The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1978

   The Mirror
by Marlys Millhiser
First publication: 1978

In 1978, 20-year-old Boulder woman exchanges places with her grandmother on the eve of their respective weddings.

Janet and I read this in April, 2011.

 Here, at last, was the man in Grandma Brans wedding picture in the hall. 

[Apr 2011]

The story also appeared in this 1986 collection.   “Threads of Time”
aka “The Threads of Time”
by C.J. Cherryh
First publication: Darkover Grand Council Program Book IV, 1978

Although I’ve enjoyed many of Cherryh’s novels (first suggested to me by my academic advisor, David B. Benson), this particular vignette was a plotless mishmash of alien artifact time-gates and time cops patrolling the baddies who would wipe out history as we (or the qhal) would know it.

 But never go back. Never tamper. Never alter the past. 

[Apr 2014]

   A Traveller in Time
adapted by Doame Devere Cole
First episode: 4 Jan 1978

The BBC adapted Alison Uttley’s children’s book in a miniseries of five half-hour episodes, faithfully taking young Penelope Taberner Cameron back to Elizabethan England and the time of Mary, Queen of Scots. If you can find the British DVD, you'll even hear Simon Gipps-Kent regale Penelope with Greensleeves”.

 ♫Alas, my love, you do me wrong
To cast me off, discourteously♫
 

[Jun 2016]

I’m not sure when this commemorative plate was issued for the cartoon.   A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur’s Court
produced, directed and plagiarized by Chuck Jones
First airing: 23 Feb 1978

This half-hour Warner Brother’s cartoon was shown on tv a few times and then released on VHS as Bugs Bunny in King Arthur’s Court. With the help of Way Bwadbuwy, Bugs finds himself in Camelot, whereupon he brings about a dragon-powered steampunk age.

 Never again—never, never again—do I take travel hints from Ray Bradbury! Huh! Him and his short cuts! 

[Jun 2011]

   “Grimes at Glenrowan”
by A. Bertram Chandler
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 1978

Bertram’s widely traveled, spacefaring captain John Grimes had at least one adventure through time which he told to a pretty reporter named Kitty on the Rim World of Elsinore. It seems that when Grimes was a much younger spacehand on leave in his native Australia, he once ran into two former crewmates who had figured out how to project themselves and Grimes into their own nefarious ancestors in the 1880 outback.

I’m still searching for other time travel stories about Grimes or Chandler’s Rim Worlds.

 “I built it,” said Kelly, not without pride.
“What for?” I asked. “Time Travel?” I sneered.
“Yes,” he said.
 

[Feb 1978]

   Mastodonia
aka Catface
by Clifford D. Simak
First publication: Mar 1978

Asa Steele buys a farm near his boyhood farm in southwestern Wisconsin where the loyal Bowser and his simple friend Hiram talk to a lonely time-traveling alien who opens time roads for the three of them.

 Maybe it takes gently crazy people and simpletons and dogs to do things we can’t do. Maybe they have abilities we don’t have. . . . 

[Dec 1979]

interior art by George Barr   “The Small Stones of Tu Fu”
by Brian Aldiss
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 1978

A time traveler enjoys spending time with the aged poet Tu Fu in 770 A.D.

 Swimming strongly on my way back to what the sage called the remote future, my form began to flow and change according to time pressure. Sometimes my essence was like steam, sometimes like a mountain. 

[Feb 1978]

   The Hitchhiker’s Guide
to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams
First time travel: BBC Radio, 29 Mar 1978

Apart from the original radio programs that I listened to in Stirling on my study abroad, the travails of Arthur Dent dodging Vogons never inflamed my passion—and I’m not quite sure where time travel slipped into the further radio shows, books, tv shows, movies and video games (which I won’t list here, apart from noting Tim’s favorite quote from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: “There was an accident with a contraceptive and a time machine. Now concentrate!” Still, those original radio shows got me laughing, including the first moment of time travel in the 4th episode.

The radio series spawned six books and at least one time-travel infused short story.
  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
  2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980)
  3. Life, the Universe and Everything (1982)
  4. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (1984)
  5. “Young Zaphod Plays It Safe” (1986) in The Hitchhiker’s Quartet
  6. Mostly Harmless (1992)
  7. And Another Thing . . . (2009) by Eoin Colfer

 For instance, at the very moment that Arthur Dent said, “I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle,” a freak wormhole opened up in the fabric of the space-time continuum and carried his words far, far back in time across almost infinite reaches of space, to a distance galaxy where strange and war-like beings were poised on the brink of frightful interstellar battle. 

—from the 4th radio episode

[Mar 1978]

   “The Last Full Measure”
by George Alec Effinger
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, May/Jun 1978

Corporal Bo Staefler lands and dies on Normandy Beach on D-Day, after which an alien brings him back to life and asks him to do it all again (and again), making sure to pay attention to all the details.

 He went through every moment, every step, every ragged breath, every slow, wading, stumbling yard through the cold water to the beach. And it all felt the same, as though he were just a spectator. The shell exploded. Staefler died a second time. 

[Apr 1978]

   “One Rejection Too Many”
by Paula Nurse
First publication: Asimov’s Clarke’s Science Fiction, Jul/Aug 1978

A time-traveling writer gets more and more fed up with Isaac Asimov’s demands for rewrites on his story submissions.

 Anything you can do to expediate the publishing of Vahls story will be most appreciated, so that he will feel free to return to his own time. 

[Jul 2015]

interior art by Freff   “The Adventure of the Global Traveler”
aka “The Global Consequences of How the Reichenbach Falls into the Wells of Iniquitie”
by Anne Lear
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Sep/Oct 1978

Apparently, that trip over the Reichenbach Falls didn’t kill Moriarty after all. Instead, he survived to build a Time Velocipede (which he showed off to some guy named Wells) only to be trapped back in the time of Shakespeare and the Globe Theater.

 Having learned early of the dangers attendant upon being unable to move the Time Machine, I had added to its structure a set of wheels and a driving chain attached to the pedals originally meant simply as foot rests. In short, I converted it into a Time Velocipede. 

[Sep 1978]

   “Nebogipfel at the End of Time”
by Richard Lupoff
First publication: Heavy Metal, Sep 1978

The end of time is as much of a magnet for time travelers as Hitler’s birth, although for a different reason.

 For what seemed like hour upon hour they arrived. Some by strange, grotesque vehicles. Some by spectacularly announced projection. Some by chronion gas, or drugs, or spiritual exercise, or by sheer mental power. Some involuntarily. Some unknowingly. At one point not far inland from the beach, across the first row of dim, ugly dunes, there suddenly appeared an entire city. 

[Oct 2015]

   “Scrap from the Notebooks of
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe”

by K.W. MacAnn
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Sep/Oct 1978

Mephistopheles agrees to take Faust into Hell and one other destination in time.

 Faust and Mephistopheles entered the tavern and shed their heavy overcoats. 

[Sep 1978]

   “Stalking the Timelines”
by Kevin O’Donnell, Jr.
First publication: Analog, Sep 1978

A catlike being lives the life of a soldier in many different times and places, but always with the same goal of stamping out war.

  . . . but in all the lines Im big, tough, and smart enough to know how to take good orders and not hear bad ones. 

[Jun 2013]

   “The Very Slow Time Machine”
by Ian Watson
First publication: Anticipations, Sep 1978

In 1985, a small inpenetrable living pod appears out of nothing at the National Physics Laboratory. A window on one side shows the pod’s occupant: a delirious man who grows younger and saner through the years, although generally doing little other than sitting and reading, leading the observers to conclude that his quarters are in fact a VSTM taking him back through time at the rate of one year for each year of his life.

As of writing this, I am only partway through my reading and wondering so many things: When the man in the world at large who will eventually enter the machine realize that he is the traveler? From his perspective, what happened to the machine (and him!) when it materialized in 1985? (Ah! That question is answered shortly after it occurs to me.) For that matter, why doesn’t he himself, while in the pod, already know that he will reach 1985? To what extent does his very appearance cause the technology that permits his trip to occur? VCIS! (Very Cool Idea-Story!), although it offers little in plot or character.

 Our passenger is the object of popular cults by now—a focus for finer feelings. In this way his mere presence has drawn the worlds peoples closer together, cultivating respect and dignity, pulling us back from the brink of war, liberating tens of thousands from their concentration camps. These cults extend from purely fashionable manifestations—shirts printed with his face, now neatly shaven in a Vandyke style; rings and worry-beads made from galena crystals—through the architectural (octahedron and cube meditation modules) to life-styles themselves: a Zen-like “sitting quietly, doing nothing”. 

[Nov 2015]



Mork and Mindy lived at 1619 Pine Street in Boulder
   Mork and Mindy
produced by Anthony W. Marshall and Garry Marshall
First time travel: 14 Sep 1978

There’s a scene in the first episode where Mork explains that he’s traveling from the 1950s Happy Days to 1978—but that scene did not air until subsequent reruns. The other time travel that I know of is in the penultimate episode where the couple travel via Mork’s ruby red, size eight, time-travel shoes.

 Wait! I have one last request! I would like to die with dignity, with honor, . . . and with my penny-loafers on. 

[Nov 2013]

   “Fair Exchange?”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Asimov’s SF Adventure Magazine, Fall 1978

John Sylva has invented a temporal transference device that allows his friend Herb to enter the mind of a man in 1871 London and to thereby attend three performances of a lost Gilbert & Sullivan play.

I read this story as I was starting my graduate studies in Pullman in 1978. Sadly, there was no second issue of Asimov’s SF Adventure Magazine.

 We cant be sure how accurate our estimates of time and place are, but you seem to resonate with someone in London in 1871. 

[Aug 1978]

   The Avatar
by Poul Anderson
First publication: Oct 1978

No, this book has nothing to do with Cameron’s more widely-known movie, although critics have noted a similarity between the movie and an earlier Anderson story, “Call Me Joe.” As for The Avatar, it’s a political story of time-space portals (Tipler cylinders known in the book as T-machines) left behind by the “Others.” Wealthy Daniel Broderson wants to use results of a portal exploration team for the benefit of all mankind, while the authoritarian leaders of Earth thinks that mankind isn’t ready for the full truth.

The title avatar of Anderson’s book is present as one of the portal exploration team members right from the start of the goings-on, but the name avatar isn’t used until the conclusion of the book—and the meaning of the word is the one that predates our modern digital view.

 For us, approximately eight Terrestrial years have passed. It turns out that the T-machine is indeed a time machine of sorts, as well as a space transporter. The Betans—the beings whom we followed—calculated our course to bring us out near the date when we left. 

[Jun 2015]

   “Time Warp”
by Theodore Sturgeon
First publication: Omni, Oct 1978

On the hidden planet of Ceer, Althair tells all the little pups and pammies of the time when he accompanied the brave Will Hawkins and the chief pilot Jonna Verret as they traveled back in time to save Earth from the Meercaths from Orel who had the power to blow up the Earth and would use it whether the Earthlings revealed the secret of time travel or not.

In my first semester of graduate school, I bought the first issue of Omni, which included this story. But I forgot about it until Bill Seabrook (a baseball fan and sf reader from Tyne-and-Wear) sent me a pointer to this story as well as J.B. Priestley’s time plays.

 Well arrive on Orel before they leave and stop them. 

[Sep 1978]

   “One More Time”
by Jack Gaughan
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 1978

One thing you can be certain of when you meet a nostalgic physicist in a science fiction story: There’s gonna be some time travelin’. In this case, the nostalgic narrator travels from 1978 back to pastoral American days at the end of the Great Depression with the goal of helping his father stand up to a domineering wife.

Gaughan was better know as a prolific sf artist, but he also produced this story and one other for Asimov’s Science Fiction.

 So I told him.
From beginning to end (well not end, I didnt tell him of his own funeral) and tried to leave nothing out that was pertinent to the plan. I didnt know what else to do. The year 1939 may have been ready for Buck Rogers or Brick Bradford and his Time Top, but was it ready for the hard, cold reality of time travel?
 

[Jul 2015]

   Classics Illustrated’s The Time Machine
adapted by Wallace C. Bennett
First aired: 5 Nov 1978 (made-for-tv)

For me, the updated framing took this made-for-tv movie too far away from the original novel, and the production values were so low that it never got much airing, even if we do get looks at pilgrim witch hunts, the old west, and a dreamy Weena who speaks English.

 In tonights Classics Illustrated presentation, a young scientist hurtles the barrier of time and finds himself locked in a struggle to prevent the destruction Earth in the world of the future—an exciting new version of H.G. Wells’s masterpiece, The Time Machine. 

[Jul 2012]

   “The Humanic Complex”
by Ray Russell
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Dec 1978

An amnesiac receives a visit from a tiny creature from the future who offers to grant him any three wishes he wants, but somehow the wishes keep being deflected in a theological direction.

 This may sound pompous, but . . . I wish to know whether or not there is a God. 

[Jul 2013]

   Superman: The Movie
by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Mario Puzo, et. al. (Richard Donner, director)
First release: 15 Dec 1978

The humor didn’t quite click for me, but I did enjoy other parts including Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, the John Williams score, and a well-presented Superman mythos including his first time-travel rebellion against the don’t-mess-with-history edict of Jor-El.

 In times of fear and confusion, the job of informing the public was the responsibility of the Daily Planet, a great metropolitan newspaper whose reputation for clarity and truth had become the symbol for hope in the city of Metropolis. 

[Oct 1978]
 

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.
1978

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


 1978
“Thirty Love” by Jack C. Haldeman II [precognition]

“A Time-Span to Conjure With” by Ian Watson [despite title, no time travel]


25 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)