The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1970

   Quest for the Future
by A.E. van Vogt
First publication: 1970

Hey, I got an idea! Let’s take three unrelated time-travel stories, change the name of the protagonist to be the same in all three, paste in some transition material, and call it a novel!

To be fair, I did enjoy this paperback when I bought it in the summer of 1970, but when I went to read van Vogt’s collected stories 42 years later, bits kept seeming familiar, which is when I discovered the truth. If I were a new reader, I’d just as soon read the individual stories and skip the conglomeration. The three stories are “Film Library,” “The Search” and “Far Centaurus” (all in van Vogt’s Transfinite collection).

 A new novel by “the undisputed idea man of the futuristic field” (to quote Forrest J. Ackerman) is bound to be an event of major interest to every science fiction reader. 

—from the back cover of the 1970 paperback

[Jul 1970]

   “A Shape in Time”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: The Future Is Now, 1970

Time-traveling, Marriage-prevention specialist Agent L-3H has her first failure while trying to intervene in the 1880 marriage of Edwin Sullivan to Angelina Gilbert.

 Temporal Agent L-3H is always delectable in any shape; thats why the Bureau employs her on marriage-prevention assignments. 

[Jan 2013]

   Time and Again
by Jack Finney
First publication: 1970

Si goes back to 19th century New York to solve a crime and (of course) fall in love.

This is Janet’s favorite time-travel novel, in which Finney elaborates on themes that were set in earlier stories such as “Double Take.”

 Theres a project. A U.S. government project I guess youd have to call it. Secret, naturally; as what isnt in government these days? In my opinion, and that of a handful of others, its more important than all the nuclear, space-exploration, satellite, and rocket programs put together, though a hell of a lot smaller. I tell you right off that I cant even hint what the project is about. And believe me, youd never guess. 

[May 1990]

   The Year of the Quiet Sun
by Wilson Tucker
First publication: 1970

Brian Chaney—researcher, translator, statistician, a little of this and that—is unwillingly drafted as the third member of a team (which includes Major Moresby and Lt. Commander Saltus) to study and map the central United States at the turn of the century, at about the year 2000.

For me, I see the tone of several later items, such as the tv show Seven Days, as descendants of Tucker’s novel—and we finally understand why the Terminator arrives at his destination naked.

 She said: “It’s a matter of weight, Mr. Chaney. The machine must propel itself and you into the future, which is an operation requiring a tremendous amount of electrical energy. The engineers have advised us that total weight is a critical matter, that nothing but the passenger must be put forward or returned. They insist upon minimum weight.”
    “Naked? All the way naked?”
 

[Apr 2013]

   The Time Trap Series
by Keith Laumer
First book: Aug 1970

In these two books (Time Trap and Back to Time Trap), Roger Tyson is caught in a battle between aliens and time travelers from the future.

  . . . it would be our great privilege to bring to the hypergalactic masses, for the first time in temporal stasis, a glimpse of life on a simpler, more meaningless, and therefore highly illuminating scale. I pictured the proud intellects of Ikanion Nine, the lofty abstract cerebra of Yoop Two, the swarm-awareness of Vr One-ninety-nine, passing through these displays at so many megaergs per ego-complex, gathering insights into their own early evolutionary history. I hoped to see the little ones, their innocent organ clusters aglow, watching with shining radiation sensors as primitive organisms split atoms with stone axes, invented the wheel and the betatron, set forth on their crude Cunarders to explore the second dimension . . . 

[Jan 2014]

   Timeslip
created by Ruth Boswell and James Boswell
First episode: 28 Sep 1970

Serious Simon and Emotional Elizabeth use the Time Barrier to travel to different doctorwhoish pasts and presents, never meeting the Time Lord himself, of course, but sometimes meeting versions of themselves and their families.

 Oold Beth: Sometimes in life you have to make decisions and hope they come out for the best. Youll know about that soon enough.
Young Liz: But Ill never make your decisions, will I?
Oold Beth: Then how did I come to make them? Were the same, Liz. But Im like a person Youll never be, and youre like a person I never was, never. 

—from “The Time of the Ice Box”

[Jul 2012]

   “One Life,
Furnished in Early Poverty”

by Harlan Ellison
First publication: Orbit 8, Oct 1970

At 42, Gus Rosenthal is in a place of security, importance, recogntion—in short, the perfect time to dig up that toy soldier that he buried in his back yard 30 years ago with the knowledge that doing so will take him back to that time to be an influence on an angry, bullied 12-year-old Gus.

 My thoughts were of myself: I’m coming to save you. I’m coming, Gus. You won’t hurt any more . . . you’ll never hurt. 

[Dan 2012]

   “The Weed of Time”
by Norman Spinrad
First publication: Alchemy and Academe, Nov 1970

Spinrad’s tells of a man for whom every event in his life happens simultaneously, which is perhaps the ultimate in time travel.

 They will not accept the fact that choice is an illusion caused by the fact that future time-loci are hidden from those who advance sequentially along the time-stream one moment after the other in blissful ignorance. 

[May 2014]

   “The Ever-Branching Tree”
by Harry Harrison
First publication: Science Against Man, Dec 1970

A Teacher takes a group of disinterested children on a field trip through time to see the evolution of life.

 Yesterday we watched the lightning strike the primordial chemical soup of the seas and saw the more complex chemicals being made that developed into the first life foms. We saw this single-celled life triumph over time and eternity by first developing the ability to divide into two cells, then to develope into composite, many-celled life forms. What do you remember about yesterday? 

[May 2011]
 

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.
1970

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


 1970
“The Bird of Time” by Jane Yolen [differing time rates]

Scrooge adapted by Leslie Bricusse (Ronald Neame, director) [a christmas carol]

Sleeper by Woody Allen [long sleep]

Tau Zero by Poul Anderson [time dilation]


13 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)