Friday, August 3, 2012

20 of the best fictional time travel methods

1. Time Machines
Part magic, part science and all gold. These are a staple of the science fiction world and a good choice for anyone starting out as a time travel explorer or anyone wishing to write science fiction classic style.

2. Wormholes
A favourite for travelling not only to the future or past but also incredibly long distances. This multi-purpose plot device will usually get you out of any sticky time-space situation even though in reality it would be the end of your story if you encountered one.

3. Localised Time-Space Manipulation
Best recognised in the Terminator series, this is plausibly scientific until you try to explain it. So don't explain it, just show it in action as the action is impressive enough.

4. Slingshot Around The Sun Or Black Hole
You can also use other cosmic bodies with fictionally sufficient gravity.

5. Speed Of Light Manipulation
Time slows the closer you get to the speed of light so therefore travel into the future or past is fictionally possible. This is a favourite amongst the science-fiction writers but it hold less credibility with an audience than you think. Despite this, nearly all those in the audience will forgive and forget for all the other scientific gold you serve up.

6. Travelling Through The Bermuda Triangle
Warped time-space or magic triangle, no matter the explanation for the Bermuda triangle, as soon as you mention it the audience will accept the idea. The concept is so ingrained that you can get away with pretty much any explanation as anything new is entertaining.

7. Cryogenics Or Cryosleep
Although this is highly unlikely to occur in the real world there is enough credibility to this time travel method to be used in the most hardcore science-fiction works. That slim possibility of cryogenics being used successfully in the real world is what makes this a preferred one way time travel method.

8. Soul or Life Essence Transferal
This can be drug and/or tech induced.

9. Reincarnation
The characters clearly or partially remember their past lives.

10. Reversing The Earth's Magnetic Field Or Spin
Highly improbable scientifically but good enough to support a light hearted story.

11. Drug Trip Or Hallucination
Can be used to question reality. Anything experienced may not have actually happened.

12. Afterlife Experience and/or Coma
Can be used to seamlessly expand the scientific universe into the mythical.

13. A Secret Magic Door
For fantasy stories only, preferably romance and children's stories.

14. Genetic Ability
Belonging mostly to the world of comics but occasionally of use in literature: see The Time Traveller's Wife.

15. Touching or Reading Old Artifacts
These may be relevant to the character's past adventures or just the character's future/past love etc.

16. Talisman, Magic Item or Magic Spell
Best used in fantasy stories and children's books to add wonder or the darkness of a witch's black magic.

17. Unexplainable Scientific Time Travel Properties To A Substance
This is very much like the use of a talisman or magic item except it can be used in a magic-less universe.

18. A Spirit From The Afterlife Guides The Character's Travel
Can be used to expand reality to incorporate both time and extra dimensions as well as an afterlife plane of existence.

19. A Fall (present) and Rescue (past or future) Often With A Period Of Unconsciousness In Between
This method is similar to the coma induced time travel.

20. Self Hypnosis
Similar to the drug induced or hallucination induced time travel, anything experienced may not have actually happened.

You can also use any combination of those above to justify time travel.

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