43. Time Travel!

I’m on a roll with my entry to The Scholastic Asian Book Award. 3,000 words written over 3 hours earlier this evening; and I’m sure I can squeeze in another 2,000 words before I retire to bed for the night.

Time travel is always a good idea.

“Time travel is theoretically impossible, but I wouldn’t want to give it up as a plot gimmick,” the legendary Isaac Asimov had said concerning the subject. While I’m not too sure on the part about it being impossible (there is just so, so much about our universe that we don’t even to begin to understand – who are we to declare things impossible?), I am with Mr. Asimov 100% about it being a wonderful plot gimmick. Hell, I’ll build an entire plot around it!

I’ve always had fun with the concept of time travel. In fact, what I consider to be the finest short story I’ve ever written features a malfunctioning time machine that messes up the life of the protagonists. I guess the reasons why I love the concept so much is firstly because it is cool beyond all reason; and secondly because it is bloody intelligent.

(with the exception of Doctor Who. It works great as a generic sci-fi drama, but don’t you dare tell me that it is a great time travel series – I will rip your face off. The TARDIS is only there because even the creators of the series know that a time machine is infinitely cooler than a spaceship)

Despite (or perhaps because of) my passion for the genre, I have not seen many works within it. Let’s do a headcount: I haven’t watched Back To The Future (or any of its sequels); I have never read H. G. Well’s novella; and neither I have never seen The Butterfly Effect.

(I have, however, read Ray Bradbury’s short story titled A Sound Of Thunder. It’s glorious)

With the precious exception of Gareth Carrivick’s Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, I have yet to see a work that explores the mechanics of time travel comprehensively. Of course, this is understandable – if these people could work out the mechanics of time travel, why would they be writing, right? The downer is that knowing this doesn’t stop me from expecting whenever I begin to read or to watch something that purportedly features time travel as an element of the story.

But wait – there is hope! After all the rage that was The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan (in him we trust) announced that a film titled Interstellar is in the works – and yes, it is going to have time travel in it! I have all my fingers crossed that it would reach the levels of ingenuity that Inception reached – maybe even exceed them, but I already feel like I’m asking for too much.

(please, oh please Mister Nolan, create something amazing and put the rest of Hollywood to shame)

Fingers still crossed, and touch wood – if Interstellar doesn’t live up to expectations as a great time travel movie, there is only one thing left to do:

I’ll just have to write the bloody thing myself.


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