Thursday, June 11, 2009

Time Travel and love

This Saturday Morning Breakfast cereal comic reminded me of the classic time travel novel The Man who Folded Himself by David Gerrold. If you haven't read it go read it now(Amazon) to avoid the spoilers below.

In the comic above the man crassly uses his time machine to go to a time when the girl is in the mood, not realizing that if he in the present has a time machine and has this idea, he in the future might do the same thing and thus a crowd of eager men converge on the one time his love interest was in the mood. Extra humor comes from the fact that it appears to be only a single day from the evidence of all the guys at every age who appear.

David Gerrold's novel follows the life of a man whose mysterious uncle leaves him a time machine which he then uses to travel through history altering it to suit himself even as the newly created history becomes more and more bizarre. He even meets up with himself. David Gerrold is unafraid of exploring all of the implications of this and the man even has sex with himself. In the novel there is a never ending party at a house outside of time where various versions of himself are always there. In several incidents in the novel older versions of the man keep propositioning younger versions of the man for sex, much as in the story in the comic above.

The time travel device has ended up creating many alternate versions of history and thus create many different versions of himself. At one point he even meets an opposite sex version of himself.

Gerrold's novel is complex and bizarre and very interesting. I invite you to read the novel and count how many characters are in it.


Howard said...

I'll look for this. Have you read Replay by Ken Grimwood. Also, see the movies Timecrmes and Primer

Richard said...

Replay by Ken Grimwood was an excellent book. I felt that the time travel part of it was more device for exploring what someone might do if they could "do it all over again". In the book's case, over and over again.

I have seen Primer and then I bought the DVD so I can watch it again and again until I figure it out. That is one convoluted movie. I'll look for Timecrimes.

Howard said...

In Timecrimes the TT is also more of a device but it's well done. I have the DVD so it's available. Google about primer, there are some long articles working out all the timelines.