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SF/F Book Recommendations > Favorite Time-Travel Novels

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited May 17, 2014 06:12AM) (new)

Since this month we're having a Group Discussion of "The Anubis Gates", which involves time travel, I thought it might be interesting to find out what other people have as favorite time-travel books.

H. G. Well's novella The Time Machine is the granddad of the entire sub-genre. It's historically important, but I won't call it my favorite.

My favorite is:

Doomsday Book (Oxford Time Travel, #1) by Connie Willis Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.
It's the first of four novels she's written(so far) about "Oxford time travelers", a bunch of historians from a future Oxford University who have a time machine to go study the past. Willis beautifully interleaves two parallel stories, one in modern England, which is experiencing a flu epidemic, and the other concerning a time traveling historian back in Medieval England during the Black Death. The former is often quite humorous in exploring the foibles of its characters, and the latter is quite tragic as you might expect.

Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog (How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last) involves the same Oxford time travelers. It's set mostly in Victorian times as the harried time travelers are sent back to locate a Mcguffin that got lost some time in the blitz. I founded an hilarious comedy of manners (Andreas be warned, it's a comedy :)

And Willis's Blackout / All Clear duology, which takes some other Oxford historians back to WW-II England, for Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain.

So what are your favorite time travel stories?


message 2: by Bobby (new)

Bobby Bermea (beirutwedding) | 412 comments Michael Moorcock's The Nomad of Time which is actually like, three novellas. And if I had to choose one of those it would be The Land Leviathan.

Though the subject heading said novels but you asked stories and if I was to go that way, I would choose, "The Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury.


message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2177 comments I tend to prefer the stories to the books too & agree with "The Sound of Thunder". In a short story, one aspect of time travel can really be exploited. Too many of the books wash out the fantastic aspects of it with other matters.

"By His Bootstraps" by Heinlein is good, but my favorite time travel of his is "All You Zombies". That's about haunting. The Door Into Summer was fun, too.

Ellison & Bloch did some great Jack the Ripper stories. I think they were in the first "Partners in Wonder".


message 4: by Bobby (new)

Bobby Bermea (beirutwedding) | 412 comments Jim wrote: "I tend to prefer the stories to the books too & agree with "The Sound of Thunder". In a short story, one aspect of time travel can really be exploited. Too many of the books wash out the fantasti..."

What was the Harlan Ellison Jack the Ripper story???


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2177 comments Bobby, there were 2 of them; "A Toy for Juliette" & "Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World". They're in Partners in Wonder.


message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2177 comments I don't know how come I didn't think of them earlier, but The Timegod & Timediver's Dawn are two of my favorites by L.E. Modesitt Jr.. The first was originally published as "the Fires of Paratime" & was the first book by Modesitt that I read. I'm up to about 50 now. Very entertaining & good author both in SF & fantasy.

I'm not sure if it really counts as time travel, but if it does, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut deserves mentioning.

I read a few of the Time War series by Simon Hawke. They're not great, but quick & kind of fun.

There was the Blade series by Jeffrey Lord back in the 70's. I don't recall much about it except it came out about the same time as The Executioner & Destroyer series. It reminded me of them a little. I think I read a book or two in it, but can't recall any details any more. Probably wasn't very good. Anyone else remember it?


message 7: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 909 comments There was the Blade series by Jeffrey Lord back in the 70's. I don't recall much about it except it came out about the same time as The Executioner & Destroyer series. It reminded me of them a little. I think I read a book or two in it, but can't recall any details any more. Probably wasn't very good. Anyone else remember it?

I loved the series. Not time travel though. Inter-dimensional travel, like the TV show Sliders.

Richard Blade was a James Bond type character that they drafted for a special sciences program, to go through to the other dimensions. Like the Terminator, he would arrive at his destination naked.


message 8: by Bobby (new)

Bobby Bermea (beirutwedding) | 412 comments Jim wrote: "Bobby, there were 2 of them; "A Toy for Juliette" & "Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World". They're in Partners in Wonder."

On my way!!!


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2177 comments Ah! Thank you, Randy. I'm surprised I remembered the name & the author over all this time. Weird how some bits of trivia stick in my mind.


message 11: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2177 comments Stef, I don't know how I forgot 'A Connecticut Yankee'. You're absolutely right. I read it a couple of years ago & gave it 5 stars. I first read it as a kid. I think it was assigned in 6th grade for me, ridiculously early to read it. I was maybe 11, didn't have a clue. Reading it now, it was full of fantastic themes about society that are relevant & thought provoking today, over a century later. My review is here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 12: by Stef (new)

Stef | 56 comments You must forgot something for us to write here :)
Your review made me remember that the Yankee was written before The Time Machine.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Jennifer wrote: "I would love to know if any of you have read any good time traveling books. I'm thinking of good time twisting, paradox creating mind bending novels that will keep me up at night figuring it out."

You might like Card's Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus. As the title implies, it deals mostly with Columbus's famous voyage, but has some interesting time twists as well. (Not clear if Card ever plans a sequel.)


message 14: by V.W. (new)

V.W. Singer | 253 comments Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series Time Patrol by Poul Anderson

Andre Norton's Crossroads of Time The Crossroads of Time by Andre Norton


message 15: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 337 comments LEST DARKNESS FALL, by L. Sprague de Camp.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Another great Michael Moorcock time travel book, 3 books actually, is Dancers at the End of Time. I read it first when I was about eighteen and was completely captivated.

Mire recently Stephen King's 11.22.63 is a great read.


message 17: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 17, 2014 12:46PM) (new)

Stephen Baxter's The Time Ships is very good. Arthur C.Clarke thought it was better than The Time Machine, and I'm inclined to agree.

I remember enjoying Lloyd Biggle Jr's The Fury Out of Time, but it's now over 40 years since I read it, so my memory of it is very vague.

Terry Pratchett's Night Watch involves time travel, and I remember thinking at the time that it was the best Pratchett I'd ever read (no mean accolade).

I don't know if I'm allowed to mention a least favourite time travel novel, but if so it would be Felix J.Palma's The Map of Time, which is moderately entertaining but loses brownie points because it doesn't do what it says on the tin.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Chris wrote: "I don't know if I'm allowed to mention a least favourite time travel novel, but if so it would be Felix J.Palma's The Map of Time, which is moderately entertaining but loses brownie points because it doesn't do what it says on the tin."

Aw, really? I was gonna throw that one out there as a favorite (regardless of whether it may or may not subvert certain expectations).


message 19: by Ross (new)

Ross Jones | 5 comments My two favorites are:
Heinlein's, Door into Summer and
Asimov's End of Eternity
End of Eternity is a very complex, time travel paradox entertaining as well as thought provoking


message 20: by Doc (new)

Doc | 56 comments Brenda wrote: "LEST DARKNESS FALL, by L. Sprague de Camp."

Amen!

It has been long enough that I should reread this one,


message 21: by Michael (new)

Michael Corleone (michaelc1) I'm reading In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker. Right now I'm about a third of the way through and liking it. Any thoughts about this series?


message 22: by Conal (new)

Conal (conalo) | 26 comments Books not mentioned yet that I enjoyed (even if their not standard time travel fare) are...

Replay by Ken Grimwood
The Many-Colored Land by Julian May and the rest of the Pliocene era series

I'll also second the recommendation on 11/22/63


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold

The Time Machine by Wells

By His Bootstraps by RAH (not a novel)

can't remember the title, but the Star Trek, TOS, where they went back to 1960s Earth....AND The City on the Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison

Days of Future Past (Uncanny X-Men #141 - 142)


message 24: by [deleted user] (last edited May 27, 2014 05:39PM) (new)

One of the most unique, underrated time travel books ever:
The Map of Time (Trilogía Victoriana, #1) by Félix J. Palma
An absolutely amazing book, it has its flaws but overall its well worth the read. And the sequel is even better!


message 25: by Sharon (last edited May 27, 2014 06:58PM) (new)

Sharon | 21 comments The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

It is definitely a time travel book. It's not classic sci fi or fantasy, but it has elements of it. Not historical fiction, but it has elements of it. Not romance, but it has elements of it. It doesn't drop neatly into any category, but it is without question some of the most finely crafted writing and storytelling ever published. Just be warned---there is sex and romance and violence and adventure and humor and tragedy and history and treachery and magic and science and words you will probably have to look up in the dictionary no matter how high your level of education.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 26: by Dave (new)

Dave (dcr_writes) | 45 comments I liked Julian May's Saga of Pliocene Exile, and Lest Darkness Fall, but probably my favorite is Time's Last Gift by Farmer.


message 27: by Ariel (last edited Aug 03, 2014 04:46AM) (new)

Ariel Brown | 35 comments The Dark Age
An Echo in Time: Atlantis Masters of Reality: The Gathering

Traci Harding's Series (there are 3 series, one following the other) - starting with The Ancient Future series in my opinion is the best in more recent time travel books.

The Dark Age (The Ancient Future, #1) by Traci Harding
An Echo in Time Atlantis (The Ancient Future, #2) by Traci Harding
Masters of Reality The Gathering (The Ancient Future, #3) by Traci Harding

Absolutely Brilliant!


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