The Eloi Medals for outstanding time travel
The Master Traveller Citations recognizing innovative writers

George H. Main—notice his uncanny resemblance to the Traveller in the first picture below!
My grandpa on my father’s side, George H. Main, was a remarkable man and one of the last of the Renaissance Men. Shortly after he was born in 1905, his mother died and his father left him with an aunt. The aunt must have done something right because somehow on her Iowa corn farm, the young Grandpa Main became a voratious reader and created dozens of awards for his favorite stories, each of which was named for some real or mythical people.

For example, there were the Best of Barsoom Ribbons for intrepid interplanetary fiction, the Navaho Feathers for best westerns (although apart from The Virginian, all of those awards went to Zane Grey), and the Athabaskan Awards for the most impassioned dog stories. And, as I found out as a kid poking around in his attic, there were the Eloi Medals for Outstanding Time Travel. According to his journals, The Time Machine was the first recipient of an Eloi Medal. Appropriately enough, later recipients were not always awarded in chronotypical order. For example, the second award went to Mark Twain’s classic A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889), and then the award jumped forward again for Max Beerbohm’s 1916 story, “Enoch Soames: A Memory of the Eighteen-Nineties.”

In addition, Grandpa also had a series of awards to recognize individual writers whom he saw as exhibiting remarkable innovation. In each field, these awards were named after a particularly important fictional character: Naturally enough, innovative time travel writers became Master Travellers, starting with H. G. Wells himself. Mark Twain was also a Master Traveller, as were many of Grandpa’s other favorite authors including Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, and even Rudyard Kipling.

Once I discovered time travel through Grandpa, I was hooked as well, and in the summer of 1960 he surprised me on my birthday with my first trip to the silver screen where the two of us were awakened by Rod Taylor’s cinematic depiction of the original Traveller. (Yes, I was also awakened by Yvette Mimieux, that that’s a different story). Right after that movie, sitting at the soda fountain at the Odessa Rexall, I pledged to Grandpa that I would continue his tradition of finding the most outstanding examples of time travel throughout the ages, and thus we have this page listing all the Eloi Gold Medal winners and the Master Travellers right up to the present day. I wish that Grandpa, who died in 1980, had lived to see Back to the Future and Terminator.

In the list, you may notice that one story received both an an Athabaskan Award and Eloi Medal, while another was awarded both a Barsoom Ribbon and an Eloi Medal. That’s because, as Grandpa put it, “Wooly mammoths don’t crop up in the modern Yukon without some help, and you can bet the farm that John Carter isn’t cavorting with Dejah Thoris on today’s Mars.”

You might also wonder why some years have multiple medals while others have none. I wondered about that, too, but Grandpa had an answer: “Not all pigs have the same radius,” he said.

No, at my young age, I didn’t understand his pig-wisdom either, but I had no doubt he was wise.

After you browse the list, I hope you’ll also take a look at my Big List of Time Travel Fiction. In addition to the Eloi Gold Medals and Master Traveller Citations, the list includes Eloi Silver, Bronze, and Honor Medals and thousands of more time travel stories, all of which is dedicated to Grandpa.

The most renowned of all the Eloi along with the Traveller down through the ages


The Master Traveller Citations
recognizing innovative writers
1686-1765 Samuel Madden, for the first time travel story
1742-1785 Johan Herman Wessel, for the first human time travel to the future
1789-1859 Pierre Boitard, for the first human time travel to the past
early 1800s An Anonymous Dublin University Author, for the first visit to a historic person
1806-1854 Émile Souvestre, came within half a screwdriver’s turn of a time machine
1809-1849 Edgar Allan Poe, for the first visit to a historic event
1812-1870 Charles Dickens, for the most-imitated time travel plot
1822-1904 Frances Power Cobbe, for the first invention to send information through time
1835-1910 Mark Twain, for first introduction of modern technology to the past
1842-1902 Enrique Gaspar, for the first time machine invented by a scientist
1852-1927 Edward Page Mitchell, for first artifact to transport humans through time
1865-1936 Rudyard Kipling, for the Puck stories (and because Grandpa loved Kipling)
1866-1946 H.G. Wells, for unparalleled contributions to the field
1886-1962 Willis O’Brien, for bringing time travel to the silver screen
1887-1963 Ralph Milne Farley, for his omnibus of time travel stories
1904-1988 Clifford D. Simak, for time travel contributions spanning 56 years
1907-1988 Robert A. Heinlein, for the last word on sexual paradoxes
1907-2000 L. Sprague de Camp, for fictional and nonfictional contributions to the field
1908-2006 Jack Williamson, for Legionnaires everywhen
1910-1971 John W. Campbell, Jr., for all his Astounding work and more
1911-1987 C.L. Moore and 1915-1958 Henry Kuttner, for their timeless partnership
1911-1958 Anthony Boucher, for founding F&SF plus a dozen inventive time travel stories
1914-1996 H.L. Gold, for the first story of when eras collide
1915-1993 Lester del Rey, for bringing time travel to elementary school readers
1920-1992 Isaac Asimov, for two dozen contributions, an ugly little boy, and Eternity

The Eloi Gold Medals for Outstanding Time Travel
1843 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens [Disputed Award: Questionable time travel!]
1889 A Yankee in King Arthurs Court by Mark Twain
1895 The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
1901 “When Time Turns” by Ethel Watts Mumford
1901 “A Relic of the Pliocene” by Jack London
1912 A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
1916 “Enoch Soames: A Memory of the Eighteen-Nineties” by Max Beerbohm
1935 “The Man Who Met Himself” by Ralph Milne Farley
1935 “Time Found Again” by Mildred Cram
1938 “The Sword in the Stone” by T.H. White
1939 “Lest Darkness Fall” by L. Sprague de Camp
1941 “Yesterday Was Monday” by Theodore Sturgeon
1941 “By His Bootstraps” by Robert A. Heinlein
1942 “My Name Is Legion” by Lester del Rey
1945 “What You Need” by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore
1947 The Man Who Never Grew Young by Fritz Leiber, Jr.
1947 “Time and Time Again” by H. Beam Piper
1953 “A Scent of Sarsaparilla” by Ray Bradbury
1954 “Breakfast at Twilight” by Philip K. Dick
1955 “Target One” by Frederik Pohl
1955 Time Patrol by Poul Anderson
1956 “Consider Her Ways” by John Wyndham
1956 “The Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein
1958 “Thing of Beauty” by Damon Knight
1958 “The Ugly Little Boy” by Isaac Asimov
1959 “—All You Zombies—” by Robert A. Heinlein
1959 “The Love Letter” by Jack Finney
1959 The Twilight Zone created by Rod Serling
1962 Marvel Comics fearlessly led by Stan Lee
1965 “The Kilimanjaro Machine” by Ray Bradbury
1966 “Divine Madness” by Roger Zelazny
1966 “Behold the Man” by Michael Moorcock
1966 Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
1967 “Hawksbill Station” by Robert Silverberg
1967 Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
1969 Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
1973 Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein
1978 Mastodonia by Clifford D. Simak
1979 Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
1980 The Muppet Show created by Jim Hensen
1984 The Terminator by James Cameron and William Wisher, Jr.
1984 “The Life of Boswell” by Jerry Oltion
1985 Back to the Future by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale
1986 Peggy Sue Got Married by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale
1986 Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
1988 Star Trek: The Next Generation created by Gene Roddenberry
1989 Quantum Leap created by Donal Bellisario
1991 T2: Judgement Day by James Cameron and William Wisher, Jr.
1992 The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove
1993 Time Machines by Paul J. Nahin
1994 “Another Story” by Ursula K. LeGuin
1995 Star Trek: Voyager created by Rick Berman, Michael Philler, and Jeri Taylor
1996 “Time Travelers Never Die” by Jack McDevitt
1996 Early Edition created by Bob Brush
2001 Star Trek: Enterprise created by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga
2002 “Veritas” by Robert Reed
2003 “The Day the Track Stood Still” by John C. Bodin and Ron Collins
2006 The Lake House by David Auburn
2008 Eureka created by Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia
2009 “First Flight” by Mary Robinette Kowal
2012 “Mrs. Hatcher’s Evaluation” by James Van Pelt