I am fascinated by time travel. At its heart, time travel is about breaking the rule of commitment – normally, once you do something, you have committed the act and can’t undo it. (You can sometimes change the facts by applying more action, but you can’t remove the action you have already taken.) Time travel allows for risk-free action, since you can (potentially, depending on how exactly time travel works) take action and then later undo the action.
I think there are three things that drive me to interest in the possibility of time travel – the first is the allure of risk-free action, described above. The second is the examination of the fundamental meaning of human experience – that is, normally we think of what a person has experienced as immutable, but time travel breaks that thinking. And finally, it pushes the boundaries of science (often the fictional, hypothetical part) in a way that tickles my brain.
I said in my 25 things on Facebook (a meme from a while ago where people said 25 random things about themselves) that “I don’t believe humans will ever be able to time travel.” Part of the reason I believe this is that I think our concept of human beings would need to shift considerably to still make sense with respect to a world in which time travel is possible and frequent. The other part of the reason I’ll explain in Time Travel 2 (Multi-Stream Time Travel), so stay tuned! One of my favorite game systems, Continuum, is a time-travel RPG that is an interesting (if flawed) study of a society of time travelers. I wish more science fiction did that sort of treatment.