View Single Post
Old January 8 2010, 01:29 AM   #34
Christopher's Avatar
Re: Summer 2010 catalogue details

snakespeare wrote: View Post
Time travel is a science fiction writer's conceit. It exists for one purpose, to create a problem, and the problem, in fiction, is the impetus of the work. In time travel fiction, the goal is almost always to correct things that went wrong. One wrong-headed person, for good or ill, uses time travel to change the past or learn the future, and things go wrong. Then the hero(es) have a long or short adventure that eventually results in some sort of acceptable outcome.
But parallel timelines are a real prediction of the Everett-Wheeler interpretation of quantum physics, whereas both classical and quantum theoretical approaches to the physics of time travel conclusively rule out the possibility of any event being "erased" by time travel. And the producers of the new film series have chosen to take a more scientifically accurate approach to the subject than they have in the past, which is in keeping with the spirit of Gene Roddenberry, who always strove to ground ST in credible science (though admittedly with mixed results). As long as they're in charge, it's their prerogative to do so. Particularly since it serves their creative interests to do so, allowing them to make a fresh start while still preserving what came before, as well as providing a story reason why Spock Prime did not and could not attempt to undo the existence of this new timeline.

But this is all, as Christopher was so quick to tell me, fake. There really aren't time machines. And you know what, there can never be time machines.
Maybe not, but that doesn't preclude us from being able to use our knowledge of physics to calculate what would happen if there were time machines. The universe follows consistent laws, and understanding those laws allows us to make predictions about what would happen in any situation. And SF storytellers can base their fiction on real physical theory just as much as the author of a detective story set in Chicago can base it on the real geography, culture, and history of Chicago. Just because something's fake doesn't mean it can't be convincing.

By the way, Christopher, nice straw man there. Nobody here advocated going back to the old cast, or any such thing. Straw man, all the way. What would be the point? Why, to tell a story, of course.
But what does that mean in practical terms? When you talk about going back to the original timeline, what are you proposing? That they tell original-timeline stories with Pine, Quinto, Urban, and the movie cast in faithful recreations of the original sets and costumes? Why would they do that? Why would the general public want to see it? I'm not using straw men, I'm asking you what it is you actually mean when you make these vague statements about what you want to see. When you say you want to go back, the question is, how do you propose that could be done?

If all you want is to tell stories set in the original history, well, we have the books for that. There's no limit to the stories we can tell, and Pocket will continue to publish Primeverse stories alongside Abramsverse stories for as long as there's a market for both. But you seem to be talking about what you want to see onscreen, and when it comes to making movies or television shows, there are a lot of practical factors you have to consider beyond pure storytelling. So what is it, specifically, that you're proposing? How would you make your suggestion work in a way that's practical, feasible, and marketable?
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote