The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1959

an earlier volume of the annual anthology where Jackson’s story appeared   “Millennium”
by Ruth Jackson
First publication: Anthology of Best Short Short Stories, Volume 7, 1959

While on a walk a few days before Christmas, Bill Ebberly has a dizzy spell and momentarily finds himself millennia in the future where he learns that the world has outgrown the need for hospitals and police.

Parts of this story had the tenor of a Jack Finney story, but the characters and plot did not generate the interest that Finney’s can.

 You know, you have touched upon a train of thought that has always interested me—our sense of time. Time, as we know it, is only an objective concept, like a sense of color. We here upon this earth are moving upon a plane and recognize as really existing only the small circle lighted by our consciousness, one meridian. That which is behind has disappeared and that which is ahead has not yet appeared, so we say that they do not exist. 

[Mar 2016]

The story also appeared in the Aug 1964 Venture.   “Snitkin’s Law”
by Eleazar Lipsky
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fegb 1959

Lipsky, himself a lawyer, tells the story of Lester Snitkin, an untrustworthy, small-time lawyer who is whisked into the Unimaginable Future to save mankind from the perfect justice meted out by the Justice Machine.

 According to the Theory of Improbability, all moral qualities can be suitably quantified under the so-called Lenin-Stalin-Khrushchev Transformation Equations. By these fruitful formulations, it was discovered early in the twentieth century that everything can be taken to mean anything else provided that the number field be restricted to the transcendentals. 

[Jul 2016]

   “A Statue for Father”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Satellite Science Fiction, Feb 1959

A wealthy man’s father was a time-travel researcher who died some years ago, but not before leaving a legacy for all mankind.

 Theyve put up statues to him, too. The oldest is on the hillside right here where the discovery was made. You can just see it out the window. Yes. Can you make out the inscription? Well, were standing at a bad angle. No matter. 

[Dec 2009]

The story also appeared in this 2003 collection.   “The Willow Tree”
by Jane Rice
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Feb 1959

By my count, this is the fifth time travel story in the February 1959 issue of F&SF, which is a record. Maybe they were anticipating the release of The Time Machine in the subsequent year.

In this story, four orphans are sent to live in the past with the rather odd Aunt Martha and the slightly less odd Aunt Harriet, who together give the children only one commandment: Never play under the willow tree!

 When the four O  ::  children, Lucy, Robert, Charles, and May, were orphaned by a freak of circumstances, they were sent to live in the Past with two spinster relatives, ostensibly because of crowded conditions elsewhere. 

[Jul 2016]

   Hallmark Hall of Fame
First time travel: 5 Feb 1959

Over the years, I’ve seen dozens of the Hallmark Hall of Fame specials. More recently, I went through the list of episodes back to 1951 when they started as a weekly anthology show on NBC. I spotted only one episode with time travel, the venerable Berkeley Square, broadcast in color on a special day in 1959, but I haven't yet tracked down a copy to watch.
[Dec 1965]

   “—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. 

[May 1970]

the story also appeared in this 1961 collection   “Of Time and Cats”
by Howard Fast
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mar 1959

In a panic, Professor Bob Bottman calls his wife from the Waldorf where he’s hiding out from dozens of other Bob Bottmans (and possibly just as many of Professor Dunbar’s cats).

 They want to live as much as I do. I am the first me, and therefore the real me; but they are also me—different moments of consciousness in me—but they are me. 

[Jun 2016]

   “Unto the Fourth Generation”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Apr 1959

During an ordinary day of business, Sam Marten is obsessivly drawn to different men named Levkowich, each with a different spelling.

When I began putting together this Big List in 2005, I started with all the Asimov time travel stories that I could remember. Somehow I forgot about this story which I first read in 1973 in Nightfall and Other Stories. But then, while scouring the 1950s back issues of F&SF for more obscure stories, there it was: Sam Marten’s great, great grandfather brought from his deathbed to meet Sam, and there, also, was a moment of time travel for Sam himself.

Two new sentences were added at the end of the original story for the reprinting in Asimov’s collection, so I thought it would be appropriate to quote those new sentences here:

 Yet somehow he knew that all would be well with him. Somehow, as never before, he knew. 

[Dec 1973]

   “Lost in Translation”
by Rosel George Brown
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1959

Prudish Mercedes King, a devotee and advocate of the neo-Victorian revival as well as a true Graecophile, is approached by her father’s graduate student about participating in a certain experiment.

 Let me at least tell you what the experiment is. You can faint after Im finished. 

[Jul 2016]

The story also appeared in the Apr 1960 issue of this French story magazine.   “Tenth Time Around”
by J.T. McIntosh
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1959

Gene Player seems destined to always lose his love Belinda to his friend Harry Scott, but maybe, just maybe, he’ll get it right on the tenth time around as he’s once again sent back to his 1975 body in this branching universe time travel story. But what if in the new 1975, he meets young Doreen for the first time, not to mention those other small things that go differently?

 It was a big decision, the first time. If you were at all successful in life at forty, fifty, sixth, the glorious thought of being young again, strong, healthy and probably in love, was considerably tempered by the consideration that youd be pushed around again, that youd have to get up at seven and work hard all day for less than a tenth of what you made now, that youd have to go through this or that operation again, that youd have to see your father and mother die again  . . . 

[Jul 2016]

from the telerecording of Nineteen-Eighty-Four   BBC Sunday-Night Theater
aka BBC Sunday-Night Play
First time travel: 31 May 1959

For nearly all of 14 years, the BBC staged and broadcast weekly live plays, at least one which included time travel: a production of the 1926 play, Berkeley Square. According to lostshows.com, no copy of Berkeley Square survived, but I did enjoy a telerecording of their 1954 staging of Nineteen-Eighty-Four (with no time travel!) that caused a stir in cold-war era Britain.

 Attention, comrades, attention! Here is a complementary production bulletin issued by the Ministry of Plenty giving further glorious news of the success of the seventh three-year plan! In clear demonstration of the rising standards of our new, happy life, the latest calculated increases are as follows . . . 

Nineteen-Eighty-Four

[Feb 1977]

   “Production Problem”
by Robert F. Young
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jun 1960

Bridgemaker has never had any trouble making money, but it’s a different vocation that he longs for, a vocation that was apparently widespread in the past, so he sends men from Timesearch, Inc., to find the secret that had to exist in the past.

 Our field men have explored the Pre-Technological Age, the First Technological Age, and the early years of our own age; but even though they witnessed some of the ancient technicians at work, they never caught a glimpse of the machine. 

[Jul 2016]

   “Unborn Tomorrow”
by Mack Reynolds
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1959

Private investigator Simon and his assistant Betty are hired by a curious old man to hunt up some time travelers at Oktoberfest. Betty is game, but Simon, sporting a major hangover, is uncharacteristically reticent.

 “Time travel is impossible.”
“Why?”
“Why?”
“Yes, why?”
Betty looked to her boss for assistance. None was forthcoming. There ought to be some very quick, positive, definite answer. She said, “Well, for one thing, paradox. Suppose you had a time machine and traveled back a hundred years or so and killed your own great-grandfather. Then how could you ever be born?”
“Confound it if I know,” the little fellow growled. “How?”
 

[Oct 2015]

from Colorforms’ play set   Hector Heathcote
created by Eli Bauer
First publication: 4 Jul 1959

Hector first appeared in a movie theater short feature (I miss short features) called “The Minute and ½ Man” in 1959 where he goes back to the American Revolution and fouls things up until the end when he scares away the Redcoats (remniscent of the 1955 Casper cartoon). I haven’t seen that first cartoon in which Hector travels by time machine, but Hector later had tv escapades (his own show, starting 5 Oct 1963) visiting the likes of Daniel Boone and inventing the telephone in 1876, all without a time machine in the ones I saw. There was also a children’s book (which had no time travel), a Dell spin-off comic book (Mar 1964), and a Colorforms’ play set (which provided the image to the top-left).

 Youre wanted on the telephone—a young lady. 

—Wilbur the dog in “The First Telephone”

[circa 1963]

   “Obituary”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aug 1959

The wife of Lancelot Stebbins (not his real name) tells of the difficulties of being married to a man who is obsessively driven to find fame as a physicist, even to the point of worrying about what his obituary will say—but perhaps time travel can put that worry to rest.

 At any rate, he turned full on me. His lean body shook and his dark eyebrows pulled down over his deep-set eyes as he shrieked at me in a falsetto, “But Ill never read my obituary. Ill be deprived even of that.” 

[Apr 1979]

   “The Love Letter”
by Jack Finney
First publication: The Saturday Evening Post, 1 Aug 1959

A young man looking for love in 1959 Brooklyn finds and answers a letter from a young woman in 1869 Brooklyn.

 The folded paper opened stiffly, the crease permanent with age, and even before I saw the date I knew this letter was old. The handwriting was obviously feminine, and beautifully clear—its called Spencerian, isnt it?—the letters perfectly formed and very ornate, the capitals especially being a whirl of dainty curlicues. The ink was rust-black, the date at the top of the page was May 14, 1882, and reading it, I saw that it was a love letter. 

[Mar 2005]

   The Twilight Zone
created by Rod Serling
First time travel: 30 Oct 1959

Five seasons with many time-travel episodes. Four (marked with ¤) were written by Richard Matheson, one was by E. Jack Neuman (“Templeton”), one by Reginold Rose (“Horace Ford”), and the rest were by Serling (including “What You Need” based on a Lewis Padgett story with prescience only and no real time travel, “Execution” from a story of George Clayton Johnson, “A Quality of Mercy” from a Sam Rolfe story featuring a young Dean Stockwell, and “Of Late I Think of Cliffordville” from Malcolm Jameson’s “Blind Alley”).
  1. Walking Distance (30 Oct 1959) Hero to time of youth
  2. Judgment Night (4 Dec 1959) Time Loop in World War II
  3. What You Need (25 Dec 1959) Prescience (no time travel)
  4. The Last Flight (5 Feb 1960) ¤ 42 years beyond WW II
  5. Execution (1 Apr 1960) From 1880 West to 1960 NY
  6. A Stop at Willoughby (6 May 1960) To idyllic past
  7. The Trouble with Templeton (9 Dec 1960) To 1927
  8. Back There (13 Jan 1961) Lincoln in 1865
  9. The Odyssey of Flight 33 (24 Feb 1961) To age of dinosaurs and more
  10. A Hundred Yards over the Rim (7 Apr 1961) From 1847 to 1961
  11. Once Upon a Time (15 Dec 1961) ¤ From 1890s to present
  12. A Quality of Mercy (29 Dec 1961) From 1945 to ’42 in WWII
  13. Death Ship (7 Feb 1963) ¤ Time Loop?
  14. No Time Like the Past (7 Mar 1963) To 1881 Indiana
  15. Of Late I Think of Cliffordville (11 Apr 1963) From age 75 to 30
  16. The Incredible World of Horace Ford (18 Apr 1963)    Hero to Time of Youth
  17. The Bard (23 May 1963) Shakespeare to the present
  18. The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms (6 Dec 1963) To Custer’s Last Stand
  19. Spur of the Moment (21 Feb 1964) ¤ Heroine warns earlier self

 There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of mans fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone. 

[Jul 1966]

   “Halloween for Mr. Faulkner”
by August Derleth
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Nov 1959

Mr. Guy Faulkner, an American lost in the London fog, finds himself back in the time of the Gunpowder Plot.

 I say, Wright, now Guys here, we can get on with it. 

[Jul 2013]

   Peabody’s Improbable History
created by Ted Key
First aired: 29 Nov 1959

The genius dog, Mr. Peabody, and his boy Sherman travel back in the Wayback Machine to see what truly happened at key points of history.

 Peabody here. 

[circa 1965]



   The Boys’ Life Time Machine Stories
by Donald Keith (aka Donald and Keith Monroe)
First story: Boys’ Life, Dec 1959

Boy Scout Bob “Tuck” Tucker, of the Polaris Patrol, doesn’t want to look after tag-along Elsworth “Brains” Baynes, but he does so as a favor to his father. Then one day near the scout camp, they find a time machine that lets them explore history with a bit of science fiction (people have no hair or teeth in the future) thrown in on the side. Later in the series, they’re joined by Kai from the city of Troy in the year 4000 and Dion from ancient Sparta.

Some of the stories were gathered into two collections: Mutiny in the Time Machine (1963) and Time Machine to the Rescue (1967).
  1. The Day We Explored the Future (Dec 1959) finding the machine
  2. The Time Machine Flies Backwards (Feb 1960) back to Teddy Roosevelt
  3. How We Got the Mind-Reading Pills (Jun 1960) to future to rescue Kai Bezzy
  4. Our Time Machine at the Jamboree (Jul 1960) to ancient Sparta to get Dion
  5. Marco Polo and Our Time Machine (Oct 1961) to Marco Polo’s China
  6. The Time Machine Slips a Cog (Feb 1962) accidental trip to 1972
  7. Mutiny in the Time Machine (Dec'62-Mar'63) Pre-Columbian America
  8. The Time Machine Cracks a Safe (Jun 1964) to rescue Kai’s parents
  9. Time Machine to the Rescue (Oct 1964) rescue the parents again!
  10. The Time Machine Gets Stuck (Feb-Apr 1965)) to Maximilian I
  11. Time Machine Hunts a Treasure (Apr-Jun 1967) diary investigation in 1900
  12. The Dog from the Time Machine (Dec 1968) briefly to 1473 with wolf-dog
  13. Time Machine and the Generation Gap (Sep 1970) underwater in 2020
  14. The King and the Time Machine (Aug 1971) Edward III to far future
  15. The Time Machine Cleans Up (Feb 1973) recycler from the future
  16. The Time Machine Twins the Jamboree (Aug 1973) visit two places at once
  17. Santa Claus and the Time Machine (Dec 1973) put together a Santa Claus
  18. The Time Machine Fights Earthquakes (Nov 1974) visit to past/future quakes
  19. The Time Machine Saves a Patriot (Apr 1975) to Paul Revere
  20. The Time Machine Kidnaps a Parade (Jul 1976) Colonial soldiers to today
  21. Target Timbuktu (Sep 1988) to ancient Africa
  22. Why We Kidnapped Our Scoutmaster (Feb 1989) an 1850s mountain man
  23. Pirates Took Our Time Machine (Sep 1989) pirates in 1731

 One little egghead reached out, kind of scared, and gave my hair a nasty tug. “Mullo,” the Scoutmaster said sharply. “Jog law six. A Scout is kind. He is warmheart to animals. He nul kills or pangs any living creature for trivia.”
Their words for the sixth Scout Law were weird, but I was glad to know they still had the law, especially if they thought I was an animal.
 

—“The Day We Explored the Future”

[Jul 2015]
 


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)