This morning, while blithely typing away on my anthology submission, I came to a sudden stop. Blood rushed in my ears as I held my breath, reading back over what I had labored to produce over the previous hour.
“Oh, crap,” I said to my computer. “I just painted my characters (and myself) into a time paradox, and not in a good way.”
I was reusing an idea I explored in the electronic pages of Aphelion Webzine back in Sept. 2007 in a novella called PLAN. It involved the systematic torture of a religious dissident via the use of a time skipping device that could send memories back from an alternate history.
For this new story I was pursuing the same idea from the opposite point of view. I wanted to explore how the person running the torture might feel and react to the situation. I’m not going into details here — I might still save this plot! — but suffice it to say what I had written made no sense due to a complicated mistake on my part. I have brainstormed a solution, but I’m not sure I’ll have time to flesh it out in less than 24 hours.
— david j.