The Chronoversal Compendium is a detailed technical analysis of all the ways time travel could work, and even the ways it couldn’t. It is a textbook that starts with various assumptions about time travel and then investigates their ramifications as scientifically as possible. It could serve as a guide for sci-fi authors who want to make a detailed and consistent universe where time travel exists, as well as for fans who want to understand time travel stories better. It could even be used as a starting point for scientists if time travel is actually shown to be real.
The Chronoversal Compendium is currently in progress. Look for it soon!
Modern theories generally suggest the past cannot be changed even if we could go back in time, but counter theories exist that contradict that, too. Interpreting them is its own exercise in parsing jargon from quantum mechanics and cosmology. If one doesn’t wish to be constrained by the minutiae of modern physics, as is often the case in science fiction, there are scarcely any resources for understanding time travel at all.
The Chronoversal Compendium: A Time Travel Textbook is the first ever endeavor to analyze and compile all the possible mechanics of time travel. In it, I look at the various assumptions we might make about time travel–e.g., “the past can be changed”, “changing the past could make you fade from existence”, or “there are other timelines”–and examines in detail what each of these assumptions would mean for the rules of the universe.
Hard science fiction is often built on “one big lie,” where a single fictional concept is incorporated into the mundane world, and its consequences play out as a result of its inclusion. Much like a scientific theory, the results are based as much on currently known science as possible. Since most forms of time travel are beyond the bounds of modern physics, its analysis requires a certain level of flexibility. It straddles the line between speculative science and fictional science.
The models presented in the Compendium are based on modern theories of physics as much as possible. Chaos theory, general relativity, and quantum mechanics are all incorporated into this analysis as closely as they can be. The existence of time travel is consistent with some models of general relativity, but its practice is still purely fictional. We could optimistically say that this doesn’t necessarily mean that time travel can’t ever truly exist, and should it be fully realized, this text could provide insight into what the discovery means. The research for the Compendium combines the bleeding edge research of renowned physicists with the narratives of over a hundred titles in science fiction and fantasy.