The Problem with Prescience

Posted in Blog by - June 24, 2015
The Problem with Prescience

I began work today on a new short story, and there is a bit of time paradox stuff going on, and that got me thinking about how a lot of the stories out there about time travel or changing history don’t really address the issue of paradox.

You see, there are basically two types of precognition-also know as future sight or prescience. The first is the simplest. Basically, a person can see in a limited way for a limited length of time an absolute future. Typically, this type of ability presents itself as visions that come and go erratically, and which always come true. The second kind of “seeing the future”is far more difficult to control or predict, or even use. With this ability, an individual is aware of the current most likely future, as well as every other possible future, leading forward into near infinity. This ability almost always drives a person to madness.

The first ability closes up it’s own paradoxes before they can begin, basically a series of self-fulfilling prophecies. The second though, leaves itself entirely open to time paradox. Time paradox, for those of you not geeky enough to know, is bad. If we change something because of a vision of the future, the future changes. But if the future is different, how did we know to change anything? And so, paradox. Theoretically, such a paradox would create a causal nexus that would obliterate the know universe. Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about that, right?

Editor’s Note:  Be sure to grab Aaron’s debut novel, Taliesin: The Making, on Kindle.


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I've never been much for describing myself. I'm twenty-one, and feel like an old man already. My inspiration-like most fantasy novelists-comes from the great Tolkien. My other muses are men and women like Goodkind, Coville, McAfferey, and anyone who dares to imagine whole new worlds.