The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 2012

   Dating Rules from My Future Self
by Wendy Weiner, Leah Rachel and Sallie Patrick
First release: 9 Jan 2012 (internet serial)

Budding Lucy gets romantic advice from her future self via text messages.

Janet found this one on the web, and we watched a daily installment with tea in my first September of retirement. In the second season, our heroine switches from nicely nerdy Lucy (Shiri Appleby) to lovely and lonely Chloe (Candice Accola). Now, if we can only get writer Sallie Patrick to slip some time travel into the other show she works on, Revenge.

 Lucy: tell me who this is.
Unknown: Im u. 10 years in the future. 

[Sep 2012]

   Alcatraz
created by Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lillen, Bryan Wynbrandt
First episode: 16 Jan 2012

This show has a Ph.D. with a comic book shop, a kindly old uncle, Vince Lombardi as a 1963 jail warden, a crochety FBI agent who really has a kind heart, residents of 1963 Alcatraz showing up today, and a girl with a gun! What’s not to love?

 All the prisoners were transferred off the island, only thats not what happened—not at all. 

[Jan 2012]

   “Auburn Tresses”
by Roi R. Czechvala
First publication: 365 Tomorrows, 23 Jan 2012

Dr. David Jansen travels back to the late 1960s, falls in love with a beautiful redhead, and promises to return.

 One sandaled foot was outthrust. The caption below the figure admonished the viewer to “Keep on Truckin’” 

[Jun 2015]

   “Cretaceous on Ice”
by K.C. Ball
First publication: Snapshots from a Black Hole & Other Oddities, Feb 2010

Sheriff Lyle, daydreaming of his retirement just outside of Bozeman, spots his brainiac buddy Pete and his egghead nephew Jimmy chasing a Deinonychus full-speed down the highway in their stretch-cab Ram pickup—and it’s not the only one on the loose.

 “Lookee here, its good you know what this thing is, but where in hell did it come from?”
“The early Cretaceous. One hundred twenty million years ago,” Peter said.
Sometimes real smart people can be a little dense.
 

[Jul 2015]

   Toyota Camry Superbowl Commercial
First aired: Superbowl XLVI, 5 Feb 2012

 This is the reinvented baby. It doesn’t poop. It is also a time machine. 


   Mysterious Island
adapted by Cameron Larson
First release: 11 Feb 2012

I wonder whether all eigthteen of the executive producers (yes, I counted them) of this movie were sitting around (maybe in a hot air balloon with no burner), trying to come up with a movie idea.

“Let’s do a movie of Lost,” said one. “It’s a big hit.”

“No, we can’t do Lost,” said another. “We don’t have the rights.’

“Then let’s find some old sci-fi thing—you know, by one of those old French guys—and rewrite it so that it’s like Lost with time travel.”

“Wait, didn’t Lost have time travel?”

“Maybe, but not with Civil War dudes and hot chicks in a crashed plane.”

 Well honestly, to me maam, it looked like a flying locomotive. 

[Apr 2016]

The story also appeared in this 2015 collection.   “Life and Death and Bongo Drums”
by Larry Hodges
First publication: Every Day Fiction, 20 Feb 2012

Life and Death argue over the fate of a time traveler.

 “You are a problem,” Death finally said. “You were scheduled to die seventy years ago, during World War II, but since you hadnt yet been born, I skipped the appointment.” 

[Aug 2016]

   JCPenney Commercials
acted by Ellen Degeneres
First aired: 84th Oscar Awards, 26 Feb 2012

 Was it always this way? 


   “The Man Who Murdered Mozart”
by Robert Walton and Barry N. Malzberg
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2012

In the late 21st century, frustrated violin player Howard Beasley and his six friends make a plan to kidnap Mozart from his death bed, so that Beasley can get him to finish his Requiem and thereby ride the crest of the ensuing admiration to becoming the head of the world.

 That question is beyond me. Try asking Mozart. 

[Nov 2013]

   “Mrs. Hatcher’s Evaluation”
by James Van Pelt
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Mar 2012

Perhaps you know how much I enjoy being deeply dragged into an engaging story, and then, only after some time, realizing that it’s a time travel story. If you haven’t yet read this story, then I apologize for depriving you of that pleasure. Now go read it now and find out about why Mrs. Hatcher’s teaching methods are indeed ”best practices.”

 What happened in Hatchers room? 

[Jan 2015]

   “Twember”
by Steve Rasnic Tem
First publication: Interzone, Mar/Apr 2012

On the plains of eastern Colorado, Will Cotton and his family deal resignedly with the great escarpments sweeping through the world, like the wall of an enormous time-al wave, lifting artifacts and flashes of people from one era to another in a way that is a metaphor for shifting perspectives as you age.

Steve Rasnic Tem and his wife Melanie were the writers-in-residence at the 2014 Odyssey Writers Workshop which I attended with many wonderful students and two remarkable writers-in-residence. Melanie died the following spring, and we all miss her wisdom and kindness greatly.

 Trapped in most of these layers were visible figures—some of them blurred, but some of them so clear and vivid that when they were looking in his direction, as if from a wide window in the side of a building, he attempted to gain their attention by waving. None responded in any definitive way, although here and there the possibility that they might have seen him certainly seemed to be there.
The vast majority of these figures appeared to be ordinary people engaged in ordinary activities—fixing or eating dinner, housecleaning, working in offices, factories, on farms—but occasionally hed see something indicating that an unusual event was occurring or had recently occurred. A man lying on his back, people gathered around, some attending to the fallen figure but most bearing witness. A couple being chased by a crowd. A woman in obvious anguish, screaming in a foreign language. A blurred figure in freefall from a tall building.
 

[Nov 2015]

   My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
developed by Lauren Faust
First time travel: 10 Mar 2012

Not until the fourth reincarnation of the My Little Pony cartoons did Twilight Sparkle dabble in time travel by receiving a dire warning from her future self (“It’s about Time,” Episode 20 of Season 2).

 Who are you? I mean, youre me, but Im me, too. How can there be two mes? Its not scientifically possible. You are not scientifically possible! 

[Aug 2013]

   Virgin Media Commercial
acted by David Tennent and Richard Branson
First aired: Spring 2012

 Rich? Rich?! 


   “Living in the Eighties”
by David Ira Cleary
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Apr/May 2012

Living in Minneapolis, fifty-something Bob Marshall and his cult-band friend Clayton discover a website that can move them through time: Bob back to the eighties where he longs to save his long-dead girlfriend Gretchen from his younger self; Clayton to the future where he seeks a diabetes cure.

 “This web site, Bob,” he said to me, shaking the snow off his black beret, sitting down beside me at the bar, ”it’s a time travel site. Time travel?” 

[Jan 2015]

Moe Berg   Wilber’s Moe Berg Stories
by Rick Wilber
First story: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Apr/May 2012

At the end of Wilber’s first Moe Berg story, Moe himself admits that he doesn’t know what’s going on, and I admit that I’m in the same boat—but I can tell you that that was the first story that I read in the Moe Berg subgenre of time travel stories. In this case, Red Sox catcher Moe Berg travels (as he did in real life) to Zurich with the mission to kill Heisenberg, but this is only one of many Moe Berg lives; in many of those lives he interacts with a beautiful young woman and seeming time-travel agent who only sometimes encourages him to kill Heisenberg. You can also read about Moe in one other of Wilber’s alternate history stories and at least one independently conceived story by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
  1. Something Real (Apr/May 2012) Asimovs
  2. At Palomar (Jul 2013) Asimovs

 But I have to admit Im not real sure whats going on here. 

[Jan 2015]

   The Shadow Out of Time
adapted by Richard Svensson and Daniel Lennéer (Lennméer and Svensson, director)
First release: 3 Apr 2012 (internet)

A short adaptation of Lovecraft’s story, but just narration over video with no dramatization (similar to the story itself for that matter).

 This is the story of the nightmare that took hold of my life. 

[Jul 2013]

   “Older, Wiser, Time Traveler”
by M. Bennardo
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, Apr 9. 2012

Time machines are useful after you commit a crime, especially a crime of passion.

 It doesnt need to be anything fancy—one of those ones from the kits in the back of Popular Mechanics will do fine. But the point is that you need one. If you dont have one, then forget about it. Theres nothing you can do. 

[Aug 2014]

   “The Sanctimonious Time Traveler Trap”
by Larry Hodges
First publication: Quantum Muse, May 2012

Bob travels from the future to save skydiver Harvey, whose chute is fated to not open.

 Okay, Bob, why wont my parachute work? And does everyone in the future dress like a cucumber? 

[Aug 2016]

   Men in Black III
by Etan Cohen (Barry Sonnenfeld, director)
First release: 23 May 2012

When Boris the Animal escapes from lunar prison and returns to 1969 to kill Agent K and expose Earth to attack, Agent J must follow to save Agent K and Earth.

Tim and I saw this with Michelle on Fathers Day Eve in 2012.

 This is now my new favorite moment in human history. 

[Jun 2012]

   Continuum
created by Simon Barry
First episode: 27 May 2012

Policewoman Kiera Cameron is sucked into a time transporter when a group of seven terrorists escape from 2077 to 2012. For me, the main drawback is the stereotyped terrorists whom Kiera fights; I felt that they didn’t need to be pure evil, particularly when the governments of the future have all be overtaken by corporations.

 Time traveler—hello? 

[Dec 2014]

   “The Widdershins Clock”
by Kali Wallace
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Jun 2012

I didnt understand the significance of the title clock in this story story told from the point of view of Marta who could have been a brilliant mathematician, but such was not allowed in 1950s America, so instead we hear of Marta’s grandmother’s clock and a search for the missing grandmother, meeting (along the way) at least one old woman who seems out of time.

 Grandma and I have a theory about how John Carter found his way to Mars. We think we can explain it with Schrödingers equation. 

[Jan 2015]

   The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee
by John Hambrock
First time travel: 3 Jun 2012

Young Edison Lee is Danny Dunn (from my childhood) crossed with Bill Watterson’s Calvin (from my kids’ childhood), complete with a time machine (which both Danny and Calvin also had). The first appearance I saw was in 2012, although it wasn’t until 2014 that the real travelin’ seemed to start, with a trip back to 1972.

Even then, though, I almost put the whole thing into the it’s-only-in-his-imagination category, but what could possibly be more real than a kid’s imagination?

 Edison Lee: So do me a favor. In forty-two years dont let me “borrow” your tools without your knowledge to build this stupid time machine.
1972 Dad: Im such a horrible father.
Edison Lee: And buy more chocolate milk. 

[Jul 2015]

   Safety Not Guaranteed
by Derek Connolly (Colin Trevorrow, director)
First release: 8 Jun 2012

Shy, beautiful Darius, an intern at Seattle Magazine, goes to investigate an awkward guy who placed an ad calling for a companion for a time-travel adventure.

Janet and I saw this for our 32nd anniversary. What a wife!

 Stormtoopers dont know anything about lasers or time travel. Theyre blue collar workers. 

[Jun 2012]

   Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales
created by John Lasseter
First time travel: 16 Jun 2012

Mater, the sidekick in Cars and the hero of Cars 2, spins a good yarn in each episode of this Disney Channel series, including a time trip to Radiator Springs.

 Wait a minute—if Stanley dont stay here in the past . . . ah choo! . . . ahhhh! . . . therell be no town here in the future! 

[Jun 2012]

   “Elsewhere”
by Benjamin Rosenbaum
First publication: Strange Horizons, 18 Jun 2012

No, I don’t understand Benjamin Rosenbaum’s stories any more than you do (and quite possibly no more than the author does), but the fact remains that I like the images in his writing (such as “Droplet”), and in “Elsewhere” I detected something that could be time travel as much as Anything Else. And foolish you thought I never fell for abstract art.

 Thats how they beat the time-skew problem: Not Very would express sentiments and opinions aloud, then shuffle through the images to find those which contained (and had always already contained) Unlike Themselves’ responses. 

[Oct 2012]

   “Zip”
by Streven Utley
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Jul 2012

Three time travelers—Chernikowski, Plant, and the narrator—keep going further and further back in time to escape the wave of destruction that’s seemingly following their time machine.

 I do not have to be a physicist, and I certainly am not one, to recall Einsteins words: “The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubborn, persistent illusion.” 

[Jan 2015]



   Geico Happier-Than Commercials
First aired: Aug 2012

 . . . happier than Christopher Columbus with speedboats. 

  Hey. Theyre comin. Yeah, British. Later. 


   “My Wife Hates Time Travel”
by Adam-Troy Castro
First publication: Lightspeed, Sep 2012

When a not-so-brilliant man and his similarly equipped wife find out that one of them is destined to invent time travel, they end up continuously fighting, not the least cause of which is their future selves popping in all the time, intent on informing them that they should do this and not that.

 Being the future inventors of time travel wasnt all bad, of course. It was great to know that wed never lose anything, never go to a movie that turned out to be a stinker, never buy a book we wouldnt want to finish, never go out to a restaurant where the service was lousy, and never get stuck in a traffic jam, because wed always be warned away, beforehand. It was terrific to have some future version of myself pop in just as I was about to irritate my wife with some inconsiderate comment and tell me, “It would be a really bad idea to say that.” 

[Nov 2015]

   Marvin
by Tom Armstrong
First time travel: 2 Aug 2012

Precocious little Marvin Miller was a baby/toddler for all of his comic strip life until, on his thirtieth anniversary, grown-up Marvin came back in time to take the tyke to see his future. The process of time traveling had the side effect of aging the baby to an adult, but worry not: Marvin reverts to his tiny self on the return trip.

 Its just that I was kind of hoping that when I grew up Id look like Brad Pitt, not Opie. 

[Nov 2015]

   Time Again
by Ray Karwell, C.S. Hill and Debbie Glovin (Karwell, director)
First release: 21 Aug 2012

When Sam (the good sister) fills in for waitress Marlo (the not-so-good one) at the diner, a bad guy leaves a time of ancient coins that end up getting Sam killed by the bad guy’s even badder boss, but fortunately 70-year-old Agnes also has some of the coins which repeatedly let Marlo go back to try to change things.

 Man Customer: Relativity’s the best.
Woman Customer: Im sorry, but Time’s Arrow is much better. 

[May 2013]

   “12:03 P.M.”
by Richard Lupoff
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Sep 2012

After the events of “12:02 P.M.,” Myron Castleman finds that he can jump back to different times, not just 12:01 P.M., and that he can make small changes that have big consequences—although it’s still nearly impossible to get anyone to believe his story, except, perhaps, for Dolores.

 The man in the dark suit has become the most talked-about mystery man in the world. Who is he? Where did he come from? He appeared and unquestionably saved the life of one President but inadvertently—we presume inadvertently—caused the death of another. 

[Sep 2012]

   Dodge Dart Commercial
First aired: 5 Sep 2012

 Send future guy home. Destroy time machine. 


   The Garfield Show
created by Jim Davis
First time travel: 18 Sep 2012

At least one episode of our favorite cat’s cartoon show (’It’s about Time.” written by Mark Evanier) includes a time machine in which a jealous Nermal goes back in time to replace Garfield at the pet shop when he was first adopted by Jon. After that, Garfield still has his Jon-centric memories, but nobody at Jon’s house recognizes the lasagna-eating cat.

 Interviewer: Professor Bonkers, is it true youve invented a time machine?
Professor: That is correct.
Interviewer: How long did it take you?
Professor: The rest of my life. I actually finished it 47 years from now, and then when I was done, I jumped into my time machine and came back here to today in it. 

[Sep 2015]

   “Professor Jennifer Magda-Chichester’s Time Machine”
by Julian Mortimer Smith
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 19 Sep 2012

Each time professor Magda-Chichester invents her time machine, it turns out that someone else has already beaten her to the punch.

 And yet it didnt happen like that. 

[Dec 2014]

   Looper
by Rian Johnson (Johnson, director)
First release: 28 Sep 2012

Too much exorcist and not enough consistent time travelin’ for my taste; even so, I enjoyed this story of a future where gangsters send inconvenient people back in time to be killed by hitmen in the past, and eventually each hitman is sent back to be killed by himself.

 If I hurt myself, it changes your body; so, does what I do now change your memory? 

[Feb 2013]

   “The Mongolian Book of the Dead”
by Alan Smale
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Oct/Nov 2012

When the Chinese invade Mongolia, a wandering American named Tanner is taken by four Mongols because he has a critical role to play for Khulan and her shaman sister Dzoldzaya.

 To her all times are one, all distances are one. 

[Jan 2015]

   “The Number Two Rule”
by Lesley L. Smith
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 23 Oct 2012

What happens when a time-travel agent completes her mission in the past but the recall mechanism fails?

 We didnt have any other rules, just the two. 

[Dec 2014]

   “The Man in the Pink Shirt”
by Larry Niven
First publication: Analog, Nov 2012

Hanny Sindros, a writer, travels back to meet John W. Campbell, Jr., and talk about whether the Nazis might gain something from Cleve Cartmill’s atomic power stories.

 What if these German spies see that Astounding has suddenly stopped publishing anything about atomic bombs? What would they do? Theyd think we were hiding something. 

[Aug 2012]

   “Tech Support”
by Richard A. Lovett
First publication: Analog Science Fiction, Nov 2012

Still uncertain about what to call his new device to transmit voice over wires, young Alec receives a call from a troubled man who can only be from the future.

 Mr. Watson, come here—I want to see you. 

[Aug 2012]

Another of Carhart’s stories appeared in this 2015 anthology.   “And Yet, It Moves”
by Susan Nance Carhart
First publication: 365 Tomorrows, 6 Nov 2012

Solberg—a rich, individualist inventor—insists on using his time machine without having it vetted by his staff, and he thereby falls into a trap. Perhaps I have just read too much time travel (blasphemy!), but I feel that Carhart fell into the same trap as her protagonist: For me, the story needed to be vetted by someone who could say how much this particular idea needs a new twist if it’s to work.

 You have a team to vet your ideas. Bring them in on this! 

[Jun 2015]

   “Since You Seem to Need a Certain Amount of Guidance”
by Alexander Jablokov
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 6 Nov 2012

Alex Jablokov brought this funny story for the students to read at the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2014. The story, in the form of a letter from the future, tells us how much happier and better the future is. And don’t contact them again!

I loved meeting Alex. He is kind and mentoring to new writers!

 We do not think the Marx Brothers are funny. 

[Jun 2014]

   Bravest Warriors
by Pendleton Ward and Breehn Burns
First time travel: 8 Nov 2012

In the year 3085, the four children of the Courageous Battlers (who died) form a new team to right wrongs (such as that time loop in the first regular episode, “Time Slime”) across the universe using the power of their emotions and other moop.

 Repair the time loop! Save Glendale! 

[Jul 2013]

   “The Mouse Ran Down”
by Adrian Tchaikovsky
First publication: Carnage: After the End, Volume 2, 15 Nov 2012

John, Ellie and Marcus have a spot in late 16th century London where they live nine months of the year to escape the destruction of the Now, but even the future of that space is uncertain as the enemy hunts them.

 Living space is tough to find, though—there just arent many places in any city of any time that will stay overlooked for the duration. The invisible spaces of Babylon in 1700BC would already be staked out and claimed by whoever was taking refuge there. 

[Apr 2014]

   Dino Time
aka Back to the Jurassic
by Greco, Rosenblatt, Beechen, Park, Choi and Kafka (Choi and Kafka, director)
First publication: 30 Nov 2012 (straight-to-video)

Rocket-boarding Ernie Fitzpatrick is always pushing his mom’s rules to the limit (and beyond) along with his best friend Max (and usually tailed by his tattle-tale sister Julia). On one escapade, the trio accidentally activates Max’s dad’s time machine and end up back in the age of friendly, anthropomorphic T. Rexes.

 See that carving? Its been dated all the way back to the Cretacious period. Which is weird, ’cause who could have carved it? No humans were around 145 million years ago, just dinosaurs. 

[Sep 2015]

   “He Could Be Ambrose Bierce”
by Shannon Kelly Garrity
First publication: Daily Science Fiction, 11 Dec 2012

Mona, who works as a file clerk in the modern-day Wisconsin office of the Time Displacement Bureau, suspects that her new nieghbor may be a displaced time traveler or time terrorist, but her awkwardness prevents her from effectively findout out more.

 Skirmishes with Purity were no laughing matter, and any traveler who showed the slightest inclination toward interfering with the past would find his or her license permanently removed.
But it made for a good story.
 

[Sep 2014]

   The New Yorker Cartoons
by Tom Toro, et. al.
First one that I saw: 17 Dec 2012

I’d wager there have been many New Yorker cartoons with time machines, but the first one I saw came to me from my high school friend Jim Martin, written and drawn by Tom Toro in the 17 Dec 2012 issue (I think) and reprinted in a Readers’s Favorites contest in 2013.

 You invented a time machine to come back and . . . 

[Aug 2013]

   “The Ghosts of Christmas”
by Paul Cornell
First publication: tor.com, 19 Dec 2012

A depressed, pregnant scientist is the first to try her own machine that takes her backward and forward into her own body on a myriad of Christmas Days.

 If I stopped now, I was thinking, the rest of my life would be a tragedy, I would be forever anticipating what was written, or trying . . . hopelessly, yes, there was nothing in the research then that said I had any hope . . . to change it. I would be living without hope. I could do that. But the important thing was what that burden would do to Alice . . . If I was going to be allowed to keep Alice, after what Id seen. 

[Nov 2015]

   365 Tomorrow’s 2012 Time-Travel Stories

Note: § indicates a separate list entry for the story.
  1. Auburn Tresses (24 Jan)§ by Roi R. Czechvala
    scientist to the sixties
  2. Causality (25 Jun) by Duncan Shields
    branching universes suck
  3. Final Effect (12 Aug) by Desmund Hussey
    mention of tachyons
  4. Ghost of Christmas Future (5 Sep) by Duncan Shields
    janitor visits himself
  5. Drunken Paper Dolls (30 Aug) by Clint Wilson
    time machine in copy mode
  6. And Yet, It Moves (6 Nov)§ by Susan Nance Carhart
    rich, individualist time traveler
  7. Stranded (10 Nov) by Suzann Dodd
    traveler not picked up
  8. The Loneliness of Time Travel (25 Nov) by George R. Shirer
    traveler hooks up with self

 My theory is that the Tachyons, which are moving backward through space/time will— 

—“Final Effect”

[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.
2012

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


 2012
“Glass Future” by Deborah Walker [precognition]

“Memories of My Mother” by Ken Liu [time dilation]


50 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)