The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1977

The story also appeared in this 1996 collection.   “Execution”
by George Clayton Johnson
First publication: Scripts and Stories written for “The Twilight Zone”, 1977

A man without conscience who’s about to be hung in 1880 is transported to a scientist’s lab in 1960.

Serling turned Johnson’s story into a 1960 Twilight Zone episode, but I’m uncertain whether the story was published before Johnson’s 1977 restrospective collection. Johnson is also well-known for Logan’s Run, with Jenny Agutter but (sadly) no time travel.

 Commonplace, if somewhat grim, unsocial event known as a necktie party. The guest of dishonor, a cowboy named Joe Caswell, just a moment away from a rope, a short dance several feet off the ground, and then the dark eternity of all evil men. Mr. Joe Caswell who, when the good Lord passed out a conscience, a heart, a feeling for fellow man, must have been out for a beer and missed out. Mr. Joe Caswelll, in the last quiet moment of a violent life. 

—Opening narration of the Twilight Zone episode

[Feb 2012]

   The Crisis Stories
by James Gunn
First story: Analog, Mar 1977

Bill Johnson travels from the future to affect important political change at moments of crisis, but each time he makes a change, he also forgets all personal details about himself.
  1. Child of the Sun (Mar 1977) Analog
  2. The End of the World    (Jan 1984) Analog
  3. Man of the Hour (Oct 1984) Analog
  4. Mother of the Year (Apr 1985) Analog
  5. Touch of the Match (Feb 1985) Analog
  6. Will of the Wisp (May 1985) Analog
  7. Crisis! (May 1986) fix-up novel

 But each time you intervene, no matter how subtly, you change the future from which you came. You exist in this time and outside of time and in the future, and so each change makes you forget. 

[Jul 2013]

   The Rook
by Bill DuBay
First publication: Eerie 82, Mar 1977

As you know, post-1969 comic books are not normally permitted on the list, but seeing as how Restin Dane, aka The Rook, is the great, great grandson of Wells’s original traveler (not to mention that the Rook and his Time Castle rescued the traveler at the Alamo in his debut “castling” adventure), how can I not make an exception?

 Mister . . . I dont know who you are, where you came from, or where you got them fancy guns . . . but I want tthank God and San Houston fr sendin’ ya! My name’s Crockett . . . and before you got here, I thought fro sure Id wake up tomorrow shakin’ hands with th’ devil! 

[Jan 2016]

   “Air Raid”
by John Varley
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Spring 1977

Mandy snatches doomed people from the past in order to populate her war-decimated time.

 I had to choose between a panic if the fathead got them to thinking, and a possible panic from the flash of the gun. But when a 20th gets to talking about his “rights” and what he is “owed,&rdauo; things can get out of hand. 

[Jul 1977]

   Time Storm
by Gordon R. Dickson
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Spring-Summer 1977

Marc Despard, along with his teenaged friend Girl and their leopard Sunday, travels through an Earth ravenged by storms that push and pull swathes of land from one time to another.
Although the book was published in Oct 1977, it’s first half appeared as two long extracts in the first two issues of Asimovs Science Fiction (“Time Storm” in Spring 1977 and “Across the River” in Summer 1977).

 In the weeks since the whole business of the time changes started, I had not been this close to being caught since that first day in the cabin northwest of Duluth, when I had, in fact, been caught without knowing what hit me. 

[Jul 1977]

   Star Wars
by George Lucas (Lucas, director)
First release: 25 May 1977

I’m just checking that you’re awake. Of course, in Star Wars, time travel no there is. Nevertheless, it gets onto the list simply because the fan-friendly George Lucas instigated an inclusive advertising campaign that sent me a colorful pressbook and an invitation to the opening in May 1977 because (along with Paul Chadwick and Dan Dorman) I was publishing an sf fanzine called Free Fall. Alas, I couldn’t use the invitation because I was falling in love with Janet in Scotland on the day of the premiere.

 I find your lack of faith disturbing. 

[Jul 1977]

   “The Astronomical Hazards of the
Tobacco Habit”

by Dean McLaughlin
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Summer 1977

Whenever an effect of an action occurs before that action itself (i.e., an endochronic property), I consider it to be time travel, with the canonical example being Asimov’s Thiotimoline research first published in 1948. According to McLaughlin, Asimov continued that research, using the profits to establish a foundation that funds further research into such phenomena.

 Dr. Isaac Asimov
Director: Thiotimoline Research Foundation
Trantor MA31416
 

[Aug 1977]

   “Rotating Cylinders and the Possibility of Global Causality Violation”
by Larry Niven
First publication: Analog, Aug 1977

A mathematician named Quifting has a way to use a time machine to end the war with the Hallane Regency once and for all.

 Did nobody ever finish one of these, ah, time machines? 

[Jul 2013]

   “Joelle”
by Poul Anderson
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Fall 1977

Canadian Eruc Stranathan is one of the few people in the world who can merge his mind with computer hardware, taking him to mental vistas beyond that of mere humans. At a conference to explore the possibilities of the technology, he meets the beautiful American Joelle who shares his ability. The two fall deeply in love, but because of security restrictions, it’s fifteen months before she can show him the capabilities of her mind-machine connection.

The time-travel connection is slight in this long story, but it is relevant to Joelle. As I read though, I wondered whether the story could have been much more had the time-travel element been taken more to heart.

 He swept out of the cell, through space and through time, at light-speed across unseen prairies, into the storms that raged down a great particle accelerator. 

[Sep 1977]

Freff’s interior drawing for the story   “Lorelei at Storyville West”
by Sherwood Spring
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Fall 1977

A writer who’s working on a book about Dixieland singers interviews the one man who might have a 1955 tape recording of Ruby Benton whose voice always drew comparisons to the most outstanding singer you’d ever heard. The man does indeed have a recording as well as a theory about why Ruby disappeared from the clubs of Storyville West at the particular time she did.

 The tatoo was obviously her social security number, but it was preceded by an “A” and followed by a space and five additional digits. 

[Sep 1977]

   The Orion Series
by Ben Bova
First story: Weird Heroes 8 (Nov 1977)

Orion the Hunter is tasked by mighty Ormazd to continually battle evil Ahriman, the Dark One. Bova’s first tale chronicles a time thousands of years in the past when Orion is part of a nomadic hunting clan that includes the beautiful Ana whom he has bonded with and loved throughout time.
  1. Title Publication
  2. Floodtide (Nov 1977) in Weird Heroes 8
  3. Orion (1984) incorporates “Floodtide”
  4. Vengeance of Orion (1988)
  5. Orion in the Dying Time (1990)
  6. Orion and the Conqueror    (1984)
  7. Orion among the Stars (1995)
  8. Legendary Heroes (Dec 1996) Dragon Magazine
  9. Orion and King Arthur (2012)

 But even from this distance I could see she was the gray-eyed woman I had known in other eras; the woman I had loved, thousands of years in the future of this world. The woman who had loved me. 

—“Floodtide”, reprinted in the March 1983 Analog

[Jun 2013]



   DC Superhero Cartoons
First time travel: 10 Dec 1977

As you know, I was forced to ban all post-1969 comic books from The List because comic books pretty much fell to pieces after that date. If I discover many more superhero cartoons like these ones, I will be forced to expand the ban.
  1. The Protector (10 Dec 1977) The All New Super Friends Hour
  2. The Time Trap (30 Sep 1978) Challenge of the Super Friends
  3. New Kids in Town (31 Oct 1998) Superman
  4. The Savage Time (9 Nov 2002) Justice League
  5. Day of the Dark Knight! (2 Jan 2009) Batman: The Brave and the Bold   
  6. Staring at the Future (30 Oct 2013) Teen Titans Go!

 It is the fifth century, A.D., the place is Britain, and I am Merlin Ambrosius. 

—“The Day of the Dark Knight!”, Episode 4 of Batman: The Brave and the Bold

[Aug 2013]

   The Backspace Stories
by F.M. Busby
First story: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Winter 1977

After fixing the smog problem by reversing the direction of Earth’s spin, Pete’s flaky friend Sam shows up with device that includes a calendar display and a grey backspace button. That, of course, was in the 1977 story, “Backspace”. I don’t know whether there were any earlier stories of Peter and Sam before the backspace button appeared, but there were several others afterward in Asimovs Science Fiction. In the second story (“Balancing Act”), Sam could still “edit” time, even though he’d burned out the backspace button by stopping World War III. It’s unclear whether this second sort of editing involves time travel, but it is fun to speculate on what I might edit if given the chance.
  1. Backspace (Winter 1977) enter the backspace button
  2. Balancing Act (16 Feb 1981) editing Pete’s bloopers and more
  3. Backup System (26 Oct 1981) Sam’s death causes backspacing
  4. Wrong Number (21 Dec 1981) aliens v. Russia

 My friend Sam is the only person I know who edits events. Which is to say, he does something in his head and the past changes; the alterations, of course also reflect into the present and the future. 

—“Backup System”

[Dec 1977]

I lament that the sf zines of today have relatively few interior illustrations such as this pen and ink drawing by Roy G. Krenkel for Garrett’s story.   “On the Martian Problem”
by Randall Garrett
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Winter 1977

Ed’s “Uncle Jack’ writes to him with an explanation about why the recent Martian landers show such a different Mars than that which Jack himself has visited and written about.

 To the Reader of this Work:
In submitting Captain Carters strange manuscript to you in book form, I believe that a few words relative to this remarkable personality will be of interest.
My first recollection of Captain Carter is of the few months he spent at my fathers home in Virginia, just prior to the opening of the civil war. I was then a child of but five years, yet I well remember the tall, dark, smooth-faced, athletic man whom I called Uncle Jack. . . .
very sincerely yours,
Edgar Rice Burroughs
 

—from the foreward to A Princess of Mars

[Dec 1977]
 


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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)