Posts Tagged ‘Quantum Leap’

More Red Letter Dates

Monday, November 5th, 2012

The most famous red letter date in the history of time travel is November 5, 1955 from Back to the Future.

November 5, 1955

Lesser known BTTF dates include:

  • January 1, 1885 (Doc’s trip to the Old West)
  • September 2, 1885 (Marty’s trip to the Old West)
  • November 12, 1955 (Enchantment Under The Sea / Lighting vs the Clock Tower / Biff gives himself the Sports Almanac)
  • October 26, 1985 (The day it all started)
  • October 21, 2015 (Marty & Jennifer’s trip to the future)
  • October 26, 2015 (Doc’s first trip to the future, assuming “30 is a nice round number”)

In Timely Persuasion many of the actual time travel dates are vague — but there are some key red letter dates based on the narrator’s memories or bits of musical trivia:

  • October 12, 1969 (WKNR DJ Russ Gibb starts the “Paul is Dead” rumor)
  • September 18, 1970 (Jimi Hendrix found dead)
  • April 7, 1994 (Eve of discovery of Kurt Cobain’s body; Tom Grant & Dylan Carlson search house)
  • April 12, 2000 (Napster/Metallica copyright suit)
  • September 10, 2001 (Trying to save sister)

As long as we’re on the subject, let’s extend the red letter dates to include some of my other favorite time travel tales:

  • September 13, 1956 (Sam Beckett’s first Quantum Leap)
  • September 9, 1958 (Destination of the time portal in 11/22/63)
  • February 22, 1972 (Mickey Wade’s pills bring him here in Expiration Date)
  • September 23, 1977 (Clare first meets Henry in The Time Traveler’s Wife)
  • October 2, 1988 (Jet Engine & Frank the Rabbit travel back to this date in Donnie Darko)
  • October 18, 1988 (Jeff Winston dies and starts replaying in Replay)
  • October 26, 1991 (Henry first meets Clare in The Time Traveler’s Wife)
  • December 12, 1996 (James Cole witnesses the death of his future self at the airport in 12 Monkeys)
  • November 5, 1999 (Jacob travels back to visit Peter at the cafe in Trickshot)
  • March 16, 2005 (Uncle Jim visits Danny Deakins in The Man Who Folded Himself)
  • October 23, 2030 (The date of the future visions seen in the novel Flashforward)
I’ve never noticed this before, but time travelers sure like the fall.  17 of the 23 dates listed above are in Sept/Oct/Nov!

Ramblings VI

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

I seem to have hit another of those lengthy posting lags while the world gets in the way.  Ramblings time:

  • Been digging the new Back To The Future Game from Telltale.  It’s essentially BTTF IV, starting off 6 months after the trilogy ends in 1986 and has Marty bouncing back and forth between 1931 and the present interacting with a teenage Doc.  Right now I’m midway through episode 4 out of 5.  It’s probably worthy of a full post once the whole thing is done.
  • Discovered yet another Ziggy iPhone app.  This one’s called Ziggy’s Time Traveler Emergency Reference and is basically a QL skinned offline Wikipedia viewer.  Pretty much right along the lines of the real Ziggy, though it won’t tell you when history changes via an edit to the wiki…
  • The Beastie Boys short film Fight For Your Right Revisited features an unexpectedly awesome time travel twist, complete with BTTF DeLorean cameo.
  • Been so busy I realize I wrote but forgot to post my annual year-end music best of list.  Wait, a minute, I got all the time I want! I got a time machine!  I could just go back early and post it…

Ziggy for iPhone

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

I knew it was only a matter of time. Previously I’ve wished for an iPhone app that emulates the handlink from Quantum Leap. I even had Al using an iPhone-based Ziggy in my fanfic story for the Leap Back Convention, “Just Like Starting Over.”

Ask and ye shall receive:

Ziggy for iPhone & iPod Touch

Ziggy for iPhone & iPod Touch

Ziggy Lights-On

The game itself is just sort of ok, but the sound effects and the fact that it’s ZIGGY more than make up for it. If you’re a time travel nut like me, Ziggy says there’s a 96.8% chance you’ll want to install this app.

And in other time-travel iPhone news, check out:

This one tells you where you're going, this one tells you where you are, this one tells you where you were.

This one tells you where you're going, this one tells you where you are, this one tells you where you were.

DeLorean Time Circuits (iTunes Link)

Ramblings III

Saturday, June 27th, 2009
  • Whenever I (legally) drive through a yellow light it makes me think of Back to the Future and how difficult it would logistically be to time driving through a lightning strike with such precision.
  • Read a cool short story called “The Variant” by John August.  Well worth the 99 cent price tag.  And without giving too much away, it’s definitely on-topic for this blog.
  • The Quantum Leap Fanfilm “A Leap to Di For” I referenced after the QL convention is now streaming online for free.  Check it out at Racso Films.  (No full screen option on the site.  If you want full screen, try opening this .FLV link in a standalone player such as VLC.)

Leap Back Convention Recap

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Last weekend I attended The Leap Back 20th Anniversary Quantum Leap Convention.  Having never been to any type of fan convention before I didn’t really know what to expect.  Here are some thoughts:

Highlights:

“A Leap To Di For”
A brand new fan-made episode of the show.  I admit I was a little skeptical about this going in, but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.  The story did a good job of following the blueprint of a Season 5 “historical” leap while serving as a potential reboot or revival.  There’s a great scene featuring a blue screen of death that toys with QL mythology quite nicely.  And the guy who played Sam really nailed it right down to speech patterns and mannerisms.  I give it a strong B+ overall.

Time Child
A work in progress Quantum Leap novel by executive producer and head writer Deborah Pratt.  She read 3 or 4 chapters that told the backstory of how Sammy Jo Fuller (Sam’s daughter from the 3 part “Trilogy” episode in the final season) realizes her lineage and strives to restart Project Quantum Leap and bring her father home.  Can’t wait for this to come out as a canonical story right from a primary source.

Somewhere In The Night
The first thing Scott Bakula did upon his arrival was perform this song live on stage with Velton Ray Bunch.  Bakula wrote it for the episode “Piano Man” in the third season.  It was probably the last thing I expected from this convention and thus a pretty cool surprise.  And I’m still kicking myself for not making this a Local Boy tune in TP…

Fan Fiction Contest
I wrote a story for this while taking a break from my new novel Duty Calls.  Came at a perfect time as I wasn’t really feeling the jury story so this gave me a new focus with a deadline.  My submission was shortlisted as a top-10 finalist, but I didn’t win. (Seems I came in at #5 if this list ranks them in order, but I’m not sure.)  Re-reading it a few months later I’m still proud of it which says something, thought I did notice a couple of annoying verb tense errors leftover from a last minute rewrite 🙁

All of the finalists will be published in an e-zine in a few weeks that I’ll link to when it becomes available.

Video Tribute to Dean Stockwell
Sadly, Al had to back out of the convention about a week beforehand for personal reasons.  He did phone in during one of the panels which was nice, but the half hour compilation of his best scenes they put together might have been my favorite part of the whole weekend.  Which is a nice segue into…

Disappointments:

No episode screenings & minimal clips
When the preliminary schedule came out only 3 episode showings were listed.  I was a little surprised since I was expecting a bit of a marathon, but these were 3 good choices (“The Pilot,” “The Leap Back,” and “Mirror Image”) and it made sense to go with the first, the last, and the convention’s namesake.  Throw in some clips with commentary by the wealth of guest stars in attendance (over 50 of them) and it would be a great QL fix.

But for some reason all of these episode screenings ended up being scrapped, presumably for time when panels or auctions ran long.  Aside from the aforementioned “A Leap To Di For” we didn’t see a single episode all weekend.

Clips were also few and far between.  There was a nice tribute to the late Dennis Wolfberg (aka Gooshie) that compiled all of his scenes.  Before each of the 6 guest star panels clips were shown from each actor’s appearance, but these clips were short and on some of the later panels they were not shown at all.  A few times I had to Google actor names on my phone and share the results with people around me when we couldn’t figure out who someone was.

Perhaps my expectations were out of line, but there seemed to be a missed opportunity for more.  For example there were 4 or 5 guests from the episode “Lee Harvey Oswald” present.  Showing that classic ep either in its entirety or as a sequence of highlights interspersed with discussion would have been great!

Even the Stockwell tribute time-traveled around the schedule until fans (especially the ones in my row) were practically begging for it in the closing minutes of the last day.  On one hand I can see how the majority of attendees probably own the DVDs and can watch the episodes whenever they want.  But there’s something to be said about the camaraderie of watching your favorite show amidst hundreds of like-minded fans in one place.  We got that in part during Al’s highlights, but it could have been so much more.

Too Much Non-QL Content
This was probably the part that annoyed me the most, primarily because it underscored the fact that we could have been watching episodes instead.

Sometimes it felt like I was at a Scott Bakula convention rather than a pure Quantum Leap Convention.  Stories and anecdotes often meandered into Star Trek a bit too much for my liking.  (I love Quantum Leap, but I loathe Trek in almost all of its incarnations.)  Even the auction items were at least 40% related to other Bakula projects.

More off-topic content included a presentation on how TV shows are made that revolved around Enterprise (to be fair the guy presenting worked on both shows), a magic show (amusing at times, but the relevency is still a little lost on me aside from a season 3 episode called “The Great Spontini”), and a lengthy video presentation on Deborah Pratt’s new Vision Quest book trilogy (but I’ll give her a pass for her other contributions to the convention).

Nothing was particularly wrong or bad about any of these side events in and of themselves, but because they seemed to take away from time that could have been spent showing episodes or clips they became disappointments.  I wish that the display room had a TV in it showing episodes the whole time as a compromise to my two objections.

Closing Thoughts:

But these quibbles aside, for the most part I enjoyed myself and was glad to have taken the time to reminisce about what was once my favorite show.  It also lead me to have my own Quantum Leap screenings at home to re-watch some of the episodes the panelists starred in for the first time in years.

What has really stuck with me over the last week was something an audience member said before presenting a question to Bakula & Bellisario.  Paraphrasing:

“Quantum Leap was my favorite show when I was 13, and to this day when I find myself in a tough situation I always ask myself ‘What would Sam Beckett do?'”

I hadn’t ever really given it much thought before, but I wonder if subconsciously I’ve done the same thing.  I know Quantum Leap was directly responsible for fueling my time travel obsession and thus was a big factor in the path that brought me to Timely Persuasion.  But was there more to it than that?  Did watching this show religiously at an impressionable age help make me who I am today?  In the words of Al the Bartender:

“The lives you’ve touched, touched others. And those lives, others! You’ve done a lot of good Sam Beckett. And you can do a lot more.”

Maybe there is a little Sam Beckett in me.

And maybe there’s a little Sam Beckett in all of us.

The Tweet Back

Friday, March 27th, 2009

To date, I haven’t exactly been the model Twitter user.  I have it set to automatically send tweets whenever this blog or LB-DG.com are updated (via twitterfeed), but aside from that I’ve rarely touched it.

But that’s going to change this weekend.

As my Twitter trial by fire, I’m going to post periodic thoughts and updates from The Leap Back Quantum Leap convention today, tomorrow, and Sunday.

You can follow me at twitter.com/LBDG.

Stay tuned…

The Story Behind The Story

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

As I’ve said before, I’m a better writer than I am a marketer.  That’s not to say I’m necessarily a brilliant writer, just that one skill outshines the other.

On the Timely Persuasion website, I periodically play around with “The Story” section at the top in an attempt to get the best mix of marketing bang plus factual synopsis.  At one point a few months ago I had a late night inspiration and tried a long, rambly, semi in-character and semi as-author version.  Days later I took it down and revised in a simpler direction.

In the interest of a complete permanent record, here’s that longer aborted version:

One early reviewer hit the nail on the head when they said the story of Timely Persuasion has “a premise that is very difficult to summarize in a review.”  That said, I’ll give it a shot below:

Timely Persuasion follows an anonymous music critic on a quest to save his sister from the relationship that ended her life. After a chance encounter at a bowling alley leaves him with the ability to travel in time, our hero uses his musical knowledge to “blink” through the years attempting to keep the couple apart by any means necessary. But is her husband Nelson really to blame?

Along the way he accidentally restructures his family tree, kick-starts his sagging love life, launches a new rock star, and crosses paths with the likes of Huey Lewis, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Billy Joel. Reliving past events through the eyes of his younger selves, he soon finds that correlation and causation are not always what they seem.

This story of death, life, love, and rock and roll defies genre conventions while paying tribute to the classic time travel tales that came before it. Fans of Quantum Leap or Back To The Future will love Timely Persuasion.

Another reviewer read a version of the above synopsis and had this to say:

“To be blunt, Timely Persuasion‘s misleading plot blurb makes a fun novel sound absolutely cheesy. Happily, Timely Persuasion absolutely does not go down this road [and] ends up being much more enjoyable than the the above description had led me to expect.”

So we’ve learned that I’m a better author than I am a marketer.  Let’s try this synopsis thing again:

Theorizing that his sister’s death was the fault of her husband, an anonymous music critic drank too much at a bowling alley….and vanished.

He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that omit him and driven by a guilty conscience to change history for the better.

His only guides on this journey are song lyrics, cryptic messages linking past and future that only he can see and hear.

And so our hero finds himself blinking from year to year, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next blink will find his sister safe at home.

Ok. That wasn’t much better since I just parodied the intro to Quantum Leap.  But it is a decent summary, and both QL and Back To the Future were heavy influences that the story pays respectful homage to.  One more try:

On the simplest level, this book is about music and bowling and beer and regrets and relationships and time travel.  It’s a love letter to a misspent youth, peppered with a soundtrack for the ages.  Contained in these pages you’ll find references and allusions to the music of (in rough order of appearance): Huey Lewis, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Harry Chapin, The Beatles, Blur, Carter USM, Cast, Supergrass, Black Grape, Oasis, James, Kula Shaker, The Wonder Stuff, Nirvana, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Possum Dixon, Pearl Jam, The Offspring, Rodan, Hole, Beck, Reverend Horton Heat, Butthole Surfers, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, 311, Jonathan Edwards, Soul Coughing, Metallica, G. Love & Special Sauce, Paul McCartney, Anthrax, Mary’s Danish, The Mr. T Experience, Bryan Adams, John Waite, Dinosaur Jr., The Moody Blues, Billy Idol, Paula Abdul, Britney Spears, Afghan Whigs, Guns N Roses, Jimi Hendrix, Don McLean, Pantera, Megadeth, Janice Joplin, Jim Morrison, Wilco and more.

Better?  Summarizing seems almost harder than writing the book was.  It’ll make a heck of a lot more sense once you’ve read it.  Let’s finish up by going back to something else that first reviewer said:

“Think Back to the Future.  Think The Butterfly Effect.  Think…oh just read the book already.  It’s pretty good.”

Sounds more like a blog post than a proper story synopsis, eh?

The Quantum Leap Connection

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

I pointed out a few times in the commentary posts that Quantum Leap was a big influence of mine.  It’s even specifically referred to in the book more than once.  What I haven’t talked about in depth is how Quantum Leap (and more specifically, Al the holographic observer) served as the genesis for the time travel mechanics I utilized in Timely Persuasion.

I’ve always felt that Al Calavicci had the sweetest time travel deal of any character.  He had all of the excitement and wonder, but as a hologram he didn’t have any of the danger.  No risk of injury, no risk of paradox, no risk of being stranded (though that did happen once…).  Virtually everything that could go wrong was accounted for.

Since I had given this a lot of thought over the years, and since it was never fully explored on the show, I decided this would be a good starting point for how my hero’s time travel “science” would work.  The problem lied in the fact that only allowing someone to observe but not interact made for a fairly boring story as a whole.  You could learn some valuable things just by watching, but there wouldn’t really be any way to “act” on what you learned in the past.  (Conversely, if you were able to “observe” the future you could act on what you learned upon returning to the present.  But I’ve never been a big fan of future travel in time travel tales.)  So I had a basis, but some modification was necessary.

Al’s rules did have a couple of notable exceptions.  Animals and young children could see and hear him.  I didn’t want to outright copy this, though giving the narrator some sort of interaction was necessary to move the story forward.  Then I remembered one of the most common “rules” of time travel fiction:  Avoid contact with your past self at all costs.  Sometimes this rule is implied but never explored, sometimes it results in an end of the world paradox, and sometimes it serves as a red herring to deliver a twist ending.  But generally speaking, every author (and scientist) tends to call it out as something you shouldn’t do.  And that’s when it hit me.

What if the only person you could interact with while time traveling was yourself?

It was a unique premise I hadn’t seen explored before.  It would nicely set up some tribute scenes in a Sam & Al interactive style.  It allowed the ability to change a timeline, but generally provided protection from paradox so long as you didn’t manage to get your other self killed.  Plus it fit logically with the “subconscious message from your future self” concept I had been kicking around and wasn’t quite ready to abandon.

It was perfect.

Revisiting Replay (Part 3)

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

This is the third post in a series of chapter by chapter commentaries on the novel Replay by Ken Grimwood.  To start at the beginning, check out Part 1.

Note: If you haven’t read Replay, the following may will contain spoilers.

Chapter Thirteen

  • Jeff wakes up in bed, but instead of his dorm room he finds himself at his parents house in Florida some three months later than he expected.  He immediately hits the road for Connecticut to rendezvous with Pamela.  When he arrives, she has no idea who he is.  She’s her normal 14 year old self who hasn’t started replaying yet — with parents who aren’t too pleased with the creepy older stalker their daughter has acquired.  The brilliance of this complication lies in how it’s been discretely set up all along.  Each successive replay has always slowly creeped forward by hours or days, but it’s subtle enough to stay in the college days with the same cast of characters that it goes largely unnoticed until an exponential jump sneaks up on the reader and Jeff simultaneously.
  • Months later Jeff tries to call Pamela at home to see if anything has changed.  He gives the fake name of Alan Cochran to not raise suspicion with her parents.  Alan Cochran is actually an alias that Ken Grimwood used to publish the out of print novel Two Plus Two.  Using the Alan Cochran name in Replay was actually how Grimwood revealed his authorship of this other book to the world.  As far as I’ve read he never publicly acknowledged writing it other than this tiny clue.

Chapter Fourteen

  • Pamela eventually starts replaying a year and a half late, and is even more freaked out about it than Jeff is.  They decide to seek out other replayers to compare notes and possibly figure out what is happening to them.  To accomplish this, they place an ad in all of the major newspapers and magazines that reads:

Do you remember Watergate? Lady Di? The shuttle disaster? The Ayatollah? Rocky? Flashdance? If so, you’re not alone.  Contact P.O. Box 1988, New York, N.Y. 10001.

  • This ad was the direct inspiration for the note the narrator of Timely Persuasion finds on his car:

Ever wonder what could have been? Better still, does the voice inside your head insist you already know? Test subjects wanted for experiments on the subconscious powers of the mind.  Top $$$ to those who qualify.  Call 310-779-5234 to register.

Chapter Fifteen

  • Most of the responses to the ad prove to be false leads, but they do manage to find a replayer by the name of Stuart McCowan.  Unfortunately, Mr. McCowan has become a serial killer in his replays, believing the phenomenon to be caused by aliens who expect the subjects to entertain them with murder.  I’ve always envisioned Michael Emerson as McCowan based on his creepy Emmy-winning performance as serial killer William Hinks on The Practice — years before he was ever cast to play Ben on Lost.
  • Jeff and Pamela waste the majority of this replay on a futile search for others like them and McCowan, eventually dying on schedule.   Jeff loses 14 months the next time around, Pamela loses 3.5 years.  There’s a great scene reminiscent of Quantum Leap told from the perspective of pre-leap in Pamela leading up to her arrival in her own head.  Some of this might have been subconscious inspiration for the mind-travel in TP (though QL was the more overt connection).
  • This same scene also put me at ease in the decision to show one blink from the perspective of Local Boy when everything else was first person.  I struggled over that section for awhile in rewrites until I realized Grimwood did it too.

Chapters Sixteen & Seventeen

  • Still curious about the forward “skew” in each successive replay, the pair decide to go public this time around.  The veiled predictions of their advertisement become brazenly publicized predictions of world events.  At first glance you need to suspend some disbelief here as a lot of predictions that include specific dates (when Justice Earl Warren will resign, for example) could be subject to change once publicized, but since that thought pays off later it ends up working.
  • Most of the general public writes them off as psychic frauds, but a covert government agency uses them to “predict” world events such as wars, terrorist attacks, and political uprisings so the military can act on them.  But once the US starts intervening based on this intel, the course of world events spiral so far out of control and off kilter that neither Jeff nor Pamela know what’s going to happen next.  This causes a huge riff in their relationship, nicely setting up their next replays.
  • Jeff’s next replay begins in an air conditioned Florida apartment with someone persistently ringing his doorbell.  It turns out to be Linda – his past/future wife and current girlfriend — who he hasn’t seen for 118 years since she last shunned his advances in replay #1.  With their money problems solved and their first meeting already out of the way, this time around their life together is nearly perfect.  This mirrors TP’s narrator’s unexpected second chance with the redheaded girl.

To be concluded in Part 4.

Revisiting Replay (Part 1)

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

I recently started my annual re-reading of my favorite novel, Replay by Ken Grimwood.  Since I consider the book to be at the core of my time travel trinity (taking the literary slot alongside Quantum Leap for TV and Back To The Future for film), I thought it would be fun to do some chapter by chapter commentary here.  I’ll try to point out things I like about it, as well as a few places where it was intentionally or accidentally an influence on Timely Persuasion.

Note: If you haven’t read Replay, the following may contain spoilers.

Chapter One

  • Jeff Winston, the main character, dies in the first sentence of the book.  Great opening.
  • While he’s dying, he casually runs through a list of regrets he has in his adult life with his wife.  It seems like a basic intro to his character at first glance, but turns out to be brilliantly subtle foreshadowing for everything that’s going to happen later.
  • After awakening in the body of his past college self circa 1963, Jeff alternates between thinking it’s real, a dream, or a post-hangover coincidence.
  • Every now and then someone tells me they think the narrator of Timely Persuasion is a little too casual about his predicament when he first travels in time, but rereading this opening chapter of Replay I don’t think my hero handles it all that much differently than Jeff Winston.  They both act cautiously, grasping at logical straws to explain a fantastical situation.

Chapter Two

  • Jeff has mostly accepted that he’s really gone back in time, but still wavers into “what if I’m dreaming?” territory on occasion.
  • His internal monologues ponder a number of “what if” scenarios about what “the rules” of time travel might be as they apply to him.  Similar to TP (and most other time travel tales for that matter) to a degree, with the big difference being that Jeff ends up being more or less spot on in his logical guesses as to what he can and can’t do, whereas my narrator is about 50/50 on being right and being flat out wrong.
  • I never really noticed before this reading, but I think this might be the first novel I’ve ever read that used “mind travel” rather than body travel.  As such, it may have been a subconscious inspiration for the underlying “message from your future self” time travel theory that’s the basis for TP.

Chapter Three

  • Jeff decides to rekindle a relationship with his old college flame, but realizes that his advanced sexual experiences from the future won’t let him regress back to a more innocent time.
  • He decides to use his future knowledge to bet on the Kentucky Derby, eventually scoring a big victory.  This time travel cliché is handled well by Grimwood as he plays out various permutations of it as the book goes on (and adds the complication of Jeff being underage and needing to convince an older student to front for him), but was something I consciously wanted to avoid in my book.  I tease the reader with the lottery numbers, but refuse to go in the direction of the big win in favor of exploring different ground.

Chapter Four

  • Jeff’s Vegas fling Sharla bears some similarity to the Cute Little Redheaded girl, though this is mostly coincidental.
  • I think there’s a minor mistake in this chapter when Frank tells Jeff that “Three times in a row now you’ve called them just right” after winning their bet on the Belmont Stakes.  A few pages earlier Jeff details that he DIDN’T bet on the Preakness since he couldn’t remember who won.  So either Frank is counting choosing not to bet a win, or this was an oversight.  (I’m not criticizing, as I know how easy it is to mess something like this up.  Just saying…)
  • They make one final big bet on the 1963 World Series where the Dodgers swept the Yankees, then move on to more adult ventures.

Chapter Five

  • “Future, Inc” is incorporated to play the stock market with Jeff’s future knowledge. Only utilizing his foreknowledge for profit doesn’t sit well, so he decides to have a bigger impact on society.  How?  He tries to stop the assassination of JFK — fully acknowledging that the idea was somewhat clichéd.  Jeff’s trying to stop this murder directly influenced the Kurt Cobain chapters in Timely Persuasion as sort of a modernization of the Kennedy/Hitler path many other time travel stories take.
  • Jeff succeeds in stopping Oswald, only to have another assassin take his place to carry out the deed.  This leads to an interesting internal monologue weighing government conspiracy vs. time travel course correction by a greater power in the universe.  Even though I’ve read Replay at least a half dozen times, this was the first time I noticed that Oswald’s “replacement” was named Nelson Bennett.  I knew the name “Nelson” sounded like a good bad guy to me; perhaps this planted the seed.
  • Also of note in this chapter is how Jeff’s business partner (and formerly gambling partner) Frank gets a little freaked out by Jeff’s “predictions” after the JFK incident and the two part ways, conveniently allowing Frank to exit the story having served his purpose for now.

Chapter Six

  • Wealth and the inability to change things for the better continue to take their toll on Jeff.  He breaks up with Sharla, makes more money, and bides his time until he’s supposed to meet his wife.
  • At the appointed place and time he shows up and finds her waiting, but she thinks his talk of his successes are a bad pick up line.  He calls her later to try again, but now she takes him to be a stalker and advises him to never contact her again. Knowing a rekindled romance would be a lost cause, Jeff ends up married with a daughter he adores and a wife he barely tolerates.  This section is similar to the TP underlying subplot regarding all of the narrator’s undone past loves, as well as his internal monologues on fate and whether or not true love is “meant to be” or even exists at all.
  • He spends much of his time pondering what went wrong as he tries to protect his daughter from both the future and her mother. At around the time he accepts that his daughter is most important to him — and at the exact same age he was when the book began — he dies again.

To be continued in Part 2