Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

SFnal Peeve

Who originated the idea that time travel forbids a person to exist twice within the same time period? Spider Robinson swallows this one whole. GPF's current rerun of a time travel story has the same constraint. It seems like such a non-obvious (and silly) constraint that most time travel stories omit it--- meeting yourself is part of the fun! (See: Star Trek, Dr. Who, "By His Bootstraps".) Is there some "obvious" reason for the prohibition that gets re-invented, or can we identify a particular source for this meme?

Yet, what does the constraint actually prohibit? The atoms making up a person's body are obviously not subject to the same restriction. What about your corpse? What if you're merely unconscious? What is the X such that X "can't exist in two places at the same time"?
Tags: geek, rant, science fiction, time travel
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