Wednesday, 26 July 2017

What Can Time Travellers Do?

I will list fifteen answers to this question, then list the titles of twelve relevant works, all but one by Poul Anderson.

(i) Explore the future.
(ii) Influence the future.
(iii) Become involved in circular causality paradoxes.
(iv) Time travel back and forth within slower than light interstellar spaceships.
(v) Use modern knowledge to survive in the past.
(vi) Perish in the past because of lack of appropriate skills.
(vii) Raid and plunder through time under cover of recorded atrocities.
(viii) Try to change the past for good or ill.
(ix) Study and record past events in order to prevent temporal alterations.
(x) Wage war through time.
(xi) Escape from an imminent nuclear war.
(xii) Exile criminals to the past.
(xiii) Retire to a preferred earlier period.
(xiv) Trade through time.
(xv) If seriously ill, hope to benefit from future medicine.

The Time Machine
"Flight To Forever"
There Will Be Time
The Corridors Of Time
"The Little Monster"
"The Man Who Came Early"
"The Nest"
The Time Patrol series
"My Object All Sublime"
"Time Heals"


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    When I first read your point (iii) I thought you had THERE WILL BE TIME in mind. After all, Caleb Wallis' men took part in the Venetian/Fourth Crusade's Sack of Constantinople in 1204, "under cover."

    I need to think over some of your blog pieces before I can comment on them.


  2. Kaor, Paul!

    I don't think your point (xiii) truly fits "Wildcat." That story was ostensibly about obtaining oil from the past, but that was cover for a far more serious purpose!


    1. Sean,
      "Wildcat" is (xi).

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Darn! I misunderstood your second list! (Smiles)