Time Travel: A Writer's Guide to the Real Science of Plausible Time Travel

Time Travel: A Writer's Guide to the Real Science of Plausible Time Travel

by Paul J. Nahin

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From H.G. Wells to Isaac Asimov to Ursula K. Le Guin, time travel has long been a favorite topic and plot device in tales of science fiction and fantasy. But as any true SF fan knows, astounding stories about traversing alternate universes and swimming the tides of time demand plausible science. That’s just what Paul J. Nahin’s guide provides.

An engineer, physicist, and published science fiction writer, Nahin is uniquely qualified to explain the ins and outs of how to spin such complex theories as worm holes, singularity, and relativity into scientifically sound fiction. First published in 1997, this fast-paced book discusses the common and not-so-common time-travel devices science fiction writers have used over the years, assesses which would theoretically work and which would not, and provides scientific insight inventive authors can use to find their own way forward or backward in time. From hyperspace and faster-than-light travel to causal loops and the uncertainty principle and beyond, Nahin’s equation-free romp across time will help writers send their characters to the past or future in an entertaining, logical, and scientific way.

If you ever wanted to set up the latest and greatest grandfather paradox—or just wanted to know if the time-bending events in the latest pulp you read could ever happen—then this book is for you.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421401201
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 04/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Paul J. Nahin is professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering at the University of New Hampshire and the author of several books, including Mrs. Perkin's Electric Quilt and Other Intriguing Stories of Mathematical Physics, Chases and Escapes: The Mathematics of Pursuit and Evasion, and Oliver Heaviside: The Life, Work, and Times of an Electrical Genius of the Victorian Age, the last also published by Johns Hopkins.

Table of Contents

1. Time Travel in the Pulps
2. Special Relativity and Time Travel to the Future
3. Time Travel to the Past
4. Hyperspace
5. Time as the Fourth Dimension
6. The Black Universe
7. When General Relativity Made Time Travel Honest...
8. Paradoxes: Changing the Past, Causal Loops, and Sex
9. Time Machines that Physicists Have Already 'Invented'
10. Faster-Than-Light (FTL) Into the Past
11. Quantum Gravity, Splitting Universes, and Time Machines
12. Reading the Physics Literature for Story Ideas
Glossary of Selected Terms

What People are Saying About This

Gregory Benford

If you want to get a gut understanding of time’s riddles, there is no better book than this. Nahin knows well the dance between science and literature as it illuminates time’s mysteries. Don’t try to write time travel fiction without him!

Customer Reviews