This is based on an old manuscript I started in the early eighties on a typewriter, do you remember those? And have now transferred the contents to the computer updating it along the way.
I’m sure you have heard or even used yourself the long established saying, “If I could go back 20 years knowing everything I know now, things would have been different”
Ok the length of time may have been different but I have found older folks such as I would probably say 30 years or more, some younger folks may say 15 years, depending on how we remember our own past and where we were at that stage in our life.
What if you had that chance? What if you could go back and change the outcome of the present, would you do it? My guess is you would have to be in a pretty bad way to throw in the towel and start over again.
Past Tense plays with this concept when Carl gets the chance to go back 25 years, his life has turned out to be a disaster, he has had enough but gets thrown a lifeline and second chance. Carl was going to be different this time.
A little bit more about Past Tense.
Carl our main character, has little left to like about this life, he has just lost his job, broke, and had a family that to all intents thinks very little of him and likewise, he wishes he never got married, the night he loses his job he finds himself in a bar doing something he never does, drinking, after a chance meeting with Mark, another drinker, he tells his story, the man that he is talking to happens to of been working on a time traveling device and needs a volunteer, he believes Carl could fit the bill very well.
As it turns out Carl accepts the offer of going back in time to correct his failing life and start again and so our story begins.
Carl finds himself 25 years in the past, but soon learns that every action has a reaction and not always a good one, as he try’s to adjust how he does things he finds that some things happen anyway no matter how much he knows or does.
There is some big wake up calls for Carl and some unexpected events caused by his decisions.
The biggest challenges I faced with this was the way the concept of time travel has been impressed on us and although a common theme, it has never really been delved into deeply enough as to how it could be possible, I think I have achieved this and will hopefully capture the readers imagination to the real possibility of going back in time, below are some of the questions I had to answer.
My inspiration for my own theory is based on Stephen Hawking who believes in time travel. But, time travel to the future. To Hawking, time flows like a river and it seems as if each of us is carried relentlessly along by time’s current. But time, says Hawking, is like a river in another way: “It flows at different speeds in different places and that is the key to traveling into the future.” This is an idea first suggested by Albert Einstein over 100 years ago.
But my question is, isn’t time just something perceived by humans? does time really exist outside of our own perception, we have learnt how to segmentise it with clocks and calendars and if Stephen Hawking is correct that time can only flow in one direction, which does suggest you can’t travel back in time only forward!
The second challenge was more of an ethical one and a classic concept in books and films dealing with time travel and that is altering the time line of the past or creating a paradox, again I take a far deeper look at this and the not so obvious implications.
The classic grandfather paradox, for example, would arise if a time traveller were to kill his own grandfather before his mother or father had been conceived, thereby preventing his own birth. This is a specific example of the more general observation of the butterfly effect, or that a time-traveller’s interaction with the past — however slight — would entail making changes that would, in turn, change the future in which the time-travel was yet to occur, and would thus change the circumstances of the time-travel itself.
The beginnings of this book will be posted up at some point soon so keep your eyes peeled.
I also have a question, any body can answer and may even end up as part of the plot in the latter part of the book.
The question is, ” If you could go back 10years or maybe 15/20 years knowing everything you know now, what is the one thing you would change?
Answers on the comment form below.