(urth) AEG: Mr. Pavlatos

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Wed Oct 7 00:11:31 PDT 2009

Dave Tallman quoted and wrote:
> > Temporal. You seem to assume that time travel is one-way only, into the
> > past. There is no more evidence for that than there is for travel into
> > future. If you receive a reply to an ethermail you haven't sent, you
> > had a message from the future.
> >
> However he jumps, into the past or future, Bill Reis has only one
> personal timeline, and it ends when he is executed.

Does it? Perhaps, for the individual who was killed. But if there are
characters who have one or more temporal copies running around at the same
time, the copies cannot be simply walking in the footsteps of one who had
gone before. That isn't possible. They would get in one another's way. Say
there are two versions of Reis. Can Wally have lunch with Bill? There is no
good answer.

> Cassie may be able
> to steal more time to be with him this way, but if the past cannot be
> changed he must eventually return to die.

Take your theory that Margaret is an older Cassie: they interacted. Suppose
that the sniper had shot and killed Cassie instead of Norma. Would Margaret
have winked out of existence at that moment? Again, there is no right
answer. Either way, there is a paradox. When it comes to having one's brains
bashed in with a club, two heads are better than one -- I think.

Back to the ethermails. Cassie got an ethermail from Gideon welcoming her,
and eventually acted on it (buying the hopper and so forth). Which came
first, and from whose perspective? Suppose something similar happened with
Bill. Suppose he received a communication from the future, from some point
in the future after his death, that satisfied himself that events would play
out in such a way that he would survive Bill's death on the island. It's a
time loop again, if you will, only extended further into the future of the
story we have. He can survive Bill's death because he wasn't there; he is a
time-traveler copy.

The hypothetical communication from the future might have come from himself.
He got to the future because of Cassie, who went to Woldercan to find him
and did a little time traveling while she was about it.

All these time-traveling theories require too much supposing for my tastes,
but that's the nature of the beast.


More information about the Urth mailing list