The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1979

   “Garbage”
by Ron Goulart
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Jan 1979

“Garbage”—which I read during the 1978 Christmas when Janet visited me in Washington—was my first exposure to Goulart, who is the Mel Brooks of short science fiction. In the story, Product Investigation Enterprises agent Dan Tockson sends a typevox memo to his boss explaining what went wrong in an investigation into a Florida food with were-ish side effects.

There was no time travel in the food investigation, but at the start of Tockson’s memo, he refers to a previous investigation that took him to 15th century Italy. I found one later Tockson story, “Ask Penny Jupiter,’ but it was timetravelless.

 “Youre angry because I stayed in fifteenth-century Italy so long?”
Im not especially mad,” you answered, growling. “but the Time Travel Overseeing Community wasnt much pleased. You shouldnt have dropped in on Leonardo da Vinci with those tips on aerodynamics.’
 

[Dec 1978]

   “Palely Loitering”
by Christopher Priest
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jan 1979

At age ten, Mykle jumps off the time-flux bridge at a sharp angle and goes far into the future where he sees a lovely girl named Estyll, and as he grows older, he is drawn to the future and to her over and over again.

 One of these traversed the Channel at an angle of exactly ninety degrees, and to walk across it was no different from crossing any bridge across any ordinary river.
One bridge was built slightly obtuse of the right-angle, and to cross it was to climb the temporal gradient of the flux-field; when one emerged on the other side of the Channel, twenty-four hours had elapsed.
The third bridge was built slightly acute of the right-angle, and to cross to the other side was to walk twenty-four hours into the past. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow existed on the far side of the Flux Channel, and one could walk at will among them.
 

[Jul 2013]

   Happy Days
created by Garry Marshall
First time travel: 6 Mar 1979

Some time after this show jumped the shark, Mork (who made his first appearance in a 1978 Happy Days episode) returns from the 70s to visit Richie and the gang, where they want to know about cars and girls of the future.

 In 1979, . . . both are faster. 

[Nov 2013]

   “Ahead of the Joneses”
by Al Sarrantonio
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Mar 1979

Harry Jones’s neighbor has a compulsion to own every modern gadget that’s bigger and better and more whiz-bang than whatever Harry’s got.

 Eat your heart out Harry Jones! 

[Feb 1979]

   “Loob”
by Bob Leman
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Apr 1979

Tom Perman remembers his home town differently, but in his actual life, the town is run-down and neither his grandmother nor her elegant house exist—a situation Tom can explain only through changes made to the past by loob, the town idiot; although ironically, it’s only through those changes that Loob himself even exists.

 Their only dreams are of winning prizes on television giveaway shows. 

[May 2014]

   “The Dead of Winter”
by Kevin O'Donnell, Jr.
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, May 1979

Four miners, trapped over winter in a mountain cabin, run out of food, but three people in a love triangle show up from the future with a couple of candy bars, a flask of drink, and a fued.

 “Oh, well—” He runs his pasty white hands through hispockets while Cole and the girl do the same. “I have a candy bar or two, I believe,” and he brings them out. “Cole, you have a bottle, dont you?"
The guy with the black hat scowls at him, but brings a flask out of his hip pocket and lays it on the table.
 

[Apr 1979]

interior art by
Vincent Di Fate
   “The Pinch-Hitters”
by George Alec Effinger
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, May 1979

Sandor Courane and four other up-and-coming sf writers are snagged from their hotel at a 1979 convention in New Orleans only to wake up the next morning as five insignificant major league ballplayers in 1954—and the aging Sandor is hitting only .221.

 I felt angry. I wanted to show that kid, but there wasnt anything I could show him, with the possible exception of sentence structure. 

[Apr 1979]

   “The Agent”
by Christopher Priest with David Redd
First publication: Aries 1, 28 Jun 1979

Egon Rettmer—citizen of neutral Silte, but an agent for the Nord-Deutschland in their war against the Masurians—uses time travel for his communiques and, as he realizes on the eve of the N-D invasion, theres the potention to use it for more, maybe even to get a good start with that entrancing visitor, Heidi.

 She was behaving towards him, literally, as if he had been in two places at once . . . as if, this morning, he had met her and told her of the escape plans he had only half started to form a few minutes ago! 

[Jul 2013]

   Kindred
by Octavia E. Butler
First publication: Jul 1979

Dana Franklin, a 26-year-old African-American woman living in modern-day California, finds herself transported back to the antebellum south whenever young redheaded Rufus is in trouble.

 Fact then: Somehow, my travels crossed time as well as distance. Another fact: The boy was the focus of my travels—perhaps the cause of them. 

[Nov 2013]

   “The Merchant of Stratford”
by Frank Ramirez
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Jul 1979

The world’s first time traveler sets out to visit a retired Will Shakespeare, carrying a long a case of books that he hopes will be a unique treat for the immortal bard.

 In my storage case were volumes for his perusal—a concise history of the world through the year 2000, a selection of the greatest poets since the master, selected volumes of Shakespearean criticism, and the massive one-volume Armstead Shakespeare, the definitive Shakespeare, published in 1997. 

[Jun 1979]

   Xanth
by Piers Anthony
First time travel: Jul 1979

Deborah Baker first introduced me to this series of books in 1982, and I read the first nine in the 1980s. The books are set in a pun-infested world in which people have individual magic powers that they must discover. The first time travel that I remember was in the 1979 Castle Roogna where characters could step into a tapestry that took them to the past.

 It was embroidered with scenes from the ancient past of Castle Roogna and its environs, eight hundred years ago. 

[Sep 1982]

   Time after Time
by Nicholas Meyer, Karl Alexander and Steve Hayes (Meyer, director)
First release: 31 Aug 1979

Apart from the hero in The Time Machine movie, this is the earliest that I’ve seen of the H.G.‑Wells\-as-time-traveler subgenre. Our hero chases Jack the Ripper into the 20th century.

 Ninety years ago I was a freak; today I am an amateur. 

—Jack the Ripper in the twentieth century

[Sep 1979]

   “Jenning’s Operative Webster”
by J.E. Walters
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Sep 1979

For a fee, Jenning’s time-travel agency which will send Webster back through the time stream to inhabit other’s bodies in an attempt to alter some important event such as the loss of a son in Vietnam.

 The fabric of time is a delicate, almost whimsical thing. Our success rate runs at nearly eight-two percent, and within the industry that is an enviable rate. But we just can not guarantee success. 

[Sep 2015]

   Jubilee
by Derek Jarman and Christopher Hobbs (Jarman, director)
First release: Sep 1979

In this early punk movie, John Dee, advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, calls forth an angel who transports the three of them to an anarchistic (but largely unintelligible) 20th century England.

 Now shall one king rise up against another. And there shall be bloodshed throughout the whole world, fighting between the devil, his kingdom, and the kingdom of light. 

[Oct 2015]

   The Alternities, Inc. Stories
by John M. Ford
First story: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Oct 1979

I read the first of Ford’s stories in which a small group of men and women, ever hopeful of finding their Homeline, march through a narrow tube where hatches to alternate worlds and alternate times appear every 100 kilometers. I think that most of the Earthlike worlds have a corporation—Alternities, Inc.—which has tried to turn a profit on the tubes.
  1. Mandalay (Oct 1979) Asimov's
  2. Out of Service (Jul 1980) Asimov's
  3. Slowly By, Lorena (Nov 1980) Asimov's
  4. Intersections (26 Oct 1981) Asimov's

 Clever people he worked for.
But not clever enough to preven the Fracture, when Augustan Romans had tumbled into the waters of the Spanish Main and bandannaed urban guerillas shot the hell out of the Sun Kings palace at Verasilles. Not clever enough to point the way to Homeline, except as a hundred-kilometer march from line to line through a hexagonal sewer in Space4.
 

—“Mandalay’

[Sep 2015]

   Roadmarks
by Roger Zelazny
First publication: Oct 1979

As Red Dorakeen tries to avoid assassination, he travels on a highway that links all times via mutable exits that appear every few years.

There are other Zelazny works that drew me in much deeper (try Seven Princes of Amber). Still, Roadmarks has some interesting techniques. For example, Zelazny said that the second of the two storylines, which take place off the Road, was written as separate chapters and then shuffled into no particular order.

 It traverses Time—Time past, Time to come, Time that could have been and Time that might yet be. It goes on forever, so far as I know, and no one knows all of its turnings. 

[Aug 2012]

   “Life Trap”
by Barrington J. Bayley
First publication: The Seed of Life, Nov 1979

Marcus, an aspirant to the highest rank afforded to members of the Arcanum Temple, undergoes an experiment to determine what awaits us after death, and the answer certainly involves time in a macabre manner.

 Although the secret of death has been imparted to the full membership of the Temple, not all have understood its import. 

[Apr 2014]

   “Twist Ending”
by Barry B. Longyear
First publication: Asimov's Science Fiction, Nov 1979

An intelligent Dromaeosaurus named GerG (or maybe just an actor playing GerG in a story, it’s hard to tell), prepares to travel 70,000,000 years into the future in order to pave the way for all the soon-to-be-extinct dinosaurs to escape.

 There exists but one node of time/future open within the range of our frames. You must go there and prepare the way for our exodus. Else, the supernova shall extinguish us all. 

[Sep 2015]

   Fangface
produced by Jerry Eisenberg
First time travel: 3 Nov 1979

Sherman Fangsworth, a cross between Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil and a teen werewolf, had at least one adventure in time when he and his buddies were accidentally transported back to the 18th century by a modern-day pirate (“A Time-Machine Trip to the Pirate’s Ship”).

 After my time machine warms up, well be transported to the deck of the Silver Swan, the Spanish fleet’s most prized treasure ship. And after we pirate her valuable cargo, Ill be the riches man in the world—ha ha ha ha ha! 

[Nov 2015]

   “Closing the Timelid”
by Orson Scott Card
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Dec 1979

Centuries in the future, Orion throws an illicit party in which the partygoers get to experience complete death in the past.

 Ah, agony in a tearing that made him feel, for the first time, every particle of his body as it screamed in pain. 

[Jul 2004]

   “Written in Sand”
by Robert Chilson
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Dec 1979

Paul Enias travels from 21st century Egypt back to the third century where he becomes Pausanias, falls in love with the slave Taia, and takes advice from Appolonius about which of 750,000 available books to bury in clay jars for future Egyptians to discover.

 Odd that the book-man should shrug off the value of books, but Pausanias had too much to do to ponder it, overseeing the copying, the shipping of the books up the Nile, the reorganization of his new estate, and of course there was taia, then a new—bride. 

[Sep 2015]
 

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.
1979

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


 1979
“Back to Byzantium” by Mark J. McGarry [ancestral memory]

“Illusions” by Tony Sarowitz and Paul David Novitski [just trust me: ]

“The Thaw” by Tanith Lee [long sleep]

“Time Shards” by Gregory Benford [recordings from the past]


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)