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2010 Reads > What other time travel books should you read?

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message 1: by Brad Theado (new)

Brad Theado | 217 comments I have not read a lot of time travel books. I found the conundrum of finding yourself and shooting the other you to be an interesting dilemma. Anyone read anything else, perhaps something a bit more serious about the paradox that was created in this book? Looking for fictional works of course, some of the technical details in this book were a bit more than I was really interested in. I am not interested in reading theory of time travel without a good story attached to it.


message 2: by Don (new)

Don (walsfeo) | 37 comments Time travel is one of the topics I really like, and the way I see it there are basically two kinds of time travel.

The simplest is represented by Eric Flint's 1632 series. Therein a person or group is plucked up and set in a different time. They remain there and the story is about how the time travelers cope with their new environment and vice-versa. Frequently the time traveler is from now, which makes the characters more approachable and allows for all kinds of in-jokes and cultural references.

The other is about time traveler(s) who move in time more than once. These stories frequently use paradox, or at the very least repercussions of previous actions, as a significant plot element. Tim Powers has written one of my favorite time travel stories where this is a central element from the beginning of the story and the transgression against the timeline hasn't even happened yet.


message 3: by Craig (new)

Craig | 53 comments S. M. Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time trilogy is a good one. This is in the mold of Flint's books mentioned by Donald. The whole Island of Nantucket (and a Coast Guard cutter) are thrown back about 1500 years. It discusses their survival at that time and more importantly their impact.

Island in the Sea of Time


message 4: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt was pretty entertaining.

I really like Connie Willis' time travel novels. I'm currently reading All Clear which is the second part of a duology started with Blackout. They really need to be read back-to-back. Here other two time travel novels are stand-alone. They are Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog. All of these books are about historians who travel back to certain time periods to research them. Each book has it's own tone and central characters.


message 5: by Jason (last edited Dec 03, 2010 09:13PM) (new)

Jason | 14 comments Although I've read many time travel books, and I can say some have been fantastic. The more I've read and the more I've seen it in tv and movies, the more it puts me off. If I were creating a rating system, I would automatically give time travel stories, especially those involving paradox a penalty on their score. I will give an exception for those stories where it's more about silliness (HitchHiker's Guide for instance)

If I'm browsing thru the sword and laser section, any book that I've not received a personal recommendation about that talks largely about time travel on the back, gets put back on the shelf.

I'm not saying that time travel stories can't be great. Even those involving paradox. Just for me, I always get this sinking feeling that the author was being lazy or needed a gimic.

I think it was Star Trek TNG and later Star Trek Enterprise that finally killed my inner time travel child. They murdered it once and for all (wait we can go back and time and save your time travel child at the end of the episode)

That being said, I continue to read them from time to time (they are everywhere after all) including Science Fictional Universe 'cause hey, V&T assigned it as our home work after all. (can you still have home work at 40?)


message 6: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6393 comments The Richard Dreyfuss 2000x radio drama 'By His Bootstraps' was really good. It's from a Heinlein story.


message 7: by Tina (new)

Tina (javabird) | 722 comments I recently finished Heinlein's "The Door into Summer," which was pretty entertaining.

And there are the classics, Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" and HGW's "The Time Machine."


message 8: by Alfredo (last edited Dec 06, 2010 07:25AM) (new)

Alfredo | 62 comments I hate time travel, I find treatments of it low brow and stupid. The paradoxes to me, say it is impossible and the solutions proposed in Science Fiction I always find weak and lacking. I'm a firm believer in the Multiverse, but I think the past is fixed and that we can only travel forward in time (at a constant speed). The only book in the subject of time travel that I have enjoyed is Time's Arrow, I am cheating, I know, because is a reversed time situation, not a time travel book. But to me it made sense, while other books, including How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe do not. I'll keep reading, but I am not enjoying myself.


message 9: by Jay (new)

Jay Turpin | 7 comments I liked the The Time Traveler's Wife. I thought it was a very interesting take on the topic. I also agree with Tom about Terminator, The being one of the most internally consistent time travel movies. Has anyone actually read the book?


message 10: by Will (new)

Will (longklaw) | 261 comments I can't think of any time traveling books I've read unless you count the 3rd Harry Potter book. I need to work on that. I may have read "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", but it would have been so long ago that I wouldn't remember.


message 11: by Corey (new)

Corey Mckinney | 3 comments I know earlier "The Forever War" was a book on S&L, but the author also wrote "The accidental Time Machine" which is a nice quick read. My wife enjoyed Time Machine more the Forever War, though I was the opposite.


message 12: by Jen (new)

Jen | 227 comments I haven't read Blackout or All Clear yet, but I love Connie Willis. To Say Nothing of the Dog is one of my favorites my her, and I enjoyed the Doomsday book as well.

The Time Traveler's Wife is really good as well.


message 13: by William (new)

William Chinda (willchinda) | 15 comments Corey wrote: "I know earlier "The Forever War" was a book on S&L, but the author also wrote "The accidental Time Machine" which is a nice quick read. My wife enjoyed Time Machine more the Forever War, though I ..."

I also loved The Accidental Time Machine since it stayed away (mostly) from the issue of paradox since the protagonist was only allowed to travel into the future. Every time he pushed the button it was unwrapping an entirely new universe.

There was a Futurama episode not long ago that seemed to be based on the same idea.


message 14: by Stan (new)

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments People seem to be talking about "backward" time travel, not forward.

Strange, how at the turn of the century writers like H.G. Wells created and used time machines as a effort to go into the future, where now writers use them to go into the past.

A different time (pun intended) I guess. At the turn of the 19th century they believed things could only get better and were anxious to see the marvels to come. Today more people glamorize the past and look backward not forward.

P.S.

Good Forward time travel novels

The Forever War
The Time Machine
The Time Ships
(authorized sequel to the Time Machine - It won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Philip K. Dick Award in 1996 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Time... )


message 16: by Kris (last edited Jan 01, 2011 07:31AM) (new)

Kris (kvolk) I know Poul Anderson did some things about time travel and a book called Replay is kind of a time travel/alternate lives thing that is an excellent story.


message 17: by Ralffie (new)

Ralffie | 26 comments Kris wrote: "I know Poul Anderson did some things about time travel and a book called Replay is kind of a time travel/alternate lives thing that is an excellent story."
Replay is excellent. I think I read it was the inspiration for Groundhog Day. Different, but you can see the connection.


message 19: by Belchar (new)

Belchar | 1 comments Hey there. I'm a little surprised nobody's brought up MY favorite time travel book: The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold

It's an excellent character-based book that deals with the problems of coping with "now that you've time traveled, you're rightfully screwed in the head". :)


message 20: by Todd (new)

Todd | 36 comments I'm gonna weigh in here with my favorite Time Travel book of all time "The Peace War" by Vernor Vinge. If you have never read it do yourself a favor it's a short read and worth it. Maybe a precursor if Tom and Veronica pick A Fire Upon the Deep for the next book.


message 21: by Mark (new)

Mark I'm going to go with 'Thrice Upon A Time' by Paul Hogan. It's about a 'time telegraph' that changes the timeline whenever a message is sent back into the past.


message 22: by Paul (new)

Paul (random_chance) | 2 comments I would suggest Flashforward. It involves two scientists as CERN who propell the consciousness of the world 20 years during an experiment. It inspired the TV show and had characters of the same name, but that is about where the similarities end.


message 23: by Todd (new)

Todd | 36 comments There is always the classic novelisation of the movie Back to the Future by George Gipe. Has extra bits that weren't in the movie but were probably adapted from the script.


message 24: by Neil (new)

Neil (rucknrun) Not your classic laser type book but I read a really good time travel book by Dean Koontz called Lightning. Lightning

The book was great. One of the reasons I started reading him.


message 25: by Fred (new)

Fred Gannett (gannett) | 2 comments Robert Silverberg has a classic collection of great time travel related stories in Up The Line that I would highly recommend.
"The Peace War" by Vernor Vinge is also great but is in the sub-genre of one_way_travel_to_the_future.


message 26: by Tom (new)

Tom | 24 comments Up the Line is great! one of my favorites.

To Say Nothing of the Dog good book!

Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait is pretty Interesting too, I enjoyed it. It was nominated for 2008 Philip k dick award.


message 27: by Charlie (new)

Charlie | 3 comments I just finished Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card. He does an awesome job of mixing fantasy type magical powers with theoretical physics. For a guy like me who grew up absorbing every possible time travel story I could find, this book was right in my wheelhouse.


message 28: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 493 comments Joe Haldeman has approaching time travel paradoxes several times, most usually in his short stories, although there is a short novel called The Hemingway Hoax

which actually reminds me, at one point i would read his books the moment they were out, but haven't read one in years (not since Forever Free i think). i really must catch up with the old fella.


message 29: by Virginia (new)

Virginia MD (gingercampbell) | 4 comments Jay wrote: "I liked the The Time Traveler's Wife. I thought it was a very interesting take on the topic. I also agree with Tom about Terminator, The being one of the most internall..."

While The Time Traveler's Wife was more of a literary novel, I agree that is was an original take on the time travel thing.

I also like Connie Willis' time traveling historians.


message 30: by Paul (new)

Paul Kelly (ptekelly) | 206 comments For funny fiction (fantasy I guess) that has a humorous take on time travel then I recommend Armageddon the Musical

Not for the feint hearted - but I really like it. Pratchett was a fan at one time - not sure if he still is


message 31: by Elie (new)

Elie Harriett | 56 comments Paul wrote: "For funny fiction (fantasy I guess) that has a humorous take on time travel then I recommend Armageddon the Musical

Not for the feint hearted - but I really like it. Pratchett was a ..."


Thanks. Looked so good I had to add that to my list. Shame there isn't an ebook version. Ahh well....


message 32: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments I recently read Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and I have to say that it reminded me a lot of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.


message 33: by Eric (last edited Oct 13, 2011 12:40PM) (new)

Eric | 60 comments Thought I'd chime in too. Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus is a book about the people in the far future who first find a way to see into the past, but not travel there. Then some people come up with a theory that would allow some people to actually travel back. They decide that they should make the world a better place for the billions who died in misery, even though it would wipe out their timeline and they would cease to exist.

Great book. One of Orson Scott Card's lesser known gems.


message 34: by Martin (last edited Dec 10, 2011 05:28AM) (new)

Martin (martinc36au) | 80 comments Belchar wrote: "Hey there. I'm a little surprised nobody's brought up MY favorite time travel book: The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold

It's an excellent character-based book that deals with the problems..."


Absolutely. The Man Who Folded Himself is a great book. Out of print I think, but worth the read if you can track it down.


message 35: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments You can get The Man Who Folded Himself on Audible.


message 36: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Curtis (kingtriton92) | 62 comments I think the only book that Ive ever read that fits the "time travel" description is The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead. It was more a parallel universe troupe but there was scads of time travel involved. Loved the book and I highly recommend it.


message 37: by Nels (new)

Nels (nelswadycki) I have loved time travel in movies, TV, and books for a while so I appreciate the recommendations above. Since I'm fascinated by it, I took a risk and went for a fairly complex time travel backstory and plot in writing my first novel.

I recently published The Valkyrie Project which features time travel used in a vein similar to The Terminator. The full novel is currently only available on Amazon (free for Prime Members) but you can start reading here: The Valkyrie Project: Season 1: Episode 1: The Pilot


message 38: by David (new)

David | 47 comments I am surprised no one mentioned Julian May's Saga of the Pliocene Exile a 4 book series when a group of talented go to the past to escape persecution it's been years but I remember it as being very good


message 39: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2535 comments David wrote: "I am surprised no one mentioned Julian May's Saga of the Pliocene Exile a 4 book series when a group of talented go to the past to escape persecution it's been years but I remember it as being very..."

YES! Excellent series :)


message 40: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2317 comments I liked The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter -- it was a sequel to Wells' Time Machine, but expanded the scope to an Olaf Stapledon level.


message 41: by Kam (new)

Kam (kam_martinez) | 59 comments I'm really enjoying The Company series by Kage Baker. It's about an all-powerful, all-wealthy company that has invented both time travel and immortality, and is using both to accrue vast amounts of wealth and power. I wish I could give a better summary, but I have a bit of a hard time trying to do that without inserting spoilers along the way.


message 42: by Jake (new)

Jake Gnow | 5 comments I like the book Replay by Ken Grimwood. Not a time per say but a great story


message 43: by Fresno Bob (new)

Fresno Bob | 593 comments Kam wrote: "I'm really enjoying The Company series by Kage Baker. It's about an all-powerful, all-wealthy company that has invented both time travel and immortality, and is using both to accrue vast amounts of..."

yep, excellent stuff!


message 44: by Nick (new)

Nick (cykoduck) | 26 comments Charlie wrote: "I just finished Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card...."

Just want to 2nd this. I just finished myself as well (although I realize your's was a while back) and this is a great combo of sword and laser


message 45: by Frank (new)

Frank (frankh) | 5 comments I would highly recommend 'time and again' by jack finney. Excellent story. There is also a sequel , but I can't think of the title.


message 46: by Casey (new)

Casey | 654 comments Stan wrote: "Strange, how at the turn of the century writers like H.G. Wells created and used time machines as a effort to go into the future, where now writers use them to go into the past."

Really liked this observation.

Secondly, this thread has caused my To-Read list to swell dangerously.


message 47: by Joe Informatico (new)

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. Powers does a lot of what he calls "secret history"--he finds parts of history where our knowledge is sketchy at best, and writes in a supernatural tale that doesn't contradict established historical fact. Also, he doesn't shy away from the realities of the time (e.g. at one point the protagonist ends up delirious and near-death for weeks in early 19th century London from a cut because of poor hygiene and lack of modern medicine).

Also, a bit off the beaten track, but there are also books that do time-travel on their own fictional secondary worlds (i.e., instead of through Earth's history). This includes Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight and the Dragonlance Legends trilogy.


message 48: by Moroni Granja (new)

Moroni Granja | 11 comments I'm currently reading the Exile\Pliocene trilogy, and really enjoying it. The first of the series is called The Many-Coloured Land.

Also enjoyed , The Accidental Time Machine, The Time Traveler's Wife.

Peter Hamilton's void trilogy has some interesting time travel-like situations, that while not really time travel, have the same effect. The implications are interesting.

On fantasy, I loved Night Watch.


message 49: by David (new)

David (lonewander) | 20 comments I loved Connie Willis's "Doomsday Book," and really look forward to eventually reading "To Say Nothing of the Dog." I also remember enjoying Poul Anderson's "The Shield of Time" and "The Time Patrol," though I don't remember them clearly enough. I'm sure I'll reread them both someday.


message 50: by Brandi (new)

Brandi (biddywink) | 23 comments David wrote: "I loved Connie Willis's "Doomsday Book," and really look forward to eventually reading "To Say Nothing of the Dog." I also remember enjoying Poul Anderson's "The Shield of Time" and "The Time Patro..."

I have only read parts of Willis'
Doomsday Book (as part of my Master's thesis for library science--aren't I lucky?!), but her To Say Nothing of the Dog was a fun, engaging read, light-hearted with good paradox hijinx. From what I did read of Doomsday Book, that seemed more serious and intense than the lighter To Say Nothing of the Dog. This makes sense given the time period she set each in.


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