What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

Suggest books for me > Believable fiction about time travel and 'What If's'.

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Steven Mietkiewicz | 6 comments Above.

message 2: by Keith (new)

Keith | 220 comments Time travel by its very nature is not very believable, so I assume you're looking for books with believable characters, plots etc. Some suggestions for time-travel and alternate-history books:

Island in the Sea of Time and its sequels by SM Stirling, in which a small island in the contemporary (well, 1998) USA is thrown back in time to the Bronze Age.

Fatherland by Robert Harris, a realistic exploration of the incredibly common question "What if the Nazis had won WW2?"

message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1529 comments I thought The Time Traveler's Wife was surprisingly believable. It's about a man who time travels involuntarily and has no control over it.

There's also Life After Life, which goes through many different possible versions of a woman's life and how she might be able to impact the course of WW2.

message 5: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
The Time Traders is the first book in a sci-fi series by Andre Norton. The time travelers in the series do their best to NOT interfere with anything in known history. The first book (the title that I linked) was written in 1958, so the technology of daily life is a bit dated, but it's still an interesting series. The last book of the series was written in 2002, so you can see the changes in daily life as you read the books.

message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1529 comments Another good alternate history is The Yiddish Policemen's Union, no time travel in it though.

message 7: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
The Crossroads of Time standalone book with interesting "what if" aspects.

The Shadow of Albion is the first book in a 2 book series (there had been a third planned, but, unfortunately, the author passed away before it was written.) This isn't time travel per se, but rather a look at an alternate world.

message 8: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Love | 1088 comments To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis To Say Nothing of the Dog

Lion's Blood by Steven Barnes (This one doesn't have time travel, though.) Lion's Blood

message 9: by Kiersten (new)

Kiersten | 12 comments It's children's, but When You Reach Me does a really good job of exploring the logic behind different theories of time travel and how certain paradoxes point towards one or another being true. It also has really good characters, and I would say is worth reading even as an adult.

InYourFaceNewYorker | 20 comments "The Missing" series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Those books are for kids of about 10-12, but I'm in my 30s and love them. They're a lot of fun and very interesting.

message 11: by Ingo (last edited Jan 06, 2018 11:35AM) (new)

Ingo (ilembcke) | 604 comments Another alternate history Times Without Number by John Brunner Times Without Number, classic for me, but as I read it about 30 years ago (or longer), I am not so sure I would still like it today (just added it to my TBR).
And not being a history buff, I cannot say if and how that event in time could have played out differently as described in the book.
Also not too sure, wether this counts as believable.

Paperback / Hardcover may both be out-of-print, I saw some high prices, but the ebook is available and rather cheap in different formats (Kindle, Epub).

message 12: by Peter (new)

Peter Meilinger | 474 comments It would help if you explained what makes a time travel story believable for you, but off the top of my head:

Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp is about an archaeologist who gets sent back to Rome in the 500s. He decides to use his knowledge of history and technology to stave off the Dark Ages and save civilization. As one does. This is one of the earliest and best stories of the genre and was very influential.

Replay by Ken Grimwood and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North are both about people who are what I think of as repetitively immortal, meaning that when they die they are reborn in their own past. The MC in Replay always goes back to about college age, while Harry August goes all the way back to his birth. Both are great books with very different takes on a similar premise.

message 13: by Ingo (new)

Ingo (ilembcke) | 604 comments Peter wrote: "It would help if you explained what makes a time travel story believable for you, but off the top of my head:

Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp

Second that, this also brings to mind the older one, also a classic A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain.
But again, I am not really sure I would rate one or the other as believable, also, for both books it has been quite a long time since I read them (and both are rather short).

message 14: by Lou (new)

Lou Rocama | 435 comments For 'What If':

The Man in the High Castle

For time travel, I'm very fond of Kage Baker's Company books, but they are rather weird.

In the Garden of Iden

message 15: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
I'm going to third Lest Darkness Fall (major fan of L. Sprague de Camp).

I will also second Times Without Number . However, like Ingo I haven't read that since it was printed, so I'm not sure how well I'd like it now. But it was definitely interesting then.

Crosstime I'm not totally sure if this will meet your requirement, but thought I'd suggest it anyway. This is a 2 book compilation, not the books individually. In this one, the characters have discovered how to travel across time, and they "mine" other time lines for necessities, since their own "time line" had a rather nasty blow up and pretty close to destroyed their world.

And there was an interesting collection of short stories that I read back in the 70's or 80's that were all time travel featuring the same MC. It's set far in the future, and the MC travels back in time in search of various items that a member of his government "wants" or "needs" (he gets Moby Dick and a unicorn at different times.) Unfortunately, I can't remember the bloody title right now, and I still have about 20 boxes of books that haven't been unpacked and put away since I moved (4 years ago--but hey, I DID get 150 boxes unpacked). The author was a "biggie" at the time. I'll keep looking and see if I can find it. If not, I'll post up in the "searching for book" folder. ;o)

There Will Be Time in this one, the MC was born able to move himself through time. Interesting theory and story.

And then there was Poul Anderson's OTHER time travel series Guardians of Time.

message 16: by Lee (new)

Lee Kuivinen | 24 comments The book with the unicorn and Moby Dick is THE FLIGHT OF THE HORSE by Larry Niven.

message 17: by Ingo (new)

Ingo (ilembcke) | 604 comments Just remembered a shortstory from Heinlein, that I was searching for myself (read in the 80ies in German in a Collection which my parents still owned, so I looked it up a few years ago).
It is a piece which is in some collections, but not too easy to find, as some do not list everything included and a lot is out of print.
The story is: By His Bootstraps
By His Bootstraps by Robert A. Heinlein .
In the ebook of The Green Hills of Earth / The Menace from Earth
The Green Hills of Earth / The Menace from Earth by Robert A. Heinlein I was able to find it for a reasonable price, but have yet to read it again.

This is a What-if and a very well done twist on the problems with time travel, and as such no more believable than totally mind-bending, depends on what you consider believable (a movie I consider believable in that context is Retroactive (1997), but a warning, the movie is rather brutal).

message 18: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
Thanks Lee. That had been bugging me a bit. The Flight of the Horse (The click for you Steven)

message 19: by Tammy (last edited Jan 17, 2018 08:38AM) (new)

Tammy Buchli | 41 comments I don't know how believable it is, but one of my favorite time travel books isElleander Morning by Jerry Yulsman. Very entertainig book with a lot of "what if" features.
Elleander Morning by Jerry Yulsman

message 20: by Dodau (new)

Dodau | 7 comments Kris wrote: "All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Second Life After Life by Kate Atkinson"

If you liked Life after Life, try
The first fifteen lives of Harry August by Claire North.

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