Yet another time travel conundrum...1,424 Views4 RepliesAdd A Reply
I'm writing a bit of sci-fi and I never see anyone discuss this aspect of time travel...
Let's presume you travel back a hundred years and interact in some small way with a person from the past. This would create a split in the multiverse and you would return to a very similar (nearly identical), but different present.
My questions is, what happened to YOU in the original world? You would just completely disappear out of that world and never be heard from again. Family and friends would be like, "What the hell?"
Concurrently, you would be returning into the present of a parallel world where another "YOU" presumable already exists. Kind of like Primer.
So once you begin time traveling you will always be a wanderer. Never able to get back to your original universe, you would be forced to take up home in an identical "YOU"'s world. Of course you would probably have to avoid that other YOU or keep time traveling until you pop into a universe where another YOU doesn't exist and you can fully inhabit that world as your own. But then you'd always be a stranger there too. Someone who's from nowhere with no parents. Is this making sense to anyone? Thoughts?
That's effectively what happened in Back To The Future. When Marty returned to 1985 it wasn't the same as when he left. However I think it's implied that the Marty in the old timeline AND the new timeline went back in time in the Dolorean (as evidenced by him seeing it happen - though the Marty going back was already in a the new timeline).
On a similar note I highly recommend The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold.
Anything in time travel is possible because it doesn't really exist. You can come up with anything you want because no one knows what would really happen, so write whatever you feel is your opinion on time travel.
It still has to have some rules. In something like 12 Monkeys you can't change the future because it's already happened. Things are more fluid in BTTF or Terminator.
S.M. Thanks for the rec! I will definitely check out "The Man Who Folded Himself". I'm always interested in the real-life effects of something fantastical. The damage done by a time traveler in this case. I think it was played out pretty well in Butterfly Effect.