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How to Keep Time Travelers out of Your Livingroom

Let’s Build a Time Machine

Suppose we can. Then what? What about time travel security?

Let’s say you have a device that transports you into the future. Well, we’re doing that already, but I mean faster than we’re traveling now. I’m not talking about losing a second or two by flying at Mach 6 for three days, I’m talking about jumping into your time machine and a minute later stepping out into next year.

Problem: The Earth Moved

Depending on the method of time travel, this could be a problem.

Fix: The time machine also moves, so it shows up in the same place you left.

Good. Now you have a forward-time and space traveling machine with a wave of the author’s hand. Will that work for you?

I can suspend my belief for that if the story’s good. Make the characters engaging or funny and I’ll close my eyes to any violation against the laws of physics. Oh, and you must be consistent. You can’t say, “It is not possible to use the transporter during warp” one episode and then do it the next.

Great. Let’s call the time traveling machines “pods.” They can jump forward in time and space.

Livingroom with white brick walls and a toupe colored modular sofa setLivingroom with white brick walls and a toupe colored modular sofa set and the time traveling Tardis

Problem: No Time Travel Security

If the bad guys have these pods, they can just show up in your headquarters or even living room and demand all your Halloween candy. No problem, if there’s any candy left, which there won’t be because your brother ate it all.

Fix: Create a dampening field that makes the pod’s navigation computer go wonky.


No, seriously. I’ll give you some Halloween candy if you go with it.

Got any of those little Snickers bars?

Uh, no. How about black licorice?

Uhg, no way.

Kit Kat? Three of them.

Ok, but how are you going to jump your pod into your own city if this field thing is running?

I can only jump into specific places that are shielded from the dampening field. Let’s call them “gateways,” and I’ll make three of them and add a lot of security. You land your pod in the gateway and then take a shuttle to the city.

That might work.

Okay, then. I’ll put it in my second novel. Thanks!

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