Had a random thought this morning, and as I haven’t updated this page in a while (Daddy stuff and Hubby stuff don’t always play well with creative stuff hehe), I figured this’d be a good share.
Of all sci-fi and fantasy tropes, I think my favorite has GOT to be time travel. Not only does it touch on the obvious (changing the past, paradoxes, etc) but it also naturally gives rise to alternate realities. I’d go so far as to say that the principles implied by linear time and how it functions goes a long way to inform my worldview and even my walk with Christ.
Consider how much is affected by how we view time. We tend to see each successive minute as dependent upon the previous, and we line those minutes up straight and neat, when in fact, time isn’t so simple. While the moments themselves are orderly, the affect of time is not.
Consider the recent tragedy during the OSU homecoming. I have family there, so this one strikes pretty close to home. They were planning on being at the parade — on the very corner where that woman plowed uncontrollably through the crowd — but they overslept their alarm. What if they woke up on time? I would likely have lost my wife’s cousin, his wife, and their two kids.
That’s what COULD’VE happen. What DIDN’T happen? Well, the driver DIDN’T drink responsibly. The onlookers DIDN’T choose another corner to stand on. People DIDN’T get otherwise diverted.
Imagine that tragedy under the lens of a flexible timeline. What if you could CHANGE things? With all possible futures being EQUALLY possible — depending on the decisions one makes — consider the varied alternate timelines. A timeline where my loved ones died. A timeline where other people didn’t. A timeline where the parade passed completely without incident. ALL of them are equally valid, equally possible — the only difference being, in THIS timeline, things played out the way we know them to have played out.
Take that thought back further. What if America had lost the Revolutionary War? What if the Vikings had settled North America more invasively, more completely, than they did? What if Marco Polo had never made his treks to the East? Now you don’t have just alternate timelines — you have alternate REALITIES, entire histories where the world turned in completely unexpected ways… but in THOSE realities, they would seem perfectly acceptable and OUR timeline would seem alien.
This is the very STUFF of speculative fiction — the “what if”.