Good Time Travel Short Stories, Novellas, Novels

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
9,120
Time travel is unbelievable, but I’ve enjoyed some of those stories a lot. Ones I like include Bradbury’s “Sound of Thunder,” Wells’s Time Machine, Tucker’s Year of the Quiet Sun, etc. I didn’t like Moorcock’s Behold the Man. There’s a short story about time travelers gathering to witness the Lincoln assassination that was really good. I didn’t finish Turtledove’s novel about the American Civil War.
 
Novella: Time Out by Ed Lerner was pretty good as I recall. It was in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Analog.

Novel: The Accidental Time Machine, by Joe Haldeman. I just read it and liked it a good deal.

I shall think of others and will return with a short list.
Have you braced yourself for Baylor’s list?
 
Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy/ Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams is a favourite. The eponymous restaurant, and the neanderthal earth, where Arthur and Ford are marooned with the idiots from the Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet B, are both wonderful.

For other, less deliberately challenging Moorcock, try the Dancers at the End of Time books. Dreamy whimsy, where the childlike hero is transported from the decadent very far future back to various points in the past.
 
Time and Again by Jack Finney 20th Century man traces back in time to late 19th New York , falls in love . This one strut slow but it well worth it
Kelley Country by A Bertram Chandler A time Traveler from the 20th Century goes back in time and prevent Autrail Outlaw Ned Kelley from dying .
The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. Brenda Doyle a a mild sneered English prefesssor has no idea what he's getting himself into when ,at the behest of welsh and powerful man , agrees to lead an expedition of fellow time traveler back in time to Lord Byron's England for the purpose of attending a Samuel Taylor Coolidge lecture ,
Custer At the Alamo by Gregory Urbach George Armstrong Custer and his men instead of meeting their destiny in Little Bighorn in 1876 suddenly fins them selves back in 1836 and the Alamo
Lest Darkness Fall by L Sprague De Camp 20th century historian Martin Paday while vision Rome gets hit with a bolt of lightning and finds himself in 6th Century Rome,
 
Connie Wilis has written a couple of time travel books I have recommended occasionally:
To Say Nothing of the Dog
The Doomesday Book


These are set in an Oxford University history department which has a time travel machine. I would highly recommend both. Different from each other and can be read independently.

In the first of these, a team is sent back to pinch a mcguffin just before it is destroyed in the WWII bombing of Coventry cathedral. They end up in late Victorian England. Cue a really sparkling comedy of manners.

The Doomsday Book is bleak and affecting in comparison. A postgrad student is stranded in a medieval viilage in the depths of winter, just as The Plague strikes.
 
"The Man Who Came Early" by Poul Anderson is a fine story.


The author clearly knew the time and setting well. In addition to that, it's also a very realistic depiction of how badly somebody would do if suddenly thrown into the past.

You may possibly be familiar with three works by Robert A. Heinlein.




All well worth reading.
 
Novella: Time Out by Ed Lerner was pretty good as I recall. It was in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Analog.

Novel: The Accidental Time Machine, by Joe Haldeman. I just read it and liked it a good deal.

I shall think of others and will return with a short list.
Have you braced yourself for Baylor’s list?
Ive not read those two but they do intersecting .:cool:

I kept my list small.:) Unfortunately, I see numerous typos in the books ive listed.:unsure::(
 
Flight to Forever by Poul Anderson in this one a spirits invents a time machine and discover that he can only go Ford in time and not back. The tv show Futurama did homage to this one.:cool:

An Adventure in Futurity by Clark Ashton Smith In this story a man out the distant past end up in the 20th century. :cool:
 
Last edited:
Timescape by Gregory Benford is not your typical time travel story.

Callahan's Crosstime Saloon by Spider Robinson plus the follow ups.

The Cross-Time Engineer by Leo Frankowski. A hiker is transported to 13th century Poland.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain.

The Timewars series by Simon Hawke. Pure adventure stories with time travel.
 
The Star Rover by Jack London has Time Travel of a store, The main. character Darrel Standing astral projecting into his past lives at will.

The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson The main character journeying though time and seeing, end of the world and the end of the solar system
 
Thanks for mentioning these time travel stories you regard as good, everyone. Baylor, I can't tell you how relieved I was to see that you didn't list Kane The Mystic Swordsman.

The story I mentioned whose title and author eluded me is "Standing Room Only" by Karen Joy Fowler. There's also Tucker's The Lincoln Hunters as what I regard as not just time travel stories but good ones, the Fowler especially.
 
Thanks for mentioning these time travel stories you regard as good, everyone. Baylor, I can't tell you how relieved I was to see that you didn't list Kane The Mystic Swordsman.

The story I mentioned whose title and author eluded me is "Standing Room Only" by Karen Joy Fowler. There's also Tucker's The Lincoln Hunters as what I regard as not just time travel stories but good ones, the Fowler especially.

I wouldn't have listed them , the Kane novels don't fit the criteria here .
 
Last edited:
As mentioned in the Stephen King thread, 11/22/63 is a time travel story that I really enjoyed. It's a long story, but I found it captivating from start to finish, and it's perhaps the only time travel story which is plausible - you always travel back in time to exactly the same time/place, and when you return everything 'resets'.

If you have any interest in late 50s/early 60s USA and/or JFK conspiracy theories, then this is a story which doesn't disappoint.
 
I have recently read Larry Niven's The Flight of the Horse, a collection of short stories which I enjoyed

And there's the Moorcock story that brought me to this site Escape From Evening which can be found in the collection The Time Dweller

 
No, but it's just that "Kane The Mystic Swordsman" and "In Caverns Below by Stanton Coblentz" seem to show up often when Baylor posts!

Since there is no time travel at all Coblentz's novel, that one wouldn't have gotten listed either.:)
 
The Peripheral, Proteus Operation, Pastwatch, Connecticut Yankee, Time Machine, Marooned in Realtime
 
Ubbo Sathla by Clark Ashton Smith Short story about a man named Paul Tregardis who while in a curious shops discovers and ancient crystal orb with the power to look into and take the water in to the distant past .
 
Ian Sales's "Wunderwaffe" might qualify -- I know I liked it, but I'd need to read it again.
 

Back
Top