The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1955

   The End of Eternity
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: 1955

Andrew Harlan, Technician in the everwhen of Eternity, falls in love and starts a chain of events that can mean the end of everything.

 He had boarded the kettle in the 575th Century, the base of operations assigned to him two years earlier. At the time the 575th had been the farthest upwhen he had ever traveled. Now he was moving upwhen to the 2456th Century. 

[Apr 1968]

   “The Past Master”
by Robert Bloch
First publication: Bluebook, Jan 1955

In a United States on the verge of atomic war with the Communists, a handsome, naked man—call him John Smith—walks out of the ocean with a bag full of money and, according to eyewitnesses, a mind to buy the Mona Lisa and a long list of other masterpieces.

 Then he began writing titles. Im afraid I gasped. “Really,” I said. “You cant actually expect to buy the ‘Mona Lisa’!” 

[Feb 2015]

   “Blood”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Feb 1955

A cute joke story about the last two vampires on Earth who flee into the future to escape persecution and simply search for a filling meal.

 I, a member of the dominant race, was once what you called . . . 

[Jul 2013]

   “The Dragon”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mar 1955

On a dark night on a moor, 900 years after the nativity, two knights face down a steaming behemoth.

 It was a fog inside of a mist inside of a darkness, and this place was no mans place and there was no year or hour at all, but only these men in a faceless emptiness of sudden frost, storm, and white thunder which moved behind the great falling pane of green glass that was the lightning. 

[Dec 2013]

   “Project Mastodon”
by Clifford D. Simak
First publication: Galaxy, Mar 1955

Wes Adams, Johnny Cooper and Chuck Hudson (chums since boyhood) build a time machine and proceed to do exactly what you or I would do: Go back 150,000 years, found the new Republic of Mastodonia somewhere in pre-Wisconsin, and seek diplomatic recognition from the United States of America.

 If you guys ever travel in time, you’ll run up against more than you bargain for. I don’t mean the climate or the terrain or the fauna, but the economics and the politics. 

[Jan 2012]

   “Target One”
by Frederik Pohl
First publication: Galaxy, Apr 1955

Thirty-five years after the death of Albert Einstein, atomic bombs have left 2 billion corpses; the bombs came from Einstein’s formulae; so what is it we need?

I had the good fortune to meet Fred Pohl in July of 2003 at Jim Gunn's workshop in Manhattan, Kansas. On a warm day outside the student union building, he kindly sat and talked to me about the background for a story I was writing about him and Asimov.

 Quite simply, it is the murder of Albert Einstein. 

[Feb 2012]

   Science Fiction Theater
aka Beyond the Limits
created by Ivan Tors
First time travel: 15 Apr 1955

I’ve seen only the second episode, “Time Is Just a Place” (in color!), in which a happy 1950s couple (one of whom is Mr. B from Hazel—did she ever time travel?) get new neighbors who have escaped from the future. The episode was based on the 1951 Jack Finney story, “Such Interesting Neighbors.”

 Nothing to get excited about. Any housewife could use one. 

—the interesting neighbor talking about his sonic broom

[Sep 2011]



   Adventures of Superman
created by Whitney Ellsworth and Robert J. Maxwell
First time travel: 23 Apr 1955

In the first episode of Season 3, “Through the Time Barrier” (23 Mar 1955), Professor Twiddle’s time machine takes the staff of the Daily Planet back to prehistoric times. I don’t know whether there was any other time travel.

 Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look—up in the sky! Its a bird! Its a plane! Its Superman!
Yes, its Superman, strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who—disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannored reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper—fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!
 

[circa 1966]

   “Sam, This Is You”
by Murray Leinster
First publication: Galaxy, May 1955

While up on a pole, lineman Sam Yoder gets a call from his future self who proceeds to tell him exactly what to do, even if is suspiciously criminal and it makes his girl, Rosie, furious.

 Youve heard of time-traveling. Well, this is time-talking. Youre talking to yourself—thats me—and Im talking to myself—thats you—and it looks like weve got a mighty good chance to get rich. 

[Jun 2012]





   The Time Patrol Stories
by Poul Anderson
First story: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1955

Former military engineer Manse Everard is recruited by the Time Patrol to prevent time travelers from making major changes to history (history bounces back from the small stuff).

For me, the logic of these stories pushes in a good direction, but still leaves one gaping hole that’s evinced by the fate of Manse’s compatriot Keith Denison in “Brave to Be a King”—namely, what happened to the younger Denison? Perhaps my problem is simply that I don’t grok ℵ-valued logic.

The stories have been collected in various volumes, the most complete of which is the 2006 Time Patrol that contains all but The Shield of Time.
  1. Time Patrol (May 1955) F&SF
  2. Delenda Est (Dec 1955) F&SF
  3. Brave to Be a King (Aug 1959) F&SF
  4. The Only Game in Town (Jan 1960) F&SF
  5. Gibraltar Falls (Oct 1975) F&SF
  6. Ivory, and Apes, and Peacocks (Oct 1983) in Time Patrolman
  7. The Sorrow of Odin the Goth (Oct 1983) in Time Patrolman
  8. Star of the Sea (Oct 1991) in The Time Patrol
  9. The Year of the Ransom (Apr 1988) about 25,000 words
  10. The Stranger That Is Within Thy Gates (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  11. Women and Horses and Power and War (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  12. Before the Gods That Made the Gods (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  13. Beringia (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  14. Riddle Me This (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  15. Amazement of the World (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  16. Death and the Knight (Jun 1995) in Tales of the Knights Templar

 If you went back to, I would guess, 1946, and worked to prevent your parents’ marriage in 1947, you would still have existed in that year; you would not go out of existence just because you had influenced events. The same would apply even if you had only been in 1946 one microsecond before shooting the man who would otherwise have become your father. 

[Feb 2012]

   “Service Call”
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Science Fiction Stories, Jul 1955

It the midst of McCarthyism, Dick wrote this story about an accidental travel through time to the 1950s by a swibble repairman, whereupon Mr. Courtland and his colleagues pry information out of the repairman about exactly what a swibble is and how it has stopped all war.

 —remember the swibble slogan: Why be half loyal? 

[Jan 2012]

   Time Bomb
by Wilson Tucker
First publication: Aug 1955

As Illinois police Lieutenant Danforth investigates a series of politically motivated deadly bombings, he realizes that the mythical Gilgamesh himself may be involved as well as a bomb-delivering time machine from the future.

Unlike Tucker’s earlier Gilgamesh book, The Time Masters, this one really does have a time machine.

 A loose-knit but fanatical political party is driving for control of the nation. This November they may have it. Meanshile one or more equally fanatical parties are seeking a practical time machine. 

[Jul 2016]

   “First Time Machine”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Sep 1955

A short-short, 1950s version of the grandfather paradox with a resolution that’s not quite satisfying (branching universes, I think, but it’s unclear). The cover of the 1958 paperback is by Hieronymus Bosch (Grzegorz’s favorite painter) with an owl in the background (Grzegorz’s favorite bird)!

 What would have happened if youd rushed to the door and kicked yourself in the seat of the pants? 

[Aug 2011]

   “The Discovery of Morniel Mathaway”
by William Tenn
First publication: Galaxy, Oct 1955

An art critic from the 25th century visits struggling poet David Dantziger and his totally unappreciated painter friend Morniel Mathaway.

 So we indulged in the twentieth-century custon of shaking hands with him. First Morniel, then me—and both very gingerly. Mr. Glescu shook hands with a peculiar awkwardness that made me think of the way an Iowan farmer might eat with chopsticks for the first time. 

[Apr 2012]

   Casper, the Friendly Ghost
created by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo
First time travel: 21 Oct 1955

Every Casper cartoon had the same plot, including at least one (“Red, White and Boo”) from 1955 where Casper wonders whether people in the past will also be scared of him, so he uses a time machine to visit a caveman, Robert Fulton, Paul Revere, General Washington and a Revolutionary War battle.

 Gee, maybe people in the past wont be scared of me. 

[circa 1960]

   “Psi-Man Heal My Child!”
aka Psi-Man
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Imaginative Tales, Nov 1955

In a post nuclear apocalypse world, a small group of Psionic people use their powers to help survivors while Jack repeatedly travels back in time to try to stop a general from taking a firm stand against the Russians.

Unfortunately, for me, the unexplained time-travel paradoxes in the ending lowered my enjoyment, even though it was no worse than the inexplicable paradoxes in so many other stories.

 Eleven times and always the same. 

[Aug 2015]

   X Minus One
by Ernest Kinoy, George Lefferts, et. al.
First time travel: 14 Dec 1955

When Dimension X was canceled in 1951, I wonder whether radio listeners felt like future trekkies. If so, they had to wait less than four years for a revival of sorts with the first 15 episodes of X Minus One being new versions of old DX shows. Those were followed by more than 100 new episodes, many of which were taken from contemporary Galaxy stories and some of which took us through time.
  1. To the Future (14 Dec 1955) from war in 2155 to peaceful 1950s
  2. Time and Time Again (11 Jan 1956) dying soldier to his childhood
  3. A Gun for Dinosaur (7 Mar 1956) hunting in the late Mesozoic
  4. Project Mastodon (5 Jun 1956) to the Republic of Mastodonia, 150,000 BC
  5. The Old Die Rich (17 Jul 1956) slueth forced into time machine
  6. Sam, This Is You (31 Oct 1956) phone call from future
  7. Something for Nothing (10 Apr 1957) a wishing machine from future
  8. Morniel Mathaway (17 Apr 1957) art critic from the 25th century
  9. Target One (26 Dec 1956) back to kill Einstein to stop Armageddon

 These are stories of the future, adventures in which you’ll live in a million could-be years on a thousand maybe worlds. The National Broadcasting Company in cooperation with Galaxy Science Fiction magazine presents . . . X‑x‑x‑x‑x . . . Minus‑minus‑minus‑minus‑minus . . . One‑one‑one‑one‑one . . . 

[Jan 2012]
 

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.
1955

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


 1955
“Of Missing Persons” by Jack Finney [no definite time travel]

“Time Crime” by H. Beam Piper (paratime) [alternate timelines]

“The Trolley (from Dandelion Wine)” by Ray Bradbury [despite appearances, no time travel]


20 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)