1. MapleLeaf
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    MapleLeaf Member

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    Travel Devices - help!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MapleLeaf, Nov 11, 2009.

    I need some ideas on devices that can traverse parallel universes. Not necessarily time travel but ways that I can transport my main character from one dimension to another. Ofcourse I could use an object .. a car, an artifact, and give it certain "powers" but that seems simplistic. Looking for inspirational ideas and suggestions, please folks.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It need not be a vehicular device at all.

    In Robert J. Sawyer's series chronicling the adventures of a Neanderthal named Ponter Boddit who is born in an alternate universe and also happens to be a scientist working on quantum computing, the author uses the very quantum computer on which Ponter is working as the inadvertent medium of travel.

    Ponter is accidentally transported to the same location in our universe and finds himself in an underground neutrino detector in Canada.

    Adventures ensue. :D
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A couple of examples:
    There are crossover point just there, you just don't know it most of the time: For a Foggy Night. There was a short-lived series in 1977, The Fantastic Journey, with that theme, set in the Bermuda Triangle.
    A fixed mechanism creates vortices between poarallel realities: TV series Sliders
    A side effect of a time-travel device: Larry Niven's collection, The Flight of the Horse
    In general, alternate realities are associated with quantum physics, and it is a legitimate area of speculation and investigation in modern physics. In short, random decision points are always occurring, and in each case, the full spread of probabilities all take place, each resulting in a reality branch point. Another Larry Niven story, All the Myriad Ways, illustrates what happens if you were to be able to choose which branch to follow.
     
  4. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    According to Michio Kaku, a parallel world could be right in front of your nose. He says the reason we can see them is because they are out of phase with our reality. He uses the radio analogy. Many radio stations are in your home, but you must tune you radio to the right frequency to hear it.

    So, you could have a device that alters the frequency of the human body, thus allowing him to be in phase with an parallel world.
     
  5. Tall and Weird
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    Tall and Weird New Member

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    If you want it to be a vehicle, you'll need to work out what the hazards of reality-hopping are.

    A normal car is the product of a million little things like aerodynamics, hydraulics, seat belts, tyres, brakes, steering, indicators, and many more that are all designed to protect someone from the dangers of travelling at the speeds these vehicles are capable of.

    A reality-hopping vehicle would be designed to make hopping reality, not only possible, but survivable.

    If you are wanting a device of some kind, I'd suggest a portal of some description. In some comic I read way back when if anyone dialled a series of numbers on a phone then the next door he went through would take him to a particular shop.

    I had an idea once about a company that specialised in the portal thing. The mechanisms for achieving the portals were in shipping containers that were hidden behind the actual portal. Once the doors were open it appeared that the container held another world.

    Of course, you could always make it a wardrobe... :)
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There's another aspect of reality jumping. The question of returning "home." The longer you are away, the more your home worldline begins to spread out. Any of the timelines that derive from your departure worldline are home, but it becomes increasingly difficult to identify a worldline as your own.

    There was an episoide of Star Trek: The Next Generation that dealt with alternate realities, and they came up with a "quantum signature" to identify Worf's natural reality. The paragraph above explains why that would not work.
     
  7. MapleLeaf
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    MapleLeaf Member

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    Great feedback everyone, thanks for your comments. I am going to read up on the references you guys have provided, and go from there. This was very helpful - thanks!
     
  8. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    Mystical visualisation where a heightened state of awareness lets you see and then switch to the alternate reality.

    Falling into a black hole (with perhaps some protection against spaghettification).

    Something wearable - a bracelet/wrist device perhaps.
     
  9. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    In line with what Cog brought up, there is also another TV show called Sliders that was out during the 90's. Part of the plot was that they couldn't find their home world and kept sliding from one alternate universe to another.

    Is it just me or is the whole Alternate Universe idea really taking off in the fiction world right now??
     
  10. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Wow this is useful stuff as I'm intending to write a timetravel type of story at some point. Though my ideas are based more on the science of actual time travel I just used my creativity to fill in the gaps in physics that scientists haven't been able to prove yet.

    And yes I'd agree it is becoming a more and more popular subject in fiction, this is probably due to the recession, terrorism etc and peoples need for escapism.
     
  11. Nackl of Gilmed
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    Nackl of Gilmed Member

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    As I understand it, the genre was diverted away from this sort of stuff after the atomic bomb was developed in WWII. It became all bleak and apocalyptic for a while, before the speculative element eventually managed to creep back in.
     
  12. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I was doing a little research on the subject after I asked that question last night...and it appears that parallel universes, alternate universes, and time travel type stuff has been steadily popular since the mid 1800's. It did slow down some as far as appearing in fiction during the 40's, but picked back up again during the 50's to now. It has grown more in popularity since quantum mechanics/physics has become more mainstream.

    I would guess that would be not so much due to our societies desire to escape our reality, but the idea offers such a wide range of possibilities that writers today are exploring it more thoroughly. I imagine that with the finding of water on the moon we'll see more lunar bases in fiction in the next few years too.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Also the fact that the idea of alternate or branching realities becomes less speculation and more computation as the hard sciences progress.
     

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