Daylight Saving Time
When I wrote about March as setting for stories, I forgot that Daylight Saving Time (yes, “saving” doesn’t have an “s”) occurs in this month.
The most memorable thing to me about the time change is to make sure I get to church on time the next day. When my kids were babies and toddlers, it also meant a lot of work as I got them back on their schedules.
I have often wondered if I could use the time change as a key component in a mystery. One author did. A short story from 1933, “No Man’s Hour”, written by Laurence Kirk and collected in The Third Omnibus of Crime, has a murderer trying to use the time change as an alibi but gets the times mixed up and is caught.
Before 2006, Indiana did not observe Daylight Saving Time. Around 2000, my husband lived in Indiana and worked in Michigan. Both were in the Eastern Time Zone but Daylight Saving Time meant an hour’s difference when my husband crossed the state line. At that time, Gary, Indiana, set its time by Chicago, which is in the Central Time Zone. In the summer Gary would be two hours ahead of the rest of Indiana. I know there’s an alibi in this mess somewhere but I’ll need a spreadsheet to figure it out.
For writers of speculative fiction, I think the time change is a possible trove of ideas. What if people could bank the hour that is skipped in the spring, instead of using it in the fall? A person could withdraw an hour or more whenever he needed it. Robbers could specialize in breaking into time banks and selling hours on the black market.
Or what if during the skipped hour, people could time travel, anywhere they want but they would have to get back to their “home” time before the hour was up or be trapped for a year in that other time? Historians would be out of jobs because all the time traveling would keep changing history.
What are your ideas for using Daylight Saving Time as a story component?
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