August 13, 2009

List of Time-Travel Books

I like stories involving time travel, in spite of time travel's unbelievability. I maintain a list of time-travel novels divided into four groups: I have read, I own but have not read, I want to acquire & read, and I might want to get later. The list reflects my own tastes. It is not intended to be comprehensive. In general, I exclude books for children and teens, books intended to be humorous, and fantasy romances in which someone mysteriously travels into the past and falls in love. Also, the older a book is the less likely I am to include it.

Shown below is my list as it is today. Perhaps it will evoke memories of books you have read or introduce you to books you would like to read. I hope you enjoy the list. The books in bold font are the books I enjoyed the most. A few short stories are included, indicated by quotation marks around the titles. Short story links go to books that include the stories. Please let me know in the comments if you see any errors. Thanks.

Time-Travel Novels (and a few good short stories)

I have Read

1895 The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
1941 Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp
1951 The Weapon Shops of Isher by A. E. Van Vogt
1952 "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury
1957 The Door into Summer by Robert Heinlein
1961 The Big Time by Frtiz Leiber
1962 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
1962 Worlds of the Imperium by Keith Laumer
1969 Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
1969 Times without Number by John Brunner
1970 Time and Again by Jack Finney
1973 A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle
1973 Time-Jump by John Brunner
1976 The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
1976 Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
1977 Once Upon Another Time by Robert C. Lee
1980 Timescape by Gregory Benford
1981 "The Pusher" by John Varley
1982 No Enemy but Time by Michael Bishop
1983 The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
1986 Replay by Ken Grimwood
1987 "At the Cross-time Jaunters Ball" by Alexander Jablokov
1987 "Forever Yours, Anna" by Kate Wilhelm
1987 "The Forest of Time" by Michael Flynn
1988 Lightning by Dean Koontz
1989 "Great Work of Time" by John Crowley
1989 "The Price of Oranges" by Nancy Kress
1990 "Invaders" by John Kessel
1991 Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
1992 The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
1995 Over the River and Through the Woods by Clifford D. Simak
1995 The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter
1995 Time Scout by Robert Asprin & Linda Evans
1997 Einstein's Bridge by John Cramer
1998 Island in the Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling

I Own but have Not Read

1955 The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov
1958 The Time Traders by Andre Norton
1968 Hawksbill Station by Robert Silverberg
1969 The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
1977 Time Storm by Gordon R. Dickson
1980 Thrice Upon a Time by James P. Hogan
1981 The Many-Colored Land by Julian May
1983 Millennium by John Varley
1991 The Time Patrol by Poul Anderson
1999 Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer
2001 The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson
2007 The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman

I Want

1973 The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold
1978 The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser
1985 The Proteus Operation by James P. Hogan
1986 The Cross-Time Engineer by Leo Frankowski
1991 A Bridge of Years by Robert Charles Wilson
1991 Across Realtime by Vernor Vinge
1991 Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
1998 A Fold in the Tent of the Sky by Michael Hale
2002 Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick
2006 14:40 to Midnight by Shawne Baines
2006 Sojourn by Jana G. Oliver
2006 The Cube Root of Time by Herbert Cohen
2006 The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
2006 Wireless in the Fabric of Time by E. I. Johnson
2007 Across Time: Mystery of the Great Sphinx by O. J. Harp III

Maybe Later

1938 The Legion of Time by Jack Williamson
1965 The Other Side of Time by Keith Laumer
1968 The Masks of Time by Robert Silverberg
1969 Up the Line by Robert Silverberg
1979 Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
1986 A Time to Remember by Stanley Shapiro
1992 The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove
1996 Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card
1997 In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker
1999 Timeline by Michael Crichton
2003 The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
2004 Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham (1 of 3)
2005 Mammoth by John Varley
2006 The Time Travelers by Linda Buckley-Archer (1 of 3)
2007 Wired (Shomi) by Liz Maverick

Copyright © 2009 by Jon Maloney


  1. Niffenegger's time travellers wife is a cool book! I recommend it, it was mooched from me a while ago, otherwise I'd send it to you.

    I've just read Slaughterhouse 5, what do you think about it?

  2. Time and Again would be one of my "bolded" books, too. I have to second the recommendation about The Time Traveler's Wife. I thought it was very well done.

  3. geminisdespechada and Alicia, thanks for recommending The Time Traveler's Wife. I keep reconsidering it.

    I worked in a library in the late sixties and early seventies. I often read the books that got checked out the most, which included several by Vonnegut. That's when I read Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, Welcome to the Monkey House, and Player Piano. Almost forty years is a long time ago. :-) Of those four books I think I have the most memories of Slaughterhouse-Five. I remember poor Billy Pilgrim being in a wartime prison camp and in an alien zoo. I remember being irritated by Vonnegut's nonsequential style. My strongest memory though is the cool concept of seeing an entire person's life at once, like a long centipede with a baby at one end and an old person at the other. That image stuck with me.

    About Time and Again, I remember thinking several parts were slow and boring, but overall the book made a very favorable impression on me. I liked the concept of the time-travel method. I was impressed by the meticulously detailed descriptions of the past. Of all the time-travel books I've read I think Time and Again actually made me feel like I was in the past more than any other.

  4. What about The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold? It's a fascinating read.

  5. I omitted The Man Who Folded Himself for a few reasons. The book was written in 1973 and I tend to exclude books that old unless they are very good. Almost a quarter of the Amazon reviews give it only one or two stars. Those reviews are quite critical of the thin plot, the poor writing, the narcissism, and the overall superficiality. I guess browsing through those reviews turned me off to it more than anything. Another reason I omitted it was that my least favorite Star Trek episode was "The Trouble with Tribbles", which was written by the same author.

    As a lover of time-travel stories I guess I should read it sometime. After all, it's famous, short, and a lot of people think it's a great story. I've added it to my "I Want" list.

    Thanks for your suggestion.

  6. I suppose the criticisms of the Man Who Folded Himself are valid, but it interested me because of its application of the "many worlds" theory of quantum mechanics. It'll only take you a couple of hours to read it and it will give you something fun to turn over in your mind!

  7. There is a greatest book, you left out. And you are missing the most important Time Travel book of all time. Which is, "Mastering Time Travel: Voyages Through Time" by author "Sapphire". It is eye opening, this book actually teaches you how to time travel.

  8. In the course of googling paid surveys I found your blog. Not sure if this comment will be seen, but have to say Thank You! for your marvelous list of Time Travel books. I am a huge sci-fi/fantasy fan and will most definitely save your list for future reading. I have read quite a few of them but there are many I was not familiar with. What fun!!

  9. You made my night CT Yankee Gal. Thanks for expressing your thanks and enthusiasm over my list. Looking back through the list, which I posted in 2009, I'm surprised at how many changes there are. Here are some of the time-travel books I've read since I posted this list: The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov, The Time Traders by Andre Norton, Hawksbill Station by Robert Silverberg, The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier, Time Storm by Gordon R. Dickson, Thrice Upon a Time by James P. Hogan, The Many-Colored Land by Julian May (started and aborted), Millennium by John Varley, The Time Patrol by Poul Anderson, Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer, The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson, The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold, The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser, The Proteus Operation by James P. Hogan, The Cross-Time Engineer by Leo Frankowski, Across Realtime by Vernor Vinge, Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper, Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick, The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham, The Eight by Katherine Neville (may not be time travel), Conrad's Time Machine by Leo Frankowski, A Greater Infinity by Michael McCollum, Time Tunnel by Murray Leinster, and Brother Asassin by Fred Saberhagen. The ones I enjoyed the most are in bold.

    I think the only time-travel books on my to-be-read shelf now are: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis, A Bridge of Years by Richard Charles Wilson, and The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman.

    By the way. I also like apocalyptic science fiction. I posted an apocalyptic list of books about the same time I posted this time-travel list. There may be a link to it on the right.


  10. Hi everybody, just trying for your help in finding the title of a short story about a man inside a house that has no windows or doors and he tries to remember things. As if he is suffering from some kind of amnesia. I think there are some people in the house at some point but they keep disappearing I don't' remember if he actually interact with the people or not or in which level. At one point the man stares at a model of a spacecraft sitting on the top of a piano and he tries to remember how that spacecraft model relates to him.He doesn't remember the model being there the last time he looked at the piano, who put it there? What is the piano for? He then get this funny feeling of how things are all ready for him, all the time. Food, clothing, I think theres a speaker somewhere that gives him instructions. By the end he sees someone leaving the house through a latch and follows the person outside the house. The house is quid of a cottage and the police appear and suround him. Thats when we learn that he is an alien metamorphosed into human that had been captured during the metamorphose status and put in the house to be studied. Who is the author, the title ? Please help me

  11. Hi ecf68,

    The story you asked about is a 1955 short story by Brian Aldiss called "Outside", available online here.


  12. I read a story about time travel where a group of scientists travel to the future and discover that at some point in time we had a cataclysm that rendered earth a barren place and the creatures are semi monsters that speak a totally different language and have a habit of burying themselves alive. The scientists keep trying to unbury the creature and learn their language to find out what may have happened and when and by the end of the story they manage some kind of break through and make a chilling discovery. who is the author?

  13. I recently read a new time travel ebook called Nigma by Frances Clark. It was very interesting as the time traveler from the future wasn't from Earth and his time ship was made from living metal. The time traveler called Drake travels backwards in time and meets an Earth woman when his ship gets trapped.