I know a guy who spent some years working intermittently on a novel about time travel. He might still be. Once, he was talking about it, and he said a big problem working on it has been that new novels about time travel keep coming out. He kept having to go back and revise what he had already written to take into account ways that other original ideas that were coming out in these new novels made what he was doing not original anymore. When I was doing short short fiction, I thought about writing a story about a guy trying to write a novel about time travel who keeps getting thwarted by an evil time traveler from the future who gives other, struggling-but-speedier novelists the guy's good ideas.
I kept thinking of this guy yesterday, because I read The Time Traveler's Wife on the plane back from Chicago. I thought it was quite original: it's a love story, the man has a disease akin to epilepsy only he time travels instead of having seizures--digressive link to everybody's favorite epileptic here--and the book basically permutes through all sorts of different clever ways this allows the lives of him and his true love to be tangled up with one another.
I really enjoyed reading it, although the prose itself is middling sometimes to the point of distraction. Even then, there was this sad part that had my eyes well up and me willing myself urgently not to have tears start down my face while in the middle seat on an airplane. I succeeded. I do worry I am going to become one of those people who is strange to sit next to on planes. My last plane trip, I read The McSweeney's Book of Lists, and thought the person next to me must think I was insane because of how I kept giggling uncontrollably.