I vanished from under the rubble and manifested in 1979 -- me and four city blocks.
|Poster for George Pal's The Time Machine (1960)|
What if you were forced to travel in time against your will, having no say over your destination or the time of departure? What if someone were pulling your strings -- maybe as an experiment?
Marionettes have been around for a long time. The ancient Egyptians made them. Aristotle compares animal motion to the movements of a string puppet.
Marionettes don't know someone controls them; they lack the necessary biological equipment to think. Likewise, characters in a story won't recognize they're part of a creative fiction. Postmodern authors have explored this notion of who's in control -- I'm thinking of The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spar, specifically. Spark's main character makes seemingly random decisions, but she is in fact drawing attention to herself and trying to send a message about the inevitability of her fate. (I won't spoil the book for you.)
Protagonists meeting their authors:
Agatha Christie inserted herself into Poirot's last tale so she could kill him.
Neo in The Matrix encounters the Architect,* who seems to be a proxy for the Wachowski Brothers.
Lanark meets Alasdair Gray a number of times.
Philip K. Dick meets himself as Horselover Fat in VALIS.
by YK Kim
*The Architect: His superior intellect is mostly an informed ability; pay attention to what he says and you will find a ream of hollow statements lurking in his cloudy language. Cod philosophy is cheap. Tergiversation is a ten-dollar word, but the strategy it names can be used for nothing.