The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 2004

   “Tune Out of Time”
by Philip E. High
First publication: Step to the Stars, 2004

Philip E. High was a prolific author, although not well known in the states. This story, first published when he was 89, tells the tale of the miraculous Mottram’s organ, which unexpectedly sends Alan Stapleton to the past (or is it the future?) on an obscure fragment of matter called Earth—and he may find himself in several other locations before he finds his way home.

 I deduce that this device was locked on the past—whos past, yours or ours? Time is relative, our future could be in your past or vice versa. 

[Apr 2014]

   The Ulysses Moore Books
language: Italian
by Pierdomenico Baccalario
First book: 2004

I read the English translation of first of thirteen books in which three kids explore a house—once occupied by Ulysses Moore and his wife—and the surrounding cliffs and town of Kilmore Cove. Despite the title of that first book, La porta del tiempo, the door doesn’t manage to take the characters through time until the final chapter, ’Inizia l’avventura.”. That particular door can take intrepid travelers whenever they wish, but the other books in the series have doors that lead to only one particular time and place.

 “Were not in Kilmore Cove anymore,” he said aloud. 

[Mar 2016]

The story also appeared in this 2008 collection.   “Decisions”
by Michael Burstein
First publication: Analog, Jan/Feb 2004

Astronaut gets put in a time loop by aliens.

 Aaron snorted. “I remember that conversation from over six months ago.”
    Gabe shook his head. “It happened this morning.”
 

[Feb 2004]

   “The Dragon Wore Trousers”
by Bob Buckley
First publication: Analog, Jan/Feb 2004

A dinosaur scientist time travels to the middle ages.

 The bizarre beast that rounded the bend in the road made Makers mouth drop in surprise. It was like nothing he had ever seen before, a top-heavy, lopsided creature having four legs, a narrow head atop a long neck, and a huge shiny lump on its back. 

[Feb 2004]

   Primer
by Shane Carruth (Carruth, director)
First released: 16 Jan 2004

Some guys invent a time machine and use it to go back in time to prevent the artsy author of this film from ever writing a coherent plot.

 I havent eaten since later this afternoon. 

[Sep 2010]

   The Butterfly Effect
by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber (Gruber and Bress, directors)
First release: 23 Jan 2004

Scary, dark, disturbing, sick and violent—but captivating—psychological thriller about how things keep going further and further astray when Evan tries to fix things by changing key moments involving the sociopaths and child molesters of his troubled childhood.

 Hey man, Id think twice about what youre doing. You could wake up a lot more fucked up than you are now. 

[Feb 2011]

   “Scout’s Honor”
by Terry Bisson
First publication: Sci Fiction, 28 Jan 2004

An autistic paleontologist receives a series of messages from a time traveler who is studying a band of Neanderthals in prehistoric Europe, although his one friend, Ron, thinks that the messages are an amateur sf story.

 Heading down for the NT site. More later. 

[Mar 2012]

   “Century to Starboard”
by Liz Williams
First publication: Strange Horizons, 2 Feb 2004

Sometime around the publication of this story, Tim and I saw a ship called The World docked on the Willamette in Portland. The ship is privately owned by the occupants of its 165 residences, and as a group they vote on their itinerary every year. It’s a nice fantasy to think about leading such a life, so long as the ship doesn’t run into the kind of storms that Liz Williams’s similar ship hits in this story.

Each of those storms take the entire ship, including Italian citizen Vittoria Pellini, further and further into the future.

 I finally got my head together and told Julio what I thought—that maybe, just maybe, weve gone through some kind of slip in time, like the Bermuda Triangle, only in the Pacific. I know other people sometimes say—just to be spiteful—that Im maybe a little bit of a bimbo, and Julio tends to laugh at me sometimes. Affectionately, of course. But this time I really thought hed laugh, and he didnt. 

[Jun 2015]

   “Draft Dodgers Rag”
by Jeff Hecht
First publication: Analog, Mar 2004

Time travelers come back to 1969 Berkeley to help Tom, a Vietnam draft dodger.

 They want to be heroes. They think war brings glory and makes them men. I think theyre crazy. Our society up then thinks theyre crazier than your society thinks you are. 

[Mar 2004]

   Smallville
created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar
First time travel: 3 Mar 2004

Ten seasons with at least 9 time-travel episodes:
  1. Crisis (3 Mar 2004) phone call from the next day
  2. Reckoning (26 Jan 2006) back in time to save Lana
  3. Sleeper (24 Apr 2008) Kara and Brainiac back to infant Kal-El
  4. Apocalypse (1 May 2008) Clark back to stop Kara and Brainiac
  5. Legion (15 Jan 2009) The Legion (plus Persuader) from 31st century
  6. Infamous (12 Mar 2009) Clark back to stop Lois from writing a story
  7. Doomsday (14 May 2009) Lois to the future
  8. Savior (25 Sep 2009) Lois returns, persued by Alia
  9. Homecoming (15 Oct 2010)    Clark to his own past and future

 Chloe: When you were a baby. Clark, if you really are in trouble on Krypton, youd better find a way to get there, and soon, or . . .
Clark: Ill never have existed. 

—from “Sleeper”

[Oct 2001]

   Tripping the Rift
created by Chris Moeller and Chuck Austen
First time travel: 4 Mar 2004

What if Star Trek/Wars were an adult cartoon with time travel on demand, including travel back to the start of the universe in the broadcast pilot, “God is Our Pilot”?
  1. God Is Our Pilot (4 Mar 2004) to beginning of universe
  2. Roswell (14 Sep 2005) 1940s New Mexico
  3. Chode Eraser (6 Sep 2007) Terminator parody

 Chode: Hey, you know what the best part of being able to go back to the beginning of time means?
Whip: Yeah. Not having to remember what you did yesterday.
Chode: Yeah, that. And were gonna know once and for all how the universe was created. 

[Jul 2015]

   “The Aztec Supremacist”
by Sheralyn Schofield Belyeu
First publication: Analog, Apr 2004

Dr. Harvey takes a posse back to 1492 to pursue an Aztec descendant who plans to stop Columbus’s voyage.

 Gentlemen, this person tells me that in many years, the Almighty will allow men to journey through time. He says that he has come from the far future with a message for me. 

[Apr 2004]

   The Winning Season
adapted by Steve Bloom (John Kent Harrison, director)
First aired: 4 Apr 2004 (made-for-tv)

Eleven-year-old Joe Soshack finds a priceless 1909 baseball card (never mind that it belongs to that little old-lady down the street) that takes him back to the 1909 World Championship Series where he becomes a not-very-loyal sidekick to the Pittsburgh Pirate’s Honus Wagner in a face-off against the Detroit Tigers and the vicious Ty Cobb.

 You know Ive had people come from all over the world to see me play baseball, but Ive never had someone come from the future. 

[Jul 2015]

   “This Tragic Glass”
by Elizabeth Bear
First publication: Sci Fiction, 7 Apr 2004

In a world where time travel can retrieve past historical figures, Dr. Satyavati Brahmaptura (now a colleague of poet John Keats) receives permission from the History Department to nab Christopher Marlowe in order to prove that he was really a she.

 The genderbot still thinks Kit Marlowe was a girl. I reentered everything. 

[Dec 2013]

   13 Going On 30
by Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa (Gary Winick, director)
First release: 23 Apr 2004

Everything that could go wrong is going wrong for 13-year-old Jenna Rink. If only she could be already grown up in the future!

 There are six of them, Jenna, thats the whole point. There cant be a seventh Sixth Chick. Its just mathematically impossible. Besides youre way cooler than they are, theyre totally unoriginal. 

[Jul 2007]

   “A Taste of Time”
by Abby Goldsmith
First publication: Deep Magic, May 2004

A bottle of wine mysteriously appears inside Jane’s apartment on her 29th birthday with the cryptic message Tabula Rasa—Warning: There Is No Return. So since she is suicidal and drunk and other things associated with country music songs, Jane swallows a mouthful, figuring that the worst it could be is a dignified poison.

 Jane gagged on the sour taste in her mouth. She was so dizzy, shed fallen . . . but she was sitting in an office chair, with no memory whatsoever of leaving her dark and quiet apartment.
Florescent lights beat down on her, and the familiar voices of a call center surrounded her. None of this was possible. She was back at her old workplace. It was a workday, late afternoon, judging by the angle of light. Ultimata Insurance had laid her off months ago, yet here she was.
 

[Jul 2015]

   Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
created by Michael Ouweleen and Erik Richter
First time travel: 16 May 2004

After failing as part of a 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, Harvey Birdman is revived as an attorney whose clients are typically other hard-done-by Hanna-Barbera characters, including at least one episode where the Jetsons travel from the far future (thatd be 2002) to the present (2004), but my favorite is when Harvey has to defend Quick Draw “Eastwood” McGraw’s 2nd Ammendment rights.

 Ah, thats okay, great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddad. 

—George Jetson to Harvey

[Jul 2013]

   “The Lost Pilgrim”
by Gene Wolfe
First publication: The First Heroes: New Tales of the Bronze Age, Jun 2004

Gene Wolfe has such subtle plots and such perfection of word choice that he lulls you into a story without your ever realizing that you are in a story—even his titles are perfection. In this case, the story of an apparant time traveler who finds himself on a journey with Greek gods and mortals, but cannot remember who he is or why he was sent to this far past.

 I have been hoping to speak privately with Amphiareaws about Times enmity. I know that I will not be born for many years. I know also that I have traveled the wrong way through those many years to join our crew. Was that in violation of Times ordinances? If so, it would explain his displeasure; but if not, I must look elsewhere. 

[Apr 2014]

   “Time Ablaze”
by Michael Burstein
First publication: Analog, Jun 2004

Lucas Schmidt, time-traveler, goes back to 1904 to witness New York City’s most deadly tragedy: a ship full of German Americans on fire.

 A small piece of paper fell out of the book and onto the table. Adele picked it up and examined it. It bore one line: “http://www.general-slocum.com.” She had no idea what it meant; “http” was clearly not a word, although she presumed she knew what the “general-slocum” part referred to. 

[Apr 2004]

   Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
adapted by Steve Kloves (Alfonso Cuarón, director)
First release: 6 Apr 2004

As much as I fall completely into the Harry Potter books, I find all the movies drawn-out and boring, even this one which:
  • comes from my favorite of the books,
  • has a monster class taught by Hagrid,
  • has my favorite adult character, Sirius,
  • has time travel,
  • and (as always) has the perfectly cast Rupert Grint

 Hang on! Thats not possible. Ancient Runes is at the same time as Divination. Youd have to be in two classes at once. 

[Oct 2005]

   Phil of the Future
created by Tim Maile and Douglas Tuber
First episode: 18 Jun 2004

Phil Duffy and his family, on vacation from the 22nd century in a rented time machine, are keeping it together just as best as they can now that they’ve ended up trapped right here in our time zone.

 ♫Meet a boy named Phil and his family
On vacation from the 22nd century
They got a rented time machine and theyre on their way
To a time way, way, way back in the day♫
 

[Jun 2007]

   “To Emily on the Ecliptic”
by Thomas R. Dulski
First publication: Analog, Jul/Aug 2004

As part of a therapy to overcome writer’s block, poet Maleus Taub uses an alien artifact Healing Chair to visit Emily Brontë and Emily Dickinson.

 We dont know how it works. Or even what its energy source is. When the field is on weve detected minor fluctuations in certain astronomical objects. 

[Jul 2004]

   5ive Days to Midnight
by Robert Zappia, David Aaron Cohen, et. al. (Michael Watkins, director)
First aired: 7-10 Jun 2004

In this SciFi Channel miniseries, J.T. Neumeyer (physics professor, widower, and single dad) receives a briefcase from decades in the future containing a police file with the details of his murder five days hence. Once he accepts it as real, he has some success at changing fate by saving a woman from an accident—and then fate starts pushing back by killing her in a different accident, putting J.T. is on a track to meet his own fate.

 The future is not immutable—you can print that! 

[Apr 2012]

   The 4400
created by René Echevarria and Scott Peters
First episode: 11 Jul 2004

Over the years, people of all ages and walks of life have been abducted. Now, 4400 of them have returned to a glen outside of Seattle, all at the same time and without any aging or memory of where—or when—they’ve been. We get to see how they fit back in or don’t, how they react to hostilities, how they use their powers such as young Maia Skouris who sees the future, 17-year-old bio-phenom Shawn Farrell who now has an eye for Nikki (not so young any more), and Richard who no longer has his life threatened for loving a white woman whom he’s managed to impregnate without sex.

 History tells us this is where the path to oblivion began. 

[Jul 2012]

   “Delhi”
by Vandana Singh
First publication: So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy, Sep 2004

Aseem, a sometimes suicidal man in Delhi, sees and interacts with past and future versions of the city while he searches for the woman whom a computer says is his purpose in life.

 A computer is like a beehive. Many bits and parts, none is by itself intelligent. Combine together and you have something that can think. 

[Apr 2014]

   “The Hat Thing”
by Matthew Hughes
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Sep 2004

A nameless man tells another how to spot time travelers.

 Sure. Researchers. Tourists. Criminals altering their present by manipulating the past. Religious pilgrims. Collectors. Who knows what motivates people a million years from now? 

[Jan 2005]

   Retrograde
by Christopher Kulikowski, Tom Reeve and Gianluca Curti (Kulikowski, director)
First release: 2 Nov 2004

Two centuries after a meteor lands in Antarctica, the deadly bacterial plague that it brought has spread around the world and threatens to wipe out all life. The solution: Go back in time and stop the meteor from ever being dug up, but John Foster, the leader of the expedition, will have to cope with his traveling companion’s vices as well as ice and bacteria.

I suppose the military uniforms of 2204 all look like Axis Powers uniforms because the movie was originally made in Italy. It was first released in Russia in 2004 and made it to the states by 2009. Of course, none of that explains why the timeship looks like a 1978 Battlestar Galactica castoff.

 Under your command, you will pilot the Porsifol back 200 years and track the cutters movement to the meteor field. Alter the timeline. Eradicate the scourge. 

[Oct 2015]

   “Time’s Swell”
by Victoria Somogyi and Kathleen Chamberlain
First publication: Strange Horizons, 15 Nov 2004

When a woman awakes with no memory, she finds herself being taken care of by another woman who says that they have come from the future and cannot get back, so they prostitute themselves in various forms to make money and hesitantly take each other as lovers.

 And then there are the days when she tells me that weve traveled through time, that we have come from the future and are trapped here. She tells me that she was a temporal scientist, that I was her project. That I am modified and enhanced for survival, for time travel, for perfection. Those are the bad days. 

[Oct 2012]

   “Small Moments in Time”
by John G. Hemry
First publication: Analog, Dec 2004

A time traveler seeking lost seeds in the past finds a man who may have started the worst influenza of the 20th century.

 The odd truth of working as a temporal interventionist is that some there-and-thens are better than others. 

[Dec 2004]

   Time and Again
by Jason J. Tomaric (Tomaric, director)
First release: 31 Dec 2004

No, not Jack Finney and not Clifford D. Simak either. This one is all Jason J. Tomaric.

Fourteen years ago (or maybe sixteen, the director’s not quite sure), teenaged Bobby Jones was convicted of a murder that he remembers nothing about. Fortunately, he escapes, and during the escape he finds himself transported back to his hometown on the day of the murder.

By the way, I interpret the story as more than just a dream because of the incident where young Bobby is injured and old Bobby immediately develops a scar (although I suppose that could be part of a dream, too).

 Look, Awanda, if you could go back in time and change anything—I mean anything at all—would you? 

[Jul 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.
2004

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


 2004
A Wrinkle in Time by Susan Shilliday [despite title, no time travel]


31 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)