The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1985

   “Through Road No Wither”
by Greg Bear
First publication: Far Frontirs, Jan 1985

At a writers’ conference in Manhattan, KS, I was fortunate enough to sit beside the very kind and knowledgeable Greg Bear at the conference dinner, and I’ve enjoyed every piece of his fiction that I’ve read—but I simply didn’t understand this story any better than I understood its title. The story is set in an alternate version of 1984 where Hitler was victorious, and two lost SS officers come across a hag who (I think) sends them back in time.

 Your cities in flame, your women and children shriveling to black dolls in the heat of their burning homes. The death camps found and you stand accused of hideous crimes. 

[Dec 2013]

   “Sailing to Byzantium”
by Robert Silverberg
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Feb 1985

Charles Phillips is a 20th-century New Yorker in a 50th-century world of immortal leisurites who recreate cities from the past. The one item that you should find out for yourself, I’ll put into a cypher: rgwew ua bi runw relcwk~

 He knew very little about himself, but he knew that he was not one of them. That he knew. He knew that his name was Charles Phillips and that before he had come to live among these people he had lived in the year 1984, when there had been such things as computers and television sets and baseball and jet planes, and the world was full of cities, not merely five but thousands of them, New York and London and Johannesburg and Parks and Liverpool and Bangkok and San Franciscoand Buenos Ares and a multitude of others, all at the same time. 

[Mar 1985]

   Trancers Movies
first movie by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo (Charles Band, director)
First movie: 22 May 1985

In the first of the six (really!) Trancer movies (plus a “lost” short), heroic trancer-hunter Jack Deth follows evil trancer-maker Martin Whistler from 2247 to 1985 via a drug-induced time-travel that can take you back to the body of an ancestor. What I don’t fully understand is how they blackmailed Helen Hunt to appear in the first three as Deth’s 1985 love interest.
  1. Trancers (22 May 1985) Jack v. Whistler
  2. Trancers II (22 Aug 1991) Jack v. Whistler’s brother
  3. Trancers III (14 Oct 1992) Jack back to the future
  4. Trancers 4: Jack of Swords (2 Feb 1994) Jack v. Calaban
  5. Trancers 5: Sudden Deth (9 Nov 1994) Jack v. Calaban (II)
  6. Trancers 6 (23 Jul 2002) Jack (using stock footage) & Jo

 Greetings to the council. As you may have gathered, I have survived the pathetic trap set by Trooper Deth on Mecon 7. For twelve long years, you have hunted my disciples like dogs. Now, my day of vengence is at hand. Iv synthesized a time drug, and in a moment shall retreat down the dark corridors of history. Know that it is I who is solely responsible for your demise. One by one, your ancestors shall be murdered, and you, their progeny, shall cease to exist. Then shall I return, join my legion, and claim the seat of power for my own. Adieu . . . adieu . . . 

[Apr 2013]

   Back to the Future
by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale (Zemeckis, director)
First release: 3 Jul 1985

Typical teenager Marty McFly meets Doc Brown for the first test of his DeLorean time machine, but when Libyan terrorists strike, things go awry, Marty and the DeLorean end up in 1955 where his parents are teens, and Doc must now send Marty back to the future.

 Next Saturday night, we’re sending you . . . back to the future! 

[May 1985]

   1985 Pepsi Commercial
First aired: Summer 1985

 Relax, Smith. What could 12 oz. of Pepsi possibly change? 


   My Science Project
by Jonathan R. Betuel (Betuel, director)
First release: 9 Aug 1985

Not even the support of a young Fisher Stevens (Gary’s friend Chuck from Early Edition) could rescue this story of a high school motorhead who steals a power-sucking, space-time transforming orb from a miltary base for his science project.

 Now that sounds like were dealing with a time-space warp. 

[Mar 2013]

   Contact
by Carl Sagan
First publication: Sep 1985

Sagan’s philosophical opus centers around Dr. Ellie Arrowway, the discovery of a radio message from Vega, and the subsequent building of a machine in accordance with directions in the message. A key twist in the plot requires Ellie to briefly posit time travel as the only explanation that fits her scientific viewpoint.

 You know, its not called a space-time continuum for nothing. If they can make tunnels through space, I suppose they can make some kind of tunnels through time. 

[Jul 2012]



   “Mozart in Mirrorshades”
by Bruce Sterling and Lewis Shiner
First publication: Omni, Sep 1985

Time travelers are pilfering 18th century resources and generally polute their century with pieces of modern culture.

And a little bone to pick, not with this story, but with Harry Turtledove, editor of The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century, which includes this story. I suppose he’s just marketing the book with a title that he supposes will sell, but I would like a clear distinction drawn between alternate history (What if the South won the war?), time travel (such as this story), and true history (such as the true story of how Asimov met Campbell).

 At first Sutherland hadnt wanted Rice at the meeting with Jefferson. But Rice knew a little temporal physcis, and Jefferson had been pestering the American personnel with questions about time holes and parallel worlds. 

[Dec 2013]

   Transformers Cartoons
created by Takara Tomy
First time travel: 24 Oct 1985

Two groups of robots who crashed to Earth in the distant past have returned to life and are making Earth—past and present—their battleground. These are the time-travel cartoon episodes that I spotted in the four original seasons (1984-1987) and in the Beast Wars episodes (1996-1999) in which time travel was commonplace. I haven’t seen the later series [Robots in Disguise (2000-2002), the Unicron Trilogy (2001-2006), the more recent animated series (2007-2010), and the webisodes (2010)].
  1. Dinobot Island, Part 2 (26 Sep 1985)
  2. A Decepticon . . . King Arthur’s Court (24 Oct 1985) }
  3. Forever Is a Long Time Coming (8 Oct 1986)
  4. Beast Wars, Part 1 (16 Sep 1996)
  5. Code of Hero (9 Mar 1998)
  6. The Agenda, Part 3 (13 Mar 1998)
  7. Optimal Situation (25 Oct 1998)
  8. Cutting Edge (15 Nov 1998)
  9. Other Victories (5 Mar 1999)
  10. Nemesis, Part 2 (7 Mar 1999)

 They were called Autobots and Decepticons. But the brutal Decepticons were driven by a single goal: total domination. They set out to destroy the peace-loving Autobots, and a war between the forces of good and evil raged across Cybertron. 

[Mar 2014]

   “Under Siege”
by George R.R. Martin
First publication: Omni, Oct 1985

After a nuclear war, Americans attempt to prevent the rise of Russia at the outset of the 19th century by traveling back to that time and inhabiting the bodies of key Finnish and Swedish military men during the siege of Sveaborg.

 He began to babble about Sveaborg, about the importance of what we are doing here, about the urgent need to change something, somehow, to prevent the Soviet Union from ever coming into existence, and thus forestall the war that has laid the world to waste. 

[Apr 2014]

   The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
by Robert A. Heinlein
First publication: Nov 1985

Richard Ames doesn’t like the fact that a new acquaintance was killed while dining at his table. Killed, why? and by whom? and why won’t that cat stay put? The eventual answers could lead Richard to Lazarus Long, the Time Corps, and more multiperson pantheistic solipsism.

 My darling had planned a pianissimo approach: Live for a time on Tertius (a heavenly place), get me hooked on multiverse history and time travel theory, et cetera. Not crowd me about signing up, but depend on the fact that she and Gretchen and Ezra and others (Uncle Jock, e.g.) were in the Corps . . . until I asked to be allowed to be sworn in. 

[Dec 1985]

   The Twilight Zone (2nd Series)
created by Rod Serling
First time travel: 6 Jan 1985

Three seasons with 7 time-travel episodes. Harlan Ellison was a consultant on the series that included an adaptation of his “One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty.” The series also adapted Sturgeon’s “Yesterday Was Monday’, altering the plot and renaming it to “A Matter of Minutes,” and George R.R. Martin did the script for the time-travel episode “The Once and Future King” based on an idea submitted by Bryce Maritano.
  1. One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty (6 Dec 1985)    Hero to his childhood
  2. A Matter of Minutes (24 Jan 1986) From 9:33 AM to 11:37 AM
  3. Profile in Silver (7 Mar 1986) Kennedy in 1963
  4. The Once and Future King (27 Sep 1986) Elvis in 1954
  5. The Junction (21 Feb 1987) To 1912
  6. Time and Teresa Golowitz (10 Jul 1987) Hero to his youth
  7. Extra Innings (1 Oct 1988) Baseball in 1910

 Let the record show that in any age—good or bad—there are men of high ideals: men of courage, men who do more than that for which they are called upon. You will not always know their names. But let their deeds stand as monuments, so that when the human race is called to judgment, we may say, ‘This too was humanity!’ 

—JFK in “Profile in Silver”

[Sep 1985]
 

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.
1985

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


 1985
“Sailing to Byzantium” by Robert Silverberg [simulacrums]


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)