBI, or PDF format, click this link. The works in that directory are all in the public domain, so feel free to read without paying a penny for the privilege. Don't complain about formatting or strange typographical errors. You didn't pay for perfect. You didn't pay at all. So consider yourself privileged to revisit or discover some old tales that sought to twist the 19th Century readers' minds.

Click here to boggle your mind about all the possibilities and permutations of time travel.

Click here to get the lowdown on all the ways authors can tamper with history to create something new and exciting.

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