Sunday, July 26, 2009

Don't forget that it's not that easy to change the world

Writer Crawford Killian has an interesting post from July 2007 about the genre of Connecticut Yankee novels, the sort where someone goes back in time and tries to import technology...usually making sweeping changes to the world.

The comic Partially Clips has something to say about this idea.

1 comment:

  1. The main conceit of these stories that throws me is that you need future characters who actually understand how to build the technology of the future for it to work. I think the further in the future one comes from the worse this plot device becomes, because technology is increasingly networked. You can't go to modern Africa and change circumstances with your technological knowhow--you certainly aren't likely to do it by going into the past.

    Crichton turned this idea a bit on its head with his time travel novel Timeline, where you have an archeologist character who can actually do all of the medieval stuff he studies. That's equally unlikely in my view.

    But then, for whatever reason, I've rarely been interested in time travel stories. I love alternate history/universe stories, but not straight time travel stories. It's a whole subgenre of science fiction that doesn't appeal to me.