Wednesday, March 07, 2007


It is traditional for fiction with future technology to explain how it works. I have no idea why. If the author had a real explanation, he'd probably go invent the future product, instead of sitting around writing books. Because they don't have a real explanation, they cheat. They add "Flux Capacitors", "positronic networks", and so on. They essentially use magic, but replace it with a different word.

Michael Chriton's Timeline is the biggest cheater of all time. The technology is a common one in fiction, Time Travel. In the book, it turns out that they are not traveling through time at all, they are travel ling to a parallel universe that has an Earth similar to our history. You want to see Lincoln? You can't go back in time, you go to a parallel universe that happens to be before 1865.

Some would point out that this is silly, and that it makes some unrealistic assumptions about the nature of the universe. I don't mind it, personally. That's not the big cheat.

The big cheat is that they didn't invent any technology that allows them to travel to alternate universes! They created a machine that did nothing at all. The only reason that they can travel to alternate dimensions is that someone in yet another dimension is transporting them. I swear, I am not making this up.

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