Time Travel Is a Fascinating Way to Explore!

Hello peeps!  J here.  I just finished reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King.  I mean I “just” finished.  Like 10 minutes ago.  My sister got a signed copy for Christmas and I hijacked it.  Have you heard of this book?  It’s new, just came out in November.  It was REALLY a great read.

I’m not a huge reader of Stephen King’s books.  I read The Shining when I was about 20 and it scared the bejesus out of me.  I have a very active imagination and I don’t need help getting frightening images in my head.  One day of high stress and my dreams become 3-D night-terrors for a week.  After that one twirl around the dance floor, Mr. King and I stayed on opposite sides of the ballroom.  I did read The Stand (the long one) when I was 27 (the first time – I’ve had many 27th birthdays since) and I enjoyed the story, but there were definitely parts of it where I was reading huddled into a corner of my living room where no one could sneak up on me, that’s for sure.  

Then this past summer, I was researching book trailers (see mine here…) and I came across a great trailer for Under The Dome.  If you wonder how trailers should look, check out this fabu example.  Of course, we don’t all have Mr. Kings deep pockets…which I’m sure has a lot to do with the difference between his and mine.  I was intrigued enough to get Under The Dome out of the library a few months ago.  It was also quite good, but a bit long for me.

Now, 11/22/63 is at least as big a book as Under the Dome and at 850 pages in hard cover, probably about the size of the longer version of The Stand, but the story doesn’t seem too long, or draggy.  What kept me glued to my chair wasn’t fast paced action or a heart wrenching love story, although 11/22/63 has both of those.  I was mesmerized by his detailed descriptions of life in the late 1950s and early 1960.

Gerard Butler in Timeline

I’ve been a fan of time travel stories ever since I watched Somewhere In Time at some point in the 1980s.  I read all the Constance O’day Flannery time travel romances and, of course, I absolutely devour Lynn Kurland’s time travel romances, with many other time travels thrown in for good measure.  Michael Creighton’s Timeline was a page turner and a good movie.  I’m even going to write a time travel myself this year.  But most of the TT stories I’ve read have the character traveling to a distant time – hundreds of years, or nearly so.

I was born in 1970, just two days after the Beatles broke up (hence the reason for my many 27th birthdays).  1958 is just a dozen years earlier and 1963 is just a hop skip and jump backwards, but American life as Stephen King described it is as foreign seeming to me as Lynn Kurland’s Artane castle of 1215.

soda can pull ring

I grew up with a rotary phone, dimes in my penny loafers to make a call at a pay phone, and life with only 3 channels of TV.  I can barely remember watching a black and white television, twisting the rabbit ears to find just the right angles.  I remember the invention of the pop-top soda can and the commercial with the teary-eyed Native American in his regalia climbing a mountain of litter.  But even so, I can’t picture a world where I might utter the words, “You’re my husband, so of course I’ll obey you.”  Or where I might buy a candy bar with a racial slur in its name.   King’s descriptions are so real, the flavor of a root beer, the cloudy haze of a public smoking everywhere, the narrow-mindedness of a school board firing a teacher for having the bad taste to be the victim of a home invasion.

This all struck me as so odd, that I had to ask my mom about it.  She was 10 in 1958 (she’s only 35 now, so you understand where  I get my penchant for creative math).  She clearly remembers a time when women were expected to wear hats and gloves to church and skirts to work.  And of course, defer to the wiser, stronger, more adept men in their Holly-homemaker little lives.

All of this brings me to today’s secret: time travel is a fascinating way to explore!  Our 2012 sensibilities might be affronted by life in an earlier time, but that’s kind of what makes it so interesting to imagine.

Today’s question: What’s your favorite time?  I’m hard pressed to choose between  medieval England, Revolutionary America or maybe even the 1950’s.  I sure would like to taste that root beer.


20 thoughts on “Time Travel Is a Fascinating Way to Explore!”

  1. Fabulous post J. I’m not too far ahead of you as I was born around the time the Beatles took America by storm, but I love “modern day” time travel. The 20th century was such an amazing time of industry, technology and social change.

    As for Mr. King’s deep pockets, his trailer, although captivating and action packed, went by too fast to read any of the captions and could have been fifteen seconds longer for my money. If i’m going to spend $20 on his brick of a book, I’d like to see a little more of what I’m in for.

    If I could travel to another time, I think I’d go forward about a hungred years. i’m facinated by the possibilities of where we’re headed…terrified…but facinated. Did I mention I’m plotting a Dystopian Trilogy for later this year? The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael will take place in the not too distant future of 2048. That’s as far as my imagination will take me.

    1. 2048 – cool! I’ve been watching Terra Nova this year. It’s a TV show, set in 2149, but then they travel to some prehistoric place and colonize that. It’s a cool show. It might be on hiatus for a while, I think they were only contracted for 13 episodes in the fall. Hopefully, they’ll bring it back.

  2. I think I’d rather travel to the future than the past. Life wouldn’t be good for me a few hundred years ago so I’m gonna stick with the unknown.

  3. Fun post J! As far as time travel, I love to read about it, but I’d never want to do it for real. I enjoy many time periods of history so its hard to choose just one!

    1. It is hard to choose! I wouldn’t actually wan to go either, too many people I love in the here and now. Of course, the heroine in these books usually has nothing and no one to come home to…

  4. Hi J,
    Loved your post today…am definitely following your successes…as you might remember I love sci fi time travel, especially episodes of Star Trek TNG where portals and black holes cause temporal loops…Happy New Year to you and yours, old friend!

    1. RoomMonster! How the heck are ya?! I’ve been watching a lot of Big Bang Theory, lately. Lots of Star Trek references and of course BNL does the theme song…gotta love geek humor. And I was just dreaming of a holodeck the other day…still don’t know how they traveled great distances in a hologram…you’d think they’d hit the other side of the room eventually. But no, Picard was always able to canter his horse…

  5. I write time travel, so in a way, that gives me a chance to explore some of the times I’d like to visit. I’m also a sci-fi geek, and the recent announcement of the time cloak invention has me super excited that this might be a possibility. Right now, I’m working on the sequel to my first book, and getting to experience 1920’s Egypt and the beginning of the Gold Rush in California. But I’m a sucker for the 1790s-Victoria era.

    1. Oooooh – what’s your first book? I love time travel stories. And what’s this about a time cloak? I’ll have to look into that…

      1. Thanks J! First book is called Past Her Time, available at the usual places! And the time cloak was invented at Cornell University, it uses light to a. make the wearer seem like they’ve dissapeared, and b. go back a few seconds in time.

    1. Too much stuff on my bookshelves already. She only has 25 books and could always use another. And King is one of the only authors she’ll read. It was good though! Thanks.

  6. Hi J,
    I remember black and white TV, my aunt had a party line phone, and I remember life prior to pantyhose! I recall mother dressing me in dresses, with hats, purse and gloves for church (of course I was very young). Still, to this day when I go to church I can not bring myself to wear slacks. As for what periods are my favorite, I wrote a time travel and two historical romances (I do love my research) and I would have to say my favorite times were American Civil War and medieval England (I love the thoughs of King Arthur and knights).

    1. Revolutionary War, Civil War and Medieval England really appeal to me too. I’ve put down books about Medieval France, Medieval Italy and even a few about Victorian Russia. Don’t know why, but it’s England for me. Maybe it’s left over from a past life…And Gerri, I can’t imagine life before pantyhose…stockings and garters for everybody?! Yikes! I can imagine life after pantyhose…I haven’t donned a pair since 2003 and don’t really ever plan to again! 🙂

  7. Let me preface by saying that I’d rather have a teleporting machine that could get me from one place on this earth to another instantaneously. That way I could travel without the time commitment. Imagine: no jet lag! Instant gratification! Now, if I were to go back in time, I’d like to go all the way back to the caveman era, as long as I was absolutely sure that there was no possible way for my time machine to malfunction and it was guaranteed I would get home! I would like to finally solve the mystery of what happened to the Neanderthals — were they killed off by Homo Sapiens, or by some other reason, or were they absorbed into the Homo Sapiens gene pool? (I think I read somewhere that Ozzy Osbourne has Neanderthal genes . . . ). Yes, this is the kind of question that keeps me up nights. I would also like to travel to the appropriate times to answer the following bothersome mysteries: When exactly did the Vikings first reach the Americas, and why did they leave? What really happened at Roanoke? Who really killed JFK? I would also like to go back to about 1915 and meet my great grandmother as a teenager homesteading in North Dakota with her parents, then jump forward to about 2063 or so and meet my grandkids and great grandkids. Then I’d probably want to go back home for a long soak in the tub, a glass of wine, and some familiar food!

    1. OK – I like it. A whirlwind time jaunt…complete with time to decompress built in. Kinda like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure with a spa day after. Or a time cruise…a little bit of everything, adventure and rest. Ozzy has Neanderthal genes, huh…that could explain a lot…perhaps not Sharon’s attraction to him…but other things.

  8. Wonderful post – the world got Star Trek, the Monkees, and me all in the same year, so I vividly remember rotary phones, three channels plus PBS, and get some interesting moments of deja vu when watching Mad Men, as my dad worked in advertising during that era. Currently polishing a time travel of my own, between 16th century Scotland to modern NYC and back again, so right now, that’s my time travel pick. Plop me down in England any time between the end of the Wars of the Roses and the end of the American Revolution/War for Independence and I’m a happy camper. Or possibly the Edwardian age.

  9. I’m happy in the here and now. Sanitation and health care and (mostly) equal rights and all that. 😉

    Loved the post, I am a big Mr King fan, so his new one is definitely on my must-read list, right after I finish this little series of Game of Thrones,

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