Time Travel – The Paradox and the Romance
You might argue that time travel romance couldn’t exist, considering that time travel is impossible, as demonstrated by the HDR grandfather paradox.
Imagine yourself building a time machine, and then travelling back in time to kill your grandfather before he even gets to produce your mom or dad. As a result, you wouldn’t have been there; you wouldn’t have been born and you wouldn’t have been able to build that time machine you have just used to kill your grandfather. Then again, if you were not there to kill him, he would still be alive to produce your mom or dad and you would be born; you can build that time machine to go back in time to kill him. That is the paradox loop.
That has not stopped people from dreaming of time travel though. In fact, the concept of time travel has been romanticized for the longest time, and understandably enough. What’s not to like about the idea of a time traveller who spends his lifetime jumping from one future (or past) to another, leaving love and loss in his wake?
Time travel makes for settings that are rich in prospects for adventure, not to mention interesting (and often clashing) personalities. After all, much of who we are is molded by the setting we grew up in. Imagine the chaos (and the fun!) that comes with discovering a strange world and the tempest that comes with two utterly different people from entirely different worlds being drawn to each other.
‘Imagine’ – that, and a bit more, is what Diana Gabaldon did, and as a result, the cult hit Outlander series was born. It allowed readers in on the adventures of a World War II combat nurse travelling back in time and ultimately finding her in even harsher circumstances – right smack in the middle of war-torn Scotland at the height of the Highland clan raids.
Now, if you want a book with all the raw sex toned down, and with more focus on the emotional aspect of time travel, you would probably like Audrey Niffenegger’s A Time Traveller’s Wife – a story of death, love, disease and waiting. It is about a man with a genetic disorder that triggers random time travels, and his wife who has to cope with his frequent disappearances, and the knowledge of the dangers he is constantly in.
Michael Crichton also dabbled on the time travel genre with his novel Timeline, and while the take is more scientific and action-packed, the romance is still there. The book would take you to medieval times and the scientists that were caught up in all the turmoil, who are ultimately faced with making decisions on what is worth leaving behind and what is worth losing everything for.
Why drown yourself in the paradox and theories of time travel when you can just enjoy the idea of time travel romance? If you have been spending far too much time staring at the clock, perhaps it is high time that you accept that time has no meaning for true love, and start indulging in time travel romance stories. It would be nice to visit the Roman Empire and the Scottish Highlands, or the Earth’s galactic Empire in the 98th Century with a book, and still be able to get back to the 20th century – and to your couch, just like that.