The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1948

   “Double Cross in Double Time”
by William P. McGivern
First publication: Fantastic Adventures, Feb 1948

I like stories that begin with a want ad, including Heinlein’s Glory Road and the recent movie Safety Not Guaranteed. This is the earliest such story that I’ve seen, in which Paddy Donovan answers the ad (just off Fourth Avenue) to find Professor O’Neill, the professor’s angelic daughter, and a machine that stimulates a man’s dormant ability to travel through time. So, after a quick jaunt to ancient Egypt, Paddy offers to bankroll the development of the time machine’s business potential.

 Opening for young man of adventurous nature. Opportunity for travel, excitement, glory. 

[May 2015]

   “The Monster”
aka “The Brighton Monster”
by Gerald Kersh
First publication: Saturday Evening Post, 21 Feb 1948

In April of 1947, a man makes a connection between a tattooed Japanese man and a monster that washed up in Brighton two centuries earlier.

 I should never have taken the trouble to pocket his Account of a Strange Monster Captured Near Brighthelmstone in the County of Sussex on August 6th in the Year of Our Lord 1745. 

[Jan 2014]



   The Thiotimoline Stories
by Isaac Asimov
First story: Astounding, Mar 1948

I don’t know if this is time travel or not, but it certainly violates causality when the time for thiotimoline to dissolve in water is minus 1.12 seconds.
  1. The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline (Mar 1948) Astounding
  2. The Micropsychiatric Properties of Thiotimoline (Dec 1953) Astounding
  3. Thiotimoline and the Space Age (Oct 1960) Analog
  4. Thiotimoline to the Stars (Nov 1973) Analog
  5. Antithiotimoline (Dec 1977) Analog

 Mr. Asimov, tell us something about the thermodynamic properties of the compound thiotimoline. 

—Professor Ralph S. Halford to Asimov at the conclusion of his Ph.D. oral exam on May 20, 1948.

[Apr 2012]

Escape graphic from
Old Radio World
   Escape’s The Time Machine
aka Radio Theatre Group’s The Time Machine
adapted by Irving Ravetch
First airing: Escape radio program on CBS, 9 May 1948

In the first of many audio adaptations of Wells’s classic story, with Dudley (the inventor) takes his friend Fowler along for the ride so that he’ll have someone to talk with about the Eloi and the Morlocks. The script has been restaged multiple times.
  1. 9 May 1948 CBS’s Escape Radio
  2. 22 Oct 1950 CBS’s Escape Radio
  3. 27 Oct 1950 CBS’s Escape Radio
  4. 2005 with Filby instead of Fowler Radio Theatre Group
  5. 23 Dec 2007 Radio Theatre Group

 On this machine, a man can go whereever he likes in time. By working these levers, a man can choose his century, his year, his very day. 

[Feb 2016]

   “The Tides of Time”
by A. Bertram Chandler
First publication: Fantastic Adventures, Jun 1948

Upon his 21st birthday, the twentieth in the line of descendents of Aubrey St. John Sheraton is to be taken into confidence about the secret of his family’s centuries-long financial success.

 I’d wait five hundred years for you, my darling. 

[Feb 2015]

   “Time Trap”
by Charles L. Harness
First publication: Astounding, Aug 1948

The story presents a fixed series of events, which includes a man disappearing at one point in the future and (from his point of view) reappearing at the start of the story to then interact with himself, his own wife, and the evil alien.

It’s nice that there’s no talk of the universe exploding when he meets himself, but even so, the story suffers from a murkiness that is often part of time-travel stories that are otherwise enjoyable. The murkiness stems from two points: (1) That somehow the events are repeating over and over again—but from whose viewpoint? (2) The events are deterministic and must be acted out exactly the same each time. I enjoy clever stories that espouse the viewpoint of the second item (“By His Bootstraps”). But this does not play well with the first item, and (as with many stories), Harness did not address that conflict nor the consequent issue of free will. Still, I enjoyed the story and wish I’d met Harness when I traveled to Penn State University in the spring of 1982.

 But searching down time, Troy-Poole now found only the old combination of Troy and Poole he knew so well. Hundreds, thousands, millions of them, each preceding the other. As far back as he could sense, there was always a Poole hovering over a Troy. Now he would become the next Poole, enmesh the next Troy in the web of time, and go his own way to bloody death. 

[Jul 2011]

   “Brooklyn Project”
by William Tenn
First publication: Planet Stories, Fall 1948

So far, this is the earliest story I’ve read with the thought that a minuscule change in the past can cause major changes to our time. The setting is a press conference where the Secretary of Security presents the time-travel device to twelve reporters.

 The traitorous Shayson and his illegal federation extended this hypothesis to include much more detailed and minor acts such as shifting a molecule of hydrogen that in our past really was never shifted. 

[Jul 2011]

   “The Cube Root of Conquest”
by Rog Phillips
First publication: Amazing, Oct 1948

Hute Hitle, a dictator on the war-torn planet of Amba, plans to bring down an apocalypse and then travel to the future where he can fulfil his insatiable ambitions to be accepted as the one Leader.

The story is a crudely written Hitler fantasy, but it does have the interesting idea that travel through time can best be accomplished by stepping sideways into a parallel universe, traveling through time in that other universe, and then stepping back. Fortuntely for Amba, the scientist who discovered this version of time travel knows more than Hitle ever will.

 A time machine in one of these other universes could carry me to any point in the future without danger it might have encountered in this one, such as an atom bomb dropped on the space it would have been in here? 

[Jun 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.
1948

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


 1948
“He Walked Around the Horses” by H. Beam Piper (paratime) [alternate timelines]

“Police Operation” by H. Beam Piper (paratime) [alternate timelines]

“The Shape of Things” by Ray Bradbury [4D spacial topology]
                aka “Tomorrow’s Child”


11 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)