The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1930

   Last and First Men
by Olaf Stapledon
First publication: 1930

Time travel plays only a tiny role in this classic story of the history of men over the coming two billion years—in that the story itself is transmitted through time into the brain of a 20th century writer.

 This book has two authors, one contemporary with its readers, the other an inhabitant of an age which they would call the distant future. The brain that conceives and writes these sentences lives in the time of Einstein. Yet I, the true inspirer of this book, I who have begotten it upon that brain, I who influence that primitive being's conception, inhabit an age which, for Einstein, lies in the very remote future. 

[Aug 1983]

   “Into the 28th Century”
by Lilith Lorraine
First publication: Wonder Stories Quarterly, Spring 1930

A man is pulled into the future year of 2730 where Iris, a beautiful young woman, takes him on a tour of their eutopia.
[Jan 2014]

   “Creatures of the Light”
by Sophie Wenzel Ellis
First publication: Astounding, Feb 1930

I think this was the first time-travel story that Astounding ever ran, although the time travel is incidental to the story in which handsome Northwood pursues an artificially created superman who can jump just a few moments into the future.

 Before Northwoods horrified sight, he vanished; vanished as though he had turned suddenly to air and floated away. 

[Jan 2013]



   Astounding’s The Readers’ Corner
edited by Harry Bates
First letters column: Astounding Stories of Super Science, Mar 1930

Before modern-day blogs and online fora, before Astounding Science Fictions Brass Tacks letters’ column, there was The Readers’ Corner of Astounding Stories of Super Science, where at the leisurely pace of once a month, readers vehemently mixed it up about all topics—including time travel.

 Dear Editor: Thus far the chief objection to time traveling has been this: if a person was sent back into the past or projected into the future, it would be possible for said person to interfere most disastrously with his own birth. —Arthur Berkowitz, 768 Beck Street, Bronx, N.Y. (Mar 1932)

Dear Editor: I write this letter to comment, not on the stories, which satisfy me, but on a few letters in the “Corner” of the March issue; especially Mr. Berkowitz’ letter. . . . Since he brought up the question of the time-traveler interfering disasterously with his own birth, I will discuss it. . . . Back he goes into time and meets his grandfather, before his fathers birth. For some reason John kills his grandfather. —Robert Feeney, 5334 Euclid, Kansas City, Mo. (Jun 1932)

Dear Editor: I read and enjoyed Mr. Feeneys interesting letter in the June issue, but wish to ask: Why pick on grandfather? . . . This incessant murdering of harmless ancestors must stop. —Donald Allgeier, Mountain Grove, Mo. (Jan 1933)
 

[May 2012]

   “An Adventure in Time”
by Francis Flagg
First publication: Science Wonder Stories, Apr 1930

When a small time machine appears in Professor Bayers’s lab, he builds a larger copy and travels to the future, which is ruled by Amazon women.
[Feb 2013]

   “Monsters of Moyen”
by Arthur J. Burks
First publication: Astounding, Apr 1930

When the U.S. is attacked with monsters and combination submarine/aeroplanes by the Asian demagog Moyen, it's up to Professor Mariel to find a way to save the country, possibly even through the manipulation of time!

 In this, I have even been compelled to manipulate in the matter of time! I must not only defeat and annihilate the minions of Moyen, but must work from a mathematical absurdity, so that at the moment of impact that moment itself must become part of the past, sufficiently remote to remove the monsters at such distance from the earth that not even the might genius of Moyen can return them! 

[Jan 2013]

   “The Atom-Smasher”
by Victor Rousseau
First publication: Astounding, May 1930

We've got the evil Professor Tode who modifies an atom-smasher into a time machine that travels to the paleolithic age and Atlantis, a fatherly older professor, his beautiful young daughter (menaced by evil Tode), casually written racist pronouncements (by Rousseau), and our hero scientist, dashing Jim Dent. But my favorite sentence was the brief description of quantum mechanics, which I didn’t expect in a 1930 science fiction tale.

 The Planck-Bohr quantum theory that the energy of a body cannot vary continuously, but only by a certain finite amount, or exact multiples of this amount, had been the key that unlocked the door. 

[Nov 2012]

   “The Time Ray of Jandra”
by Raymond A. Palmer
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jun 1930

Sylvester Gale, shipwrecked on the west coast of Africa, discovers a long lost civilization and finds himself back there, but unable to interact; when the civilization’s scientists manage to set off a lava explosion, Gale is thrown forward, but overshoots his original time of 1944 by 13 years.

This is the first published story of fan, writer and long-time editor Raymond A. Palmer.
[Nov 2013]

   “The Time Valve”
by Miles J. Breuer
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jul 1930

In an earlier story (“The Fitzgerald Contraction”), survivors of the sinking of Mu (or Mo, as they called it) travel into space at relativistic speeds only to return to Earth some 200,000 years later. That, of course, is mere time dilation rather than time travel; but in this sequel, the Moans along with present-day beauty Vayill continue even further into the Earth’s future where trouble ensues until Vayill’s aged father comes to the rescue with a real time machine in an airplane.
[Nov 2013]

   The 20,000 A.D. Stories
by Nat Schachner and Arthur Leo Zagat
First story: Wonder Stories, Sep 1930

Tom Jenkins heads into the “Vanishing Woods” to prove that there’s nothing dangerous about them, but he doesn’ return until six months later, and he refuses to talk about where he’s been and what he’ seen—but fortunately for us, the titles of the two Wonder Story stories (“In 20,000 A.D.” in Sep 1930 and “Back to 20,000 A.D.” in Mar 1931) gives us a big clue, although it doesn’t tell us that the world he visits is divided into cold-hearted Masters and their four-armed, giant human Robots.

The use of the word “robot” had not yet evolved from Čapek’s meaning of a humanoid laborer to the modern usage as a purely mechanical being.

 True, he says, the Masters are far advanced, an able to do lots o thingsas a result. Theyve learnt everything there was to be learnt, they can live on the earth, in the air, in the water, or underground; they can travel to the other stars; they know how the world come about an when its ending, they think great thoughts anthings I couldnt even understand, but, he says, what about the Robots? 

[Jul 2013]

   “The Man Who Saw the Future”
aka “The Man Who Saw Everything”
by Edmond Hamilton
First publication: Amazing, Oct 1930

Henri Lothiere, an apothecary’s assistant in 1444 Paris, must face charges of sorcery at an inquisition into his supposed disappearance and subsequent return from 1944 Paris.

 Then the car rolled swiftly forward, bumping on the ground, and then ceased to bump. I looked down, then shuddered. The ground was already far beneath! I too, was flying in the air! 

[Dec 2012]

   “The Pineal Stimulator”
by Inga Stephens Pratt and Fletcher Pratt (as by I.M. Stephens and Fletcher Pratt)
First publication: Amazing, Nov 1930

Maddish scientist Jimmy Casmey first gets his college buddy to experience ancestral memories of a Civil War soldier and then a paleolithic man, at which point Casmey realizes that his device can also allow experiences of future descendants.
[Nov 2013]

   “The Time Annihilator”
by Edgar A. Manley and Walter Thode
First publication: Wonder Stories, Nov 1930

When genius Larry Stenson disappears into the future, his two friends follow him to the year 2418 where the world is ruled by cruel, giant superhumans—a fate for Earth that the trio discovers cannot be changed, even with a time machine.

 We have purposely allowed our time travellers to become known to the people of the eras that they visit, for in this way the great drama of the story becomes apparent. 

[Apr 2014]

   “The Uncharted Isle”
by Clark Ashton Smith
First publication: Weird Tales, Nov 1930

A man, adrift in the Pacific, washes up on an island where none of the men (or the giant ape) see or interact with him, which leads him to conclude that part of him is in the bygone past.

 Is there a part of the Pacific that extends beyond time and space—an oceanic limbo into which, by some unknowable cataclysm, that island passed in a bygone period, even as Lemuria sank beneath the wave? And if so, by what abrogation of dimensional laws was I enabled to reach the island and depart from it? 

[Aug 2013]

The story also appeared in this 1935 collection.   “The Man Who Lived Backwards”
by Algernon Blackwood
First publication: World Radio (broadcast guide), 12 Dec 1930

Professor Zeitt posits that all of time always exists and he should be able to break the usual serial traversal of time in order to influence his earlier self to not get into a bad marriage.
[Feb 2015]
 

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.
1930

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


 1930
“Faster than Light” by J. Harvey Haggard [just a dream]

“The Fitzgerald Contraction” by Miles J. Breuer [time dilation]

“Fourth Dimensional Space Penetrator” by Julian Kendig, Jr. [4d spacial topology]

“The Gostak and the Doshes” by Miles J. Breuer [parallel universes]

Just Imagine by Buddy G. DeSylva, Lew Brown, et. al. (David Butler, director) [long sleep]

“Phantoms of Reality” by Ray Chandler [parallel universes]

The Royal Four-Flusher by Arthur Hurley (Murray Roth, director) [secondary world]


22 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)