So You Created a Wormhole co-writer best friend Nick and I headed out to the movies on Friday to catch Looper, because apparently no one has ever made a Bruce Willis time travel movie before, and it has lit up the Internet with time travel buzz.
Coming out a few hours later, we discussed what we liked about Looper — and we did like it — and how it fails with time travel because it’s a patchwork of logical incongruities and plot holes. Such is the fate of the time travel movie, and the reason we wrote the book in teh first place; we thought originally that we would explain why time travel movies suck at time travel so often and how to do one properly, but as we got into the project we realized that most movies cut so many corners because time travel is so incredibly complex. Plot holes are to be expected. They’re a fact of the genre.
It’s So You Created a Wormhole‘s United Kingdom release day. We’re very excited, primarily because we have a UK representative on the Wormhole team — Aled Lewis, the book’s illustrator. Working with Aled was kind of spectacular; he’s a phenomenal artist, and what’s more, he knew exactly what weirdness we were talking about, every single time we gave started talking weirdness at him.
The search for an illustrator was one of the early components of the book after we got our contract, but it still took a while to find the right person for the job. In the meantime, co-writer best friend Nick and I had been envisioning an illustrated guidebook akin to The Boy Scout Handbook since the original conception of the book. A lot of stuff in time travel needs illustration, and easily some of the funniest stuff in the book is in the graphics, not the prose.
Fiancée Caitlin brought to my attention an io9 article titled “Why Time Travel Stories Should Be Messy,” and I found author Charlie Jane Anders’s view of the subject pretty well in line with my own. In fact, it seems like she’s been having the same thoughts that co-writer best friend Nick and I had several years ago that caused us to write a book.
The premise of the article is that the best time travel stories are the ones that don’t wrap themselves up neatly as being closed-loop instances of time travel. That is to say, they’re not of the variety of stories such as Robert Heinlein’s “All You Zombies” or The Terminator; the best stories are not those in which the future is antecedent to the past and the actions of the protagonists are preordained.
I try to do lists on Tuesdays, and I haven’t been doing much lately but watching movies and playing horror video games for the various projects I’m doing at Game Front. But I have caught a number of cool time travel films since the last time I did a list about time travel movies, so I figured I’d throw a few more your way.
Little bit slow coming off the holiday weekend today, so I figured I’d just drop a little reading list action your way.
This particular list is of a few things I enjoyed while doing research for So You Created a Wormhole and beyond, and if you’re already a time travel fiction fan, this likely isn’t new to you. If you’re not, however, these are some that are worth your attention for various reasons. I intend to drop lots more things in posts like this one. This is just a quick post because I’m a bit time-limited.
Without further adieu, three time travel stories I think you should read: Read more
Slenderman freaks me the hell out.
I’m not sure what it is, exactly, about the notion of the Internet-invented urban legend. There’s just something about him. Primarily it is, perhaps, that he’s an infiltrator; that he appears at will, bends the laws of reality, and pursues relentlessly his victims. Also he has no face. And he’s like some kind of weird spider thing.
Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. If you’re not familiar, the Slenderman is that guy up there — a creature invented for a contest on the forums at SomethingAwful.com. He’s a creature of sorts, faceless, who seems to have dominion over children and apparently abducts them. Some or all of the rules of the creature are subject to change depending on which interpretation you’re talking about, and at this point there have been a few. Still, there seem to be a few steadfast elements: the Slenderman is tall, man-shaped although not a man, and keyed on sight. If you see the Slenderman, he will hunt you down. Your fate is sealed.
I was going to write about the whole Girlfriend Mode thing, but the more I thought about it, the less happy I was with whatever I had to add to the conversation. So here’s a conversation to which I can definitely add something useful to you guys.
Over the course of researching for SO YOU CREATED A WORMHOLE, I watched and read tons of time travel fiction beyond the stuff that I’d known and loved already. Rather than yammer any further, here are five off-the-beaten-path movies that take clever stabs at the time travel idea, and will occasionally blow gray matter out your brainholes.