| || Being Erica |
created by Jane Sinyor
First episode: 5 Jan 2009
Everything seems to go wrong for Erica Strange, the “cute young woman with a great educaiton and great friends.” Why can’t she get it together? Maybe therapist (so to speak) Tom Wexlar can help her figure it out, especially given that each time she sees him, she gets a chance to redo one of her bad past decisions.
Erica: What about paradoxes, huh? Butterfly effects? Back to the Futures?
Dr. Tom: I love that movie.
Erica: If I change the past, if I don’t get drunk, won’t that cause, like, World War III in the present?
Dr. Tom: Or is it possible that your alcohol consumption, though very important to you, might not play a role in influencing world events?
| || Land of the Lost |
by Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas (Brad Silberling, director)
First release: 5 Jun 2009
The 70s tv show (which had no actual time travel, but did have dinosaurs from another dimension) is updated as paleontologist Rick Marshall propounds time warps, as embodied in his tachyon amplifier, as the solution to today’s energy problems. Even though everyone else thinks he’s crazy, one beautiful graduate student, Holly Cantrell, encourages him to finish the device (her confidence coming from a fossil of a 265-million-year-old cigarette lighter, and together with souvenir hawker Will, they set off to “another dimension where past, present and future all meet.”
The movie has a high enough silliness quotient that it can only be truly appreciated en español (especially preferable if you are not a Spanish speaker).
Rick: It’s the only real solution to solving this fossil fuel crisis we’re experiencing, and it boils down to two simple words.
Matt Lauer: Renewable biofuels.
Rick: Close . . .: time warps.
| || “Palimpsest” |
by Charles Stross
First publication: Wireless, Jul 2009
As much as I love Asimov’s The End of Eternity, I’ve also always wondered about the logistics of Eternity’s access to the different centuries. Stross stated that his story, which begins with a clever hazing ritual for Agent Pierce to join the Stasis organization, was a rewrite of Asimov’s story, and I’d hoped that it would address the questions in the back of my mind. Did it? No, although it did take the ideas to a trillion-year span of history hacking and solar system engineering.
They’ll have no one to remember their lives but you; and all because you will believe the recruiters when they tell you that to join the organizaton you must kill your own grandfather, and that if you do not join the organization, you will die.
(It’s an antinepotism measure, they’ll tell you, nodding, not unkindly. And a test of your ruthlessness and determination. And besides, we all did it when it was our turn.)
| || “Nix Nix” |
by Paul E. Holt
First publication: Aoife’s Kiss, Sep 2009
Sra and Cork travel from five centuries in the future back to 1963 where they hope to be the first to succeed in actually changing history for the better despite the Fillagian principle. Ah, you think, must be presidential history that they’ve set their hearts on, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
And speaking of long periods of time, more than a quarter century passed between this Paul Holt time-travel story and his previous one in a 1983 issue of Asimov’s, which is a feat that deserves high congratulations!
She was strectched out on one of the deck chairs on the balcony of their apartment. They had rented it temporarily until they could cash in a few more diamonds, pretty much worthless in their own time but extremely valuable here, and buy a house. They were rich of course. Why would they come back poor?
Cork was standing at the railing pointing at his bell bottoms. “People are looking at me funny,” he said. “Nobody else is wearing these.” Their pre-migration research indicated people did, but they could have been a couple of years off.
| || “Augusta Prima” |
English title: “Augusta Prima” (translated from Swedish)
by Karin Tidbeck
First publication: Mitrania, 3rd quarter, 2009
A curious story about a curious girl, Augusta Prima, who lives in the most perfect of the eight lands, a land where places and time (and other abstractions, I would say) float in an unmeasurable way.
After its original Swedish publication, this story was translated to English and widely reprinted, including Weird Tales, Lightspeed and The Time Traveler’s Almanac. Artistic stories tend to be hit-or-miss with me (mostly miss). This one hit, but I never seem to be able to say why.
The hands are moving now. Time is passing now.
| || How I Met Your Mother |
created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
First time travel: 7 Dec 2009
While Ted once again pursues some girl, Marshall does the more important task of writing a letter to his future self, and future Marshall comes back to anonymously deliver a plate of hot buffalo wings (in “The Window,” Episode 10 of Season 5).
And in an episode that Janet called me in to watch just before Hannah’s wedding (“The Time Travelers,” Episode 20 of Season 8), Ted goes down to the bar where he meets Barney, Twenty-Years-from-Now Barney, Twenty-Years-from-Now Ted, Twenty-Hours-from-Now Ted, and Twenty-Minutes-from-Now Barney—not to mention two versions of Twenty-Months-from-Now Coat-Check Girl.
Okay, guys, I’ve been waiting twenty years for this. Just like we practiced, one, two, ah one-two-three-four: ♫ Whooooa, ooooooh, ooooooh, oooh, for the longest time . . . ♫