Episode 3 - The Outsider Problem

In this episode, we talk about an oft-overlooked complication to Variable Thread travel: when a traveler changes the past and creates a new thread, they also create another version of themselves. We go over several options for mitigating this, and even touch on the death of the VCR and the hosts' faulty memories. We also discuss the ramifications of traveling forward in time in a Variable Thread story.

New Guidelines:

For Variable Thread time travel, make sure you address the Outsider Problem, via either the narrative or mode of travel.

New Questions:

How does your story handle the Outsider Problem?

Media References:

Movies & TV:
Back to the Future
Back to the Future II
The Butterfly Effect
Quantum Leap
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Timshifters, Chris Grine

Time Stories
Loop, Inc.

Episode 2 - Variable Thread

CORRECTION: In the episode, Jesse mentions the movie The Manhattan Project II. This was in error. The film in question was actually called The Philadelphia Experiment II. Unfortunately, this error wasn't discovered until after the episode was published. The Media References section and this page have been updated.

Jesse & Jonathan define and discuss what's probably the most common time travel theory: Variable Thread.

New Definitions:

Variable Thread: A time travel theory wherein a traveller is able to affect the timeline and change events.

New Guidelines:

Variable thread: Be sure to consider small changes to the timeline as well as the big ones, but only in service of the story. You can't map every single difference that expand out from your change, so pick your battles.

New Questions:

What, if anything, are the travelers trying to change?

What do they actually change?

How do your changes affect the thread?

Media References:

Short Stories:
A Sound of Thunder, Ray Bradbury

The Philadelphia Experiment II
Back to the Future II
About Time

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