Since discussion of multiverse and time travel hijacked Carl’s stellar post “Surviving the Destructive Critique” I thought I would alleviate the diminishing line commentary (those really are annoying … there must be a better way,) with a post dedicated to the conversation of multiverse and time travel. I think a discussion about creative license and technical norm divergence (AKA what-if?), would be fun. The engine of sci-fi and fantasy runs on these notions. (In my opinion, of course.)
In this iteration of MvA (Multiverse Anthropologist), I began to understand why my story lacked credibility, not only for my readers, but for me. The story is there, in my head in full cinematic entirety. Now I just need to translate from archaic, subcutaneous imagery to proper English.
“But what about creative license?” Me ego says to meself.
Gently, because egos are so fragile, “Gov, you can be as creative as you like, but if you want people to understand you, you need some basis for them to relate.”
My ego, the self centric, gave me a blank stare. “nevermind. You keep pushing the ideas my way, I’ll polish ‘em up a bit.”
That sorted, my researcher got to work. There is still a long way to go, but thanks to input, feedback and some serious thoughtful what-ifs, here is my work-in-progress theory of multiverse and time travel:
I have learned, from theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, that gravity acts as a membrane.
“Ah, a relatable point.”
I didn’t know, until I encountered this theory, that I was searching for a mechanism, or term, or point within the vastness of stars and theories that resonated with my own experience and level of scientific knowledge. The word membrane, took me back to my early college years of studying kinesiology (I thought I wanted to be a PE teacher like my Dad … another story for another time). There was a lot of biology and chemistry in those courses, even a cadaver. I found it all fascinating, but never knew what to do with any of it, until now.
What’s the purpose of a membrane and how does that relate to time travel and the multiverse? First lets just deal with multiverse. From the NIH National Library of Medicine I found an essay by Helen Watson entitled “Biological Membranes” (link here: Biological membranes – PMC (nih.gov)). Perfect! Now I have a clear explanation and possible mechanism for moving between verses. Thank you Helen.
Membranes, in my head, look like Saran Wrap (and no, not the wadded up mess it becomes when I try to tear it off the roll,) as it stretches over a bowl or platter. It’s nearly invisible. Now there is a problem with this, I can see what’s in the bowl. But if an invisible membrane is separating verses, should we not “see” or perceive the other verses. That is overwhelming, and makes me think of this comment by Carl:
“Well, this was just free-wheeling speculation. A story idea: Given an infinite multiverse, perhaps one reality is constantly shifting into another with merely a .00000001 percent difference between them–initially. Though with every passing micro-second…”
Side note thought: If only the average reader knew how deep we dig, just to make a story plausible. I suppose writing from intrinsic knowledge solidifies your own conviction of the “truth” imbuing confidence into your words and keeping your reader happily engaged.
OKAY. So my verses are possibly, somehow, saran wrapped, now what.
I have a structure, and some basic mechanisms for manipulation of the membrane. Of course answering one question, begets a host of questions. For me, this is where research begins a dive to diminishing returns. I stop and ask, “Am I writing to the science, or am I using the science to make my story believable and credible? In this case, science does weigh heavily, so definitely 2 + 2 needs to equal 4. That’s the ‘universally’ accepted knowledge. Applying thisrationaleto membranes, the basic “known” properties should be standard, i.e. permeability, functional purpose etc. Broad properties, which in detail can be manipulated to fit my narrative. In other words, apply creative license as long as it plays within the rules of believability. If my membranes do something that membranes typically don’t do, then I run the risk of losing credibility, UNLESS, it is explained rationally, within the confines of the narrative.
Ok, I’ve established my logic, how does multiverse operate? I believe human understanding of the Universe searches for organizational reference points. Like a library. Yes, yes “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. That was pretty tidy. But while a neat concept and fun story, my characters need to live, experience and remember their experiences. This brings me to time travel. A truly fascinating concept, and perhaps a component of multiverse travel with strict parameters, but as a wise man once said, “Pick one and create your world!” ~ GD Deckard
I choose Multiverse. Still, time travel dances about the subject and it does need to be addressed and put to bed. I’ll get there.
According to “Adventravia’s Verse Jump Mission Manual”
The moment life traveled from the liquid depths of earth to the rocky shores, Humans set out on the path of exploration. As each unknown is explored, we continue our forward trajectory. Our newest frontier, The Multiverse. As Intrepid, Adventurous explorers, it is our duty to catalog our explorations for the generations who follow. The Enigmatic Multiverse has become our future for human expansion.
Humans.So caught up in our own grandeur. Anyhow, this is all that is written in the manual so far … I’m loosely using a NASA manual for shuttle missions as a template to keep it real.
My vision: (subject to change based on new ideas and evidence)
The device Dunia creates for Verse travel, initially punched a hole in the membrane leading to some undesirable results. Further research taught her how to “gently” squeeze through the porous membranes by disguising the traveler as a “substance” that is “legal” to pass. Much like a drug interacting with a cell in the human body, the whole osmosis thing. And I’m off to brush up on cellular function.
Much like Sue and John fall back on Mathematics, I relate to biology. Chemistry is fascinating. I didn’t spend enough time in those classes, however. I see the make up of our universe from a biological stand point, while understanding that mathematics does much of the detail explaination. I think once I am comfortable with “science” of my world, I can further populate it with my cast of characters.
I wonder? In some other verse, were Dunia and Sophia friends? HAHAHAHA.
Alright, I look forward to having my theory picked apart and questioned.
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