The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Written by Robert A. Heinlein
 from antiquity to 2017



   For Us, the Living
by Robert A. Heinlein
First written: 1938 (posthumously published in 2003)

I’m sad that I’ve now read all the extant Heinlein fiction, this posthumous (and first) novel being the last piece for me. It certainly held 3.5 stars worth of enjoyment for a Heinlein fan, but much of that was in seeing the nascent ideas of the writer that I would devour in my childhood. In the story, a military pilot from 1939 dies, and his consciousness is thrown forward to 2086 where social and economic aspects of society are hugely altered, though technological advances are more conservative (but, dammit, I want my flying car).

 “Let me get out of these furs.” She walked away while fumbling with a zipper at her throat. The furs were all one garment which slipped off her shoulders and fell to the floor. Perry felt a shock like an icy shower and then a warm tingle. 


Robert A. Heinlein, Master Traveller

Had Heinlein written nothing other than “—All You Zombies—”, he would still be a masterful Master Traveller.



The story also appears in the 1953 collection Assignment in Eternity, including this copy which I bought at Heathrow while waiting for my mother to arrive for my wedding.

   “Elsewhere”
aka “Elsewhen”
by Robert A. Heinlein (as by Caleb Saunders)
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1941

Professor Arthur Frost has a small but willing class of students who explore elsewhere and elsewhen.

 Most people think of time as a track that they run on from birth to death as inexorably as a train follows its rails—they feel instinctively that time follows a straight line, the past lying behind, the future lying in front. Now I have reason to believe—to know—that time is analogous to a surface rather than a line, and a rolling hilly surface at that. Think of this track we follow over the surface of time as a winding road cut through hills. Every little way the road branches and the branches follow side canyons. At these branches the crucial decisions of your life take place. You can turn right or left into entirely different futures. Occasionally there is a switchback where one can scramble up or down a bank and skip over a few thousand or million years—if you dont have your eyes so fixed on the road that you miss the short cut. 




   “By His Bootstraps”
by Robert A. Heinlein (as by Anson MacDonald)
First publication: Astounding, Oct 1941

Bob Wilson, Ph.D. student, throws himself 30,000 years into the future, where he tries to figure out what began this whole adventure.

Evan Zweifel gave me a copy of this magazine as a present!

 Wait a minute now—he was under no compulsion. He was sure of that. Everything he did and said was the result of his own free will. Even if he didnt remember the script, there were some things that he knew “Joe” hadnt said. “Mary had a little lamb,” for example. He would recite a nursery rhyme and get off this damned repetitive treadmill. He opened his mouth— 


Close, but No Time Travel
These are not the stories you’re looking for. Move along.
“—And He Built a Crooked House” by Robert A. Heinlein, Astounding, Feb 1941 [4D spacial topology ]



   The Door Into Summer
by Robert A. Heinlein
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct-Dec 1956

Inventor Dan Davis falls into bad company and wakes up 30 years later, but he gets an idea of how to put things right even at this late point.

 Denver in 1970 was a very quaint place with a fine old-fashioned flavor; I became very fond of it. It was nothing like the slick New Plan maze it had been (or would be) when I had arrived (or would arrive) there from Yuma; it still had less than two million people, there were still buses and other vehicular traffic in the streets—there were still streets; I had no trouble finding Colfax Avenue. 


Close, but No Time Travel
These are not the stories you’re looking for. Move along.
Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein, Aug 1956 [time dilation ]



   “—All You Zombies—”
by Robert A. Heinlein
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mar 1959

A 25-year-old man, originally born as an orphan girl named Jane, tells his story to a 55-year-old bartender who then recruits him for a time-travel adventure.

 When I opened you, I found a mess. I sent for the Chief of Surgery while I got the baby out, then we held a consultation with you on the table—and worked for hours to salvage what we could. You had two full sets of organs, both immature, but with the female set well enough developed for you to have a baby. They could never be any use to you again, so we took them out and rearranged things so that you can develop properly as a man. 


Close, but No Time Travel
These are not the stories you’re looking for. Move along.
Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein, F&SF, Jul–Sep 1963 [parallel universes ]



   Farnham’s Freehold
by Robert A. Heinlein
First publication: If, Jul to Oct 1964

Hugh Farnam makes good preparations for his family to survive a nuclear holocast, but are the preparations enough to survive a trip to the future?

 Because the communists are realists. They never risk a war that would hurt them, even if they could win. So they wont risk one they cant win. 




   Time Enough for Love
by Robert A. Heinlein
First publication: Jun 1973

During his 2000 years of misadventures, Lazarus Long has loved and lost and loved again, so now he’s to die, unless Minerva can think of an exciting adventure: perhaps visiting his own childhood?

 This sad little lizard told me he was a brontosaurus on his mothers side. I did not laugh, people who boast of ancestry often have little else to sustain them. Humoring them costs nothing and adds to happiness in a world in which happiness is always in short supply. 




   The Number of the Beast
by Robert A. Heinlein
First publication: Oct 1980

Semi-mad scientist Jake Burroughs, his beautiful daughter Deety, her strong love interest Zeb Carter, and Hilda Corners (“Aunt Hilda” if you prefer) use Gay Deceiver to visit many time periods in many universes (including that of Lazurus Long), soon realizing the true nature of the world as multiperson pantheistic solipsism.

 Sharpie, you have just invented multiperson pantheistic solipsism. I didnt think that was mathematically possible. 




   The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
by Robert A. Heinlein
First publication: Nov 1985

Richard Ames doesn’t like the fact that a new acquaintance was killed while dining at his table. Killed, why? and by whom? and why won’t that cat stay put? The eventual answers could lead Richard to Lazarus Long, the Time Corps, and more multiperson pantheistic solipsism.

 My darling had planned a pianissimo approach: Live for a time on Tertius (a heavenly place), get me hooked on multiverse history and time travel theory, et cetera. Not crowd me about signing up, but depend on the fact that she and Gretchen and Ezra and others (Uncle Jock, e.g.) were in the Corps . . . until I asked to be allowed to be sworn in. 




   To Sail Beyond the Sunset
by Robert A. Heinlein
First publication: Jul 1987

In the 19th century, Maureen Johnson grows up near Kansas City, eventually marrying and raising her own brood, including Lazarus Long (the original) and Lazarus Long (from the future).

 I found myself offering my hand and greeting a young man who matched in every way (even to his body odor, which I caught quite clearly—clean male, in fresh rut)—a man who was my father as my earliest memory recalled him. 


Close, but No Time Travel
These are not the stories you’re looking for. Move along.
Variable Star by Robert A. Heinlein and Spider Robinson, Sep 2006 [time dilation ]

 


14 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 (
main@colorado.edu)