Finding Love in a Past Era
A lot of contemporary time travel fiction involves finding love. And it magically happens. On paper, one can simply step through a fold in time’s curtain or penetrate a magical standing stone and voila! meet your soulmate in a past time. This is magical realism time travel — it just happens.
But think about it: love across the centuries has a lot of messy aspects. First, the customs of love are very different. Like trying to speak a different language, you can get the nuances and protocals wrong. When to touch, when not to touch, what does a smile mean in another society than your 21st century one, and what constitutes an invitation for a woman to be treated as less than a lady? Writing love stories across the centuries is complicated.
Then there’s the scientific angle. Is time travel even possible? Stephen Hawking said it was. Practically speaking, however, it would probably mush your insides and scramble your cells. DNA, however, could be a reason someone could be able to time travel. That will be the reason for the ability to time travel in my fiction series featuring the elegant and knowledgeable time-travel tour guide, George St. James. He was born with the ability, and has learned to help others travel in history. Below are some lists of great time travel novels and movies, for comparison.
Time Travel Fiction & Identity
Let’s just say it’s possible physically, and that you could find a way back to another century. Say you even could predict where you’d land – though my favorite time travel novels don’t always give that assurance. Books like The jane Austen Project posit a scientific way to calibrate exactly when and where you’d land. On the other hand, stories like Outlander make traveling in history seem like breaking your leg while hiking, only way worse.
How many of us carry our identities around in our purses and pockets? When you travel backward or forward to another century, let’s face it, that iPhone is a useless papereight and your driver’s license could be mistaken for a piece of witchcraft. You can’t get network, so you can’t see your calendar, your to-do list, your recent shares and tweets. Without your century’s comforts and tools, who are you, really?
Traveling to another century, or even just another decade, also really screws with your wardrobe. I did ask myself before throwing away all those shoulder pads from the 80s, am I sure?
But if you’re a strong, adventurous woman, little things like shoulder pads aren’t going to deter you from time traveling.
Time Travel Fiction- Best Novels
Time Travel Fiction & Physical Comforts
Then there’s the question of plumbing. I think I can just rest my case against time travel right there. The real intent of a time travel novel, I believe, is to fold history into the present and compare and contrast. History can be like a distant planet, alien and confusing to those from a different planet.
I love writing and reading about history and using time travel to do it, but I’m grateful for the century I live in. With plumbing, my smart phone, and good coffee. You can have all those as you read about May Gold’s adventures in the 17th century. In The Renaissance Club, the time travel is only for a few hours or days at a time. My main character May has time to freshen up. I think after a few jaunts, May well understood the plumbing issue. And being a magical realism time travel story, her wardrobe changed automatically. Kind of a Cinderella situation.
I will come back to you through the doorway of stars.