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Time travel is tricky.

It’s easy to understand why a filmmaker – especially a filmmaker on a budget – would be interested in the possibilities offered by time travel. It’s a conceit that allows plenty of room for speculative spread without necessarily requiring one to shell out a ton of cash for effects work.

However, one must also be prepared to deal with the narrative ramifications of using something like time travel. You can’t just point the camera and say “time travel” – there has to be some sense of cohesion. Without a delicate touch, the whole thing is in danger of dissolving into incoherence.

Some time travel movies – the best ones – strike a balance; the filmmaker is able to embrace the advantages offered by the concept while also avoiding the many pitfalls. The vast majority fall short of that ideal.

“In the Shadow of the Moon” is one of the many, rather than the few. Rather than building a time travel narrative that builds upon itself, it instead collapses under its own weight. Its intriguing initial idea is unable to sustain itself, crumbling into paradox. The logistical issues are either ignored or hand-waved away, rendering the central mystery an uninteresting afterthought.

Published in Movies

One of the challenges inherent to working in the realm of speculative fiction is finding new ways to explore standard genre tropes. After decades upon decades of sci-fi storytelling, it can be difficult to find interesting takes on ideas that appear to be more or less creatively exhausted.

Published in Buzz

For 27-year-old Blair McMillan of Guelph, Ontario, his girlfriend, Morgan, and their two young boys, life is simpler these days - and McMillan says he has his young son to thank for it.   

On a beautiful spring day last April, Blair asked his 5-year old son, Trey, to join him outside for some playtime in the sunshine. 'He said, No, daddy.  I want to play on the iPad,'' said McMillan. 'I started to realize how times had changed and how different it is now. When I was a kid, me and all of my friends lived outside.'  

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:23

The power of parallels The Beautiful Land'

Time travel tale an engaging read

Since 2008, Amazon.com has held a contest for aspiring writers called the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Winners are selected from amongst thousands of entries; they are awarded contracts and their books are published.

Alan Averill was the 2012 winner. His book, 'The Beautiful Land' (Ace Trade, $15), offers an interesting take on the concept of time travel. There's also a love story, plenty of horror and a liberal dose of humor thrown in for good measure.

Published in Buzz

From the very earliest days of the science fiction genre, authors have been exploring the implications of moving back and forth in time. 

Author Sean Ferrell offers his own take on the genre in his newest novel 'Man in the Empty Suit' (Soho Press, $24.95). Rather than attack the concept of time travel on a macro level, Ferrell instead chooses to share a story on the micro level; it's the tale of one man the inventor of the time machine.

Our unnamed narrator is the first man to achieve time travel. However, after untold time spent traveling from the distant past to the future and back again, the outside world has begun to lose some of its appeal. So every year, he spends his birthday partying with himself.

Published in Buzz

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