Science Fiction/Scientific Elements in Rant
So, I've thought a lot about this, and I've read the book twice now to get a better understanding. I found a couple of topics on here about the same thing, but it seemed people were just looking for answers. This is simply what I think of it, and I'd like to know what others think as well.
So, I think it's safe to say that the novel is operating on The Splintered Time theory, in which different decisions and events can cause splinters in time, creating parallel universes and such. This is the same theory that the Back to the Future movies used, but there is one MAJOR difference: The Grandfather Paradox. In the Back to the Future movies, should you go back and mess up your conception in any way, you will cease to exist. This does not apply in Rant. I find it interesting that Chuck decided to operate outside of The Grandfather Paradox, and that's what sort of drew me to the theory and had me researching it so much. Rather than ending your own existence by going back and messing up your own conception, you have the ability to become immortal by doing so. And, if you think about it in the mindset of time travel, it does make sense. You eliminate every direct ancestor you have, making it to where you are the only one. You are your father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc., and every woman involved is dead. You are the only thing tracing back to yourself, therefore making you immortal. I guess it's a bit of a stretch for most minds, but I can see it.
The other thing I find interesting is the use of liminal time. That moment right after your vehicle is hit, when everything is in slow motion, is when you can time travel. I can understand that completely, as in that moment, it seems that time has stopped, or at least slowed down considerably.
Of course, this is all assuming that you can grasp the concepts involved in time travel theory, but to me Chuck's is rather believable.
"Music is crucial. Beyond no way can I overstress this fact. Let's say you're southbound on the interstate, cruising alone in the middle lane, listening to AM radio. Up alongside comes a tractor trailer of logs or concrete pipe, a tie-down strap breaks, and the load dumps on top of your little sheetmetal ride. Crushed under a world of concrete, you're sandwiched like so much meat salad between layers of steel and glass. In that last, fast flutter of your eyelids, you looking down that long tunnel toward the bright God Light and your dead grandma walking up to hug you--do you want to be hearing another radio commercial for a mega, clearance, closeout, blow-out liquidation car-stereo sale?"
-Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey