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#811120 - Fri Jul 27 2012 11:15 AM Time Travel Stories
agony Offline


Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 12040
Loc: Western Canada
Just reading Steven King's "11/22/63" (it's about going back to prevent Kennedy's assassination) and thinking about how much I like the sub-genre of time travel stories.

I'm not quite sure why I like them so much, but I remember reading R A Heinlein's "The Door into Summer" in my teens and thinking "Hey, this stuff is great!". Until recently I would have said that this was the first time travel book I read, but something in the King book reminded me of E Nesbit's "The Amulet" and that it too is about time travel.

I think some of what I like is the sense of being a stranger in a strange world - when I was a kid, the stories of going through a wardrobe or a rabbit hole into another world always were the ones I liked best. And the slight confusion and discombobulation of hopping back and forth in time is fun, as is the mental exercise of following the ways authors deal with the paradoxes involved.

Some other excellent time travel books I enjoyed were "To Say Nothing of the Dog" - I like most of Connie Willis' stuff, but this is my favourite. "Making History" by Stephen Fry. "The Time Traveller's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. Can't think of others right now, but I'm sure they'll come.

One I disliked quite a bit was HG Wells' "The Time Traveller".

So, what about you? Does time travel delight or confuse you?

#811127 - Fri Jul 27 2012 12:21 PM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: agony]
bloodandsand Offline

Registered: Sun Apr 08 2012
Posts: 44
Loc: Greater Manchester England UK
I, too, admit to a sneaking fondness for stories employing this technique (films also). I thoroughly enjoyed The Time Traveller's Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry which both present the reader with some mental gymnastics!

I think it's the "what if" factor that appeals to me and how that might apply to my own life if I were able to go back in time.

#811310 - Sat Jul 28 2012 04:11 PM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: bloodandsand]
Christinap Offline

Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1677
Loc: Essex UK
It's a theme Robert Heinlen was very fond of, "Time Enough For Love" has the main character falling in love with his own mother. He used the paradox of a character being both his own mother and his own father in "All You Zombies". "Slaughterhouse Five" is essentially a time travel novel and there is also the "Pliocene Exiles" series by Julian May which features a one way time portal. There's a lot to choose from in this genre.

I look at it the other way to you bloodandsand, if I could go forward and know the future would it change what I do now.

#814195 - Fri Aug 10 2012 05:42 PM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: Christinap]
kalathena Offline

Registered: Thu Aug 09 2012
Posts: 5
Loc: Michigan USA          
If you want a brilliant time travel story, I would highly recommend KIDNRED by Octavia E. Butler. It's probably her most critically acclaimed and her best known, though it's not even in my top five of her novels. It's still very VERY good, however. I highly recommend it.

#814200 - Fri Aug 10 2012 06:25 PM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: kalathena]
ren33 Offline

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11618
Loc: Fanling
  Hong Kong      
Welcome to Books Kalathena! Thanks for your input.
Wandering aimlessly through FT since 1999.

#814211 - Fri Aug 10 2012 07:46 PM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: ren33]
agony Offline


Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 12040
Loc: Western Canada
Thanks for that, I'll check it out. I'm putting "Her Fearful Symmetry" on my ipod right now, so will be listening to it probably next week.

#814218 - Fri Aug 10 2012 09:22 PM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: agony]
kalathena Offline

Registered: Thu Aug 09 2012
Posts: 5
Loc: Michigan USA          
Thank you. :-)

#815556 - Thu Aug 16 2012 01:33 AM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: agony]
Calpurnia09 Offline

Registered: Thu Jun 18 2009
Posts: 57
Loc: South Australia
I'm sure you'll enjoy it. It was a fascinating book. I would have liked to go to Highgate Cemetery last time I was in London but the interesting parts are only open at certain times on certain days and it all became too complicated.

Isaac Asimov has written a book on time travel "The End of Eternity" which is considered to be one of his best books. As it is also a mystery book I enjoyed it very much.

#824644 - Tue Sep 18 2012 10:07 AM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: Calpurnia09]
C30 Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Sat Nov 13 2010
Posts: 104
Loc: Lancashire England UK         
I have to admit Time Travel "grabs" me as impractical and unlikely as the theme may be in reality. I would certainly rather travel in "time than space".

Books I have enjoyed:- "The Ship that Sailed the Time Stream" by G.C. Edmondson, Simon Hawke's excellent "Time Wars" series. Phillip E. High's "Time Mercenary's".
Some though fail inasmuch as something doesn't "gel" to me.
I am sure Harry Turtledove has many admirers, but to me "Gun's of the South" was a bit TOO far fetched.
Personally, I either have to be able to say to myself "yes this is feasible, this could happen", or be so absorbed that the impossibilities seem feasible. I fear, I was neither with that book.
Even more far fetched, but an enjoyable read, if not strictly "Time Travel" as such, was Phillip Jose Farmer's "Riverworld" is a shame it spawned a very forgettable movie!

Talking of movies on the subject, I think "The Final Countdown" is my favourite, and I loved the order to the "Tomcat" pilot, "Splash two Zeros".

#824761 - Tue Sep 18 2012 06:36 PM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: C30]
tezza1551 Offline

Registered: Tue Feb 05 2008
Posts: 439
Loc: Western Australia
I really enjoyed Deborah Harkness' book "A Discovery of Witches", which featured time travel as a theme, and I've just finished the second in the trilogy "Shadow of Night" which further explores the same theme.
“Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming ... WOW! What a ride!”

#824781 - Tue Sep 18 2012 10:01 PM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: tezza1551]
ClaraSue Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Sun May 18 2003
Posts: 7837
Loc: Arizona USA
I guesh my favorite time travel stories are those by Diana Gabaldon, The Outlander Series with Claire and Jamie Frazier.
May the tail of the elephant never have to swat the flies from your face.

#824787 - Tue Sep 18 2012 11:55 PM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: ClaraSue]
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 5530
Loc: Florida USA
I don't think anyone has travelled more enjoyably through time than the great Lazarus Long (born Woodrow Wilson Smith) whose adventures have been collected for us to consider by the timekeeper himself, Robert A. Heinlein.
Lazarus was a character from the following novels:
"Methuselah's Children"
"Time Enough for Love"
"The Number of the Beast"
"The Cat Who Walks Through Walls"
"To Sail Beyond the Sunset"

An author I wish had had more time to write on time travel conundrums was Douglas Adams.
If you aren't seeing Heaven while you dream, you're doing something wrong.
Dreams allow escape from the passage of Time.

#826074 - Sun Sep 23 2012 05:18 PM Re: Time Travel Stories [Re: mehaul]
Jazmee27 Offline

Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
Time travel used to confuse me, but I’m finding more and more that I understand and like it more. The last two books I read concerning the topic were Rebecca Stead’s “When You Reach Me” and Margaret Peterson Haddix’s “Sent” (I also read “Found, which is the first in her “Missing” series. I know I’ve read a few short stories on time travel, but can’t think of any offhand (before I started to understand it a bit, I avoided books about it, as I thought they were “Weird.” Really interesting, given that I’ve always had an interest in science fiction—that and fantasy.
(1) Young I may be, but even young people are entitled to their opinions.
(2)Attempting to silence me doesn't hurt me, but the silencer.
(3) I must remain true to myself.


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