The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 2009

   The Secret Life of Suckers
directed by Juanma Sánchez-Cervantes
First episode: circa 2009

The eponymous suckers of this 13-episode no-dialog Spanish cartoon are the beasties who live on car windows with suckers for hands and feet. Each episode shows snippets of the life of one such beastie (Travis), including a gag in the 12th episode where he visits caveman days and spaceman days, and various Travises keep appearing next to each other.

 Travis [drinks milk from the baby bottle from his own baby self]: Berurrrrp! 

[Sep 2015]

   Being Erica
created by Jane Sinyor
First episode: 5 Jan 2009

Everything seems to go wrong for Erica Strange, the “cute young woman with a great educaiton and great friends.” Why can’t she get it together? Maybe therapist (so to speak) Tom Wexlar can help her figure it out, especially given that each time she sees him, she gets a chance to redo one of her bad past decisions.

 Erica: What about paradoxes, huh? Butterfly effects? Back to the Futures?
Dr. Tom: I love that movie.
Erica: If I change the past, if I dont get drunk, wont that cause, like, World War III in the present?
Dr. Tom: Or is it possible that your alcohol consumption, though very important to you, might not play a role in influencing world events? 

[Mar 2016]

   College Humor Originals
First time travel: 26 Jan 2009 (internet serial)

I haven’t completely figured out what collegehumor.com is all about, but they do have at least three amusing short films with time travel.
  1. Time Gun (26 Jan 2009)
  2. Back to the Future Sex Scenes (9 Feb 2012)
  3. Hardly Working / Killing Hitler (11 Oct 2012)

 I invented a time machine to make the world a better place, which is why Im going to travel back to kill Adolf Hitler. 

[Feb 2014]

   “The Boogie-Woogie, Time-Traveling, Cyborg Blues”
by Barton Paul Levenson
First publication: Electric Spec 1 Feb 2009

Cliff Robinson—a black, piano playing cyborg soldier in the 39th century—escapes back to depression-era Pittsburgh where he is tracked down by a time-travel cop.

 Hosin Tau was Minister of Internal Security in the Silver Republic, a nation-state carved out of the Grand Union of the American South in World War VIII. 

[Aug 2014]

Dunesteef Audio Magazine’s story illustration   “This Must Be the Place”
by Elliot Bangs
First publication: Strange Horizons, 2 Feb 2009

At a bar, Andrea meets a loopy man who seems to already know her; he leaves a mysterious message on a napkin, which turns out to be a hint about their next meeting where the man is younger and no longer knows her.

 If I had the power to decide never to meet him again, I reasoned, surely I had the power to change the course of the relationship for the better. 

[Oct 2012]

The story also appeared in Hart’s 2012 collection.   “Time’s Arrow”
by Geoff Hart
First publication: geoff-hart.com, 10 Feb 2009

Physicist Tim with a dead girlfriend experiences various precognition episodes leading up to his attempt to travel to the past to undead the girlfriend, or at least plant the seeds for the precognition.

 Im certain I didnt send myself any mail recently, but then again, I have plans to do so in the near future—or near past, I suppose. 

[Feb 2014]

   Before You Say ‘I Do’
by Elena Krupp (Paul Fox, director)
First release: 14 Feb 2009

Using a wish (followed by a car crash), George Murray travels from 2009 back to 1999 to stop his girlfriend Janie from marrying her no-good ex-husband.

 I wish Id met Jane before she was married. 

[Dec 2010]

from Fishbone’s website   “Caesar’s Secret Weapon”
by Greg R. Fishbone
First publication: 365 Tomorrows, 23 Feb 2009

A Roman general tests a maxim propounded by a time traveler.

 Your gods have abandoned you, Romanus. Your weapon has no power against us. 

[Jun 2015]

   “I, Lensman”
by Adam Zabell
First publication: 365 Tomorrows 15 Mar 2009

A science-fiction-reading pilot of a time ship doesn’t mind that a lot of missions end up in the early-mid 1900 CE.

 They know I read golden age sci-fi and they think my Fix is interstellar travel, so they wont assign me to anything after 2500CE. 

[May 2015]

   “We Haven’t Got There Yet”
by Harry Turtledove
First publication: tor.com, 19 Mar 2009

Some 360 years before Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead was first performed in Edinburgh, Will Shakespeare himself attends a performance.

 His mind races faster than a horse galloping downhill. Try as he will, he cant mistake her meaning. If Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is dead itself—a century dead!—then Hamlet must be older yet. But his head had only a little more hair, and that only a little less gray, when he wrote it. An impossibility—an impossibility he has just seen staged. 

[Nov 2015]

   “Come-From-Aways”
by Tony Pi
First publication: On Spec, Spring 2009

I am a sucker for a soppy, romantic time-travel story. In this case, linguist Kate Tannhauser is one of the members of a team that’s assembled to deal with the arrival of a man who can be nothing but Prince Madoc of Gwynedd—a twelfth-century Welsh seafarer who seems to be skipping through time at 75-year intervals—and Kate intends to be with him on the next skip.

 Based on the linguistic evidence, I must conclude Madoc is truly a man out of time. 

[Apr 2014]

   “Grandfather Paradox”
by Katherine Mankiller
First publication: Electric Velocipede, Spring 2009

Ann, who was abused by her father as a child, uses a time machine to break the cycle.

 “You may have free will,” Ann said, “but not me. I am a product of causal determinism.” 

[Aug 2014]

   “Caveat Time Traveller”
aka Caveat Time Traveler
by Gregory Benford
First publication: Nature, 2 Apr 2009

The mind comes up with story ideas in all kinds of roundabout ways. In this case, Benford notes that his 2009 story must have boiled up from a childhood memory of Mack Reynolds’ nearly identical 1952 story, “The Business, As Usual.”

 Yes, I learned that later. I mustve read it as a kid (was 11 then).
I must look it up sometime. I knew Mack, too, visited him in Mexico in 1966. Odd how the mind works.
 

—Gregory Benford on his website, responding to a fan’s question

[Jun 2015]

   FAQ about Time Travel
aka Frequently Asked Questions about Time Travel
by Jamie Mathieson (Gareth Carrivick, director)
First release: 24 Apr 2009

In a pub, nerd Ray meets beautiful time traveler Cassie who fawns over him before departing with a kiss. Of course Ray’s mates Toby and Pete don’t believe a word of it until Pete finds himself thrown through a time leak as he emerges from the loo.

 How many times . . . its not sci-fi, its science fiction or sf, which can also stand for speculative fiction. 

[Nov 2015]

   Mac vs PC Commercial
First aired: May 2009

 Im a PC, and Im headed to the future. 


   The Princess and the Bear
by Mette Ivie Harrison
First publication: May 2009

An enchanted king (now a bear) and a wolf (who was a princess for a while) are sent back in time to stop the spread of unmagic in this second book of Harrison’s Animal Magic Universe.

Although I didn’t connect strongly with this book, I did enjoy meeting Mette, a friendly young mother who reads and writes all the time when she isn't spending time with her family. That meeting was at Orson Scott Card’s writing bootcamp in Orem, Utah, in the summer of 2002.

I suspect that the title of this book is a nod to one of my favorite Card stories, also called “The Princess and the Bear,” although there is no other connection between the two stories.

 Yet your kingdom needs you to return, so I held time open for you to go back and be king once more. If you so choose. 

[Feb 2014]

   Star Trek (the reboot)
by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Gene Roddenberry (J.J. Abrams, director)
First release: 8 May 2009

Young Kirk and Spock meet future Ambassador Spock who has come back in time to stop Nero from destroying Vulcan.

Tim and I saw the reboot in the theater on opening day.

 You know, coming back in time, changing history . . . thats cheating. 

[May 2009]

   Dino Dan
created by J.J. Johnson
First episode: 11 May 2009

Young Dino Dan is a boy who sees dinosaurs in his world. Sometimes others see the dinosaurs, too, and from time to time, time traveling occurs back to the Triassic, Jurassic, or Cretaceous. It could just be a boy’s overly active imagination, but that’s okay by me.

 Unfortunately, the time machine aint working right now. We gotta get some new space-time capacitors. 

[Sep 2015]

   “Time Machine”
by Simon Rich
First publication: Free-Range Chickens, 12 May 2009

Just one of many fun gags in Simon Rich’s second collection, Free-Range Chickens.

 As soon as my time machine was finished, I traveled back to 1890, so I could kill Hitler . . . 

[Feb 2015]

   “The Affair of the Phlegmish Master”
by Donald Moffitt
First publication: Analog, Jun 2009

Given the title, I figured I might run into comedy or puns, but that wasn’t the case for this story of Dutch historian and translator Peter Van Gaas who travels back to an alternative timeline with a billionaire to commission a Vermeer portrait of the billionaire’s wife while trying not to run afoul of the thug hired by those who have a financial interest in not seeing more works of art from past masters.

 Harrys going to upset a multibillion dollar applecart. I dont know what strings he pulled to get an import license for a priceless artifact from another timeline, but its not going to be worth what he thinks. 

[Oct 2012]

from Ian Rennie’s blog, showing his NaNoWriMo award   “Contraband”
by Ian Rennie
First publication: 365 Tomorrows, 5 Jun 2009

A Chronology Enforcement agent is after archaeologist Lloyd Fry for bringing something other than his body back to a pre-unity time.

I wish that it had been clear at the end whether Lloyd remembered anything of the encounter, but even without that, there were pieces I enjoyed.

 And I wanted to get a hologram of the eiffel tower before it was wrecked by the earthquake. My mother asked me to. 

[May 2015]



   Land of the Lost
by Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas (Brad Silberling, director)
First release: 5 Jun 2009

The 70s tv show (which had no actual time travel, but did have dinosaurs from another dimension) is updated as paleontologist Rick Marshall propounds time warps, as embodied in his tachyon amplifier, as the solution to today’s energy problems. Even though everyone else thinks he’s crazy, one beautiful graduate student, Holly Cantrell, encourages him to finish the device (her confidence coming from a fossil of a 265-million-year-old cigarette lighter, and together with souvenir hawker Will, they set off to “another dimension where past, present and future all meet.”

The movie has a high enough silliness quotient that it can only be truly appreciated en español (especially preferable if you are not a Spanish speaker).

 Rick: Its the only real solution to solving this fossil fuel crisis were experiencing, and it boils down to two simple words.
Matt Lauer: Renewable biofuels.
Rick: Close . . .: time warps. 

[Nov 2015]

   “In the Cracks of Time”
by David M. Alexander (as by David Grace)
First publication: Sci Fi Storiesk Vol. 4, 8 Jun 2009

Mark needs to travel 1000 years into the future because he is the only one capable of ensuring a successful restart of the human race after a millennium-long plan to exterminate the alien, invading Ants. But the only way to make that trip is for him to spend 1000 (non-aging) years in various alternate history pasts, after which he can head back to his own future.

 Mark had been supplied with a thousand names and bank account numbers, identities of organizations and individuals throughout the Twentieth Century together with details of various winning lottery numbers, sporting events and stock market fluctuations plus a handful of gold coins. Luckily the field was strong enough to encompass his clothes and a few personal effects. Mark often fantasized about how much more difficult his life would have been had he been forced to arrive naked like the time travelers in the Terminator movies. 

[Oct 2015]

   “Palimpsest”
by Charles Stross
First publication: Wireless, Jul 2009

As much as I love Asimov’s The End of Eternity, I’ve also always wondered about the logistics of Eternity’s access to the different centuries. Stross stated that his story, which begins with a clever hazing ritual for Agent Pierce to join the Stasis organization, was a rewrite of Asimov’s story, and I’d hoped that it would address the questions in the back of my mind. Did it? No, although it did take the ideas to a trillion-year span of history hacking and solar system engineering.

 Theyll have no one to remember their lives but you; and all because you will believe the recruiters when they tell you that to join the organizaton you must kill your own grandfather, and that if you do not join the organization, you will die.
(Its an antinepotism measure, theyll tell you, nodding, not unkindly. And a test of your ruthlessness and determination. And besides, we all did it when it was our turn.)
 

[Apr 2014]

   “Turning the Grain”
by Barry B. Longyear
First publication: Analog, Jul/Aug to Sep 2009

By the halfway point of the story, Gordon Redcliff (angry, jaded ex-military sniper and bodyguard) is stranded in a primitive civilization 140,000 years in the past, and he must face the question of whether the widow he’s falling in love with is enough motivation to violate his directive to not interfere with “one hell of a disaster coming in just a matter of a few months.”

 Three weeks in prehistory, Mr. Redcliff. Arent you excited? 

[Oct 2012]

   S. Darko
by Nathan Atkins and Richard Kelly (Chris Fisher, director)
First release: 3 Jul 2009

Seven years after Donnie Darko’s death, his sister has even more artsy adventures in death and time travel.

 Its like everybody knows everything about me, but Im invisible at the same time. 

[Feb 2014]

   The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations
by Holly Brix (Seth Grossman, director)
First release: 31 July 2009

Lots of blood and gore in this third of the butterfly horror movies, wherein Sam Reide uses his time travel ability to pose as a psychic for police, all of which is fine until he breaks the rules to try to prevent the murder of his first girlfriend.

 Theres two big rules: You never jump back to alter your own past, and you never jump unsupervised. 

[Feb 2013]

   The Time Traveler’s Wife
adapted by Jeremy Leven and Bruce Joel Rubin (Robert Schwentke, director)
First release: 14 Aug 2009

I thought the book suffered from not exploring the consequences of Henry’s travel on free will and determinism, but the movie had even less depth.

I watched this one with Harry on my short visit to Scotland in the summer of 2010.

 And after she gives him the blanket she happens to be carrying, he explains to her that hes a time traveler. Now, for some reason Ill never understand, she believes him. 

[Jul 2010]

   “First Flight”
by Mary Robinette Kowal
First publication: tor.com, 25 Aug 2009

When time travelers want to create a film of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, their only choice is to send Louise because she’s the only living person who speaks English and was also alive in 1905.

 Louise hesitated. “The Good Book promises us free will.” 

[Apr 2014]

   “Nix Nix”
by Paul E. Holt
First publication: Aoife’s Kiss, Sep 2009

Sra and Cork travel from five centuries in the future back to 1963 where they hope to be the first to succeed in actually changing history for the better despite the Fillagian principle. Ah, you think, must be presidential history that they’ve set their hearts on, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.

And speaking of long periods of time, more than a quarter century passed between this Paul Holt time-travel story and his previous one in a 1983 issue of Asimov’s, which is a feat that deserves high congratulations!

 She was strectched out on one of the deck chairs on the balcony of their apartment. They had rented it temporarily until they could cash in a few more diamonds, pretty much worthless in their own time but extremely valuable here, and buy a house. They were rich of course. Why would they come back poor?

Cork was standing at the railing pointing at his bell bottoms. “People are looking at me funny,” he said. “Nobody else is wearing these.” Their pre-migration research indicated people did, but they could have been a couple of years off.
 

[Mar 2016]

   “The Solid Men”
by C.J. Henderson
First publication: Nth Zine, Sep/Oct 2009

Somebody is using Gravty Wells to steal people’s souls from the past, which creates a dire threat to Proven Time (or sometimes Perfect Time). Time Patrol agent Rick Rambler is determined to bring the murderous theifs to a halt.

 I mean, the first thing they all want you to do is explain Proven Time, as if anyone could. The accident that set mans sight on the One True Timeline from which all others spring was no blessing. 

[Oct 2015]

   Dinosaur Train
created by Craig Bartlett
First episode: 7 Sep 2009

Buddy, a tyrannosaurus rex, is being raised by a pteranodon family who has access to a dinosaur train that can travel through the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods.

 See kids, in the Jurassic period, theres no grass or flowers. 

[Jul 2014]

   “Augusta Prima”
English title: “Augusta Prima” (translated from Swedish)
by Karin Tidbeck
First publication: Mitrania, 3rd quarter, 2009

A curious story about a curious girl, Augusta Prima, who lives in the most perfect of the eight lands, a land where places and time (and other abstractions, I would say) float in an unmeasurable way.

After its original Swedish publication, this story was translated to English and widely reprinted, including Weird Tales, Lightspeed and The Time Traveler’s Almanac. Artistic stories tend to be hit-or-miss with me (mostly miss). This one hit, but I never seem to be able to say why.

 The hands are moving now. Time is passing now. 

[Apr 2014]

   From Time to Time
adapted by Julian Fellowes (Fellowes, director)
First release: 24 Sep 2009

At his granny’s house during World War II, 13-year-old Tolly sees ghosts from the 19th century and then finds that he can travel there, interact with those who believe, and solve a family mystery.

This one had several British actors that Janet likes including Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins and Alex Etel.

 Rose: Are you a ghost?
Tolly: I dont think I can be. Im not dead. 

[Sep 2012]

   Dark Adventure Radio Theatre
First time travel: “The Shadow Out of Time,” 27 Oct 2009

Dark Adventure Radio Theatre, produced by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, does audio dramatizations of Lovecraft’ stories including a nice 77-minute production of “The Shadow Out of Time.”

 Tales of intrigue, adventure, and the mysterious occult that will stir your imagination and make your very blood run cold. This is Dark Adventure Radio Theatre, with your host Chester Langfield. Todays episode: H.P. Lovecrafts The Shadow Out of Time! 

[Jun 2015]

   “Joan”
by John G. Hemry
First publication: Analog, Nov 2009

It’s comforting to know that when you open a science fiction story named “Joan,” your expectations will be met—as in this story of our heroine Kate, time travel, and Joan of Arc.

 I realize I may seem a little obsessive, but is it so wrong to wish I could have saved her from being burned? She was such a remarkable person and it was such a horrible fate. 

[Dec 2009]

   Time Travelers Never Die
by Jack McDevitt
First publication: Nov 2009

Early in the novelization of the story, Shel has a conversation with his dad about the chronological integrity principle. There is only one timestream, and if we try to do anything to change what is already known about the stream, then time will stop us. On the other hand, if we can arrange for an event to happen that meets the known facts without being quite what we thought it was . . .

 What did you try to do? Post somebody at the Texas School Book Depository? 

[Mar 2012]

   Misfits
created by Howard Overman
First episode: 12 Nov 2009

Five teens, trapped in a freak storm, acquire superpowers, including Curtis who can rewind time. More graphic and less intense than Heroes (Season One)—and nobody can fly.

Later, in Season 2, another of the misfits travels back from the future.

 There's always someone who can fly. 

[Mar 2014]

   Turtles Forever
by Rob David, Matthew Drdek and Lloyd Goldfine (Roy Burdine and Goldfine, directors)
First aired: 21 Nov 2009

Some goofier-than-the-real-turtles turtlebodies seem to be impersonating the real Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and what’s more they seem younger than today’s turtles, young enough to have come from 1987.

The younger shellheads come from an alternate 1987—the original incarnation of the cartoon—but I figure it’s still the past. In addition, perhaps all the turtle universes are splinters from the original Turtle Prime which that bad guy targets.

 Ive already got four turtles to worry about. These are . . . superfluous. 

[Nov 2015]

   “A Flash of Lightning”
by Robert Scherrer
First publication: Analog, Dec 2009

High school student Terri Bradbury and her high school class take a field trip to the distant past where Mr. Schoenfield sets off a nuclear explosion to experimentally study three theories of time travel’s effect on the future.

 Well discuss the ethics of time travel in the spring semester. 

[Dec 2009]

   “Inside Time”
by Tim Sullivan
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Dec 2009

On returning from the future via the Arrowhead mechanism that he invented, Herel Jablov finds himself trapped in a small station between universes along with a pretty woman named Mae and a criminal named Conway.

 This is going to sound odd to you, Herel, but the reason for the blank spot in your memory is that youve just come from the future. 

[Sep 2015]





   How I Met Your Mother
created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
First time travel: 7 Dec 2009

While Ted once again pursues some girl, Marshall does the more important task of writing a letter to his future self, and future Marshall comes back to anonymously deliver a plate of hot buffalo wings (in “The Window,” Episode 10 of Season 5).

And in an episode that Janet called me in to watch just before Hannah’s wedding (“The Time Travelers,” Episode 20 of Season 8), Ted goes down to the bar where he meets Barney, Twenty-Years-from-Now Barney, Twenty-Years-from-Now Ted, Twenty-Hours-from-Now Ted, and Twenty-Minutes-from-Now Barney—not to mention two versions of Twenty-Months-from-Now Coat-Check Girl.

 Okay, guys, Ive been waiting twenty years for this. Just like we practiced, one, two, ah one-two-three-four: ♫ Whooooa, ooooooh, ooooooh, oooh, for the longest time . . . ♫ 

[Dec 2009]

   365 Tomorrow’s 2009 Time-Travel Stories

Note: § indicates a separate list entry for the story.
  1. Visits (12 Jan) by Duncan Shields
    visits from a future self
  2. Caesar’s Secret Weapon (23 Feb)§ by Greg R. Fishbone
    Roman legions
  3. I, Lensman (15 Mar)§ by Adam Zabell
    time-travel agent likes golden age sf
  4. Temp Agency (12 Apr) by Paul Starkey
    working temp jobs in past
  5. Presque Vu (2 May) by Debbie Mac Rory
    escape artists exiled in time
  6. Trains (11 May) by Jacob Lothyan
    ancient telegram warns time traveler
  7. Contraband (5 Jun)§ by Ian Rennie
    time traveler brings back contraband
  8. Instruments of War and Peace (13 Jun) by John Logan
    preventing the human scourge
  9. P is for . . . (12 Jul) by Steven Odhner
    I don’t know what P is for
  10. The Future Was What We Made It (21 Jul) by Adam Zabell
    time-travel lecture
  11. The Future’s Promise (7 Aug) by Garrick Sherman
    just time dilation
  12. The Jump (15 Aug) By Apollyn
    time travel/bungee cord analogy
  13. The Accident (13 Sep) by Iva K.
    Time-travel bigwig & guide get stuck
  14. Please Pick Up Your Bread Crumbs (16 Sep) by J.E. Moskowitz
    time cops to Biblical times
  15. Through the Hoop (26 Oct) by Duncan Shields
    time machine with no receiver
  16. Time Net (8 Oct) by Duncan Shields
    a net to catch time meddlers
  17. Spotted (17 Oct) by Ryon Moody
    old man finds traveler
  18. Archived (31 Oct) by Bryan Mulholland
    archivist interviews scientists
  19. Cogito, ergo sum (1 Nov) by Jacob Lothyan
    mind travelers . . . or not?

 She didnt like to think about the crushing gravity that would be pulling her into the distant future, but gravity-travel turned out to be simpler than flying at relativistic speeds, so she had no other option. 

—“The Future’s Promise”

[May 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.
2009

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


 2009
“Greetings from Kampala” by Angela Ambroz [differing time rates]

The Man Who Met Himself by Ben Crowe and Preti Taneja [despite title, no time travel]

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian by Thomas Lennon [despite appearances, no time travel]

“Note from the Future” by Ray Vukcevich [no definite time travel]

17 Again by Jason Filardi [fountain of youth]


48 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)