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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time travellers

Authors say ideas for stories are easy, and I suppose they are.   They're authors, I suppose they'd know.

Had an idea about a direction for a story I will never write, and probably doesn't need to be written.  It's really just a view of other stories from just off to the side a bit.  Whenever they do a story about very long space voyages, they point out the long delays of communications after a certain point.  The space traveler may only be heard months or years later, and might likewise not hear comments for months or years.

My first thought was that, if the traveler recorded interviews on leaving earth, and traveled fast enough for time dilation, sending those recordings back on the stream could be of historical interest.  Then it struck me, an ever more delayed outgoing message, with ever more delayed reactions and comments -- reminds me a lot of my experience of podcasting.

And I wondered... if you did that sort of story, with a focus on the traveler being a podcaster, would there be interesting implications there?  There's that historical-interviews thing from early in the trip, sent out later.  As the distances and times became greater, the audience would be listening to a perspective years or decades different than their own.  Their comments would be "futuristic," I suppose, to the podcaster.  But when they were heard by the audience, they might be from their own youth, commenting on how they felt about the shows back then.  And they would be hearing perspectives, not only from the past, but from a fairly young person from the past.

And I am puzzling over whether I feel that this is related to the current state of podcasting.  Certainly many of us either started older than the 18-30 target demographic, and if we weren't many of us are now.  With few exceptions, comments to podcasts are scarce, and voice comments even more rare.  So when we receive a comment, it can certainly seem to come out of the blue, and often refers to something we said a long while ago.

Can't claim to be that "young person from the past," really.  But inside my own skull I'm still pretty much that 18-year old geek in high school just discovering computers by typing on a Decwriter sending across phonelines to a college's timeshared computer, or posting to CompuServe, or to the BBS networks.  I miss all that, and feel somewhat lost without all that stuff I actually understood.

So that may be a time-and-space-travel story that doesn't need to be written.  Or it might be we're writing that story every day.  Or both.


1 comment:

  1. You've got an interesting mind, Grizz.

    That being stated, I've read this twice and I'm not sure I understand what in the hell it is that you're getting at.

    And the cynic in me says that no one would write a story that revolves around a podcaster. Unless it was written by a podcaster. In which case, not many people would read it outside of other podcasters.


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