The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1949



   “La otre muerte”
English title: “The Other Death” (translated from Spanish)
by Jorge Luís Borges
First publication: El Aleph, 1949

I’ve read many translated stories of Jorge Luís Borges, and many of those have surreal time elements, but this is the only one that I’ll deem to have time travel with a sophisticated branching universe, no less!

In the story, Borges himself tells of a man, Dom Pedro Damián, who first has a history as a soldier who lost his nerve at the 1904 Battle of Masoller and then lived out a long, quiet life. But after Damián dies some decades later, a second history appears in which the soldier was actually a dead hero at that very same battle, and no one remembers anything of the earlier life.

Motivated by the final part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Borges argues that the only complete explanation involves God granting a death-bed wish to the 1946 Damián, allowing him to return to the 1904 battle, causing time to branch into two universal histories, the first of which is largely—but not wholly—suppressed.

 In the fifth chapter of that treatise, Pier Damiani asserts—against Aristotle and against Fredegarius de Tours—that it is within Gods power to make what once was into something that has never been. Reading those old theological discussions, I began to understand Pedro Damiá;s tragic story. 




   “The Red Queen’s Race”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Astounding Science Fiction, Jan 1949

By my count, this was Asimov’s third foray into time travel, but his first as Dr. Asimov. In the story, the dead Elmer Tywood also had a Ph.D. and a plan to translate a modern chemistry textbook into Greek before sending it back in time to inaugurate a Golden Age of science long before it actually occurred.

 There was a short silence, then he said: “Ill tell you. Why dont you check with his students?”
I lifted my eyebrows: “You mean in his classes?”
He seemed annoyed: “No, for Heavens sake. His research students! His doctoral candidates!”
 


the traveller, played by Russell Napier, meets the Eloi

   BBC’s The Time Machine
adapted by Robert Barr
First episode: 25 Jan 1949

The first tv broadcast of The Time Machine, a litle less than an hour, came live from the BBC’s Studio A at Alexandra Palace on 25 Jan 1949 with a second revised broadcast on 21 Feb 1949.

Seeing as how there are no recordings of the broadcast, I wish I had my own time machine so I could send my Betamax® back to 1949.

 In the first showing, after a brief interval in which the hands of the wall-clock recorded the passing of many hours, the lights began to dip and rise to indicate the passage of the days, and as this effect speeded up the walls of the room gradually dissolved. In the second performance this was cut out, killing the impression of fast-moving time. But, outside, the sun moves ever more swiftly across the sky until it is a continuous band of light, rising and falling to indicate the equinoxes, and throwing into vivid relief the changing shapes of successions of buildings which become more startlingly futuristic as the Traveller flashes through the ages. 

—Thomas Sheridan in Fantasy Review, Apr/May 1949




   “Manna”
by Peter Phillips
First publication: Astounding, Feb 1949

After the Miracle Meal food company builds a canning plant on the site of a 12th century haunted priory, cans of the Manna start discappearing.

 Miracle Meal. Press here. 




   Hallmark Playhouse
hosted by James Hilton
First time travel: 3 Mar 1949 in Berkeley Square

Before tv’s Hallmark Hall of Fame, CBS aired the half-hour Hallmark Playhouse on its radio networks. I spotted only one time-travel episode, the well-worn Berkeley Square, which aired on 3 Mar 1949.

 An ancestor of mine built this house in 1730. See that picture there, above the fireplace? His father. Look at it. 




Young William Shatner

   Studio One
created by Fletcher Markle
First time travel: 20 Mar 1949 (“Berkeley Square”)

Almost every week for a period of nearly eleven years (7 Nov 1948 to 29 Sep 1958), Studio One presented a black-and-white drama to CBS’s television audience. We can claim some of the tv plays as our own in the sf genre, and at least two included time travel (a “Berkeley Square” remake on 20 March 1949, and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” on 19 May 1952). One other sf connection comes from Studio One clips of William Shatner (in “The Defender”, 1957) which were used to portray a young Denny Crane in an episode of Boston Legal (“Son of the Defender”, 2007).

 Youve heard of the transmigration of soul; have you ever heard of the transposition of a mans body in time and place? 

—A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court




   ACG Comics (Anthologies)
founded by Benjamin W. Sangory
First time travel: Adventures into the Unknown 4, Apr 1949

ACG had a handful of weird story comic books including Adventures into the Unknown, Forbidden Worlds and Forbidden Worlds. I picked up a few of these at garage sales as a kid, but never really got into them. The earliest time travel that I’ve found so far was a story called “Back to Yesterday” in Adventures into the Unknown 4. Some of the issues are now available on google books.

 Its supposed to work by producing a displacement in the hyper-temporal field by means of a powerful mesotronic stasis of the continuum—and anyone near the machines field will immediately be projected into the future! 

—Hugh Martinson in “Adventure into the Future”




   A Connecticut Yankee
in King Arthur’s Court

adapted by Edmund Beloin (Tay Garnett, director)
First release: 22 Apr 1949

You know the story of Hank Morgan well enough by now, but do you know Edmund Beloin’s (one of Bob Hope’s writers) musical version with bumpkin Bing Crosby? This is my favorite of all the filmed versions.

 ♫Lord help the sister, who comes between me and my sister,
and Lord help the mister, who comes between me and my maaaan!♫
 

—oops, wrong Crosby movie!




   Flight into Yesterday
aka Paradox Men, and also an exerpt, “Paradox Men” in the 1974 collection Space Opera
by Charles L. Harness
First publication: Startling Stories, May 1949

With a scope to rival A.E. Van Vogt, Harness tells the tale of Alar (aka The Thief): a swashbuckling amnesiac with amazing mental powers who’s bent on overthrowing the evil solar system empire while being pursued from the Earth to the Moon to the Sun and beyond by the Imperial Police. Oh yes, there’s also this mutant mind who claims he’s the only survivor of an accidental time-traveling space ship.

 Do I understand that you want me to believe that someone will leave in the T-Twenty-Two tonight, jet backward in time, crash into the Ohio River five years ago and swim ashore as Alar? 




   Mighty Mouse Comics
First time travel: Mighty Mouse 11, Jun 1949

Surely Mighty Mouse time traveled in his comics many times, but the one that I ran across in the Michgan State University library records is a 2-page text piece called “The Time Machine”in issue 11. I haven’t read it, so I can’t say whether it’s fiction or perhaps something on H.G. Wells’s story.

The mouse did save the day himself via time travel in 1961 (Mighty Mouse 152). As I find other instances, I’ll add them to my time-travel comics page.

   “Let the Ants Try”
by Frederik Pohl (as by James MacCreigh)
First publication: Planet Stories, Winter 1949

After a nuclear war, Dr. Salva Gordy and John de Terry decide to use their time machine to see whether a recently mutated form of ant might do a better job than mankind if the ants were given a 40-million-year head start.

 And I doubt that you speak mathematics. The closest I can come is to say that it displaces temporal coordinates. Is that gibberish? 


Close, but No Time Travel
These are not the stories you’re looking for. Move along.
“I, Mars” by Ray Bradbury, Super Wonder Stories, Apr 1949 [despite appearances, no time travel ]
aka ‘Night Call, Collect’

“The Wall of Darkness” by Arthur C. Clarke, Super Science Stories, Jul 1949 [despite appearances, no time travel ]

“Time Heals” by Poul Anderson, Astounding, Oct 1949 [long sleep ]

 


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)