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Author Topic: Chronohodophobia and The Time Traveler's Handbook  (Read 8206 times)
United States United States

Master Augustus Redsmith

« on: February 09, 2008, 03:02:35 am »

Chronohodophobia.  Ever heard of it? I hadn't until recently yet even without knowing what it is, I can still have it. With a "phobia" ending I'm sure you can guess that it is a type of fear. If we break it apart we get get hodophobia, which is the "fear of traveling", and chrono, meaning "time." Thats right, it is the Fear of Time Travel. It is the fear of the great "What If?", and unfortunately, a condition I find myself in possession of.
Now I am a rational man. A man of science and reason. And yet I find myself in possession of a very irrational fear. I, like any sane, reasonable man, have my fair share of rational fears and I pride myself on being able to handle them. For example, I am like so many, arachnophobic, afraid of spiders. I have good control of my fear. When a spider walks across the floor in my home, I don't jump and kill it. I'll instead trap it in a glass or a bottle and usually keep it for a day or so before releasing it into the wild. However, with that being said, when I walk through a spiderweb in the woods I still freak out and jump to brush any unseen spiders out of my hair. To paraphrase an old adage, One in the hand is less frightening than whatever is in the bush.

Now, my fear of time travel can be broken down into two distinct categories.
{Please note: For the sake of argument and to make things simpler, there will be no discussion of time travel paradoxes. For this discussion we will be dealing with only the alternate branch theory. Meaning that when you travel back in time, time splits, traveling on a new branch leaving your present time and memories unaffected. If you get stuck in a paradox, then you are on your own and you'll be luck to get out with your brain unexploded. NO PARADOXES PLEASE.}

The first, and personally the most frightening, is what if your present day mind, with all your thoughts and memories, was suddenly transported back to your body in the past. 5 Years Ago? "Would I even bother to ask out that girl who cheated on me?" 10 Years Ago? "I'd have to retake high school! Or do I take the tests and skip it with my college level mind?" 21 Years Ago? (I happen to be 21) "The mind of a young adult, trapped in a newborn body! Would I go insane?" What would you do? Can you remember everything you've done so you can recreate your life exactly? Would you try to change things? Or would you go mad from years of Deja Vu and waiting to catch up to your "present" time?

The second category, for me, is less frightening and more fantasy. What if you transport, body and mind, back in time? 100 years? 200? 1000? If you were transported back to some ancient culture, what would you do to survive? What if you have no way to get back?

So, I come to an interesting predicament. How do I face my fear of time travel? As much as the non-chronohodophobics would like it, there aren't exactly time machines out there available for rent. My only conclusion is that if I cannot face my fears head on, then I must be prepared for them, and the best tool is knowledge. So my friends, here is my proposition. I wish to gather that knowledge and write a book.
The Time Traveler's Handbook. A compendium of basic knowledge to survive in the past. The book will cover the second category. I'm sorry to say, but in your own past, you're on your own. Try not to get put in a mental institution.
So, I am looking for ideas for what to include, as well as research and where to find stuff.

Here are some thoughts as to what it will include.
Introduction ~ Welcome, Don't Panic, Some basic thoughts on time travel, don't worry about paradoxes, etc...
Preparation ~ Before you travel back. Basic things to carry with you everyday just in case (hopefully you're not sucked through a wormhole while naked in the shower). Pocketknife, a towel, etc...
So You're Stuck Back in Time. Now What? ~ Assessing your situation. What year is it? Where are you? etc..
Basic Wilderness Survival ~ What if you land somewhere before it was inhabited? Or before humans evolved? Fire, shelter, water, food, hunting, gathering, etc...
Basic Languages ~ They don't speak english here, well $#!%. Or modern english hasn't evolved yet, well double $#!%. Basic phrases in common languages to keep you from getting killed before you can learn the language. Latin, Greek, Chinese, native american, arabic, etc...
Tools and Technology ~ Technology for trade. Gain favor with the king by building advanced technologies. Basic metal working for the stone age. Imagine giving steam power to the Roman Empire, making black powder, etc...
Basic World History ~ A few dates in history that really sucked and we could have done without. Remember, alternate branch theory. No paradoxes. You're making a new future, not altering your own.
Message to the Future ~ Let your loved ones know why you suddenly disappeared. A "hey guys, don't screw it up this time" message. Message preservation. Cave paintings, buried in tombs you know will be found, deep in the Vatican Vault with a "do not open until..." on it. etc...

Thanks for sticking with me this far. Not much further.

Eventually I would like to publish this as a novelty book. The premise of this book is what to do when an average person, with basic everyday modern items and this book in their pocket, is suddenly dropped back into the past. Please be serious with your response. No "I'd take a machine gun back and win an ancient battle single-handedly." Unless you want to include plans and technology (all the way from refining the metal to making the bullets) to build said machine gun, then its not going to happen. Lets also assume they are not going to think you're a god. Its more likely that if you flash your cell phone at them and show them pretty lights that they'll burn you as a witch.

Ok, I know that was a long post, but thank you for reading. Please let me know what you think and any ideas you may have. Thank You.

Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.
Snr. Officer
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Divine Wind

« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2008, 04:22:07 am »

Sounds good.

Perhaps publish it as a partwork in a blog and then draw it all together and expand it,turning  it into a book?


if I went 'round saying I was an Emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

Steampunk Collective thread
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2008, 01:30:31 pm »

That's a great idea. If you do end up publishing it, I would personally try to avoid it becoming a children's book a la "Dragonology".
Well, I would probably buy it anyway!  Wink
Zeppelin Captain
United Kingdom United Kingdom

« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2008, 01:50:49 pm »

I suffer from Chronohobophobia, the irrational fear of time-travelling vagrants.

EDIT: Technically, that wasn't a helpful or useful comment.  However, I think your idea is ace, really interesting.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 02:38:17 pm by SalieriAAX » Logged

None so knowing as he
At brewing a jorum of tea
Haha Haha
A pretty stiff jorum of tea
Deck Hand
United States United States

« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 03:10:31 am »

Sounds interesting. I would look into those people that publish books such as these:

It could give it a bit an an "authentic" handbook feel to it. Now, I did buy the pirate one and have flipped through it. It leans more torward being a funny book as opposed to being an actual manual, ie how to throw pirate parties, your pirate name, stuff like that. Just a thought.

Rogue Ætherlord
Canada Canada

Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 05:02:21 am »

My personal: make a preface who specificate than you made the book with a  self assumed as irrational but serious believe in the possibility of such travel in mind. In indicating you actually don't meant to made a fiction work, this was avoid than the book finnish in the young litterature slot. Grin

The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
The Hon. Luc Du Rette
Snr. Officer
United States United States

« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2008, 06:10:57 am »

Great idea on many levels, I believe. Practical therapy for your own fear, and those that share it with you; as well as a good practical guide to self preservation in unfamiliar culture, and a good "must know" history lesson as well.

That said, my first reccomendation would be to look at somthing like the "foxfire books", which tell you how to accomplish something from scratch, with no nowledge of the process.

As far as a recommendation for something to be sure to have on you at all times, that would be good quality gold jewelry, as in most any time and culture in history, having some gold will enable you to purchase things to survive until you acclimate yourself.

I think too many people dream of going back in time and presenting the world with the latest technology, but how many people really know enough about ALL ASPECTS of a technology to present it, anyway? and if you could, how would you avoid those who would accuse you of chicanery at best, and witchcraft at the worst?

My advice would be to learn a handcraft well enough to be able to support yourself with it if need be.

On language? Try to learn Latin, or Greek, as those are considered the languages of learning for a vast period of history, and could bridge language gaps in other languages.

I salute your idea as a very interesting concept, and i would love to see any results you come up with.

-And on another note: The universe repair team needs more duct tape already
United States United States

Master Augustus Redsmith

« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2008, 07:53:50 am »

Thanks for the ideas and the stuff on publishing everyone.
For the publishing, I want this book to be taken seriously. Or at least as serious as any book on practical time travel can be. I say I want it taken seriously, but it will not be serious. I won't have it read like a textbook or field manual. Much of my writing is inspired by one of my favorite authors, Douglas Adams. I want this to be humorous. It will be like a Hitchhiker's Guide to Time Travel (although not so much as to be considered plagiarism). When finished, I want it to be like a nice leather bound journal. I've also been thinking of some extra features. Things like blank pages in the back for notes and a pen. If I can really go all out, there will be an envelope on the back inside cover for a very basic survival kit (a zip-lock bag[can be used to protect the book among other things], a flint and steel for fire, a razor blade, fishing line and hooks, and some aluminium foil.) We'll see what the publishers allow. We will have to keep in mind the cost of the book. Maybe I'll just do some blank pages, a loop to hold a pen, and an empty envelope and I'll write what should go in it.

The ideas ya'll gave are great. Gold is definitely going to be in the book now. Thank you Luc Du Rette. Chicar, there will be a preface like you suggest. In fact much of that I have already done as my original post.
Now, I know that most likely the hardest part of this book for me will be the language section. I am horrible at foreign language. I actually changed my major to something that wouldn't require foreign language after I failed spanish for a third time. However, they do say latin is easier. I do have a friend that I believe can help with the latin translations but I will need others to help with other base languages. The language section will mostly be a list of basic translated phrases. Things like "Where am I?" "What year is it" "No, please don't kill me." You know, the basics. If you can think of any phrases that would be good, let me know. If you can also provide a translation into some language that would be great.

Since my first post, I have had one other idea for a section to add. A section on basic medicine. Antibiotics would be a big part of this. Maybe include how you can find Penicillin. Also, there are many natural plant oils with antibiotic properties. Stuff like that.

Once again, thanks for the ideas so far. Please, if any of you have knowledge in any field that you think might be useful in the book, then I'll take all that you have to offer. Thank You.
Cortigiana Onesta
Japan Japan

Steampunk Courtesan

« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2008, 07:58:28 am »

It sounds like a very interesting project that could provide wonderful results. I wish you the best of luck in it.

We'll see what the publishers allow. We will have to keep in mind the cost of the book. Maybe I'll just do some blank pages, a loop to hold a pen, and an empty envelope and I'll write what should go in it.

You should also not rule out self publishing. Nowadays you can find various self publishers that far surpass any vanity publishing. There is even Lulu.

The language section will mostly be a list of basic translated phrases. Things like "Where am I?" "What year is it" "No, please don't kill me." You know, the basics.

Absolutely brilliant!

von Brasswood
Zeppelin Captain
Norway Norway

Master of Graphical Marvel

« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2008, 10:20:23 am »

#1: It shouldn't be to large. This could be hard, as you're putting a lot of info in it, but I don't think it should be any bigger than any "Lonely Planet" guide.

#2: It should have the words "Don't panic" in large, friendly letters on the back (from one Douglas Adams-fan to another Wink ).

"Steam punk is like a top hat: You can watch it from different angles and enjoy different things about it, and there are no single hat that fits everyones head."
- vonB
Time Traveler

Only The Shadow knows

« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2008, 12:35:33 pm »

You might want to hurry up with this book. Time travel might be a reality in a few weeks.  Wink

I´ve myself thought about doing a guide to time travel. That would however focus on possible methods, paradoxes and possible historical occurences.

Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
The Hon. Luc Du Rette
Snr. Officer
United States United States

« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2008, 03:21:26 pm »

Oh, let's not forget that honey has antiseptic qualities, and can prevent infection on wounds. Willow bark contains the chemical found in aspirin, and was chewed for centuries to relieve pain before aspirin was chemically produced.

Now, I do want to clarify something, rehandfilms; by saying you want to include gold in the book, did you mean literally, or as a reference to carrying it? Including it as a part of the book (as say, a loose, large, high-quality gold bookmark which could be broken off in pieces as necessary) might add significantly to the price of the book, but could also provide a ready source of good quality gold, which is sometimes hard to come by. On the other hand, referencing what one should carry instead of providing it will decrease the size (and shipping weight!) of the package, but taking that path, you would need to be pretty specific. A lot of people don't know the difference between solid gold, gold plate, and so on. How many plants can you recognise on sight? and from which continents?

You might give some thought to this, as well: describing different levels of "kits" to prepare.
Say, a "ten-year kit" would not need to contain a lot, as things have not changed significantly enough to make things difficult to adjust to, while a "million-year kit" would require a footlocker full of equipment, at least; but you would start out gathering the items or knowledge for the ten year, and build to the 50, the 100, etcetera, as each kit could build on the last?

I do like the idea of treating this humourously, in the vein of the hitchhiker's guide.
A suggestion for a catchphrase to replace the obvious "Don't panic!" would be simply to say, "Breathe!"

After all, if you don't catch your breath after travelling, you won't last long.

Thinking on a practical level, though, you might focus more on knowledge you can learn that you may need, rather than things to take, just in case there is that "arrive nude" scenario. Or at least divide each "kit" mentioned above into two sections, knowledge, and stuff?

As you can see, this idea has really got me going, I am really looking forward to seeing more suggestions on this one!

United States United States

« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2018, 06:16:07 pm »

This may sound crazy but I think I know what you're talking about.  The devils in the details so to speak.  I even caught myself thinking the same thing at the same time.  Very frustrating.  If you want to have a serious conversation please leave me your email address and I'll respond.

Deck Hand
Australia Australia

« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2018, 05:37:13 am »

I don't really have anything to contribute, but if this book has been finished sometime over the past 10 years where could one find it?
As in title, real author's name?

-Elymas J. Banderbine
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