Science Fiction

“Once confined to fantasy and science fiction, time travel is now simply an engineering problem.” -Michio Kaku

My favorite genre for reading or watching movies or television is science fiction. As a subgenre I like time travel the most, with alternate history a close second. I don’t know why I like time travel stories so much. I never read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court when I was younger. I still haven’t.

Possibly the first time I encountered time travel was the movie Back to the Future. Probably the most perfect time travel movie. Even now people are picking out little things about the movie. Like when Marty meets Doc Brown at the mall at the beginning of the movie, it’s called Twin Pines Mall. But when Marty is driving away from the farmer, he runs over a pine tree. Later when Marty comes back to 1985 and is hiding by the mall sign it says Lone Pine Mall. One of my favorite books involving time travel is The Time Traveler’s Wife. I like the back and forth of the narration from the male and female point-of-view with the craziness of the male travelling and not knowing when he was and meeting this girl at six years old who he knew he would marry. For television, I just finished Season 1 of Timeless. Too bad it’ll probably be the last season. I’d be surprised if it was picked up for another. Journeyman was another show I really liked. Life on Mars was time travel until you got too the last episode. I liked Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. And 11.22.63 was interesting. I know it was a book, but I never read it. Continuum was retty cool for a Syfy series. I do like Quantum Leap, but it’s not really time travel. I know people may wonder about Dr. Who but I’ve never been interested in the series for some reason.

Alternate history is a bit different. There aren’t very many alternate history TV shows, but most alternate history books I’ve encountered have been written by Harry Turtledove. The series that;s my favorite of his is The World War/Colonization series. Basically aliens attack Earth during World War II. The aliens are slow evolving creatures, taking centuries to go from concept to implementation. So the juxtaposition of the humans quickly implementing strategies against the creatures with higher technology makes for a great read. The only alternate history television show I’ve seen is The Man in the High Castle. It’s an adaptation of a book by Philip K. Dick. It does use the trope of “What if Germany won WWII?” But it’s a great series.

One last series I’d like to mention is the Neadertal Parallax. It’s a series of three books about parallel universes. The story is that in some parallel universe some Neaderthals are working on a quantum computer and one of them is transported into our world. The story has some interesting takes on religion and the dichotomy of men and women. I really recommend the books. I read them every few years.

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