The Big List of Time Travel Adventures


   “Robot from the Future”
by Terry Bisson
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jan/Feb 2016

Eleven-year-old Theodore, his enhanced dog Bette, and his Grandpa deal with a robot who’s traveled from a post-singularity future and needs a Mason jar of gas-o-line to get back home without endangering the Time line.

 “There is no Time machine,” it says. “We are not supposed to be here but our Time line pinched and we are in big trouble unless you can help.” 

[Feb 2016]

   Legends of Tomorrow
created by Phil Klemmer, Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg
First episode: 21 Jan 2016

Time Master Rip Hunter puts together a ragtag band of misfits from the early twentieth century (he found them by watching reruns of Arrow and The Flash) to track down and stop the evil, world-conquering despot Vandal Savage.

The pilot gets one extra half star for playing The Captain and Tennille when the gang visits 1975 and another plus half star because the swollen-headed Rip got belted by both Hawkgirl and the White Canary; but it lost a half star for Rip’s own soppy background story. Beyond the pilot, though, the explanations about changes to the timeline are just whacked.

 I like being part of a team, man. 

[Jan 2016]

by Jacob Gentry and Alex Orr (Gentry, director)
First release: 22 Jan 2016

Jim Beale manages to open one portal of a time machine, but he needs help from a capitalist to open the other end. It wouldn’t hurt to also have the help of the beautiful woman who just showed up, even though his best friend tells him to stay away from her.

 What you have to do to traverse a wormhole is have two openings. What we did tonight is open one end of it. 

[Jul 2016]

adapted by Bridget Carpenter
First episode: 15 Feb 2016

When Stephen King’s book was first announced, I felt skeptical: After all, could even Stephen King breath new life into the most worn-out time travel trope of all? Yet he came through, not by adding anything new to the save JFK lore, but by blending in a unique brand of horror and producing a captivating page turner. So when Hulu announced that they’d make an eight-part miniseries of the book, I looked forward to its release. Never have I been so disppointed with an adaptation of a book. The acting is admirable, but the characters and plot have been flattened, presumably based on Hulu’s assumptions about what their viewers want.

 Youre going to feel apart from other people. That doesnt go away. 

[Apr 2016]

   Version Control
by Dexter Palmer
First publication: 23 Feb 2016

I don”t know whether there’s any other book with Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data that lists the topics:
  1. Married women—Fiction.
  2. Physicists—Fiction.
  3. Quantum theory—Fiction.
The married woman is Rebecca Wright, a complex, introspective twenty-something who eventually lands a job at the online dating site Lovability; her physicist husband Philip Steiner has invented a time machine, um, excuse me, a causality violation device. I didn’t actually see any quantum physics going on, but there are multiple timelines, complex relationships, poking fun at both modern cybersocial life and modern academia, and philosophical discussions—all from my friend Marga as a gift for my 60th birthday.

 He can read her face, and can tell that she agrees the opinion that he himself is too politic to speak aloud: that the papers being delivered today are not that good. They are not very interesting. They are parsimoniously doled out fingernail parings of thought, bloated into full length by badly written prose and extensive recapitulations of material with which an audience of this kind would already be familiar. They are evidence that the desire to bide ones time in order to do good science has be sublimated to the constant drive to publish; as the saying goes, the committees that hand out funds and grand tenure cannot read, but they can count. 

[Jul 2016]

by Amanda Grace Shu
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 23 Mar 2016

Clare is the time-traveler’s daughter, more or less, although she thinks that her daddy is in space. But maybe she’s right in that it certainly seems that her daddy could be a time traveler from outer space.

 He is an old man at her birth, a youth at her third birthday party, and a fifty-something when he walks her to her first day of kindergarten. 

[Mar 2016]

   “The Visit”
by Christopher Jon Heuer
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 28 Mar 2016

Billy’s dad gives an incorrect explanation of why time travel is impossible, an explanation that was worn out when Astounding was still young.

 Dad, do you think time travel is possible? 

[Apr 2016]

   Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
created by Josh Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen
First time travel: “Spacetime,” 5 Apr 2016

This show had the episode (“Spacetime”) that pushed me over the edge in the matter of whether to include precognition/premonitions in my time travel list. But when Fitz has quotes such as “You guys, there is no time—” how could I not? It may take me a while to pull in other visions-of-the-future stories, and I won’t include obvious non-examples (such as predicting the future based on elements that are available in the present moment), but I shall persevere. Here’s the reasoning behind my new ruling: If you (or Daisy) are actually getting a picture of the future, then Occam’s Razor says that information about the future is most likely traveling through time. Case closed.

 Coulson: Like, in Terminator, if John Connors alive and able to send his friend back in time to save his mom to make sure hes born, doesnt that mean he doesnt have to?
Lincoln: I, uh, never saw the original Terminator.
Coulson: Youre off the team. 

[Apr 2016]

Abramowitz & Stegun   “The Treasures of Fred”
by Sandra McDonald and Stephen D. Covey
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 8 Apr 2016

After Frederick A. Hayes dies, his daughter Charlotte finds use for various of his things, but not for his Handbook of Mathematical Functions (Abramowitz and Stegan, 1970) which some burglar repeatedly steals as he and the daughter relive the day of the funeral over and over, apparently as a consequence of a time trap that the father set.

 My father set a time trap? 

[Apr 2016]

   “A Hazy Shade of Winter”
by Adam B. Levine
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 12 Apr 2016

Feeling old, a woman uses the new view-the-past technology to drop in on her younger self.

 Of course, that thought immediately slipped her mind when she turned on the news and saw the main story for the day: time travel had been discovered. 

[Apr 2016]

by Michael Hurst (Hurst, director)
First aired: 15 Apr 2016

Unless it were your job, nobody would ever watch this movie beyond four minutes, and yet, alas, such is my job. So: A mysterious, wealthy boss and his dysfunctional group of twenty-somethings build a secret time machine while the NSA surveils the affair. But when they send their first victim traveler forward, he comes back with the news that someone is murdering them all, after which the story turns into teen slashfest with bad acting, worse writing, and no interesting turns. Nevertheless, the movie does an almost perfect job when it comes to creating a single, nonparadoxical timeline.

 Jim: We have a time machine. We have a time machine! None of this has to happen, okay? Somebody goes back and they warn us not to come. So whoever the killer is, he doesnt get to kill anybody, not today.
Bubbles: Yeah, thats good.
Gale: Yeah.
Randy: No, we cant do that. Well cause a paradox! 

[Jul 2016]

   The Infinite Time Series
by H.J. Lawson
First book: 26 Apr 2016

The cover blurb for Infinite Time, the first short book of a series, says Save the girl. Save the day. Save yourself. Not only that, but in the opening pages, Parker (the high-school Hero) blames himself for the death of his Uncle Ben father at the hand of a robber many years ago. Eventually Parker will get a time-travel opportunity to save his father and stop his mother from remarrying the lazy step-father, but not until the second book or later. In the first book, Parker must deal with the high-school bully, a well-written crush on a cheerleader, and a time travel setup that has him meet other time travelers who are given mysterious missions to complete.

 Its not a game, and its not a dream. I can time-travel. Clint can. Bruce, too, when hes not writing on the ground, and apparently so can you. 

[Jun 2016]

   “Flight from the Ages”
by Derek Künsken
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, May/Jun 2016

In a mind-bending story with vast ideas on every page bang, the artificial intelligence Ulixes-316 starts as a financial agent for a galaxy-spanning bank in which he and Poluphemos witness (or cause?) an explosion that sets off a wavefront that’s collapsing space time at an ever expanding rate. With this as background, time travel plays both a minor role in a light-years-wide tachyon-based computing network and the key role in how a degenerating Ulixes can take care of his damaged companion Poluphemos and take an ethically questionable step that involves rewriting the Big Bang.

 Correct, little algorithm, but we are not in your present. We transmitted ourselves by tachyons into the past, back into the stelliferous period, to one of the first galaxies. We have been working here in the morning of the Universe for twelve million years. 

[Apr 2016]

   Game of Thrones
adapted by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
First definitive time travel: 22 May 2016

Throughout its first six seasons, the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones had a handful of time-travelish moments mostly centered on young Bran’s dreams of the past. But it wasn’t until the origin story of Bran’s half-giant companion, Hodor, that we saw a definitive influence of present-day Bran on Hodor’s past. The interaction is a terrific example of a closed causal loop: Bran is observing Hodor in the past because of who Hodor is to Bran, and it is Bran’s presence that creates that very Hodor.

 The past is written; the ink is dry. 

[Jun 2016]

   “Would Santayana Take It Back?”
by Joe Queenan
First publication:, 27 May 2016

Shortly after the publication of Wells’s The Time Machine, Jorge Agustin Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás (aka George Santayana) is visited by time travelers who beseech him to never put his only historically remembered sentence.

 Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. 

[May 2016]

   Time Squared
by Brian K. Larson
First book: 31 May 2016

In the first book, Jonas Arnell and his crew awaken at Gliese 667 after a cryogenic sleep to find that the signals they detected from Earth are coming from an abandoned version of their own ship.

 Weve got a reactant coolant leak! 


from Powers’s website   “The Day the Future Invaded”
by Beth Powers
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 2 Jun 2016

One Friday afternoon in the middle of winter, time travelers from the future appear along with their various gadgets and green food.

 Ruptures in space time . . . quantum [gobbledygook] . . . not linear. 

[Jun 2016]

Echter is a manager for one of my favorite radio shows. (Have they ever done time travel?)   “Time and Space Died Yesterday”
by Brandon Echter
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 17 Jun 2016

I wouldn’t say that Echter wrote a story here, but all the events of Earth history have been mashed together in his slipstream piece.

 . . . and a grandmother of three writes her suicide note in the same room that Helen is talking to her therapist, who says that the human mind is a primate one, that we are drawn to the exciting and the new and gloss over the day to day lest we go insane in the details, and the first mammals crawl into and from the trees . . . 

[Aug 2016]

   “Penguins of Noah’s Ark”
by Larry Hodges
First publication: Galaxy’s Edge, Jul 2016

A bust of President George W. Bush gets thrown into a time vortex, catching fire by friction, whereupon it sets out on its task to direct various pairs of animals to Noah’s Ark—most notably, the penguin couple of Mrs. Bleep and Mr. Bleep-Bleep.

 The Bush bust passed through the vortex, catching fire through friction as it shot through time. 

[Jun 2016]

   “Vishnu Summer”
by David Prill
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jul/Aug 2016

Audrey lost one arm in a farm accident as a child; so now, as a young adult, she becomes fascinated when a three-armed man from the next county over is put on trial for murder.

And my interpretation is that the ending involves a brief bit of time travel, back to an alternate world that has returned to the start of Three-Arm’s trial.

 I felt like something was being stripped away from me. From inside. Like something was being unwound. I dont know it thats the right way to explain it. I couldnt explain it. It was just one of those feelings without a name. 

[Sep 2016]

   “Rules for Quantum Speed Dating”
by Austin DeMarco
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 4 Jul 2016

Even though this list of rules conflates time travel with quantum superposition, I can’t fault it overly much given that the entire notion of time is poorly understood in quantum mechanics.

 Do not worry if one of your quantum selves accidentally “kills” your grandfather in a lovers’ quarrel over your grandmothers affections. Remember, when the wave function collapses, only one of your selves will be “real.” Simply reset your parricidal self and move on. 

[Aug 2016]

from McDonald’s website   “Repeat One”
by Andrew Neil McDonald
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 28 Jul 2016

Marty meets an old man who explains how things are.

 “We exist within a glitch of the space-time continuum,” he said, hands flailing, “and are doomed to relive this exact moment, this exact conversation, forever.” 

[Aug 2016]

   “A Snowball’s Chance”
by Larry Hodges
First publication: New Myths, Sep 2016

Trini feels responsible for the past twenty years of children who have been lost to the witch in the castle, and now she’s determined to ensure that the deadly cycle comes to an end.

 I am the most powerful witch in the world, and you are armed with a snowball. Do you know what that means? 

[Sep 2016]

created by Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke
First episode: 3 Oct 2016

I like the show’s period sets and the three main characters: history professor Lucy Preston, timeship pilot/scientist Rufus Carlin, and Delta Force soldier Wyatt Logan. I even like the bad guy that the trio chases through time. But I’m going to use the show to illustrate two questions that I wish they’d answer:

1. Take Lucy, for example. She and her pals go back in time and change something so that when they return to the present, the previously sistered Lucy no longer has a sister, Amy. And everyone except the travelers remember the Amyless version. That Lucy is quite a different Lucy, complete with a fiancé. So what happened to that Lucy?

2. When they discover that evil Garcia Flynn has gone back to some time in history, they inevitably rush to get there quickly. Why are they rushing? And why don’t they consider going back to before Flynn’s arrival in the past to be ready for him when he arrives?

But, yeah, I like the show and their cool timeship.

 Lucy? What the hell has gotten into you? And who’s Amy? 

[Oct 2016]

Additional Adventures (without Time Travel)

I often see potential time-travel stories that, alas, have no time travel. I track them, so that I don’t process these same chronotypical stories over and over in a time loop of my very own.

 These arent the droids youre looking for . . . move along. 

“The Gettysburg Game” by Jeff Calhoun [virtual reality]

Quantum Break by Microsoft [time phenomena without time travel]

Sherlock (“The Abominable Bride”) adapted by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat [just a dream]

27 items are in the time-travel list for these search settings.
Thanks for visiting my time-travel page, and thanks to the many sources that provided stories and more (see the Links and Credits in the menu at the top). —Michael (