The Essential Guide to Time Travel

Temporal Anomalies & Replacement Theory

Mark Joseph Young

ISBN-978-1-989940-29-7 (Paper) | 978-1-989940-30-3 (E-book)

Over two decades ago the web site Temporal Anomalies in Popular Time Travel Movies was launched, applying and developing the time travel theories from Multiverser:  The Game to understand and explain what was appearing on the big screen.  Periodically someone would ask whether there was going to be a book, and the answer was always, who would buy a book when there's this web site?

However, the web site grew, and as more information became part of it, it became unweildy, disorganized, difficult to navigate.  Then Dimensionfold Publishing expressed interest in releasing a more concise explanation of time travel, and this book was born.  While remaining concise, it is comprehensive, covering everything a time traveler--or a time travel enthusiast--needs to know.

It begins with the three major theories of time--fixed time theory, multiple dimension theory, and replacement theory--with the varied forms of each and an exploration of their problems.  As it delves into these, there are expositions of the predestination paradox, the grandfather paradox, the Novikov Self-consistency Principle, parallel versus divergent dimensions, temporal duplicates, infinity loops, Niven's Law, butterfly effects, and more.  Then with that foundation, the core concepts are illustrated by dissecting four movies--Back to the Future, The Terminator, Los Cronocrimines, and Predestination.  It then ties up a few loose ends, such as meeting yourself, jumping into bodies, how to change the past, and foreseeing the future, and ends with a short story in which time travel plays a critical role.

Eugene Whong, producer and co-host of The Time Travel Forensics Podcast, says:

If you’ve ever watched a time travel film and thought to yourself, “Hey, that’s not how it would work!” then this book is for you.  While most time travel stories will simply have a character say a few lines of technobabble to handwave away plot holes or logical gaps, in The Essential Guide to Time Travel, Mark Joseph Young explains the leading time travel theories in a logical concise way, then picks apart some of our most loved and cherished time travel films to show how they either make sense or don’t (hint, they usually don’t).

But he doesn’t stop there.  Young uses the replacement theory to rationalize what had to have happened across multiple unseen timelines in order for what we see on screen to have happened.  His analyses also plausibly solve paradoxes that the stories themselves create, thereby saving the universe!

The knowledge contained in this book will make you enjoy the time travel genre in new, mind-blowing ways.  You’ll never just “watch” another time travel movie ever again.

More information about the book including links to retailers carrying it in either print or electronic format and to a variety of popular ebook formats is available on the publisher's website.  The book is available under the title The Essential Guide to Time Travel through booksellers.  Amazon offers the paperback and Kindle editions.

Books by Author Mark Joseph Young

M. J. Young Net