Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pauline Baird Jones On Why Time Travel Is A Really Bad Idea

Author Pauline Baird Jones is here to celebrate the release of STEAMROLLED (L&L Dreamspell), her latest space opera/time travel/steampunk mashup with a Poken giveaway. Details about this unique item follow, but first, a public service announcement about time travel from the author.

Image via View From The Potting Shed
Chinese Government Bans Time Travel….

… in movies and television shows because, “…many stories are totally made-up …"

I could not, would not make this up. Since the issue demanded further investigation, I popped onto Google to find a time machine for sale (because someone might want one!) and found China had weighed in on the topic.

Sometimes the universe sends you a gift and it would be rude not to take it. I am glad I don’t reside in China, because I love me my time travel and always have.

Which brings me to … why do so many of us love time travel? What is the appeal of the time travel story? What makes it so intriguing that scientists keep trying to do it, despite huge fictional evidence that it is a really bad idea to send anyone through time?

I mean look at what goes wrong when fictional people time travel:

The Time Machine = Morlocks. Nuff said there.

Barney Miller episode with time traveler = straightjacket and trip to meet a shrink.

Time Rider = becomes his own great-grandfather.

New Star Trek = whole history rewritten. Okay, maybe that wasn’t so bad, because now there is ton of new stories and movies incoming. And wow, Spock. 

Back to the Future = okay, this one ended well for Marty and his family, but Biff has to be a bit bitter.

The Final Countdown = I’m still bitter they didn’t engage. It’s a movie! Why can’t we change history in a movie? (Which might bring us to why China doesn’t like time travel stories?)

I actually do agree with the Chinese government on one point. Some of it might be true. (How can we claim any geek creds if we don’t believe???) So how come we don’t know? If time travel has been invented in the future, they’d come back to now, wouldn’t they? Might They be among us as I type this?
I found a book on Amazon that not only explains how to make a machine from commonly obtainable items, but shares actual time travel experiences. No big shock to find this very useful book is temporarily out of stock, but if you read the reviews, you get a glimpse into the insights available (if you could get it). According to S.S. Casteel, Amazon Reviewer and fortunate possessor of a rare copy:

“The MIB seemed to know where Gibb's friend was from, the year 1994, and fired a beam of some form of unknown energy at the hapless time traveler, who awakened in his bedroom with a red mark on his leg, similar to the marks left behind after an alien abduction experience.”, still worth it.

For the more serious time travel scholar, Stephen Hawking has weighted in on the subject.
And we have a Professor predicting time travel in this century

For a fun list of the best and worst time travel  movies check out this list. I found some I’d missed (on both lists) that I’ll be checking out.

So? How do you really feel about time travel? Believer or skeptic? Favorite movies or books? Favorite trip into the past or future? They say confession is good for the soul and “they” ought to know! Do tell! (We won’t tell MIB or anyone with gray skin, we promise.)

About the author:

Pauline Baird Jones has not only read many time travel books and viewed numerous time travel movies and TV shows; she’s written several books that incorporate time travel (though it almost made her head explode—hmm, plot by MIB and the gray aliens to halt time travel fiction?).

Pauline is the author of eleven books in a variety of genres, including steampunk/science fiction romance and space opera. Her latest is Steamrolled, which includes lots of time travel, is now available in print and a variety of digital formats. You can find out more about her and her books (and an additional drawing for a Steampunk Gift Pack) at:

To celebrate the release of, Steamrolled, she is having a party right here on The Galaxy Express and giving away two Pokens. What is a Poken you ask? It is – “your social business card” and the hottest new thing in social networking. ( for more details!) Of course, because this is SFR, she is giving away the green aliens. Just leave a comment on this blog about time travel and on Friday, April 29, 2011, Heather will pick two winners. International guests welcome to enter, too. J

[Heather's note: If you tweet, blog, or otherwise help spread the word about the giveaway and link back, you’ll be given an extra chance to win!]