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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Questions for Time Travel Readers

Time travel readers, how important is the setting to you in a story?
The reason I ask is that I'm supposed to write a short story (6,500 words or so).  My story will involve the heroine traveling to the future, but the one idea I have puts her in the wilds of Afghanistan with a Special Forces soldier.  I can't come up with one good way for her to end up smack dab in the middle of a city full of technology, not one that keeps her and the hero together.  If he finds her disoriented in a desolate area, however, he has no choice except to take her with him and keep her with him.  If he finds her in the city and she claims to be from 2010, he'll just call someone so she can get the help she needs.
What worries me is that time travel lovers will feel cheated by a story that takes place in an area that's primitive by today's standards and won't be much more modern when my hero and heroine are running loose.  I don't want to disappoint anyone who wants to see a future world.
This leaves me with a big dilemma.  Do I write the story I have in which the setting won't be futuristic until maybe the very end?
Come up with another idea, right?  And actually, I do have one of those, but that poses a different question.  Would you believe that someone could time travel from America to another planet?
I was concerned that it might stretch the bounds of credulity just to have a woman travel through time from the US to Afghanistan and that sending her smack dab into the middle of Old City on Jarved Nine would be more than any reader could buy.  What do y'all think?
This is actually an idea I like a lot and could see writing.  The heroine has a tougher time figuring out how to return home if she's stuck on another planet and I can easily envision Troll being assigned to baby sit her.  Maybe his commanding officer believes that she's working for the coalition as a spy and it's his job to make sure she doesn't sabotage anything.  This offers all kinds of possibilities and I'd love to write this version of the story (I think) more than the first idea.  But is it believable at all?
What if I had some alien building/device on Jarved Nine interact with the time travel method to pull her to the Old City?  Would you believe that?
I want to give readers a story that they'll enjoy and that meets their expectations for time travel.  That means a story where the heroine is a fish-out-of-water and has to learn to get along in this new time into which she's been thrust.  I can do that if I go with the second idea, but does it work or is it an "yeah, right, this is stupid" thing?
Opinions definitely needed and appreciated!