In my collection of short stories called “Fabricated”, I link together disparate fantasy machines. I’ve been saying they are strong links, but there is one weaker link. For time travel into the past, I substitute seeing into the past. I know that seeing into the past isn’t time travel. But there is a certain type of time travel, that doesn’t mess with cause and effect, that it does mimic.
I don’t want to give away my method of seeing into the past in my book, so I will use the only other way I know how to see into the past.
That other way is with ‘slow’ glass. The speed of light is a variable that is different depending on the medium it is in. Usually the speed of light in a vacuum is used as the constant for the speed of light. But it is different in different glasses and plastics.
Imagine a glass where the speed of light is slowed considerably. If you could make light slow down such that it travels through one pane of glass in 12 hours, you would have a cheap way to light a room at night.
Plus you could go outside and pose at the slow glass pane, then come inside and stand by the same pane and say “Look at that. I’m faster than light!” You would however have to wait almost 12 hours to prove it.
Also with 6 month slow glass, you could grow plants in the arctic in a greenhouse in the winter! Fresh vegetables and fruit, all year long.
Anyhow, I’ve been digressing. With slow glass you can see into the past. With lip readers you can even “hear” some of what was said. I liken it to the DC comics time travel of Superman.
I forget how, but Superman could go back to the past. When he did so, he was outlined in dashed lines in the comics. This was because he could not touch anything or speak to anyone or be seen. It was like he was a ghost. He could touch nothing and people would just walk through him. But he could see and hear things as they happened around him.
Notice that this DC comics time travel has no problems with cause and effect. He could just hear and see in the past. This is the same net effect of just seeing into the past. I may not have totally linked seeing into the past with time travel in “Fabricated”. But I believe I have done it here.
After writing this, I realize that I am going to have to include slow glass into my series. It’s too late for it to go in this book, but I see no reason it can’t be included in another book in the series. All for the sake of completeness.