12 April 2007

Time travel what exactly is it?

So I had the sequel to my only dabble into anything other than a straight historical / historical romance come out recently and a question raised its head again. What genre is time travel? I mean yes it's historical in nature, but it can it be a truly accurate depiction of history since you've got a character that is bringing modern ideals with them, if not technology from other times. My particular character's soul was switched by the gods of ancient Egypt when she died in the present with a woman who died in the past. Does that make it paranormal? Without even hearing the premise I've had people tell me vehemently no. Paranormals are only witches, vampires, werewolves they say. If there's a gadget that caused it does that make the story a science fiction. Are they included in the new genre of steam punk if the character creates technology using the means at hand in the past? I wouldn't particularly call it a fantasy even though it is fantastical. So is time travel its own little genre within historicals? separate of historicals? Really where do they fit in the whole spectrum when they're history but not?


Tess said...

Well, I believe the FF&P chapter includes TT writers, so I don't think everyone is so rigid. I tend to think of a TT as a paranormal historical. How's that for sitting on the fence?

Given the marketing problems, I still hope to sell my TT to a smaller press at some point.

Teresa D'Amario said...

In most cases, I've seen time travel listed as a sub genre of paranormal. Some more paranormal than others. But I've not seen them by themselves as historicals.

Michelle Styles said...

I call them fantasy and I know when Luna first started that was where they were put.

Paranormal means anything outside the normal bounds, a time traveller is definitely paranormal.

There are definite historical elements, and the Historical Novelists society does recognise them as being within the historical cannon.

HOWEVER, my publisher does not publish any sort of paranormal in its historical line up at the moment. That is left to the other lines. Joanne Rock recently did a time travel for Blaze, for example.

Marjorie Jones said...

I've always considered TTs to be paranormal. Especially the way you've described it, where the gods are involved and it's a mystical vs. a mechanical means. If it were a 'time machine', I'd have to call that one science fiction. But ancient gods switching souls around? Paranormal, for sure.


DeborahBrent said...

True story.

Several years ago my sister, Jessie Verino, wrote a TT. She had the heroine travel back in time by taking a drink out of a crystal cup from a garden flowing fountain. She entered it in an RWA® chapter contest. She missed finalling by a few points because one of the judges told her, "Time Travel doesn't work that way."

Scarlett Sanderson said...

Time travel is very hard to classify. I'm just working on edits for a contracted story with The Wild Rose Press - it's about a woman from another world, traveling back in time to Ancient Carthage and visiting Hannibal Barca.

LOL I'll tell you, it was hard for them to classify! It's not a straight forward historical, it's not a straight forward time travel, and then there is the added element of 'another world'. Fortunately, they have a Faery Rose line which includes ghosts, time travels, faeries and other paranormals not classified as vamps and weres.