I just noticed that there is a story called Apollo 23 by Justin Richards. I recently started a new collaborative science fiction writing project that was tentatively called Apollo 23. Collaborating authors are welcome.
An alternative title for the new story could be “The Olmec Reality”. Here I’m using the term “Reality” in the way that Isaac Asimov did in his time travel novel The End of Eternity. If you travel back in time and change the course of events then you cause a new “Reality” to come into existence, essentially a new timeline of events. In the Olmec Reality a technological civilization originated in Mesoamerica and humanity started developing nanotechnology as early as the year 1850. In the Olmec Reality, by 2012 a disruptive form of nanotechnology went out of control and destroyed human civilization on Earth.
In order to prevent the catastrophe of 2012, a time traveler was sent back to 300 B.C.E. in order to put an end to the Olmec civilization, but that intervention into the course of events left behind some traces…including hints about the importance of the year 2012.
Unfortunately, while preventing the nanotechnology disaster, new problems were created. Another trip through time is needed and the designated time traveler is Jill Lyons. Here is a brief account of Jill’s life: born in 1941 and transported to the future from 1969. She arrives in the year 2027 where alien technology is used to produce a few clones of Jill. In 2053 one of those clones is sent back in time to take the place of Jill in 1969.
There are some important technical limitations on time travel. First, moving matter into and out of Reality requires a large amount of energy. Second, travel through time disrupts other attempts to travel to or from the same point in time. In order to minimize the amount of matter being shifted in or out of time, a common trick is to use a cloned copy of an individual as the time traveler who goes back into history and creates a new Reality. However, if someone travels through time to/from 1969, then it will be impossible to perform another trip through time that is close to 1969.
The story takes place in the “Exodemic Universe” so there are aliens who control the time travel technology. The reader will be wondering what the aliens hope to accomplish by sending human time travelers into the past. In the story, there are some humans who work closely with the aliens and other humans who wonder if the aliens can be trusted.
The Earth Experiment