A Sound Of Thunder – Story Notes


Image Link – http://www.scaryforkids.com/a-sound-of-thunder/

Here are some general notes I made while reading A Sound Of Thunder.

  • “Does this safari guarantee I come back alive?”
  • “We guarantee nothing”
  • “Stiff penalty”
  • Time machine description – ‘snaking and humming of wires and steel boxes, at an aurora that flickered now orange, now silver, now blue’
  • ‘A touch of the hand and this burning would, on the instant, reverse itself’
  • “Worst kind of dictatorship”
  • “An anti-everything man for you, anti-Christ, anti-human, anti-intellectual” – this is a really interesting quote. May use this for game ideas.
  • “Traveling you back sixty million years to bag the biggest game of all Time”
  • ‘Towards the silver metal and roaring light’
  • A really cool and interesting description of time travel –
    • ‘first a day and then a night and then a day and then a night, then it was day-night-day-night-day. A week, a month, a year, a decade!’
    • ‘Time was a film run backwards’
    • ‘Suns fled and ten million moons fled after them’
    • So far the most interesting aspects of A Sound Of Thunder have been the descriptions and elements of time travel. Time travel is quite an interesting basis for a video game so it may be worth researching further.
  • “Christ isn’t born yet”
  • “That, is the Path” – in the book the hunters must stay on a Path when they time travel. If they step off they risk tampering with the past and changing the future.
  • More future changing related quotes –
    • “We don’t want to change the Future. We don’t belong here in the Past.”
    • “Anti-gravity metal”
    • “We might kill an important animal…thus destroying an important link in a growing species”
    • “Infinite billions of life forms are thrown into chaos and destruction”
    • “By stepping on one single mouse, the cave man starves”
    • “He is an entire future nation”
    • “Step on a mouse and you crush the Pyramids”
      • This quote is really interesting as it sums up paradoxes as a whole, while also delivering a powerful punchline to the paradox description in the book. I think research into paradoxes may also be a good avenue to go down.
  • “Maybe our theory is wrong” – suggests that their theory of paradoxes may be wrong – research different paradox theories
  • “We kill only animals with no future”
  • “Time doesn’t permit that sort of mess – a man meeting himself. When such occasions threaten, Time steps aside. Like an airplane hitting an air pocket.”another great paradox theory – definitely worth researching
  • ‘The jungle was the entire world forever and forever’
  • ‘Soaring with cavernous gray wings, gigantic bats of delirium and night fever’
  • “Don’t even aim for fun, blast you! If your guns should go off-“
  • A dark and scary description in order to introduce the monster – the dinosaur – into the story –
    • ‘Out of the mist, one hundred yards away, came Tyrannosaurus Rex.”
    • ‘It towered thirty feet above half the trees’
    • ‘A thousand pounds of white bone’
    • ‘The mall of a terrible warrior’
    • “It could reach up and grab the moon”
  • “We were fools to come. This is impossible.” – One character is terrified by the dinosaur and uses a very intriguing sentence to describe the monster.
  • ‘stepped off the Path’ – a character steps off the Path and begins to change the future by stepping on plants and other ancient organisms.
  • ‘The Monster lay, a hill of solid flesh’
  • “He left the Path!…Who knows what he’s done to Time, to History!”
  • They don’t belong in the Past, they might change anything.”
  • “I’m warning you Eckels, I might kill you yet.”
  • At this point the Time Travellers have discovered that a person stepped off the Path, since they don’t know what will happen to the Future (they have only theories) they travel back to see.
  • ‘1492, 1776, 1812…1999, 2000, 2055’ – a different description is used to describe the return Time Travel journey – it’s lighter and a lot simpler but still gets the point across – you still understand what is occurring
  • ‘The room was there as they had left it. But not the same as they had left it.’ – an interesting description that instantly tells the reader that something is wrong – a change to the future has indeed occurred
  • ‘There was a thing to the air, a chemical taint so subtle, so slight, that only a faint cry of his subliminal senses warned him it was there…There was a feel…What sort of world is was now, there was no telling.” – describing the effect changing the future has on the Time Travellers. They know something is wrong but can’t quite put their finger on it. A subliminal message is their only clue.
  • “No, it can’t be. Not a little thing like that. No!”
  • ‘Embedded in the mud…was a butterfly, very beautiful and very dead.’
  • “Killing one butterfly couldn’t be that important! Could it?”
    • Research – The Butterfly Effect
  • ‘There was a sound of thunder.”


Overall I enjoyed A Sound Of Thunder. It had an interesting story as well as a unique take on Time Travel. I particularly liked the descriptions of Time Travel and how it was represented in the story.

In terms of game ideas what is immediately jumping out at me from reading this is Paradoxes. One of the character’s described a paradox early in the story that intrigued me – “Step on a mouse and you crush the Pyramids”.

Since obviously they can’t be caused right now as the technology doesn’t exist yet, all their is in terms of paradox research are theories. These could be a really interesting mechanic or story idea for a game:

  • Perhaps stepping on something or moving something in a game changes the layout of the map?
  • Perhaps the main purpose in the game is to go back and save someone but paradoxes play into that?
  • Perhaps different paradox theories could play out as mechanics e.g. the destruction of Time

These are all just wild ideas at the moment but I do think having a base idea of Paradoxes is a very cool and interesting springboard to create a game out of.