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Time Travelers Never Die

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  3,070 ratings  ·  360 reviews
When physicist Michael Shelborne mysteriously vanishes, his son Shel discovers that he had constructed a time travel device. Fearing his father may be stranded in time—or worse—Shel enlists the aid of Dave Dryden, a linguist, to accompany him on the rescue mission.

Their journey through history takes them from the enlightenment of Renaissance Italy through the American Wil
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published November 3rd 2009 by Ace Hardcover (first published September 11th 2009)
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,070 ratings  ·  360 reviews

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Sean O'Hara
May 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Time Travelers Never Die is about a science fiction writer named Jack McDevitt who's read a bunch of historical biographies and decides to write a novel that incorporates them all, even though there's no rhyme or reason why a time traveler would pick these random points in history.

The "story" begins with David attending his friend Shel's funeral, only to find, upon returning home, that Shel is waiting for him. Shel and Dave are time travelers, so the fact that they die at some point in time does
Aug 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, sci-fi, 2010
When I was a little girl, there was a show on TV called The Time Tunnel. It was one of my favorites. Those time travelers were so cute. Later on, I fell in love with H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. My favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone and Star Trek involved time travel. I even used to watch those old Dr. Who shows on PBS and want to go traveling with the Doctor in the Tardis.

Time Travelers Never Die is an old-fashioned time travel novel that reminds me a lot of those time traveling shows in t
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
The person who read this book before me complained about it to me and told me that she didn't want a history lesson with her book. I love history, and I thought that a time travel story without a bit of history would be a lame time travel story indeed, so I picked it up after her. Now I kind of understand where she was going with her complaint. This book is all about the history with its time travel. Boy, is it. The characters really live it up in every possible moment in history (except the one ...more
Nathan Nipp
Although admonished not to judge a book by its cover, I frequently set my expectations by what the back cover blurb says, regardless of the fact that it is frequently written by someone in the marketing dept. who not even read the book. Sometimes these expectations are not met, resulting in disappointment. But sometimes, the book is different than its cover in the best of ways. Such was this book.

If I had to describe the book in one sentence, it might be, "A far more serious version of Bill and
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not as good as I remember it being when I read it some years ago.
Sep 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: sci-fi timer travel enthusiasts
Better than I thought it'd be. Although in some places, I felt the lead characters, Shel and Dave, had a cavalier attitude in their use, (or abuse) of the time travelling device. Still a good book if you like time travelling novels.
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, science-fiction
Rather light and fluffy science fiction, a bit like Bill & Ted minus the goofiness. There isn't much conflict driving the plot, just some adventuring and sight-seeing.
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Well, I don't know. I'm not the kind of guy who typically finishes a book in four days, so I guess the way I ate this up must be a compliment, right? I'm very torn on what to say in this review. Typically I'm a sucker for time travel stories and a sucker for Jack McDevitt, so while this wasn't the best time travel story and it wasn't the best McDevitt story it doesn't seem like something I could realistically hate. Ultimately, I'd say it wasn't great, but it was a fast read an entertaining, so I ...more
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Typical McDevitt book that keeps you engrossed while you do not want to question too much its premises; our bumbling but endearing heroes (Shel and Dave) travel throughout history and have many adventures, most due to their ineptness; the cameos of Aristarchus of Alexandria, the civil rights leaders of the 60's and some of the Founding Fathers are the best, with a Borgia and the goons in the south suitably menacing...

A great ending and the book hangs together though it's more Time Traveler's Wi
Matthew Hester
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure what to think about this book.
I feel like I want to really like it, but keep asking myself: why?

Nothing in this book is in any way original. I suppose when it comes to writing a story about the ultimate science-fiction cliche that's bound to happen; but there are enough recent examples I could point to to show that even tired concepts like time travel can be given a unique spin.
It's pretty obvious from the get go McDevitt wasn't going for originality, so I can't really criticize him
Jeffrey Jelmeland
I wish I knew why I always feel like the story is stalling out about two thirds of the way through any of McDevitt's work that I read, but every time I stick with it and ride the story to the end I find that the journey was well worth the effort of moving past that stalling point. Once more his story drew me into the characters, and the characters drew me into the ever unfolding story. Not many authors write such that I actually care about the characters, and start to think of them as actual hum ...more
Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-in-10
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chess Desalls
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was all ready to give this book 4 stars, until I read the Epilogue. :o)
Melissa McShane
Slow to start, uninspired treatment of the subject, too many other good books to read, didn't bother finishing.
Tom Rowe
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a fun time travel book featuring a pair of smart time travelers who make the utmost of their ability to travel through time. While there is no real peril for our intrepid heroes (because they can time travel), it is fun to see how they use time travel to get out of various scrapes and such. This is not a spoiler because the title gives it all away. Enjoy! I recommend.
An Odd1
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When his father Michael disappears, leaving instructions to destroy hand-sized devices he calls "converters", Shel accidentally finds the inventions enable time travel. To find his parent and meet famous men, he enlists his best friend. Dave, a linguist, translates in Renaissance Italy, helps find lost Sophocles plays in the library of Alexander the Great, and gets jailed at a negro rights demonstration. Shel wants to settle down with Helen, but somebody's body is found burned in his bed and Dav ...more
Glen Robinson
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm a fan of time-travel stories. Let me clarify that: I'm a fan of well-written time-travel stories. Time travel is one of those memes that sounds great and exciting but can lead you down either the rabbit hole of cliches such as "let's kill Adolph Hitler when he's a little boy," or "what happens if I kill my grandfather as a little boy?" OR can get bogged down in time paradoxes so complex that even the author seems to be lost. It takes a good writer with a good premise to make a great time tra ...more
Aug 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Time travel is a tricky subject. There are so many variations on the theme, with so many potential difficulties, that it can be challenging to present it in a truly believable way. Now, I'm the sort of reader who's willing to set nitpicky details aside if the story is engaging enough, which almost certainly plays into my feelings on this book.

'Time Travelers' tells the story of buddies Shel and Dave as they journey through the ages. At first on a quest to locate Shel's father, eventually it turn
May 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Your Dad disappears from his home in suburban Philadelphia. There is evidence that he went in, but never came out (all the doors and windows are locked from the inside; his keys and personal effects are inside). But he has left two devices, about the size of a walkman, in your care. As you wait to hear from the police searching for your Dad's whereabouts, you experiment with the controls on one of the devices and suddenly find yourself half way across the state of Pennsylvania a day later!

Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jason Ashlock, Michael A.
Recommended to Jamie by: Jason
Shelves: ebook
This was just a fun book, plain and simple, and a great read. I am a big fan of time-travel stories. Although not quite as much fun as Joe Haldeman's The Accidental Time Machine, the story itself was enjoyable. The character's romp through time is very much the kind of journey I'd want to take if I had access to a time machine. There were clever uses of time-travel paradoxes throughout the story, and it was fun feeling like I was getting to meet famous people from history. As far as time travel ...more
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This one's quite a bit different from McDevitt's space adventures, but I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable. It's a very good time travel novel; I'd rank it up there with Heinlein's THE DOOR INTO SUMMER and Gerrold's THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF. I didn't think that the characters were quite as well developed as his usual standards (nor was the plot quite as tightly developed), because his obvious enthusiasm for the subject matter pretty much overwhelmed everything else. It's a travelogue of his ...more
Mar 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Finished "Time Travelers Never Die" by Jack McDevitt. Of all the time travel books and movies I've read/seen so far (and there are a LOT of them), this one is the lamest. It's not that the writing was necessarily bad. It's just that the two protagonists were just that stupid throughout. I was amused when near the end they were described as a comedy duo because of their differences, since throughout the story I was thinking it should've been called, "Laurel and Hardy Find a Time Machine." Or Abbo ...more
Dec 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Michael Shelborne learns after his father disappears that he'd invented a time machine. Recruiting his friend, Dave Dryden, a linguist, the pair begin a hunt through time looking for the elder Shelborne.

It's addictive and they visit all the most famous eras, places, people, of time. The paradoxes pile up and then they begin to go downtime, to the future. The consequences could be catastrophic.
Fredric Mau
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
McDevitt is my favorite author - and this is an awesome book! I highly recommend this one, even for people who are not sci-fi fans! Because, really, if you had easy time travel, what would you do? Certainly not visit wars and disasters and such. Enjoy the read! And I wanna visit La Belle Époque!
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is about a *lot* of time traveling--not just one or two excursions into the past or future. Use it for entertainment, to solve problems, and, of course, to make money. Going into the future and Googling your name is not recommended, though. A nice read.
Nov 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: apl-sw
Good but not great. Fun but not fantastic. Enjoyable but nothing special. Do I repeat myself? Very well, then, I repeat myself.
Shannon Appelcline
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A really insightful & thoughtful book that's all about the real uses to which paradox-free time travel might be put. Weakens a bit toward the middle, but otherwise a strong book.
Oleksandr Fediienko
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Ah, what can be better than time travel? A chance to witness legendary events; meet prominent historical figures; see, hear, and touch their legacy lost in the abyss of ages. It's even nicer when you do it in the company of a friend since one can't keep such a secret to oneself, one has the urge to share it with somebody. However, is it even possible to return to daily routine after these exciting adventures? Jack McDevitt shared his thoughts on this matter in his novel Time Travelers Never Die. ...more
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Upon closer inspection, I'm sure this book has plenty of flaws. I will never say that Jack McDevitt is the greatest writer of our time. He has a particular mold he uses for every plot, you can read his personal opinions through the text, his characters don't always undergo a substantial amount of development.

Still, I decided I'll give this book 5 stars.

I am a fan of McDevitt's style. It's close to my own writing style and I think he does a great job describing things in a way that produces vivi
Peter Bradley
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Please give my Amazon review a helpful vote -

Two guys and their time machine.

This a generally enjoyable book, but on the whole it is lackluster and comes across as a series of ad hoc time-fillers rather than a novel.

Adrian "Shel" Shelborne's father disappears and Adrian inherits some handy, extremely portable time machines. Shel goes in search of his father throughout time, enlisting his friend Dave Dryden, who speaks Latin and Greek. They start learning
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Jack McDevitt is a former English teacher, naval officer, Philadelphia taxi driver, customs officer and motivational trainer. His work has been on the final ballot for the Nebula Awards for 12 of the past 13 years. His first novel, The Hercules Text, was published in the celebrated Ace Specials series and won the Philip K. Dick Special Award. In 1991, McDevitt won the first $10,000 UPC Internation ...more
“And never forget," Michael said, "time travelers never die. No matter what you saw up ahead, about me, I'll always be here.” 1 likes
“And, in a way, we're all time travelers. Somehow, the entire temporal stream exists, but we're only conscious of a single moment.” 1 likes
More quotes…