Monday, 28 January 2013

Paradoxically speaking

In one of my SF novels, after killing all the baddies and saving the universe, my heroes return home the day before they left. There – sorted.
   ‘But you can’t do that.’ One of my friends announced proudly.
   ‘Because you’ll create a paradox.’
   'Well it will create an infinite loop where your heroes leave, do their stuff and return the day before they go, only to go again the next day and the next, forever.’ etc etc, ad nauseum.
   ‘Well they create a new quantum timeline when they return,’ I sighed relieved to bring the “Many Worlds” theory into a conversation for the first time in my life.
   ‘But what if the new timeline isn’t exactly the same as the one they left? You might have flying buses or wives that are man-eating raptors.’ This was all becoming a bit extreme now. And, anyway, my wife would make a man eating raptor look like a girl when she gets upset.

   And that got me thinking.
   Within the Second Law of  Thermodynamics, as my primate brain understands it; Note LAW and not a theory. So apparently it’s proven even though we’d all have to survive until the end of time to test it; it states that after all the black holes finally coalesce and eat the universe, and long, much longer after that, when even the photons have decayed, there won’t be anything left; not time, not space. Bugger all in fact.
   Yet, if we listen to the String Theory, alternate dimensions or branes hang fluttering like washing from a galactic line until a particularly spirited solar wind makes them touch. Lo, the energy expended creates another big bang.
    You can’t have it both ways. Either time ends or it doesn’t. So what I’m coming to in a rather roundabout way is. And even if all I’ve said above is a complete load of old nonsense; provided we the writers attempt to keep science within the bounds of silliness, is it really necessary to get it completely right. And provided we give them a good read – does it really matter?

Any thoughts?


  1. No, it does not! I like stories with twists, but there's always those ones who want fiction to be correct. Thus, would it be fiction or non-fiction?
    Would it then do away with all fiction as we know it in our world right now?

  2. I love your quirky voice. I've got some of your books downloaded to my Kindle. Just haven't gotten to them yet.

    Hugs and chocolate,

    1. Thank you. When you do, I hope you enjoy them. They always me laugh, although I'm not entirely sure that it's healthy to laugh at one's own work. My wife always laughs at me, laughing at my work. I'm not sure she's laughing with me or at me. Probably the latter.

  3. hmmm. So long as you have two sets of them - the past set that was there to begin with and the current time traveling set - it is not a paradox. A paradox is created, for instance, if harry potter used the time turner to go back and save serius black. Because serius is saved Harry has no reason to now use the time turner, so harry would not go back in time so now Serius is killed, so Harry then goes back in time... etc. So long as there are multiple sets at the same time eg - they could technically run into themselves (though they can't do this or this might then be paradox creating) what your charters are going is crossing their timelines, which they should avoid doing but which in and of itself does not create a paradox - it's like laying a shoe string out on the table then looping it in the middle, they will loop, but then will continue forward from there, thus it is not a never ending circle. ;)

    . :)

  4. Just sound just like Carl Sagan.
    That's a compliment, by the way.

  5. I am v fascinated by string theory, alternate dimensions and quantum theory though i confess I get a heachade if i think it about too long. i even bought Alfred Einstein’s autobiography hoping to understand it better without success!

  6. The good thing about q/theory and string theory is that I can write virtually as my rather odd mind thinks it up because nobody can really prove me wrong.