In the Brainholes: Trying to Be a Time Travel Expert


October wears on, burying me in its deluge of crap. Missed Thursday’s post. Not happy about it.

But on the plus side, Nick and I furthered our Looper discussion by creating a big analysis of the movie’s time travel ins and outs, and the post is now available as a Huffington Post blog. You can check it out right here.

As I mentioned earlier this week, we really did like Looper, but seeing as we wrote a book on the subject of time travel in popular culture, we just had to nitpick. And I think the nitpicking is actually pretty fun, and adds a different layer to the enjoyment of the project. In an earlier post, I mentioned how I respected Writer/Director Rian Johnson’s assertion that he didn’t really care about the time travel because he’s focusing on the drama, and really, that’s the right perspective to have as a writer. Not that technical details aren’t important, but even the most technically proficient story is boring without the story part. So who cares about technicalities?

That said, Nick and I made some pretty extensive graphs and charts to lay out the logical flow of Looper, both in terms of causality and its own internal rules. Mostly it sticks with itself pretty well, but there are many corners that need cutting in order to create the time loop at the center of the story.

In point of fact, there is no time loop. It doesn’t actually occur. But whatever.

This isn’t the first time Nick and I have had a chance to write something for The Huffington Post. In fact, writing stuff in the vein of our book that’s a little deeper than giving interviews that explain the concept is really my favorite part. I mean, we’ve done a lot of great interviews, but they tend to focus on a lot of the same things — namely, how the hell you go about writing a guide to time travel, and why you would ever do that to yourself. So taking a side tangent and developing that, a tributary of the big time travel expertise river, is always fun.

Our earlier HuffPo story focused on jetpacks and flying cars, more or less directly responding to the Internet meme passing around images of the Delorean from Back to the Future: Part II with a caption to the effect of “You have three years, Science,” (since BTTF 2 takes place in 2015). In fact, most people are not even so good at driving, so leaving them all to contend with both lateral motion and vertical motion is going to create problems, e.g. horrific, fiery crashes and many, many deaths. It’s right here.

Before that, we were lucky enough to promote the book before it’s April release with a slideshow that included a number of Aled Lewis’s illustrations for the book. That one ran down seven time travel rules based on the illustrations, and gave us a chance to present material from the book in a slightly different format. See that one here.

I’m hoping to make even more of a regular thing out of this, if possible. Nick and I have been a little swamped, but we’re hoping to get back into the swing of blogging for The Huffington Post with goofy, science-y posts (we’re sort of in their system now, so if we want to write stuff for them, they’ll take it if it fits their criteria). I’m not sure how big an impact the exposure has on us or Wormhole, but it’s certainly a lot of fun.

Published by Phil

He's like, you know, the guy.

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