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Messages: Time-travel Stories

Time-travel on dragonback

Both book of the Pern series, which I remember fondly as a kid / young adult read though they can probably be enjoyed by anyone with a taste for not too overly complicated science-fantasy tales.

They narrate about the same events from two different viewpoints (that of dragonriders and that of "grounders" so to speak).

A deadly epidemic was sweeping across Pern. Everyone, holder and dragonrider alike, pitched in to help -- except Nerilka's father, who refused to share Fort Hold's bounty with the other Holds. So, ashamed of her family and determined to do her part, Nerilka packed up medicines and supplies and sneaked off to aid her people.

Her quest to help wherever she was most needed led her finally to Ruatha Hold, where Lord Alessan was frantically preparing the precious serum needed for mass inoculations against the dread plague.

Nerilka had long ago abandoned the hope of marriage and a home of her own. Now she found happiness in being useful and appreciated -- first the Healers and then Alessan made very clear that they were grateful for her help.

She had no idea that her new path would change the course of her life forever !

4 years ago

Recent comments:[write a comment]
(1 year ago)A good list. I particularly like Silverberg and Laumer. Here are a couple more that come to mind: Quest Crosstime - Andre Norton The Time Hoppers - Robert Silverberg I'm sure there are many more, especially if you include books with parallel universes.
(2 years ago)Thanks for the info! I will enjoy reading these.
Kim Pate
List of Time Books

It occurred to me that this might be a good place to share my list of books about time travel, across-time communication, multiple time lines, and the like. Perhaps others who like the genre will find this list useful.

This list reflects my own tastes. It is not comprehensive. With a few exceptions I tend to exclude books for children, comedies, and fantasy romances. I've included a few short stories (in quote marks) I especially enjoyed. Here's a key to the codes beside the entries.

1-6: how much I enjoyed it, with 6 being best
TBR: on my to-be-read shelf
R: read too long ago to rate
W: wishlisted

1895 The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (R)

1938 The Legion of Time by Jack Williamson

1941 Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp (4)

1951 The Weapon Shops of Isher by A. E. Van Vogt (4)

1952 "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury

1955 The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov (5)

1957 The Door into Summer by Robert Heinlein (4)

1958 The Time Traders by Andre Norton (5)

1961 The Big Time by Frtiz Leiber (4)

1962 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (4)

1962 Worlds of the Imperium by Keith Laumer (4)

1965 The Other Side of Time by Keith Laumer

1968 Hawksbill Station by Robert Silverberg (4)

1968 The Masks of Time by Robert Silverberg

1969 Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (R)

1969 The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (5)

1969 Times without Number by John Brunner (R)

1969 Up the Line by Robert Silverberg

1970 Time and Again by Jack Finney (5)

1973 A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle (4)

1973 The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold (5)

1973 Time-Jump by John Brunner (R)
John Brunner : Time-jump

1976 The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (5)

1976 Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy (4)

1977 Once Upon Another Time by Robert C. Lee (5)

1977 Time Storm by Gordon R. Dickson (4)

1978 The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser (4)

1979 Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

1980 Thrice Upon a Time by James P. Hogan (5)

1980 Timescape by Gregory Benford (5)

1981 "The Pusher" by John Varley

1981 The Many-Colored Land by Julian May (TBR)

1982 A Greater Infinity by Michael McCollum (4)

1982 No Enemy but Time by Michael Bishop (4)

1983 Millennium by John Varley (TBR)

1983 The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers (4)

1985 The Proteus Operation by James P. Hogan (TBR)

1986 A Time to Remember by Stanley Shapiro

1986 Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge (TBR)

1986 Replay by Ken Grimwood (5)

1986 The Cross-Time Engineer by Leo Frankowski (TBR)

1987 "At the Cross-time Jaunters Ball" by Alexander Jablokov
Gardner R. Dozois : The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fifth Annual Collection (Year's Best Science Fiction)

1987 "Forever Yours, Anna" by Kate Wilhelm
Gardner R. Dozois : The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fifth Annual Collection (Year's Best Science Fiction)

1987 "The Forest of Time" by Michael Flynn

1988 Lightning by Dean Koontz (5)

1988 The Eight by Katherine Neville (5)
(Parallel stories in different times.)

1989 "Great Work of Time" by John Crowley

1989 "The Price of Oranges" by Nancy Kress

1990 "Invaders" by John Kessel

1991 A Bridge of Years by Robert Charles Wilson (TBR)

1991 Across Realtime by Vernor Vinge (W)

1991 Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper (4)

1991 Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (4)

1991 The Time Patrol by Poul Anderson (TBR)

1992 The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (5)

1992 The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove

1995 Over the River and Through the Woods by Clifford D. Simak (4)

1995 The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter (4)

1995 Time Scout by Robert Asprin & Linda Evans (5)

1996 Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card

1997 Einstein's Bridge by John Cramer (5)'s+Bridge+cramer

1997 In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker

1998 A Fold in the Tent of the Sky by Michael Hale (W)

1998 Island in the Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling (5)

1999 Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer (4)

1999 Timeline by Michael Crichton

2001 The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson (4)

2002 Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick (4)

2002 Conrad's Time Machine by Leo Frankowski (5)'s+time+machine+frankowski

2003 The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

2004 Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham (TBR)

2005 Mammoth by John Varley

2006 14:40 to Midnight by Shawne Baines (W)

2006 Sojourn by Jana G. Oliver (W)

2006 The Cube Root of Time by Herbert Cohen (W)

2006 The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas (TBR)

2006 The Time Travelers by Linda Buckley-Archer

2006 Time Warriors: Independence Day by Larry Hall (W)

2006 Wireless in the Fabric of Time by E. I. Johnson (W)

2007 Across Time: Mystery of the Great Sphinx by O. J. Harp III (W)

2007 The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman (TBR)

2007 Wired (Shomi) by Liz Maverick

Hopefully I didn't make too many errors. :-)

I'm always on the lookout for good time stories. Don't hesitate to recommend good ones I've missed.


Jon Maloney
4 years ago

Recent comments:[write a comment]
(4 years ago)Thank you for taking time to provide this wonderful list! I found a few of my favorite reads on this and discovered a whole lot of new wist list items. I love time travel books of all types. If you also like historical romances, you should check out the writings of Lynn Kurland. She has produced a number of time travel books--many bouncing from 12th or 13th century Scotland to the USA in the 1990s. I found on her internet author's page great info on several series she has written. What I've read so far has been great. She doesn't shy away from very realistic descriptions of just how primative life was in those romantic old castles and has a marvelous sense of humor. Another note--Diane Galbadon's Outlander has expanded to either 5 or six massive volumes following the same characters through an extensive period of time and adventures. This series makes much of the American Revolution come to life and also much of Scottish vs. English and French history of the same period. Since the principal character is a doctor (starting about 1945 as a nurse) it is fascinating to see the creativity of primitive medicine in history. I hope others join this forum and add to our collective resources for finding time travel worth reading.
Linda Williams
(4 years ago)The Little Book by Selden Edwards is a super time travel book . I highly recommend it !
Eileen Murray
(4 years ago)> The movie wasn't very good.

And the script alone was worse!

Quick overview of the Doctor Who... thing: As with, say, Star Trek, it's gone through phases. There's the classic TV series, which was novelized for preteens (roughly 1964-1994). I guess that would be young adult by today's standards. There are the "original" novels that were written after the series ended (roughly 1991-2005), for the young adult/twentysomethings pulp market. --The audio dramas also fit into this group, but they're still being produced, and they're targeted to slightly older fans. And there's the new TV series along with its "original" novels, written for... hm... I guess preteens.

People tend to like one phase and not others. And they tend to have very different and conflicting opinions on what's "good". Moot point in this thread, though, as we're specifically addressing the books or audios that do something creative with time.

Most Doctor Who books are intended to be standalone. Some refer to other books (marketing...), but you can probably count on one hand the ones that seem to *require* some preparatory reading. As long as you can accept that the book you pick up probably has a different Doctor and different companion(s) from the last one, you're good.

Of the ones I proposed for this Time list,

- Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks, Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion are part of the 1964-1994 phase.

- The Sands of Time, Genocide, Relative Dementias, World Game are from 1991-2005, and The Time of the Daleks, The Kingmaker are audio adventures.

- and none are new series.

(4 years ago)Thanks for posting your list of time books, Leela4. I'm only familiar with one of them. I've read Robert A. Heinlein : The Door into Summer . My favorite memory of the book is from the beginning where the title is explained. I like cats, by the way. Here's an excerpt. "While still a kitten, all fluff and buzzes, Pete had worked out a simple philosophy. I was in charge of quarters, rations, and weather; he was in charge of everything else. But he held me especially responsible for weather. Connecticut winters are good only for Christmas cards; regularly that winter Pete would check his own door, refuse to go out it because of that unpleasant white stuff beyond it (he was no fool), then badger me to open a people door. He had a fixed conviction that at least one of them must lead into summer weather. Each time this meant that I had to go around with him to each of eleven doors, hold it open while he satisfied himself that it was winter out that way, too, then go on to the next door, while his criticisms of my mismanagement grew more bitter with every disappointment.... But he never gave up his search for the Door into Summer." (pp. 2-3) I have never seen a "Doctor Who" episode or read a "Doctor Who" book. I did watch the 1996 TV movie, "Doctor Who". The movie wasn't very good. Jon
Jon Maloney
(4 years ago)Ooh, good topic for a thread.

Since I'm a Doctor Who fan, I don't track books that merely have time travel. For me to consider it a "time" book the time issue has to be important: changing a timeline, something wrong with time, that sort of thing. Nevertheless, being a Doctor Who fan, half the books on this list are Doctor Who.

- Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks by Terrance Dicks: Young adult sci-fi. A diplomat claims he was attacked by a man who faded away, leaving behind a futuristic gun and a device which is identified as a crude portable time machine.

- Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion by Malcolm Hulke: Young adult contemporary sci-fi. London has been evacuated due to randomly-appearing dinosaurs. What's going on?

- Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams: Contemporary sci-fi. The world is a much stranger place than a software designer and music hobbyist might think.

- The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein has already been mentioned in this thread. I can't remember it well enough to describe it.

- Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey has already been mentioned in this thread. A young woman in a pre-industrial world is thwarted in her plot to regain her heritage, but instead gains a greater legacy.

- Genocide (Doctor Who) by Paul Leonard: Sci-fi. Humankind has been historically replaced with an alien species. What's the right thing to do? (Personally I think this book is terrible, but a lot of people think it's great. Teens and twentysomethings are more apt to like it than adult science fiction fans.)

- Ghosts I Have Been by Richard Peck: Juvenile historical supernatural. Dirt-poor Blossom Culp leads a pretty full life as it is. But things get really crazy when it turns out she *did* inherit her mother's mediumistic talent.

- The Kingmaker (Doctor Who) by Nev Fountain: Audio drama, sci-fi historical dark comedy. Time travellers decide to find out what happened to the princes in the Tower under Richard III. Things immediately go awry. (The third quarter drags, but all in all it's brilliant. Avoid the "Popular Culture" block in Wikipedia's "princes in the tower" entry, it gives away a major twist.)

- Relative Dementias (Doctor Who) by Mark Michalowski: Sci-fi. An old acquaintance left a message asking a time traveller to investigate suspicious goings-on at a private Alzheimer's treatment hospital. The reason this one belongs on the time travel list is not the obvious one.

- The Sands of Time (Doctor Who) by Justin Richards: An ancient Egyptian priest's scheme to resurrect a goddess begins with the kidnapping of a young woman in 1896. Readable online at the BBC's website (but don't read the author's notes if you don't want major spoilers).

- The Sword of Aradel by Alexander Key: Juvenile medieval fantasy. Hard-luck stable boy falls afoul of the duke's men, and falls into the company of a girl searching for the sword of Aradel. They learn it was hidden hundreds of years in the future in a faraway land. Readable online if you hunt for it.

- The Time of the Daleks (Doctor Who) by Justin Richards: Audio drama. When a time traveller discovers his companion has never heard of Shakespeare, he investigates time experiments in the late 21st century. (Actually, overall I don't think it's very good.)

- World Game (Doctor Who) by Terrance Dicks: Historical sci-fi. Someone is messing with the personal histories of Wellesley and Napoleon, so the Doctor is sent to straighten things out. Mainly for Doctor Who fans, as there's a lot of referencing of Doctor Who staples.

(All blurbs copyright J. A. Young.)

Time travel books

I know it's already on Jon's list, but I'd like to say that Audrey Niffenegger : The Time Travellers Wife is one of the best books I've read in the last couple years. The story is brilliant, and I have recommended it to pretty much everyone I know. Another suggestion is SELDON EDWARDS : THE LITTLE BOOK . Much of it is set in Vienna at the end of the 19th century, which he describes quite vividly. Also, don't forget a classic, Robert A. Heinlein : Farnhams Freehold . It's an oldie but goodie from the seventies. Kind of a cross-over time travel/post apocalyptic novel.

Mary H
4 years ago

Recent comments:[write a comment]
(4 years ago)Thanks, Emily, but alas the mooch was rejected five days after the mooch with the excuse that the book had been accidentally donated to the library. Jon
Jon Maloney
(4 years ago)The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my favorite books! I also like Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. I'm not sure this counts as time travel, but Charles Stross's Merchant Prince series is lovely. And Kindred by Octavia Butler is amazing.
(4 years ago)Thanks for the recommendations, Mary. And I love comments about books on the list I posted, as long as the comments don't give away the story. I've oscillated several times on whether or not to add The Time Traveller's Wife to my wishlist. I generally enjoy time-travel books though, so I might enjoy a book that includes time travelling even if I wouldn't enjoy the book otherwise. Your post inspired me to change my mind yet again. Imagine my surprise when I discovered an unreserved copy available on BookMooch. It was even in my country. I mooched it. The wishlist system must not have recognized this copy to trigger wishlist notices, because the title is on 257 wishlists. The owner was last on 7 days ago, so the book wasn't just added. Jon
Jon Maloney
The Man Who Folded Himself

Tonight I finished reading the best time-travel story I've read in awhile -- David Gerrold : The Man Who Folded Himself (1973). It's a fun, fast, perverse, thought-provoking read that is filled with supposed paradoxes and time loops. I don't want to reveal any spoilers, so I'll just say I found it unique among time-travel stories. I read it's 147 pages in two sessions. I almost didn't mooch it because the author also wrote my least favorite Star Trek episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles". I'm glad I overlooked that fact and mooched it.

(To make a link to a book in a post just paste the url of the book's page on BookMooch into your comment. The forum will recognize the page and replace it with the book's title and author as a link.)


About to start: Mary Vigliante : The Colony (1979)

Jon Maloney
4 years ago
1 comment

Recent comments:[write a comment]
(4 years ago)I've just started Connie Willis' Blackout, which is starting out a bit confusing but I can feel myself getting sucked in. It's the first in a two part, of which the second part is yet to be released. Connie Willis : Blackout I second votes for Connie Willis' DoomsDay Book, Madelaine L'Engle's Wrinkle In Time series and Anne McCaffrey's DragonRiders of Pern series.