June 3rd, 2009
I had meant to link to physicist Sean Carroll’s excellent Rules for Time Travelers that he posted a couple of weeks ago. Sean is a world expert on time and knows his stuff. Awesome post.
I made a very similar post last year called Science and Science Fiction: Time Travel. A lot of the basic issues and complaints are the same as Sean’s, which makes me feel good (I’m an astrophysicist but far from a “world expert on time”). I think his article is a little clearer and direct, although we do talk about some different things and provide some different resources.
I have complained many times about time travel handled badly in science fiction, and expect I will continue to do so. Maybe if there are more complaints about the ridiculousness of the time travel in things like Heroes and Back to the Future, they’ll happen a little less often and be a little less appreciated, and eventually, in the distant future, let movies and TV evolve into something smarter.
Sorry, I think I slipped from science fiction into fantasy with that last bit above…but we can travel into the future together, one second per second, and see!