Time Travel definition in fiction

– what to look for


This is my guide for my Time Travel Movie list – things to consider, when digging up titles.

NB: Be aware of plot-spoilers in method and tags – let people mess up their own viewing pleasure via imdb and RT.


Who is the POV of the story?
Evaluation of the Time Travel theme lies with this view.

Time Travel is a matter of perspective:
Who or what leaves the orderly progression of events, and who is visited by persons, data or objects of a later or earlier data?

Life lived out of sync
with everything else from the perspective of the observing eye – either ageing faster or slower in relative measurement.


Entropic decay of bio-matter will co-exist with matter either younger or older life in relative terms calculated from the assumed beginning of the present cosmological expansion.

Matter instantaneously moved to a different position in space – usually on  an earlier or later position of Earth in space or in its vicinity.

Matter taking up space out of sync with universal expansion of matter.

a matter of POV

Decay of matter is slowed down for some, while entropy progresses remains the same for others; decay of matter is a relative term

  • Rip van winkle is the classic of the man, who slept for 20 years without ageing
  • Cryogenics: technology freezing and thawing – from the general idea that matter decays slower when colder
  • Suspended Animation: another term for the same, without the tech-lingo
  • Slow/Fast Motion: faster/slower ageing relative to observer point of view
  • FTL, Faster Than Light travel: comparatively those on the ship are younger than those at home, when they return
  • Skirting the black hole: Same result as FTL. of the ship escapes the pull of the black hole’s mass

Time regarded as a recording on a cassette tape or backup storage of an earlier date (eg. Apple’s software technology “Time Machine backup…”)

  • Rewind time: Undo events by returning to a point, where the future “hasn’t happened yet”
  • Time in reverse: Observable from a point in time – The rose is seen to return from dust to sprouting bud, the world around goes backwards in time
  • Outside of Time: Entropy continues as normal locally (eg. in the body), while entropy in the world around is at any stage ofdecay
  • Alltime: Same as Outside of Time – imagining “all events” contained inside something, eg. the universe, while residing in the greater Cosmos without time and entropy

Points of View cause events through observation, all events are subjective except for larger themes (names, data and places, normally – but even these can differ between observers)

  • Loop: From observer POV events repeating from a certain moment in time, usually without volition, “it just happens”
  • Undoing time, undoing fate: Instantly return to a moment in time and change events from then on
  • Events in reverse, reset time: observe or be part of undoing events back to certain moment in time

The how of access to a different era

  • Time Travel or just TT – the obvious ability of device, object or person to change position in space faster or slower in relation to matter expanding at a rate set by the beginning of all matter
  • TT science – moving matter to “an earlier or later point in space” by the aid of physics
  • Time Machine – a controllable device moving matter to “an earlier or later point in space”
  • teleportation – decomposition of matter to reassemble at a different point in space and (assuming the proces is not instantaneous) time by magic or technology
  • portal – an opening “between ages”, time rift, hole, doorway
  • cosmological – black hole, white hole, warp speed, FTL, subspace travel (“outside of time”)
  • magic – object, formula, or other non-explainable mode of moving objects or living beings to another era
  • data over ages – live communication between ages – between “other nows”, “clair-voyence”, “clair-audience”, “visions”
  • mind travel – to live as or in the mind of another in another era, body swopping over time, virtual reality – digitisation from flesh to bits and back to body, bio->computer interface is fast-time,
  • dreaming – confirmable information received or influential actions undertaken in dream
  • reincarnation – being death and experiencing it (from entropy to zero entropy, maybe) and coming back to life, experiencing several lives in or out of chronological sequence,

these are not necessarily mutually exclusive…

time as a river – philosophically a constant flow in a fixed river “bed”, but any “points” outside of fixed observation are unordered and in total disorganisation, events are subjectively reported, and as such exist solely from observation, and no event can be repeated

block universe, fate, fixed causality, “time as a loaf of toast bread”, going “back” in time leads to the “same” events; what happens HAS happened, what happens WILL happen, NOW and SIMULTANEITY is a matter of directional perspective in the physical universe, people are alive and a given age at any point in past or future

Multiverse, “all actions cause possible realities of actions not done”, “other dimensions of reality”, every action is a branching universe, time travel creates another universe to accommodate change in “flow of time”in the block universe, NOW may share universal creation, birth and age would be similar in parallel realities, but the effect of branching reduces the likelihood of similar parallel realities

Infinite Multiverses, the theory that the limited number of ways the particles in the Universe can be arranged causing replicated Universes, where things are potentially the same in some and very different in others

Daughter Universes is the theory that a universe exists for every possible outcome, meaning from one thing changed in a parallel reality to “non-existence”

[Here is a list of 8 types of TT, each requiring a “special universe]


  1. mono-directional – going back or forth, but not returning to point of departure, earlier or later date
  2. bi-directional – back and forth between points in time
  3. frozen time – only one or a few can move and breathe…

can function as a non-spoiler of the film or make method or theme overly obvious

  • visiting the Past – main characters visit the past
  • visiting the Future – main characters visit the future
  • visitors from the Past – main characters are visited by characters from the past
  • visitors from the Future – main characters are visited by characters from the future
  • Basic Time Travelling – main characters travel freely in time
  • Gaining advantage over the present by going to the past – eg to change events
  • Gaining advantage over the present by going to the future – eg. to get historical information
  • Personal reasons
    • Stopping or freezing time,
    • escaping a Time Loop,
    • stopping ageing,
    • visiting dead people,
    • killing people in the past
    • getting rich in the past with future knowledge,
    • escaping their present,
    • righting a wrong/wronging a right
    • etc


Tagging eg.: dinosaurs, 1872, 1980s, [occupations], Fantasy, Comedy, Lesbian interest, Arthurian legend, the apparent paradox, Korea, Hitler, Love, Monsters, etc.



Author: krabat

digter, forlægger, oversætter, admin på kunstnerhotellet menneske.dk

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