Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Spies from the Past


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

The other day I was watching an episode of NOVA called "D-Day's Sunken Secrets". And because time travel is always on my mind (well, not always, but frequently), I got to thinking...

What if spies could time travel to the future to find out how the enemy won their war?

42 comments:

  1. That would change the outcome. And then spies from the other side would go forward and they'd change the outcome. It would go back and forth and we'd be caught in a loop forever...

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    1. ...which would probably disrupt the workings of the universe and cause literally everything in it to implode or get sucked into the ultimate black hole.

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    2. Well, I didn't think anyone would go there...

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  2. Or time travel to the past to find out dangerous information and change it. That would be bad.

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    1. But would that change the outcome of the war?

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  3. All kinds of possibilities with this. I guess that's why time travel books never become boring.

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    1. Oh yes. That's probably why a time travel angle is always on my mind...

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  4. It would be good as long as they were working for you and not for the enemy.

    betty

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  5. War is fundamentally a competition. Peeking into the future would be cheating. I suppose if spies on both sides had access to the future, it might make wars irrelevant. That might be a good thing.

    VR Barkowski

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  6. I guess that is why I am glad there isn't the ability to 'time travel'.

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  7. That poses a lot of questions. Like can they change history? Or if they do, is it just an alternate dimension? Also how did they ever make a time machine??

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  8. Well then I guess it would work both ways!

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    1. Yes, unless one could find a way to limit the possibilities.

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  9. Then it would be constant changes back and forth as their spies would go forward and see the change lol

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    1. Of course, that could be a story in and of itself...

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  10. But then how would we know if the that was really how the war ended or how they made it end because they knew how it ended?

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    1. That's where all the crazy how-does-time-travel-work stuff comes in.

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  11. Gosh...I think this would be horrible especially given WW2 and the Nazi regime. I would just hope that the allies know the secret and stopped it before it happened. The again, this could have happened in a parallel universe(s). I think my head is about to explode

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    1. Lots of things that shouldn't have worked went right in WWII. Which is part of where the question came from.

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  12. So many speculations about time travel in the science fiction literature I enjoy. I tend to speculate that any time travel will only be in one direction - into the future, with no way back. Otherwise, a whole lot of physical laws may get seriously bent.

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    1. Yeah, paradoxes and the like. It's a challenging concept, to be sure.

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  13. Probably more frightening if spies traveled to the future to learn how atomic weapons were made.

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  14. Time travel. One of my favorite genres! I do believe time travel to the future is possible, but it is going to take advanced technology not available in today's world. I also think it would be a one-way trip. No bouncing back and forth through time. Time travel to the past? I don't think so.

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    1. Aw... That ruins all sorts of great story ideas.

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    2. I know. Bummer. You can still tell stories about traveling to the past you just can't do it. If you want to actually travel in time, you have to go to the future. At least that's what Einstein said--I think. ;-) I love time travel books!

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    3. These questions are about the stories, anyway.

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    4. True. I love time travel stories and have to say I prefer the ones where the hero/heroine travel back in time.

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  15. Time travel books are my favourites. Interesting what Valerie above said. You'd think it would be the opposite.

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    1. I've heard Valerie's theory. That is, I've seen something where that was described as the only way time travel could occur. It's all conjecture at this point, anyway.

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  16. I listen to a podcast called "Generation Why" and they did an episode that was just questions from listeners. One random question was, "What if the lottery was set up by the government merely to identify time travelers?" I had to think about it for a minute! My husband looked it up and, sure enough, there are conspiracy theorists out there who actually believe that the govt. uses the lottery system to identify time travelers (because they'd know the winning numbers). I'd like to know what they think the government actually uses to identify time travelers among the winners!

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    1. Interesting theory! I always wondered how those time travelers from our future made a living here. Now I know. ;-)

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    2. But what if them coming back in time disrupted the random factor and made their "winning" lottery numbers useless? (Some people just have too much time on their hands.)

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  17. This sounds like a truly dangerous problem. It reminds me of the show based on the movie "Twelve Monkeys". The travails of time travel make for really interesting plot twists.

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    1. I love 12 Monkeys. So glad it's returning for season 3.

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    2. Is that on Netflix? I've been meaning to watch it, but I can't stand waiting from week-to-week for the next episode. I prefer to binge watch.

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    3. I don't have Netflix, so I have no idea. New episodes were on SyFy. You can still find season 2 OnDemand.

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  18. That sounds complicated. Are you thinking just the spies for one side? Because if both sides has spies that could do it, maybe the war would never be won?

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    1. I hadn't thought about that. Since I didn't specify, we can say that both sides figure out the technology. Eventually.

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  19. I'm so having a brain fart right now but there was that line of movies where they accidentally escaped death and changed the course of things but fate kept coming and trying to kill them another way because they shouldn't be there anymore. I think that's what would happen. Maybe they could time travel and see how things turn out and go back and change that one factor that led to losing the battle but fate would just find another way to bring about the same results.

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