The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1733 to 2015


Memoirs of the Twentieth Century, Vol. I.
by Samuel Madden
First publication: 24 Mar 1733


Two sources attribute the following account of Madden’s 1733 book to the 18th century English printer John Nichols. One of the sources is Dierdre Ní Chuanacháin’s Ph.D. dissertation, which attributes it to Nichols’s Literary Anecdotes; the other, which I quote here, is a handwritten note in the blank pages that precede the title page in googlebooks scanned copy of Madden’s work, attributed to Anecdotes of the Life of Mr. Wm. Bowyer:

There is something mysterious in the History of this Work; it was written by Dr. Samuel Madden, [the?] Patriot of Ireland; & addressed in an Ironical Dedication, [to] Frederick Prince of Wales. One Volume only of these Memoirs appeared, and whether any more were really intended is uncertain. A Thousand Copies were printed, with such very great dispatch that three Printers were employed on it (Bowyer, Woodfall, & Roberts,) but the whole of the Business was transacted by Bowyer, without either of the other Printers ever seeing the Author: and the Names of an uncommon number of reputable Booksellers appeared in the Title Page. The Book was finished at the Press on March 24th 17323 and 100 Copies were that day delivered to the Author: on the 29th a number of them was delivered to the several Booksellers mentioned in the Title Page: and in four days after, all that were unsold, amounting to 890 of these Copies, were recalled, and were delivered to Dr. Madden, to be destroyed. The current report is, that the Edition was suppressed on the day of publication: and tht it is now exceeding scarce is certain. The reasons for the extraordinary circumstances attending the printing and suppressing These Memoirs, are not very evident, and still remain a Mystery.

Dierdre Ní Chuanacháin suggests that the reason for the suppression was the “politcal and literary milieu” of the times. Nevertheless, at least one copy of the work survived and is hailed as the first literary work to actually write of the future, albeit as a satire and critcism of 18th century Great Britain.

For me, of course, the important point is that the work is presented as a series of future letters that were delivered (time travel!) to the author by “an infallible Guide,” an angel who also served to aid in the translation of the unfamiliar 20th century English to that of the current times.

 But as I am determined to give ſuch Readers and all Men, ſo full, and fair, and convincing an Account of my ſelf and that celeſtial Spirit I receivd theſe Papers from, and to anſwer all Objections ſo entirely, as to put Ignorance, and even Malice it ſelf to Silence: I am confident, the ingenuous and candid part of the World, will ſoon throw off ſuch mean narrow ſpirited Suſpicions, as unjuſt and ungenerous. 

[Jul 2015]

“An Anachronism; or, Missing One’s Coach”
by Anonymous
First publication: The Dublin University Magazine, Jun 1838


A man, waiting for a coach in Newcastle, finds himself taken through time and face to face with Saint Bede, whereupon a philosophical conversation about time and the future ensues.

 It must suffice then to say that, at the point where I come again into perfect possession of my consciousness, the venerable monk and I were conferring, in an easy manner, upon various points connected with his age, or with mine, and both of us having a clear understanding, and perfect recollection of the fact, that, at this same moment, he was actually living in the eighth century, and I as truly in the nineteenth; nor did this trifing difference of a thousand years or more—this break, as geologists would call it—this fault in the strata of time—perplex either of us a whit; any more than two friends are molested by the circumstance of their happening to encounter each other just as they arrive from opposite hemispheres. 

[Aug 2013]













A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
First publication: 1843



Some time ago in my pursuit of time travel, I discovered that I often ran across stories that might well have had time travel based on reviews that I’d read or the title of the story or even that most dreadful of deceits: an author deceiving the poor reader! But in the end, many such stories contained no real time travel. Naturally, The Big List of Time Travel Adventures could not accept such stories for membership, and that was no problem for me.

However another problem did occur: In my dotage, I kept coming back to these stories, forgetting that they had already been cast aside. In order to avoid wasting valuable List-creation time, I decided to catalog the rejects in a separate list of their own, and that separate list appears after the end of the real time travel list. For a few of the Pretenders, I even included information similar to the real time travel list but with an extra warning to the wise as to why the story was unfit.

And yet, even at that point, I kept struggling with A Christmas Carol. It’s not hard to see why. Clearly there was a trip to the past:

They walked along the road, Scrooge recognising every gate, and post, and tree; until a little market-town appeared in the distance, with its bridge, its church, and winding river. Some shaggy ponies now were seen trotting towards them with boys upon their backs, who called to other boys in country gigs and carts, driven by farmers. All these boys were in great spirits, and shouted to each other, until the broad fields were so full of merry music, that the crisp air laughed to hear it!  

Now if that’s not time travel, what is? Ah . . . “Not so fast!” says Ghost!

“These are but shadows of the things that have been,’ said the Ghost. “They have no consciousness of us.”  

Even Ghost Himself admits there’s no interaction with the past. Observation is permitted, but not interaction. They might as well be watching a movie! In general, if you can’t interact with the past and the past can’t see you, then that’s not time travel.

Fair enough, but what about Future Ghost? Isn’t He bringing information from the future to Scrooge? Transfer of information from the future to the past may be boring compared to people-jumping, but it is time travel, so A Christmas Carol must be granted membership in the list after all, don’t you think?

Ah, not so fast again! At one point, Scrooge asks a pertinent question:

“Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,” said Scrooge, “answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?”  

The answer is critical to whether time travel occurs. The difference between things that May be and things that Will be is like the difference between Damon Knight and Doris Day: Both are quite creative, but (as far as I know) there’s only one you go to for time travel. That scarey Future guy never answers the question, and moreover, Scrooge appears intent on not having the future he sees come true. So, I want to say that Scrooge saw only a prediction or a prophecy or a vision of a possible future—none of which are time travel. And I’m sticking by my guns: Viewing the past is not time travel. Visions of a possible future are not time travel. Scrooge was not a time traveler.

And yet, Dickens’ planted a seed wherein a major character seemed to go backward or forward in time and even more(!) return to the present, and that seed grew into the industry we now call time travel. For this reason and more, Scrooge and Marley and Tiny Tim, too, have earned their place on The Big List of Time Travel Adventures.

 If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die. 

[Dec 1970]
An 1867 issue of Godey's
“A Tale of the Ragged Mountains”
by Edgar Allan Poe
First publication: Godey’s Lady’s Book, Apr 1844


A sick man tells of a walk he took in November of 1845 only to find himself in a pitched battle in 1780 Calcutta, but Dr. Templeton, who listens to the story, already knows the happenings of the story.

 Busied in this, I walked on for several hours, during which the mist deepened around me to so great an extent that at length I was reduced to an absolute groping of the way. And now an indescribable uneasiness possessed me— 

[Dec 2011]



Paris avant les hommes
aka Paris before Man
by Pierre Boitard
First publication: 1861


Before France had Verne, before Spain had Gaspar, before England had Wells, before America had Gernsback, all of prehistory (or at least pre-Paris) had Pierre Boitard, who published this time-travel story as well as an 1839 story of a voyage through the solar system.

In Paris avant les hommes, a limping devil named Asmodeus takes a natural scientist on a journey through Earth’s history.

 If only we were still in the time of fairies and genies, maybe I could find one good enough to tell me what the world, or only France, or Paris, or even just the Tuileries Gardens was like, ten or twelve thousand years ago, more or less. 

[Jul 2015]

The Age of Science: A Newspaper of the 20th Century
by Frances Power Cobbe (as by Merlin Nostradamus)
First publication: 1877

Published as a 50-page book, the story tells of the invention of the Prospective Telegraph and provides excerpts from a newspaper that it retrieves from a 1977 future dominated by scientific and medical super-nannies.

 By this truly wonderful invention (exquisitely simple in its machinery, yet of surpassing power) the obstacle of Time is as effectually conquered as that of Space has been for the last generation by the Electric Telegraph; and future years—even, it is anticipated, future centuries—will be made to respond to our call as promptly and completely as do now the uttermost parts of the earth wherewith the magic wire has placed us in communication. 

[Jan 2013]
The story was reprinted in this 1973 Mitchell collection.
“An Uncommon Sort of Spectre”
by Edward Page Mitchell
First publication: The New York Sun, 3 Mar 1879

On the 1352 evening of the birth of quadruplets sons to the baroness of a Rhine castle, the baron himself entertains a traveler with memories of the coming 80 years.

 For you allow that, while ghosts out of the future are unheard of, ghosts from the past are not infrequently encountered. 

[Feb 2015]

“The Clock That Went Backward”
by Edward Page Mitchell
First publication: The New York Sun, 18 Sep 1881


A young man and his cousin inherit a clock that takes them back to the siege of Leyden at the start of October 1574, where they affect that time as much as it has affected them. This is travel in a machine (or at least an artifact), but they have no control over the destination.

 The hands were whirling around the dial from right to left with inconceivable rapidity. In this whirl we ourselves seemed to be borne along. Eternities seemed to contract into minutes while lifetimes were thrown off at every tick. 

[May 2011]

The Diothas, or A Far Look Ahead
by John Macnie (as by Ismar Thiusen)
First publication: 1883


A jilted Ismar Thiusen visits his friend Utis Estai who, through mesmerism, takes the two of them to a 96th century puritanical utopian society where he is viewed by the locals as a mentally ill man who believes he is from the 19th century.

 According to the view of things above adverted to, the different stages in the history of our race are not successive only, but are also co-existent and co-extensive with each other. Just as in a block of marble, there is contained, not one only, but every possible statue, though, of the whole number, only one at a time can be made evident to our senses; so, in a given region of space, any number of worlds can co-exist, each with its own population conscious of only that world, or set of phenomena, to which their ego is attuned. 

[Aug 2013]

El Anacronópete
by Enrique Gaspar
First publication: 1887





Enrique Gaspar was a contemporary of H.G. Wells, though there’s no indication that Wells knew of his fellow European’s Spanish novel, El Anacronópete, with the first depiction of traveling through time with a climb-in-able machine. A professional translation of the novel into English by Yolanda Molina-Gavilan and Andrea L. Bell was published in 2012, but I’ve also been working on my own translation.

 “One step at a time,” argued a sensible voice. “If the Anacronópete aims to undo history, it seems to me that we must be congratulated as it allows us to amend our failures.”
   “Quite right,” called a married man jammed into the front of the bus, thinking of his tiresome wife. “As soon as the ticket office opens to the public, Im booking passage to the eve of my wedding.”
 

[Dec 2011]
The story and its importance were noted in the first issue of Tomorrow.
“The Chronic Argonauts”
by H.G. Wells
First publication: The Science School Journal, 1888




Wells abandoned this early version of the story after three installments. He may not have liked it, but it’s a fun historical read—and the first mention that I’ve seen of time as the fourth dimension.

 Those who were there say that they saw Dr. Nebogipfel, standing in the toneless electric glare, on a peculiar erection of brass and ebony and ivory; and that he seemed to be smiling at them, half pityingly and half scornfully, as it is said martyrs are wont to smile. 

[Dec 2010]


Looking Backward from 2000 to 1887
by Edward Bellamy
First publication: 1888


As with The Diothas from earlier in the same decade, our hero tells the story of a man (Julian West) who undergoes hypnotically induced time travel, this time to the year 2000 and a socialist utopian society.

 It would have been reason enough, had there been no other, for abolishing money, that its possession was no indication of rightful title to it. In the hands of the man who had stolen it or murdered for it, it was as good as in those which had earned it by industry. People nowadays interchange gifts and favors out of friendship, but buying and selling is considered absolutely inconsistent with the mutual benevolence and disinterestedness which should prevail between citizens and the sense of community of interest which supports our social system. According to our ideas, buying and selling is essentially anti-social in all its tendencies. It is an education in self-seeking at the expense of others, and no society whose citizens are trained in such a school can possibly rise above a very low grade of civilization. 

[Aug 2013]

A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
by Mark Twain
First publication: 1889



A clonk on the head transports Hank Morgan from the 19th century back to the time of Camelot.

I first read the original in 7th grade: for me, a vast improvement on Huck Finn. I do see some of Heinlein’s roots in the Connecticut Yankee’s political, economic and social machinations.

 You know about transmigration of souls; do you know about transportation of epochs—and bodies? 

[Dec 1968]




Sylvie and Bruno
by Lewis Carroll
First publication: 13 Dec 1889


Alice told us, “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” But Lewis Carroll’s lesser known characters have no such injunction against time traveling. Near the end of the first volume of Sylvie and Bruno, the Professor—who is a sometimes tutor for the royal children Sylvie and Bruno—produces his Outlandish watch that controls time and permits backward time travel up to a full month.

Alas, the Outlandish watch doesn’t play much of a role in the story. Lewis Carrol tries to use it to avert a bicycle accident, and indeed the accident is annihilated, but only temporarily until the time when the watch was first set backward reoccurs. At that point, all is once again as it was with the bicyclist in a lump on the ground.

 “It goes, of course, at the usual rate. Only the time has to go with it. Hence, if I move the hands, I change the time. To move them forwards, in advance of the true time, is impossible: but I can move them as much as a month backwards—that is the limit. And then you have the events all over again—with any alterations experience may suggest.”
“What a blessing such a watch would be,” I thought, “in real life! To be able to unsay some heedless word—to undo some reckless deed! Might I see the thing done?”
“With pleasure!” said the good natured Professor. “When I move this hand back to here,” pointing out the place, “History goes back fifteen minutes!”
 

[Jul 2015]
I’ve yet to find an image of the book, but here’s a Christchurch church where Watson was a minister (lostchristchurch.org.nz).
The Decline and Fall of the British Empire,
or The Witch’s Cavern

aka The Witch’s Cavern. A Realistic and Thrilling Picture of London Society
by Henry Crocker Marriott Watson
First publication: 1890

William Furley, an Australian in 2992, describes the fallen state of the British Empire and then travels to England where he meets a version of Alice’s White Rabbit and falls down a hole to 1890 London where he tries to warn people about the coming collapse.
[Jan 2015]

“The Green Door”
by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
First publication: 1893


Young Letitia Hopkins, ungrateful orphaned and living with her great-great-aunt, is told to never even think about going through the little green door at the back of the house—a door that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere because there no egress on the outside where the door should come out. So, of course (this being a proper morality tale), Letitia does go through the door first chance she gets, and finds herself among Injuns and her own ancestors.

I’ve seen many references to the 1910 release of The Green Door in a slim volume (Illus. in color. Moffat Yard. 75 cents net.), but a 1911 review in the New York Times indicates that the story was first published “in a periodical some eighteen years ago.” I haven’t tracked down what that periodical was, so for now I’ll just list the story as being from 1893. I see that the story also appeared a few years later in the Times itself (13 Apr 1896). The wilkinsfreeman.org site lists the 1896 publication as the first, but that contradicts the later Times review.

 It seemed awful, and impossible, but the little green door led into the past, and Letitia Hopkins was visiting her great-great-great-grandfather and grandmother, great-great-grandmother, and her great-great-aunts. 

[Aug 2015]

“The Demoiselle D’Ys”
by Robert W. Chambers
First publication: The King in Yellow, 1895


Philip, an American who becomes lost hiking in Brittany, finds himself in the company of the winsome young Jeanne who hunts on the moors and speaks the old French language of falconry that nowadays is found only in yellowed manuscripts.

 Suddenly a splendid hound dashed out of the mist in front, followed by another and another until half-a-dozen or more were bounding and leaping around the girl beside me. She caressed and quieted them with her gloved hand, speaking to them in quaint terms which I remembered to have seen in old French manuscripts. 

[Jul 2015]


The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells
First publication: New Review, Jan-May 1895




In which the Traveller first introduces us to his machine.

 I drew a breath, set my teeth, gripped the starting lever with both hands, and went off with a thud. 

[Jul 1970]


The British Barbarians—A Hill-Top Novel
by Grant Allen
First publication: 1895



Bertram Ingledow, anthropologist from the future, comes to 19th century England to study the ways and rituals of the Englishman and at least one Englishwoman, the desirable Freda Monteith.

 As once the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and straightaway coveted them, even so Bertram Ingledew looked on Freda Monteith and saw at the first glance she was a woman to be desired, a soul high throned, very calm and beautiful. 

[Jul 2013]

The Barbarous Britishers—A Tip-Top Novel
by H.D. Traill
First publication: 1896


Some might claim that Grant Allen’s 1895 novel The British Barbarians was higher on the social lecturing scale than Robert Heinlein with a nubile young woman; most likely, Henry Duff Traill, biographer and worthy forebear of Monty Python, would claim so if his funny send-off of Allen’s book is any indication.

 It was a case of the angels tumbling to the daughters of men. He saw at the first sight that she was a woman to be desired, a soul high-throned, very calm and dignified, yet scrumptious withal. Like the angels, he tumbled to her, and, falling from so great a height, was instantly mashed. 

[Jul 2013]
Georges Montbard's illustration of Hyne’s story in Windsor
“The Oldest Worship in the World: A Restoration”
by Cutcliffe Hyne
First publication: The Windsor Magazine, Nov 1897

A man on Minorea takes an unknown powder in his drink and finds himself traveling back through various wars, sieges and pirate attacks, eventually landing in a time of a prehistoric clan whose king sacrafices men to his heavenly beings.

Windsor was a far-reaching British magazine with short fiction and serials from all genres, interviews, science and other articles (such as Walter George Bell’s article about asteroids in the Nov 1897 issue), wonderful illustrations, and even photographs.

 A thought seized me that by virtue of the powder I had grown backward through all the lifetimes of men, and was alone on the island with nothing but the brutes and the birds. 

[Aug 2013]
Lawerence Lek’s vision of Jarry’s machine
“Commentaire pour servir à la construction pratique de la machine à explorer le temps”
aka How to Construct a Time Machine
by Alfred Jarry (as by Dr. Faustroll)
First publication: Mercure de France, Feb 1899




Inspired by Wells, Jarry’s fictional Dr. Faustroll tells exactly what’s needed to build a time machine of your very own.

 Space and Time are commensurable. To explore the universe by seeking knowledge of points in Space can be accomplished only through Time; and in order to measure Time quantita tively, we refer to Space intervals on the dial of a chronometer. Space and Time, being of the same nature, may be conceived of as different physical states of the same substance, or as differ ent modes of motion. 

[Aug 2015]

The Queen of the World,
or Under the Tyranny

by Standish O’Grady (as by Luke Netterville)
First publication: 1900

Young Irishman Gerard Pierce de Lacy is sent to the year 2179 A.D. by a mysterious figure named the Bohemian, where he falls in love, fights with the underground using fantastic weapons against the Chinese overlords, defeats the overlords, and puts his love on the thrown of the world.

 Know then that it is within my power to transfer you from the age in which we live, of which all the interest has for you been exhausted, to any other age that you may select, past or future. 

[Aug 2013]

“When Time Turns”
by Ethel Watts Mumford
First publication: The Black Cat, Jan 1901

In this earliest story that I’ve seen of a man living his life backward in time, the narrator, Robertson, talks with Mr. Gage who has been reliving his life in reverse, moment by moment, ever since the death of his wife.

 Yes, I spent some little time in the islands. In fact, I am just on the point of going there now, and am very sorry I shall not see them again. 

[Aug 2013]


“A Relic of the Pliocene”
aka "Angry Mammoth"
by Jack London
First publication: Colliers, 12 Jan 1901

Neither our narrator Thomas Stevens nor the mighty hunter Nimrod realized that the modern-day mammoth of this story arrived in the frozen north via time travel, but why else would F&SF have reprinted the story some 42 years after London’s passing?

 I pardon your ignorance concerning many matters of this Northland, for you are a young man and have travelled little; but, at the same time, I am inclined to agree with you on one thing. The mammoth no longer exists. How do I know? I killed the last one with my own right arm. 

[Dec 2011]
The story was reprinted in this 1904 Kipling collection.
“Wireless”
by Rudyard Kipling
First publication: Scribners Magazine, Aug 1902


Were it not Kipling, I wouldn’t include this story in the list, since its time-travel content is questionable: Are those Marconi experiments of young Mr. Cashell really bringing John Keats’s thoughts from a century in the past to the drug-tranced Mr. Shaynor?

 “He told me that the last time they experimented they put the pole on the roof of one of the big hotels here, and the batteries electrified all the water-supply, and”—he giggled—“the ladies got shocks when they took their baths.” 

[Aug 2013]

The Year 2000 Novels
by W.W. Cook
First book: Argosy, Jul to Oct 1903
Pursued by Detective Klinch, Everson Lumley takes up Dr. Alonzo Kelpie’s offer to whisk him off to the year 2000 where Lumley first observes various scientific marvels and then realizes that Klinch is still chasing him through time and into more adventures. That’s all in the first book (A Round Trip to the Year 2000; or a Flight Through Time, serialized in Argosy, Jul-Oct 1903). In the second book (Castaways of the Year 2000, in Argosy, Oct 1912 to Feb 1913), Lumley has returned to his own time and is held responsible for Kelpie’s disappearance at which point he returns to the future and adventures ensue.

 Although your enemy is within a dozen feet of you, Lumley, he will soon be a whole century behind, and you will be safe. 

[Jul 2013]

The Panchronicon
by Harold Steele MacKaye
First publication: April 1904


In 1898, Copernicus Droop has a flying time machine drop into his lap from the year 2582, whereupon he hatches a plan to take Rebecca Wise and her sister, Phœbe, back to 1876 where he can invent all kinds of modern things and Rebecca might convince her younger self to marry that fine young Joe Chandler—but instead they go rather further back to Elizabethan times where capricious capers (but no time paradoxes) ensue.

 It does sound outlandish, when you think how big the world is. But what if ye go to the North Pole? Aint all the twenty-four meridians jammed up close together around that part of the globe? Aint it clear that if a fellerll jest take a grip on the North Pole and go whirlin’ around it, hell be cutting meridians as fast as a hay-chopper? Wont he see the sun getting left behind and whirlin’ the other way from what it does in nature? If the sun goes the other way round, aint it sure to unwind all the time that its been a-rollin’ up? 

[Jan 2013]

Anthropology Applied to the
American White Man and Negro

by Robert Gilbert Wells
First publication: 14 Apr 1905


I met the amiable and widely read John Clute in New Hampshire in the summer of 2014. He introduced me to this work, which he describes in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction as a satire of race relations in post-Reconstruction America. For the most part, the story takes place as a conversation between a black man, Sam Brown, and his white brother, Boss Jones. As such, it’s a subtle satire, using the “science of Anthropology” to warn us of the laziness of the Negro, the greed of the white man, and the evils of incompatible matings, among other things.

Clute classifies the work as having numerous fantastic elements including when Sam and the author Bob Wells leave their bodies to invisibly view other happenings, at least one small bit of time travel, and the one item that’s of most interest: a potion that changes Mr. Jones into a Negro for the span of a train journey.

Whatever time travel does exist, such as a possible visit by Mr. Jones to 16th century Greece, is subtle compared to the other aspects of the satire.

 The doors and windows were opened, Sam and Mr. Jones walked out of the room, then to the depot purchased tickets and started for Chicago, but when the two men arrived at the depot, to Mr. Jones surprise, the ticket agent told him to get out of that waiting room or he would take a club to his head, and that pretty quick. 

[Jul 2015]


Marooned in 1492, or Under Fortune’s Flag
by W.W. Cook
First publication: Argosy, Aug-Dec 1905
Two adventurers, Trenwyck and Blinkers, answer a strange ad and eventually find themselves stranded in 1492 without enough of the time-travel corn for the entire party to return, so they send Columbus into the future to procure more of the precious kernels.
[Aug 2013]

The Five Children Books
by E. Nesbit
First time travel: 1904 in The Phoenix and the Carpet


Edith Nesbit’s Five Children and It about five English children and their wish-granting Psammead never engaged me as a child, nor did her sequels: The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904) with a touch of time travel at the end to the time of the Phoenix’s orgin, and The Story of the Amulet where a magic amulet takes them to times that span from ancient Egypt to the future. But even so, Nesbit is a grand pioneer of time-travel tales for children (the other being Kipling). By the way, Nesbit and Wells were fellow members of the Fabian Society, a group of British socialists.

 Dont you understand? The thing existed in the Past. If you were in the Past, too, you could find it. Its very difficult to make you understand things. Time and space are only forms of thought. 

[Dec 1964]


Puck’s Stories
by Rudyard Kipling
First time travel: Strand Magazine, Feb 1906


Puck is an elf who magicks people from the past to tell their stories to two children in England. The stories were gathered in two collections, Puck of Pook’s Hill (1906) and Rewards and Fairies (1910). Some of the stories were told by Puck himself rather than by historical figures. Puck told me that the first time-travelling storyteller was Sir Richard Dalyngridge in the second Puck story in Strand Magazine, Feb 1906. Abraham Lincoln was on the cover of that issue, but he was not a time traveler (at least not then and there).

 Unluckily the Hills are empty now, and all the People of the Hills are gone. I’m the only one left. I’m Puck, the oldest Old Thing in England, very much at your service—if you care to have anything to do with me. If you don’t, of course you’ve only to say so, and I’ll go. 

[Aug 2011]

This still photograph from the Broadway play is part of the New York Public
The Road to Yesterday
by Beulah Marie Dix and Evelyn Greenleaf Sutherland
First performance: 31 Dec 1906 on Broadway at Herald Square Theatre

To me, the play had the feel of madcap antics in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest—but with time travel! In thye play, a midsummer’s wish takes two travelers, Elspeth and Jack, from 1903 to their earlier selves in 1603, returning rather friendlier than they left.

 Elspeth: Oh, dear Aunt Harriet! It isnt sudden—really not! Weve been engaged three hundred years! 

[Jan 2015]

The Arden Books
by E. Nesbit
First book: 1908



Janet found the first of the two books, The House of Arden (1908), for me at Christmas 2014. In the story, Edred Arden, a nine-year-old poor orphan, unexpectedly discovers that he’s actually the next Lord Arden, but still pennyless unless he and his sister can use a magic spell to travel through time and discover where the family treasure lies hidden—much like the time-traveling mechanism in Nesbit’s earlier The Story of the Amulet. The second book, Harding’s Luck (1909), retells part of the story from the viewpoint of a minor character, Dickie.

 Hear, Oh badge of Arden’s house,
The spell my little age allows;
Arden speaks it without fear,
Badge of Arden’s house, draw near,
Make me brave and kind and wise,
And show me where the treasure lies.
 

[Dec 2014]

1962 Ace paperback edition
The House on the Borderland
by William Hope Hodgson
First publication: 1908


Supernatural-story pioneer William Hope Hodgson was an inspiration for Lovecraft and later genertions of writers. This novel of an Irish house that lay at the intersection of monstrous other dimensions seems to include time travel when the narrator witnesses and returns from the future of our solar system right up to the Earth falling into the Sun and the subsequent arrival of a second, green sun.

 Years appeared to pass, slowly. The earth had almost reached the center of the suns disk. The light from the Green Sun—as now it must be called—shone through the interstices, that gapped the mouldered walls of the old house, giving them the appearance of being wrapped in green flames. The Swine-creatures still crawled about the walls. 

[Jan 2013]


The Last Generation: A Story of the Future
by J.E. Flecker
First publication: 1908

The Wind of Time takes our narrator on a depressing tour of the future where everyone becomes suicidal, childbirth is outlawed, and mankind eventually becomes extinct.

 I am not in the compass. I am a little unknown Wind, and I cross not Space but Time. If you will come with me I will take you not over countries but over centuries, not directly, but waywardly, and you may travel where you will. 

[Aug 2013]

“My Time Annihilator”
by George Allan England
First publication: All-Story, Jun 1909
The narrator tells of a machine he built that will fly faster than the rotation of the earth and thus, by flying against the earth’s rotation, will travel backward in time.

 The next of a series, interspersed of course with many “normal” stories, so to speak, was “My Time Annihilator,” something along the lines of H.G. Wells “Time-Machine,”—which, by the way, I had not at that time read. Wells is, of course, one of the most successful modern “science-fakers.” The skill wherewith he makes the impossible seem possible may well serve as a model for any aspirants in this line of endeavor. 
—George Allan England, “The Fantastic in Fiction: The Why and How of Making the Impossible Seem Possible” in The Story World and Photodramatist, Jul 1923

[Nov 2013]

The Steps to Nowhere
by Grace Duffie Boylan
First publication: 1910


Patty and Traddy Lee, the children of a captain in the Army Corps of Engineers who is suddenly sent to work on the Panama Canal, are unintentionally left on their own for a few weeks during which they run into a clock that runs backwards and takes them to 17th century New York, Captain Kidd, various parts unknown in Central America, and a kind of Neverland called the Land of the Vanished People,

 “Where you doin?” he asked, quite as though he had been accustomed to meeting old clocks on the stairs.
Im bound for yes-ter-day,” the clock replied. “Want to go to yes-ter-day?”
 

[Jul 2015]

I haven’t found the Feb 1910 cover, but here’s a later issue.
“Phantas”
by Oliver Onions
First publication: Nash’s Magazine, Feb 1910

Abel Keeling and Bligh are the only two mates remaining on board the sailing ship Mary of the Tower as she slips beneath the waves and possibly slips forward to the time of steam-powered ships.

 Listen. Were His Majestys destroyer Seapink, out of Devonport last Octovr, and nothing particular the matter with us. Now who are you? 

[Dec 2013]

“The Cigarette Case”
by Oliver Onions
First publication: Widdershins, 1911


Initially, I thought this story of the narrator and his pal Carroll in Provence was just a ghost story. After all, they wander off and meet a young woman and her aunt, whom the travelers later find out have been dead for years. Ghosts, right? After all, Oliver Onions is known for his ghost stories. Unless the travelers were actually in the ladies’ house of long ago, and proof of their visits surfaces.

 He paused, looking at my cigarette case, which he had taken into his hand again. He smiled at some recollection or other, and it was a minute or so before he continued. 

[Jul 2015]
the 1970 sfbc edition
The Barsoom Series
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
First serialization: All-Story, Feb - Jul 1912 (as by Norman Bean)


When I first joined the Science Fiction Book Club in 1970, the Barsoom books were the first series I completed. As you might guess, I bought A Princess of Mars (aka Under the Moons of Mars in the 1912 serialization) for the Frazetta cover, but I returned for the swordplay, the pseudo-science, the Tharks, and maybe even for Dejah Thoris. My other love at the time was astronomy, so I knew right from the start that John Carter must have traveled back in time to an ancient, dying Mars where he became a prince of Helium.

 Yes, Dejah Thoris, I too am a prisoner; my name is John Carter, and I claim Virginia, one of the United States of America, Earth, as my home; but why I am permitted to wear arms I do not know, nor was I aware that my regalia was that of a chieftain. 

[Jul 2015]

“Accessory Before the Fact”
by Algernon Blackwood
First publication: Ten Minute Stories, 1914

An English man on a walking holiday experiences a short time in another man’s future and struggles with the ethics of whether and how to deliver a warning to that other man.

 He had been an eavesdropper, and had come upon private information of a secret kind that he had no right to make use of, even that good might come—even to save life. 

[Jan 2015]


Out of the Miocene
by John Charles Beecham
First publication: The Popular Magazine, 15 Sep (cover date 23 Aug) to 1 Oct 1914

When Bruce Dayton wanders off the trails in the high plains of the American Southwest, he stumbles upon an old-timer who sends Bruce’s mind back to Miocene times and into the body of an apeman who had an earlier usage of the same soul as Bruce.

 We are atoms in two oceans, time and space. Walk from here to the forest yonder, and your corporal self passes through a portion of space. Each moment you live you pass through a portion of the ocean of time. But the progression is only one way—for the corporal body. With the spirit it is different. Time has no boundaries for it. Out of the infinite, into the infinite, it comes and it goes. It is one with the Eternal. Therein Moses was right. 

[Jul 2013]
In the story—and in real life—William Rothestein drew this pastel portrait of Enoch Soames.
“Enoch Soames:
A Memory of the Eighteen-Nineties”

by Max Beerbohm
First publication: The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, May 1916



Beerbohm (then an undergraduate at Oxford) feels something near to reverence toward the Catholic diabolist Enoch Soames, seeing as how the man from Preston has published one book of stories and has another book of poems forthcoming, but over time, Enoch himself becomes more and more morose and unsatisfied that he shall never see his own work appreciated in future years.

 A hundred years hence! Think of it! If I could come back to life THEN—just for a few hours—and go to the reading-room and READ! Or, better still, if I could be projected now, at this moment, into that future, into that reading-room, just for this one afternoon! I'd sell myself body and soul to the Devil for that! 

[Apr 2014]

The Sense of the Past
by Henry James
First publication: 26 Oct 1917



When the last of the English Pendrels dies and leaves a London estate house to American Ralph Pendrel, the young Pendrel travels to England and finds himself inhabiting the body of an even earlier Pendrel. Unfortunately, when Henry James himself died, that’s as far as he’d gotten in writing the book, although the posthumous publication included James’s notes on the conclusion—plenty enough to inspire a litany of followers from countless versions of Berkeley Square to H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Out of Time.”

 He clung to his gravity, which somehow steadied him—so odd it was that the sense of her understanding wouldnt be abated, which even a particular lapse, he could see . . . 
—final words written by James in the unfinished novel

[Jan 2015]

Draft of Eternity
aka Draught of Eternity
by Victor Rousseau
First publication: All-Story Weekly 1-22 Jun 1918
After taking cannibus, Dr. Clifford Pal awakens thousands of years in the future when America has been conquered by the Yuki, whereupon he falls in love with a princess, starts a revolution, and drinks more cannibus to return to the twentieth century.
[Jan 2014]


The Ghost of Slumber Mountain
by Willis O’Brien (O’Brien, director)
First release: 17 Nov 1918


Unk tells a story to his two nephews about the time when he and Joe Soxie visited the stone-covered grave and haunted cabn of Mad Dick where they (and they dog) were able to view the prehistoric past through a queer looking instrument and accidentally allow T. Rex onto Slumber Mountain. Of course, it may have all been a dream, which would normally disqualify the story from our list, but not when it’s 1918 stop-acton dinosaur animation!

 Far, far away, at the foot of a cliff, a Thunder Lizard—which must have been at least one hundred feet long—appeared out of the mists of forty million years. 

[Jul 2013]

A Romance of Two Centuries: A Tale of the Year 2025
by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie
First publication: 1919

After being given sleeping sickness by the Germans in The Great War, our hero is taken back to America by a kindly nurse and put into a deeper sleep, only to awoken in the year 2025 where he is renamed Oleander Parentive Neurodundeeian, falls in love, and experiences the generally amazing future. But that’s not where the time travel comes into play (that’s merely falling into a long sleep). The backward time travel occurs when he wants to relate all this back to his wife and companions in the early 20th century. As for the mechanism for achieving this, only Guthrie’s original words in the following quote can do it justice:

 Jules Verne, in his Tour Around the World in Eighty Days, had made the plot hinge on the fact that by circling the entire globe Mr. Fogg had gained one day. I also called to mind how, when European newspaper correspondents telegraphed to America, the message reached there five hours before it was sent. A childishly simple calculation showed that if a telegraph message was made to circle the whole globe, it would arrive twenty-four hours, or one calendar day, before it was sent. If then it were possible to telegraph twice around the globe, it would arrive two days before it was sent, and so on in proportion. If a message circled the globe 365 times, it would arrive one full year before it was despatched. 3650 times would anticipate 10 years, and 36,500 times would gain 100 years; and as to reach my wife of long ago I needed to go back 110 years, the problem would be solved if I could send a message around the globe 40,150 times without stopping. Of course, there would be a rectification to be made for the 27 leap years, so that the needed circlings would be 40,177. 

[Jan 2013]

This illustration is from Argosy; the story was later reprinted in the June 1926 issue of Amazing Stories.
“The Runaway Skyscraper”
by Murray Leinster
First publication: Argosy, 22 Feb 1919



A New York skyscraper is so heavy that it settles into the fourth dimension, taking engineer Arthur Chamberlain and his lovely, but sterotypical, secretary, Miss Woodward, (not to mention the rest of the building’s occupants) back to pre-Columbus Manhattan.

 Well, then, have you ever read anything by Wells? The ‘Time Machine,’ for instance? 

[Aug 2013]

If
by Lord Dunsany
First performance: 1921


John Beal, a London businessman, is given a magic crystal that allows him to go back in time and change one act; he is happy with his current life, so he decides to merely go back to catch a train that he was annoyed about missing ten years ago—but the resulting changes are more than he ever expected.

This is the earliest story that I’ve seen where the hero goes back into his earlier body and relives something differently. Some of the later stories of this kind have no actual time travel, but merely give knowledge of an alternate timeline (e.g., Asimov’s “What If?”); others live out the two timelines in parallel (e.g., the 1998 movie Sliding Doors, also set in motion by a missed/caught train); and some, like If, are couched in terms of time travel (e.g., the 1986 movie Peggy Sue Got Married).

 He that taketh this crystal, so, in his hand, at night, and wishes, saying ‘At a certain hour let it be’; the hour comes and he will go back eight, ten, even twelve years if he will, into the past, and do a thing again, or act otherwise than he did. The day passes; the ten years are accomplished once again; he is here once more; but he is what he might have become had he done that one thing otherwise. 

[Jan 2012]


“The Time Professor”
by Ray Cummings
First publication: Argosy, 1 Jan 1921

It’s not clear whether the man Tubby and his professor friend are time traveling or not, but in the end, I figured they are because in the matter of a few minutes they travel from 9pm in New York to 9pm in Chicago to 9pm in Denver and on and on.

 Time is what keeps everything from happening at once. 

[Feb 2015]


A Connecticut Yankee
in King Arthur’s Court

adapted by Bernard McConville (Emmett J. Flynn, director)
First release: 14 Mar 1921


I may never see this first movie adaptation since only three of the eight reels are known to still exist. The hero in this comedy version is a 1921 man who has just read Twain’s book and then travels by dream to the time of Camelot without the political carnage that was in the original story.

“The Devil of the Western Sea”
by Philip M. Fisher
First publication: Argosy, 5 Aug 1922

I was always drawn to the idea behind The Final Countdown (1980) where a modern warship is thrown back to World War II, but the execution of that idea was weak in the made-for-tv movie. Here is a story, predating the movie by 58 years, in which a destroyer, Shoshone, shows up amongst a fleet of Spainish galleons near Panama in the year 1564. The story is well-written, but the captain’s behavior seems unrealistic to me.

 Twelve of them I counted, twelve ships in a fleet. Men of war? Surely not—not men of war. Men of war in this day do not carry sail. And yet—merchantmen? Merchantmen do not go to sea in peace times in groups of twelve. 

[Aug 2013]

The Clockwork Man
by E.V. Odle
First publication: 1923

A peculiar man with mechanical mannerisms appears at a cricket match spouting nonsense and later causing headaches throughout the village until Dr. Allingham finally talks to him and discovers that the origin of the man with clockwork devices implanted in his head is some 8000 years in the future.

 “Perhaps I ought to explain,” he continued. “You see, Im a clockwork man.” 

[Aug 2013]


The Collapse of Homo Sapiens
by P. Anderson Graham
First publication: 1923
The narrator longs to see history develop over centuries, so when a Being offers to take him into the future, he agrees and is taken to a dystopian world of 2120 A.D. when mankind is on the verge of extinction.

 Autumn had passed into winter before I mustered courage to get into communication with the Being to whom I had previously had recourse. 

[Aug 2013]


Not in Our Stars
by Conrad Arthur Skinner (as by Michael Maurice)
First publication: 1923

After some scientific mumbo-jumbo, Felix Menzies wakes up in a jail cell on the day before his execution for murdering the man he wrongly thought was his wife’s lover, and then he starts waking up on each previous morning, whereupon he begins to think he can cheat Destiny by not murdering the guy.

 If he did meet Savile, he was prepared to shake hands with him in the old way, and to realize what a neurotic fool he had been: also that Destiny had made an idiot of itself with the careless blundering born of the knowledge that nobody would ever know, nobody, that is, except himself; and, of course, Destiny safely relied on the assumption that nobody would believe him. 

[Aug 2013]

Torpeda Czasu (Time Torpedo)
by Antoni Słonimski
First publication: circa 1924
Torpeda Czasu is important enough to list even though I’ve read only summaries and I’m uncertain about the date. The notes accompanying this particular cover (at http://encyklopediafantastyki.pl) indicate a 1923 publication date, but elsewhere the date of 1924 is common, and Wikipedia has 1926. Never mind!

The short novel’s heroes—Professor Pankton and his beautiful daughter Haydnee, historian Tolna, and journalist Hersey—set out from the year 2123 to change the Napoleonic Wars, starting with the French Revolution and aiming to fix matters so that mankind can advance intellectually without the hindrence of war. But the outcome, I am told, is even more miserable than the original bloody history.

Should I ever track down a copy, I shall need help from my Polish colleagues in computer science to translate the story to English.

 Nie zapominajcie, że to Francuzi, najwaleczniejszy naród europejski, że to są ludzie, których brawura i dzielność oślepia.

[Do not forget that the French, bravest among all the European nationalities, are a people blinded by their very own braggadocio and past prowess.] 



The Man Who Mastered Time
by Ray Cummings
First publication: Argosy, 12 Jul to 9 Aug 1924


At a meeting of the Scientific Club, a chemist and his son, Loto, describe how they were able to view a captive woman in the future, so now Loto is going to use his time machine to rescue her.

 “Time,” said George, “why I can give you a definition of time. Its what keeps everything from happening at once.” 
—from the opening line of the book, although Cummings wrote a similar line in Chapter 5 of his earlier work, The Girl in the Golden Atom (in the same setting of the Scientific Club), which had no time travel, but only different rates of time passage.

[Aug 2013]

The Amphibians Books
by S. Fowler Wright
First book: 1925

In the first part of the story—The Amphibians: A Romance of 500,000 Years, the narrator follows two earlier time travelers into the far future because they never returned, and he encounters one monstrous being after another, including, of course, the Amphibian himself, all as a setting to write about morality. The work was reprinted in 1930 as the first part of The World Below along with a second part (later called The Dwellers.

 Its true enough, what theyve told you, as far as we can tell it. As to theories of time and space, I know no more than you do. I used to think they were obvious. Ive heard the Professor talk two nights a week for three years, and Ive realised that it isnt all quite as simple as it seemed, though I dont get much further. But the next rooms a fact. We lay things down on the central slab, and the room goes dark, and we go back in two minutes, and it gets light again, and theyre still there. And the Professor says hes projected them 500,000 years ahead in the interval, and they dont look any the worse for the journey. 

[Aug 2013]




Felix the Cat
created by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer
First time travel: 23 Aug 1925


Perhaps the first time travel in cartoons is Felix in “Trifles with Time,” where the silent, surreal cat negotiates with Father Time for a trip to a better age. After appropriate payment, Father Time obliges and Felix goes back to a stone age with dinosaurs.

 A cat cant live nowadays—turn me back to a better age, just for a day. 

[Dec 2010]


The Road to Yesterday
adapted by Jeanie MacPherson and Beulah Marie Dix (Cecille B. DeMille, director)
First release: 15 Nov 1925



Although Dix was one of the writers of this silent movie, I didn't see much resemblance between the movie and Dix’s earlier play of the same name. In the movie, bickering newlyweds Kenneth and Malena Paulton are thrown back to previous lives in Elizabethan England where they are a knight and a gypsy.

 I know I love you, Ken! But today—during the marriage service—something seemed to reach out of the Past that made me—afraid! 

[Jan 2015]
from the 1946 production by the Progressive Players Amateur Drama Company (Gateshead, England)
Berkeley Square
by John L. Balderston and Jack C. Squire
First performed: 6 Oct 1926


Based on Henry James’s The Sense of the Past, Balderston’s play follows modern-day American Peter Standish who exchanges place with his American Revolution ancestor. Leslie Howard starred in the 1929 Broadway run. Some sources list Jack C. Squire as a coauthor.

 [The same room, at the same time, on the same day, in 1928. Most of the furniture remains, but the tone of time has settled upon it, and there are some changes.] 
—from the stage directions

[Jan 2015]


“The Assault on Milagro Castle”
by J.M. Hiatt
First publication: Weird Tales, Nov 1926
The narrator, visiting Count Ramon Nuñez in Spain hears a story of a group of attacking Moors who simply disappeared 700 years ago, a story he doesn't believe until the same group reappears and continues the attack.
[Aug 2013]

The Strange Inventor
by Mark Powell Hyde
First publication: 1927
Young Johnny Devlin falls in with Mr. Merlin who first sends him on adventures with various inventions, then sends him to Arthurian England (where Mr. Merlin is Merlin), and finally sends him to the future (where Mr. Merlin rules the world).
[Nov 2013]


“The Lost Continent”
by Cecil B. White
First publication: Amazing, Jul 1927
Mad scientist Joseph Lamont builds a time machine to prove his brother’s theories about Atlantis, and then he takes a passenger ship back 12,000 years.
[Apr 2013]


The Time-Raider
by Edmond Hamilton
First publication: Weird Tales, Oct 1927 - Jan 1928
Our narrator, Wheeler, and a great scientist, Landin, listen to Cannell’s story of being abducted and rapidly taken forward three years in time by a shapeless form, and when Cannell is again taken, they build a time machine to follow him.

 Held in its shapeless form were men, who hung helpless in its grasp. 

[Aug 2013]


“The Astounding Discoveries of Doctor Mentiroso”
by A. Hyatt Verrill
First publication: Amazing, Nov 1927
Professor Feromeno Mentiroso of the Universidad Santo Tomas argues with his friend about the time-traveling effects of rapidly traveling through many time zones.

 Don Feromeno nodded and smiled. “Then let us assume that your purely imaginary aircraft is capable of traveling at the rate of 24,000 miles per hour or that, in an hour's time, you can circumnavigate the earth. In that case, starting from Lima at noon on Monday, and rushing eastward, you would arrive in Barcelona at 6.30 P. M. on Monday, though your watch would show it to be 12.15 P. M. You would reach Calcutta at 1 A. M. Tuesday, although still only 12.20 on Monday by your watch. At Hawaii you would find time had leaped back to 7.30 A. M. Monday, despite the fact that your watch showed 12.45 of the same day, and at 1 P.  on Monday by your watch you would be back in Lima where the clocks would prove to that it was 2 P. M. despite the fact that you had been absent only one hour. 

[Jul 2013]

The Dancing Cavalier
by Don Lockwood, Cosmo Brown and Kathy Seldon (Roscoe Dexter, director)
First release: Soon after the Oct 1927 release of The Jazz Singer
Of course, this shouldn't be in my list, because Cosmo himself says that it’s all just a dream, but when my friend Jim pointed out that The Dancing Cavalier (née The Dueling Cavalier) was a dream-based time-travel movie, I couldn’t resist putting it on my list.

 Hows this? We throw a modern section into the picture. The heros a young hoofer in a Broadway show, right? Now he sings and he dances, right? But one night backstage, hes reading A Tale of Two Cities, in between numbers, see? And a sandbag falls and hits him on the head, and he dreams hes back during the French Revolution, right? Well, this way we get in the modern dancing numbers—♫Charleston, Charlston♫—but in the dream part, we can still use the costume stuff! 

[Mar 2014]


“The Isle of Lost Souls”
by Joel Martin Nichols, Jr.
First publication: Weird Tales Dec 1928 - Feb 1929
In search of a lost Russian treasure, Dr. Trask sends himself and his compatriots back and forth between the 1920s and the present day, 2014 A.D.
[Nov 2013]
Most of my early listings without quotations are based on reviews in Bleiler’s Science Fiction: The Early Years.
The Time-Journey of Dr. Barton: An Engineering and Sociological Forecast
by John Lawrence Hodgson
First publication: 1929
Dr. Barton travels to the year 3927 where the world’s population has grown to an unimaginable eight billion, but fear not! The utopian society has elimated waste from poor economic systems of the past, and all inhabitants now work (by choice) for but one month per year.
[Jan 2015]


“The Hounds of Tindalos”
by Frank Belknap Long
First publication: Weird Tales, Mar 1929


Chalmers, a man of mysticism but also of science, sends his mind back to the origin of the Earth and beyond where beings he calls the Hounds detect him and pursue him back to the present.

 “Then you do not entirely despise science.”
   “Of course not,” he affirmed. “I merely distrust the scientific positivism of the past fifty years, the positivism of Haeckel and Darwin and of Mr. Bertrand Russell. I believe that biology has failed pitifully to explain the mystery of mans origin and destiny.
 

[Aug 2013]


Cuddles: A Flapper in King Arthur’s Court
by Charles Forbell
First publication: Kay Features, 4 Mar 1929



After a car crash, Cuddles, our favorite flapper, finds herself in Camelot where she is unflappable.

 P-p-peace! Ye half d-d-d-dressed dragon! Ye wot not w-w-what ye good Kynge Arthur will think of such an t-t-t-tantalizing reflection of c-c-cr-creation! 

[Jan 2012]


“The Shadow Girl”
by Ray Cummings
First publication: Argosy, 22 Jun - 13 Jul 1929
In the year 7012 A.D., scientist Poul and his beautiful (shadowy) granddaughter Lea construct a tall tower that can travel throughout time in the area that is presently Central Park in New York City, but an evil mimic creates his own tower from which he conducts time raids (most often involving Lea), and counter-raids ensue.

Lea is but one of the prolific Cummings’s many girls! You can also have the Girl in the Golden Atom, the Sea Girl, the Snow Girl, the Gadget Girl, the Thought Girl, the Girl from Infinite Smallness, and the Onslaught of the Druid Girls.

 No vision this! Reality! Empty space, two moments ago. Then a phantom, a moment ago. But a real tower, now! Solid. As real, as existent—now—as these rocks, these trees! 

[Jan 2013]

The first of the three stories was reprinted in the Sep 1968 Amazing.
The Paradox Stories
by Charles Cloukey
First story: Amazing Stories Quarterly, Summer 1929
In the first story, Hawkinson receives a manuscript written in the hand of his friend Cannes and detailing how to build a time machine, which he does in order to send Cannes into the future to learn how to build a time machine and, thus, send the manuscript back to Hawkinson. More paradoxes (not to mention Martian plans to blow up the Earth) abound in the two sequels.

 Paradox (Summer 1929)Amazing Stories Quarterly
Paradox+ (Jul 1930)Amazing Stories
Anachronism (Dec 1930)Amazing Stories

 Cannes told of his life in that far future year, of his mystification at the circumstances surrounding the origin of that manuscript, which was used before it was made and could not hae been made if it hadnt been previously used. He told us of the grandfather argument, and also of the time when he was actually and physically in two different places at one and the same time. 
—Paradox+

[Feb 2013]


“Rays and Men”
by Miles J. Breuer
First publication: Amazing Stories Quarterly Summer 1929
Our narrator, Dr. Atwood, goes into a long sleep (because of an experimental anaestetic) and wakes in 2180 where everyone is peaceful living under an autocratic government that forbids strong emotion and says no to the doctor marrying the nurse he falls in love with, at which point he is disintigrated and reawakens in his own time.
[Nov 2013]




Stories of Addison, Time Traveler
by Henrik Dahl Juve
First story: Air Wonder Stories, Aug 1929

After wandering around the fourth and fifth dimensions for some time, 20th century scientist Theodore A. Addison rematerializes himself in a 28th century filled with many amazing inventions and a war between the west and the Occidentals. In his review of the story, Robert Jennings notes that “Every few paragraphs in the story everything stops as the protagonist inquires about the science behind some future marvel.” In all, three stories were set in this world, although only the first two (“The Silent Destroyer” and “The Sky Maniac”) featured Addison; the third (“The Vanishing Fleet”), according to Everett F. Bleiler, was an adventure set against the same background.

Apparently, Juve and his wife lived just down the road from me (in Moscow, ID) while I was bein’ educated in Pullman, but I didn’t know of him then.

 As they watched, paralyzed, the building and air barge fell apart and hurtled toward the earth. The entire train had been split from end to end. The attacker now swung back and the then darted away. 
—The Sky Maniac

[Nov 2013]


“The Time Deflector”
by Edward L. Rementer
First publication: Amazing, Dec 1929
When Professor Melville’s theories on time travel are generally ridiculed, he reacts by sending his daughter’s suitor to the year 6925, where he finds a culture that has taken all the worst features of the 1920s to extremes.

 The reader will have come to the conclusion the world of 6925 was inhabited by fools, or madmen. 

[Apr 2013]

Last and First Men
by Olaf Stapledon
First publication: 1930


Time travel plays only a tiny role in this classic story of the history of men over the coming two billion years—in that the story itself is transmitted through time into the brain of a 20th century writer.

 This book has two authors, one contemporary with its readers, the other an inhabitant of an age which they would call the distant future. The brain that conceives and writes these sentences lives in the time of Einstein. Yet I, the true inspirer of this book, I who have begotten it upon that brain, I who influence that primitive being's conception, inhabit an age which, for Einstein, lies in the very remote future. 

[Aug 1983]


“Into the 28th Century”
by Lilith Lorraine
First publication: Wonder Stories Quarterly, Spring 1930
A man is pulled into the future year of 2730 where Iris, a beautiful young woman, takes him on a tour of their eutopia.
[Jan 2014]


“Creatures of the Light”
by Sophie Wenzel Ellis
First publication: Astounding, Feb 1930

I think this was the first time-travel story that Astounding ever ran, although the time travel is incidental to the story in which handsome Northwood pursues an artificially created superman who can jump just a few moments into the future.

 Before Northwoods horrified sight, he vanished; vanished as though he had turned suddenly to air and floated away. 

[Jan 2013]






Astounding’s The Readers’ Corner
edited by Harry Bates
First letters column: Astounding Stories of Super Science, Mar 1930

Before modern-day blogs and online fora, before Astounding Science Fictions Brass Tacks letters’ column, there was The Readers’ Corner of Astounding Stories of Super Science, where at the leisurely pace of once a month, readers vehemently mixed it up about all topics—including time travel.

 Dear Editor: Thus far the chief objection to time traveling has been this: if a person was sent back into the past or projected into the future, it would be possible for said person to interfere most disastrously with his own birth. —Arthur Berkowitz, 768 Beck Street, Bronx, N.Y. (Mar 1932)

Dear Editor: I write this letter to comment, not on the stories, which satisfy me, but on a few letters in the “Corner” of the March issue; especially Mr. Berkowitz’ letter. . . . Since he brought up the question of the time-traveler interfering disasterously with his own birth, I will discuss it. . . . Back he goes into time and meets his grandfather, before his fathers birth. For some reason John kills his grandfather. —Robert Feeney, 5334 Euclid, Kansas City, Mo. (Jun 1932)

Dear Editor: I read and enjoyed Mr. Feeneys interesting letter in the June issue, but wish to ask: Why pick on grandfather? . . . This incessant murdering of harmless ancestors must stop. —Donald Allgeier, Mountain Grove, Mo. (Jan 1933)
 

[May 2012]


“An Adventure in Time”
by Francis Flagg
First publication: Science Wonder Stories, Apr 1930
When a small time machine appears in Professor Bayers’s lab, he builds a larger copy and travels to the future, which is ruled by Amazon women.
[Feb 2013]


“Monsters of Moyen”
by Arthur J. Burks
First publication: Astounding, Apr 1930

When the U.S. is attacked with monsters and combination submarine/aeroplanes by the Asian demagog Moyen, it's up to Professor Mariel to find a way to save the country, possibly even through the manipulation of time!

 In this, I have even been compelled to manipulate in the matter of time! I must not only defeat and annihilate the minions of Moyen, but must work from a mathematical absurdity, so that at the moment of impact that moment itself must become part of the past, sufficiently remote to remove the monsters at such distance from the earth that not even the might genius of Moyen can return them! 

[Jan 2013]


“The Atom-Smasher”
by Victor Rousseau
First publication: Astounding, May 1930

We've got the evil Professor Tode who modifies an atom-smasher into a time machine that travels to the paleolithic age and Atlantis, a fatherly older professor, his beautiful young daughter (menaced by evil Tode), casually written racist pronouncements (by Rousseau), and our hero scientist, dashing Jim Dent. But my favorite sentence was the brief description of quantum mechanics, which I didn’t expect in a 1930 science fiction tale.

 The Planck-Bohr quantum theory that the energy of a body cannot vary continuously, but only by a certain finite amount, or exact multiples of this amount, had been the key that unlocked the door. 

[Nov 2012]


“The Time Ray of Jandra”
by Raymond A. Palmer
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jun 1930
Sylvester Gale, shipwrecked on the west coast of Africa, discovers a long lost civilization and finds himself back there, but unable to interact; when the civilization’s scientists manage to set off a lava explosion, Gale is thrown forward, but overshoots his original time of 1944 by 13 years.

This is the first published story of fan, writer and long-time editor Raymond A. Palmer.
[Nov 2013]


“The Time Valve”
by Miles J. Breuer
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jul 1930
In an earlier story (“The Fitzgerald Contraction”), survivors of the sinking of Mu (or Mo, as they called it) travel into space at relativistic speeds only to return to Earth some 200,000 years later. That, of course, is mere time dilation rather than time travel; but in this sequel, the Moans along with present-day beauty Vayill continue even further into the Earth’s future where trouble ensues until Vayill’s aged father comes to the rescue with a real time machine in an airplane.
[Nov 2013]


The 20,000 A.D. Stories
by Nat Schachner and Arthur Leo Zagat
First story: Wonder Stories, Sep 1930
Tom Jenkins heads into the “Vanishing Woods” to prove that there’s nothing dangerous about them, but he doesn’ return until six months later, and he refuses to talk about where he’s been and what he’ seen—but fortunately for us, the titles of the two Wonder Story stories (“In 20,000 A.D.” in Sep 1930 and “Back to 20,000 A.D.” in Mar 1931) gives us a big clue, although it doesn’t tell us that the world he visits is divided into cold-hearted Masters and their four-armed, giant human Robots.

The use of the word “robot” had not yet evolved from Čapek’s meaning of a humanoid laborer to the modern usage as a purely mechanical being.

 True, he says, the Masters are far advanced, an able to do lots o thingsas a result. Theyve learnt everything there was to be learnt, they can live on the earth, in the air, in the water, or underground; they can travel to the other stars; they know how the world come about an when its ending, they think great thoughts anthings I couldnt even understand, but, he says, what about the Robots? 

[Jul 2013]


“The Man Who Saw the Future”
aka “The Man Who Saw Everything”
by Edmond Hamilton
First publication: Amazing, Oct 1930
Henri Lothiere, an apothecary’s assistant in 1444 Paris, must face charges of sorcery at an inquisition into his supposed disappearance and subsequent return from 1944 Paris.

 Then the car rolled swiftly forward, bumping on the ground, and then ceased to bump. I looked down, then shuddered. The ground was already far beneath! I too, was flying in the air! 

[Dec 2012]


“The Pineal Stimulator”
by Inga Stephens Pratt and Fletcher Pratt (as by I.M. Stephens and Fletcher Pratt)
First publication: Amazing, Nov 1930
Maddish scientist Jimmy Casmey first gets his college buddy to experience ancestral memories of a Civil War soldier and then a paleolithic man, at which point Casmey realizes that his device can also allow experiences of future descendants.
[Nov 2013]


“The Time Annihilator”
by Edgar A. Manley and Walter Thode
First publication: Wonder Stories, Nov 1930
When genius Larry Stenson disappears into the future, his two friends follow him to the year 2418 where the world is ruled by cruel, giant superhumans—a fate for Earth that the trio discovers cannot be changed, even with a time machine.

 We have purposely allowed our time travellers to become known to the people of the eras that they visit, for in this way the great drama of the story becomes apparent. 

[Apr 2014]


“The Uncharted Isle”
by Clark Ashton Smith
First publication: Weird Tales, Nov 1930

A man, adrift in the Pacific, washes up on an island where none of the men (or the giant ape) see or interact with him, which leads him to conclude that part of him is in the bygone past.

 Is there a part of the Pacific that extends beyond time and space—an oceanic limbo into which, by some unknowable cataclysm, that island passed in a bygone period, even as Lemuria sank beneath the wave? And if so, by what abrogation of dimensional laws was I enabled to reach the island and depart from it? 

[Aug 2013]

The story also appeared in this 1935 collection.
“The Man Who Lived Backwards”
by Algernon Blackwood
First publication: World Radio (broadcast guide), 12 Dec 1930
Professor Zeitt posits that all of time always exists and he should be able to break the usual serial traversal of time in order to influence his earlier self to not get into a bad marriage.
[Feb 2015]

Via the Time Accelerator”
by Francis J. Brueckel, Jr. (as by Frank J. Bridge)
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jan 1931
Mathematician and physicist Anton Brookhurst takes a trip 1,000,000 years into the future in a machine that was inspired by H.G. Wells and explained (in this story) by a series of official-looking equations, but, unlike in The Time Machine, Brookhurst’s machine resides in an airplane, and Brookhurst himself examines various paradoxes, such as: Would he have been brave enough to embark on the journey had he not first seen himself safely return?

 
T  =  t
 √ℓ - v²/c²  
 

[Jan 2013]


“A Flight into Time”
by Robert H. Wilson
First publication: Wonder Stories, Feb 1931
Ted Storrs is inexplicably transported from 1933 to 2189 (I almost thought, Hooray! Not a round number of years!—but it turns out to be 28 years into the future) where he is amazed by the air traffic congestion, beamed atomic power, casual nudity, interplanetary travel, and more.
[Apr 2013]


“The Meteor Girl”
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Astounding, Mar 1931

When a meteor lands on the beachfront airfield of our narrator and his partner Charlie King, Charlie realizes that it provides a portal through space-time through which they view the death-at-sea of Charlie’s ex-fiancée.

 A terrestrial astronomer may reckon that the outburst on Nova Persei occurred a century before the great fire of London, but an astronomer on the Nova may reckon with equal accuracy that the great fire occurred a century before the outburst on the Nova. 

[Dec 2012]


“The Empire of Glass”
by Frank Miloche
First publication: Wonder Stories Quarterly, Spring 1931
A present-day man puts on a helmet that lets him view the future where a scientist named Nebor outlines his plans to save mankind from giant insects by transporting all men to either the distant past or the far future.
[Apr 2013]


“An Adventure in Futurity”
by Clark Ashton Smith
First publication: Wonder Stories, Apr 1931
Conrad Elkins, an scientist from 15,000 A.D. who hopes to find a solution to the problem of too many male babies in his time, strikes up a friendship with Hugh in present-day New York City, eventually inviting Hugh to return with him to a future of infinite leisure where Venusian slaves with Martian overseers outnumber humans five-to-one.

 And do you ever think that present-day New York will some time be as fragmentary and fabulous as Troy or Zimbabwe? That archaeologists may delve in its ruins, beneath the sevenfold increment of later cities, and find a few rusting mechanisms of disputed use, and potteries of doubtful date, and inscriptions which no one can decipher? 

[Jul 2013]


The Exile of Time
by Ray Cummings
First publication: Astounding Stories, Apr-Jul 1931

George Rankin and his best friend Larry rescue an hysterical Mistress Mary Atwood from a locked New York City basement only to find that she believes she’s come from more than 150 years in the past, chased by a crazy man named Tugh and his mad robot, Migul.

 Lets try and reduce it to rationality. The cage was—is, I should ay, since of course it still exists—that cage is a Time-traveling vehicle. It is traveling back and forth through Time, operated by a Robot. 

[Dec 2012]


A Connecticut Yankee
adapted by William M. Conselman (David Butler, director)
First release: 6 Apr 1931


At the beginning, this version of the story borrows a bit from Frankenstein (a mad scientist) and H.G. Wells (who invents a time machine), but in the end, poor Hank Morgan (actually, Hank “Martin” in this case, portrayed by Will Rogers) still ends up at the round table predicting an eclipse.

 Think! Think of hearing Lincolns own voice delivering the Gettysburg address! 

[Jan 2015]


“Worlds to Barter”
by John Wyndham (as by John B. Harris)
First publication: Wonder Stories, May 1931


In Wyndham’s first published story, Jon Lestrange (the distant descendant of the world’s foremost inventor) comes back to the moment of his ancestor’s greatest invention with a story of how his own time was invaded by the people of the 5022nd century, demanding to change temporal places with the people of Lestrange’s time.

 It is a difficult situation, but I hope I shall convince you. Very few men can have had the chance of convincing their great-great-great grandfathers of anything. I am now an anachronism. You see, I was born in the year A.D. 2108,—or should it be, I shall be born in 2108?—and I am—or will be—a refugee from the twenty-second century. I assure you that you will be married shortly, but I cant remember when—I think I told you I was bad at dates. 

[Jan 2013]

Louise Fazenda (top)
and friend

Blondes Prefer Bonds
by Lewis R. Foster (Foster, director)
First release: 15 May 1931

I decided to include this movie in the list in the hopes that someone will point me to a copy of the talkie that stars Louise Fazenda and Arthur Hoyt as a married couple who in the hopes of rekindling their vows are thrown back to the time of their courtship.
[Jan 2015]


“The Man from 2071”
by Sewell Peaslee Wright
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1931

Special Patrol Service officer John Hanson (hero of ten Wright stories) stumbles upon a mad inventor who has traveled many centuries to Hanson’s beachfront Denver in order to obtain knowledge that will let him become the absolute, unquestioned, supreme master back in the 21st century.

 I could not help wondering, as we settle swiftly over the city, whether our historians and geologists and other scientists were really right in saying that Denver had at one period been far from the Pacific. 

[Dec 2012]


“The Man Who Changed the Future”
by R.F. Starzl
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jun 1931
When Park Helm laments about the state of gangster-overrun Lakopolis, his friend, Professor Nicholson, sends him into the future to observe whether things will get better, but somehow Helm manages to do a lot more than just observe, eventually becoming the future boss man, gaining a lovely wife, and generally righting wrongs.
[Jan 2014]


“The Time Flight”
by Miles J. Breuer
First publication: Amazing, Jun 1931
Widower Ezra Hubble hatches a scheme to deprive his stepson of an inheritance by taking the money with him to the future.
[May 2015]


“The Raid of the Mercury”
by A.H. Johnson
First publication: Amazing, Jul 1931
A seer projects our narrator into the world of 22,000 A.D where a pirate airship fuels a revolution against the wealthy.
[Mar 2013]


“Rebellion—5000 A.D.!”
by Garth Bentley
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jul 1931
During an experiment with a new radio technology, Professor Crewe’s assistant (and our narrator) is flung to a post-apocalyptic 5000 A.D. where an authoritarian, largely urban civilization has arisen and a group of rebels are expecting a man from the past to lead them.
[Nov 2013]


“The Port of Missing Planes”
by Capt. S.P. Meek
First publication: Astounding, Aug 1931

Capt. Meek’s hero, Dr. Bird (an agent of the Bureau of Standards), had at least one minor run-in with time travel in this story of underground molemen (who excavate their tunnels by time travel) who have been duped by the evil Saranoff into serving as a base for Saranoff’s attacks on the southwestern United States (as well as an attack on Dr. Bird’s brain, which is in peril of being sent back in time).

 “I wish I could remember how that time machine was built and operated,” said Dr. Bird reflectively, as he sat in his private laboratory in the Bureau of Standards some time later, “but Jumor did his work well. I cant even remember what the thing looked like.” 

[Jan 2013]


“The Time Hoaxers”
by Paul Bolton
First publication: Amazing, Aug 1931
Four men and a woman travel from 2030 to 1930, hoping to advance civilization, but everyone believes that the resulting newpaper stories of their arrival are all fakes.

 They said we could hope to be received only as impostors and fakirs. 

[Feb 2015]


“The Time-Traveler”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: Weird Tales, Aug 1931
Mathematics professor John D. Smith rues the day he saved his college room-mate from drowning only to have the ungrateful cad thwart his every career move for the next decade. Oh, if only Smith could redo that fateful day!

 If I could go back into the past, there is one event which I should most certainly change: my rescue of Paul Arkwright! 

[Feb 2015]


“After 1,000,000 Years”
by J.M. Walsh
First publication: Wonder Stories, Oct 1931
Beautiful time traveler Leela Zenken, searching for atomic power to save her people of the future, is aiming for 1985, but hits 1935 instead where hiker John Harling tries to help her.
[Nov 2013]


The Stone from the Green Star
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Amazing, Oct-Nov 1931

Jack Williamson’s college buddy Dick Smith is transported a couple million years into the future where he meets a blind scientist, falls in love with the scientist’s beautiful daughter, fights the evil lord of the Dark Star, seeks the fountain of youth, wantders through the galaxy, and eventually transmits a manuscript of his adventures back in time to Williamson.

 “That is a space-port where the ships come in from the stars,” the girl said. (Of course, all conversations recorded in Smiths notes have been translated into our English—if they were not, no one would be able to read them.)
   “Ships from the stars!” Dick ejaculated.
 

[Jan 2013]


“Emperors of Space”
by Jerome Gross and Richard Penny
First publication: Wonder Stories, Nov 1931
Being chased by the Chinese, Luke Raliegh (scientist extraordinaire) and his pal Harry build a giant gyroscope that spins so fast it takes them into the future where they cure the yellow rot and save the world.
[Feb 2013]

In 1946, the serial was released as a novel.
The Time Stream
by John Taine (aka Eric Temple Bell)
First publication: Wonder Stories, Dec 1931 - Mar 1932

In this dated sf classic, four like-minded men from 1906 are swept into the time stream via a mental exercise, taken to the land of Eos in a far-off time (possibly in the past, possibly in the future) where they encounter Cheryl (who may or may not be the Cheryl that they know in their own time) and consider how personal freedom may or may not be abrogated.

 No man or woman of Eos has the authority to direct, check, or in any way influence the free decision and impulses of another without that others full and intelligent consent. We demand the right to follow the natural inclinations of our characters. We demand the right to marry. 

[Nov 2013]


“The World of the Red Sun”
by Clifford D. Simak
First publication: Wonder Stories, Dec 1931
Harl Swanson and Bill Kressman leave Denver in their flying time machine, aiming to travel five millennia, but they end up some five million years later in a desolate world ruled by the evil and cruel brain Golan-Kirt.

I read this in Asimov’s anthology Before the Golden Age, which was the first SFBC book to arrive in my mailbox after going to college in Pullman in the fall of ’74.

 The twentieth century. It had a remote sound, an unreal significance. In this age, with the sun a brick red ball and the city of Denver a mass of ruins, the twentieth century was a forgotten second in the great march of time, it was as remote as the age when man emerged from the beast. 

[Sep 1974]
Jack Williamson
“The Moon Era”
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Wonder Stories, Feb 1932
Stephen’s rich inventor uncle sends him on a trip to the moon in an antigravity capsule without realizing that a side-effect also sends the capsule back to when the moon was young, green, and populated by the evil Eternal Ones and the last of the Mothers.

 Time was a fourth dimension, he had said. An extension as real as the three of what we call space, and not completely distinguishable from them. A direction in which motion would carry one into the past, or into the future. 

[Jan 2012]


“When the Earth Tilted”
by J.M. Walsh
First publication: Wonder Stories, May 1932
After a passing comet throws the earth’s axis out of kilter, the survivors, searching for a habitable spot to live on the planet’s surface, stumble upon a colony from the lost continent of Mu, whereupon war breaks out (after all, there’s limited land available now) and the Muians have a time-travel trick up their sleeves.
[Apr 2013]


Dangerous Corner
by J.B. Priestley
First performed: 17 May 1932 at London’s Lyric Theatre

I need you to tell me whether the conclusion of this play involves time travel or not. I claim it does. But regardless of that, it’s worth reading Priestley’s first play, which follows the dire consequences of a chance remark at the start of Act I. The play was also filmed as a 1934 screenplay and later as a Yorkshire Television Production.

 For the last few seconds the light has been fading, now it is completely dark. There is a revolver shot, a womans scream, a moments silence, then the sound of a woman sobbing, exactly as at the beginning of Act I. 

[Sep 2013]


“Omega”
by Ameila Reynolds Long
First publication: Amazing, Jul 1932


Via hypnosis, a professor sends a convicted murderer throughout the circle of time until he eventually visits the very omega of the universe.

 I, Doctor Michael Claybridge, living in the year 1926, have listened to a description of the end of the world from the lips of the man who witnessed it; the last man of the human race. That this is possible, or that I am not insane, I cannot ask you to believe: I can only offer you the facts. 

[Aug 2013]


“The Time Conqueror”
aka “The Tyrant of Time”
by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach
First publication: Wonder Stories Jul 1932
Evil scientist Koszarek kills Ovington and uses his brain to view the future, which is dominated by the Brain who ruthlessly kills each of his servants that Koszarak inhabits.

 Beyond the fourth there is a fifth dimension. . . . Eternity, I think you would call it. It is the line, the direction perpendicular to time. 

[Jan 2014]


“"Flight into Super-Time"”
aka “The Letter from Mohaun Los”
by Clark Ashton Smith
First publication: Wonder Stories, Aug 1932
Eccentric millionaire Domitian Malgraff and his Chinese servant Li Wong head off in a time machine, first to adventure into the future, but if that fails to hold there interest—says Malgraff in a letter to his ex-fiancée—there is always the past.

 You have always considered me a hopeless dreamer; and I am the last person who would endeavor or even wish to dispute your summary. It might be added that I am one of those dreamers who have not been able to content themselves with dreams. Such persons, as a rule, are unfortunate and unhappy, since few of them are capable of realizing, or even approximating, their visionary conceptions. 

[Jul 2013]


“Beyond the Veil of Time”
by B.H. Barney
First publication: Amazing Stories Quarterly, Fall-Winter 1932
Mathematician Richard Nelson, Andean Indian Huayan, and engineer Dan Bradford who try to capture images from a pre-Incan city in the Andes, but instead are blown back in time and have a series of high adventures.

The story—Barney’s only publication—was a plagiaristic hodgepodge of elements from the work of A. Merritt, although Everett Bleiler’s review notes that there were imaginative and ingenious original elements.

 A. MERRITT, WHO IS WELL KNOWN TO MANY OF THE READERS OF AMAZING STORIES, HAS CALLED OUR ATTENTION TO MANY SIMILARITIES IN DESCRIPTIONS, CHARACTERIZATIONS AND SITUATIONS IN THE STORY "BEYOND THE VEIL OF TIME" BY B.H. BARNEY, PUBLISHED IN THE FALL-WINTER ISSUE OF AMAZING STORIES QUARTERLY, AND DESCRIPTIONS, CHARACTERIZATIONS AND SITUATIONS IN HIS TWO BOOKS "THE MOON POOL" AND "THE FACE IN THE ABYSS". MR. MERRITT OBJECTS PARTICULARLY TO THE UTILIZATION OF THE CONCEPTION AND THE NAME OF "THE DREAM-MAKERS", WHICH FORMED AN ESSENTIAL PART OF HIS "FACE IN THE ABYSS". 
—an announcement in the June 1933 Amazing Stories

[May 2015]


“Chicago, 2042 A.D.”
by Paul Bolton
First publication: Wonder Stories, Oct 1932
The U.S. in the 1950s is ruled by the Jerry Ratoni of the Chicago mob, which Wakefield plans to infiltrate, but things go wrong when Ratoni, Wakefield and Ratoni’s secretary are transported to 2042, where the mob still rules.
[Nov 2013]


“The Man Who Lived Twice”
by William Kober
First publication: Amazing, Nov 1932
In a dire time of war, a man from the Bureau of Standards in look of new weapons visits Professor Dane who claims he can travel to the future, which our man from the Bureau does, but he finds an alien invasion instead of great new weapons.
[Apr 2013]


“The Time Express”
by Nat Schachner
First publication: Wonder Stories, Dec 1932
Under strict rules against smuggling technology, time-travel tourism is permitted to the residents of 2124 A.D., but, of course, when a tour guide tries to take modern technology to the nontechnical time of 4600 A.D., our man Denton Kels must bring the dastard to justice.
[Nov 2013]

“Ancients of Easter Island”
by F. Stanley Renshaw
First publication: Amazing, Apr 1933
Archeologist Harvey Manly and crew visit Easter Island where they participate in a sacred ritual with the indiginous people, and the ritual seems to take Harvey back to a time when he, as leader of the ancient Lemurians, lived the legend that gave birth to the ritual.
[Apr 2013]


“The Man from Tomorrow”
by Stanton A. Coblentz
First publication: Amazing Stories Quarterly, Spring/Summer 1933
An apparent madman, James Richard Cloud, pops in on Professor Ellery Howard of Gotham University, and the professor is about to dismiss Cloud’s claims of building a machine that can see all of time and retrieve objects from time, when the professor’s assistant arrives and recognizes a certain sensibility in the madman’s mathematical notes, all of which leads to a personal viewing of the machine, which hiccups and kidnaps a man from the 23rd century who insists on being shown around nighttime New York City.

 You know some of the modern theories about the fourth dimension. How Einstein and others suppose that the fourth dimension of sapce is time. Well, I dont want to calim any one elses laurels, but that was my view even before the name of Einstein was heard of. Ive been working at it for thirty-five years. Its my belief too that the fourth side of space is time, and that, in a sense, all time exists simultaneously and eternally—although on some other plan than ours—just as all space exists simultaneously and eternally. 

[Feb 2013]


“The Third Vibrator”
by John Wyndham (as by John Beynon Harris)
First publication: Wonder Stories, May 1933
Hixton tells his fiancé the reason why he destroyed his death ray: He’s been back to ancient Lemuria and Atlantis and seen with his own eyes the effect it had.

Although the mechanism of the weapon differed from the atom bomb, it still feels as though Wyndham anticipated the capability for world destruction that would soon be upon us.

 Miles away the ground split from a center in radiating crevasses. I saw men far beyond it halt in dismay and turn back. A violent shaking of the ground sent me to the floor. 

[Jul 2015]


The Radio Man Series
by Ralph Milne Farley
First time travel: Argosy, 13 May
Farley’s tales of Radio Man John Pease on Venus (and elsewhere) rivaled Edgar Rice Burroughs’ tales in the pages of Argosy. I haven’t yet read all of Farley’s series, but I did read two pieces in Farley’s 1950 collection, The Omnibus of Time. The first (‘The Missing Chapter of the Radio War”) set up a framework for Pease in which he communes through time with both his ancestors and his descendants; the second (an excerpt from The Golden City, which was serialized in Argosy) has John Pease’s uncle’s friend telling the story of his own disappearance into long-lost Pacific island of Mu, only to reappear unaged some decades later. These two pieces were relatively light time-traveling fare, but perhaps they set the stage for Farley’s later instigation and investigation of many of the now-well-worn time paradoxes.

 Furthermore, this young man cant possibly be Adams Mayhew! Why Mayhew would be nearly eighty, if he were alive today, and this man is still in his twenties. 

[Feb 2015]


“The Intelligence Gigantic”
by John Russell Fearn
First publication: Amazing, Jun-Jul 1933
There’s just a smidgen of time travel in this story—possibly so that every known science fiction trope is covered. The jump through time occurs when an artificially created human who uses all of his brain (instead of the tiny amount that we use) jumps forward in time to start his world domination.
[Nov 2013]


Berkeley Square
by John L. Balderston, Henry James and Sonya Levien (Frank Lloyd, director)
First release: 15 Sep 1933


Leslie Howard reprises his dual role of Peter Standish(es) from the 1929 Broadway version of the Balderston’s Berkeley Square, which in turn was based on Henry James’s unfinished novel.

 How many of us have wished that we might escape from the dull reality of the present into the glamor and romance of yesterday?
But if we could journey back into the mystery of the past, should we find contentment—or unhappiness?
 

[Jan 2015]


“Theft of the Washington Monument”
by Robert Arthur, Jr.
First publication: Amazing, Oct 1933
In order to exact revenge for the ridicule that his theories on time have endured, Professor Green decide to transport the Washington Monument to the future for a few days, and in the process, they see the eventual fate of our planet.
[Nov 2013]


The Oliver Kent Stories
by Joseph W. Skidmore
First story: Amazing, Nov 1933
I’m not sure how often the super-scientist Oliver Kent showed up in Skidmore stories, but at least twice Kent administered drugs that allowed the heroes to be thrown back in time, living in other bodies (“The Beetle in the Amber,” wherein Donald and Joane Cromwell are sent back to prehuman bodies in the time that an amazing beetle came from, and “The First Flight” in which aviator Donald Calvert flies a pterodactyl).

 From the looks of the Brontosaurus  . . . we are in the Pleistocene period. 

[Apr 2013]


The Tyme Stories
by A. Fedor and Henry Hasse
First story: Wonder Stories, Nov 1933

In a series of two Wonder Stories tales, Tyme (our man from the future) visits science fiction editor B. Lue Pencil who first has Tyme committed to an insane asylum (“The End of Tyme” in Nov 1933 ) and then decides to not commit suicide because Tyme shows him future sales figures and tables of contents for his magazine (“The Return of Tyme” in Aug 1934).
[Nov 2013]


“Ancestral Voices”
by Nat Schachner
First publication: Astounding, Dec 1933

Time traveler Emmet Pennypacker kills one ancient Hun and without realizing who will disappear from the racist world of 1935.

This is the first issue of Astounding that lists F. Orlin Tremaine as editor, although he began that job two months earlier, and I think this is the first time-travel story that he published.

 The year of grace 1935! A dull year, a comfortable year! Nothing much happened. The depression was over; people worked steadily at their jobs and forgot that they had every starved; Roosevelt was still President of the United States; Hitler was firmly ensconced in Germany; France talked of security; Japan continued to defend itself against China by swallowing a few more provinces; Russia was about to commence on the third Five Year Plan, to be completed in two years; and, oh, yes—Cuba was still in revolution. 

[Dec 2012]


“Island of Science”
by B.S. Keirstead
First publication: Amazing, Dec 1933
An Englishman is shipwrecked on an island of brilliant Italian scientists who, among other things, take him back to ninth century England and the time of King Alfred.
[Nov 2013]

The story also appeared in the third volume of Williamson’s collected stories (Sep 2000)
“Terror Out of Time”
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Astounding, Dec 1933
Until I started reading these 1930s pulps, I didn’t realize how ubiquitous were the scientist with a beautiful daughter and her adventurous fiancé. This story has Dr. Audrin, his machine to project the brain of a present-day man forty million years into the future and possibly bring another mind back, his beautiful daughter Eve, and her manly fiancé, Terry Webb, who agrees to be the test subject for the machine.

 I must have a subject. And there is a certain—risk. Not great, now, Im sure. My apparatus is improved. But, in my first trial, my subject was—injured. Ive been wondering, Mr. Webb, if you— 

[Dec 2012]

“To-Day’s Yesterday”
by Russell Blaiklock (as by Rice Ray)
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jan 1934
Cavanaugh, a movie’s sound engineer, realizes that the complex wiring on the movie set has transported a microphone to another time, and Cavanaugh’s assistant, Wilson, then transports himself to that time, too.
[Nov 2013]


“The Time Jumpers”
by Philip Francis Nowlan
First publication: Amazing, Feb 1934
Ted Manley and girlfriend Cynthia hop back to 993A.D. (attacked by Vikings) and then to 1753 (where they are sightseers at the French and Indian Wars and say hi to George Washington).
[Nov 2015]


“The Retreat from Utopia”
by Wallace West
First publication: Astounding, Mar 1934
A newspaper reporter from 2175 describes his strict, puritan world where nobody is happy because nothing ever happens, and even the criminals off in Borneo refuse to rejoin that society, so the story’s 1934 narrator visits the future to set things right.
[Nov 2013]

This NY Times headline from Jun 11, 1934, describes an American Rocket Society test flight; Schachner was one of the founding members of the society.
“The Time Impostor”
by Nat Schachner
First publication: Astounding, Mar 1934
Newspaper reporter Derek leaps into a time machine that has come back from the 9th millennium to rescue the condemned murderer Mike Spinnot because he’s worshiped as a hero in that future time.
[Nov 2013]


“The Time Traveller”
by A.M.Low (anonymously)
First publication: Scoops, 3 Mar 1934
When newspaper reporter Brant Emerson saves the life of the reclusive Professor Lestrange, the scientist offers to let Brant use a time machine—an offer which Brant accepts (hoping to get a scoop), and Brant soon finds himself in 2034 London where newspapers have been totally replaced by tv and radio (quite a good prognosis, even if Low didn’t think of the role the internet would play).
[Nov 2013]


“The Mentanicals”
by Francis Flagg
First publication: Amazing, Apr 1934

On a whim, the handsome Captain Bronson, adventurer and yacht captain for the multimillionaire Olson Smith, steps into the time machine of the quirky Professor Stringer and presses the Wellsian lever forward, whereupon he finds himself in a future world populated by stupid beastly men and smooth, cylindrical robots.

 Professor Stringer threw open the laboratory door and turned on the lights. We saw it then, an odd machine, shiny and rounded, occupying the center of the workshop floor. I had been drinking, you will recollect, and my powers of observation were not at their best. It was the same with the others. When I questioned them later, they could give no adequate description of it. “So this,” said Olson Smith rather flatly, “is a time machine.” The doctor walked about—a little unsteadily I noticed—and viewed it from all angles. “The passenger,” said the Professor, “sits here. Notice this lever on the graduated face of the dial; it controls the machine. Turn it this way from Zero and one travels into the past; throw it ahead and one travels into the future. The return of the lever to Zero will return the machine to the point of departure in time. The electronic flow. . . .” he went into obscure details. “Will it work?” demanded the Doctor. 

[Jul 2013]


“The Long Night”
by Charles Willard Diffin
First publication: Astounding, May 1934
Garry Coyne devises a way to move into the future via suspended animation, which (as we all know) is not time travel, but once he arrives in the future to fight throwback homoids and take shelter with the small band of normal men, he does have a moment where he slides back to the present for a brief communication with his trusted friend and a realization about the nature of time.

 Past, present, future—all one. And we, moving along the dimension called time, intersect them. I cant grasp it. But I cant deny it. If only there were proof— 

[Jan 2013]


“Invaders from Time”
by John Russell Fearn
First publication: Scoops, 12 May 1934
In retrieving objects from the future, Tom Lawton and Bill Richard manage to grab four brothers from 2534, and the brothers promptly take over London, announcing that they intend to make a utopia, but first they must kill half the population.

Scoops was a weekly British publication that lasted about half of 1934. This particular Fearn story was reprinted in the 1997 Fantasy Annual.

 Its a paradox. 

[Nov 2013]


“Voice of Atlantis”
by Laurence Manning
First publication: Wonder Stories, July 1934
Volking, a scientist, accidentally sends himself back to Atlantis where he reveals the eventual diluvian fate of the island and converses with an old man about the ills of our society and the closed nature of theirs.
[Nov 2013]


“Time Haven”
by Howard Wandrei (as by Howard W. Graham, Ph.D.)
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1934
Vincent Merryfield, the “alien” of his family for the sin of being a scientist, builds a time machine that takes him to the year 2443 where the rest of his family has died out and he is the sole owner of everything within sight of his seven-mile-high tower in Manhattan—but how did everyone know he was coming? Sadly, it may be that he never really traveled through time, but I had to put artist and writer Howard Wandrei into my list nonetheless. A later story, “The Missing Ocean” (May 1939), follows much the same time-travelless plot.

 Of course! It has always been known that you would ‘appear’ sooner or later. 

[May 2015]


“Inflexure”
by H.L. Gold (as by Clyde Crane Campbell)
First publication: Astounding, Oct 1934
Some rogue object passing through the solar system manages to merge together all people from all times of Earth.

 Im over the Caroline Islands, longitude 158° 23´ west, latitude 8° 30´ north. Therere millions of people drowning all around me. What shall I do? 

[Jan 2013]


“Twilight”
by John W. Campbell, Jr. (as by Don Stuart)
First publication: Astounding, Nov 1934



In 1932, James Waters Bendell picks up a magnificently sculpted hitchhiker named Ares Sen Kenlin (the Sen means he’s a scientist, but Waters is just a name) who says that he’s trying to get back to his home time (3059) from seven million years in the future—a time when mankind has atrophied because of their reliance on machines.

 They stand about, little misshapen men with huge heads. But their heads contain only brains. They had machines that could think—but somebody turned them off a long time ago, and no one knew how to start them again. That was the trouble with them. They had wonderful brains. Far better than yours or mine. But it must have been millions of years ago when they were turned off, too, and they just hadnt thought since then. Kindly little people. 

[Jan 2013]


“The Time Tragedy”
by Raymond A. Palmer
First publication: Wonder Stories, Dec 1934
A judge who sentenced a man named William Gregory to death thirty years ago explains his theory on what has happened to his own son, an inventor also named William Gregory.

 Into the future she had gone, William said, and I had no reason to doubt him. The cat took the matter in a calm way and seemed in no wise injured by its uncanny transit. 

[Sep 2013]


Lux Radio Theater
aka Hollywood Radio Theater
First time travel: “Berkeley Square,” 9 Dec 1934

The long-running Lux Radio Theater (later renamed Hollywood Radio Theater to avoid commercial ties when it moved to the Armed Forces Radio Network) did productions of both Berkeley Square (with Leslie Howard reprising his movie role) and I’ll Never Forget You” (with Tyrone Power reprising his role). They also adapted other movies of interest such as the iconic The Day the Earth Stood Still.

 Greetings from Hollywood. Ladies and gentlemen: I think youll be as intrigued with our play tonight as I was when I discovered it was a most unusual love story, the story of a modern scientist in love with a girl whom he meets in another century. 
I’ll Never Forget You

[Jun 2015]

“The Prenatal Plagiarism”
by Mort Weisinger
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jan 1935
After the publication of Daniel Cartwright’s wildly successful novel, charges of exact plagiarism from a 50-year-old novel arise, even though he insists that he was the only author.
[Jan 2015;]


Pre-Superman Comic Books
First time travel: New Fun Comics 1, Feb 1935


Comic books didn’t really take off until the introduction of the Man of Steel in Action Comics 1 (Jun 1938). Before that, many comics were compilations of strips similar to the Sunday funnies, and some of these had time travel. The earliest series that I found was the story of Bobby and Binks, two kids who at first time traveled through a Magic Crystal of History and later just viewed past adventures through the crystal. The first appeared in DC’s first comic book publication, the first issue of New Fun Comics in February 1935. As I find other such series, I’ll add them to my time-travel comic book page. So far, the pre-1939 titles I've found are:

 New Fun Comics 1 (Feb 1935)Bobby and Binks
Big Book of Fun Comics Annual (Nov 1935)Bobby and Binks reprints
New Comics 1 (Dec 1935)Fritz the time traveler
More Fun 7 (Jan 1936)Bobby and Binks

 Binks: Why—why—I can understand what theyre saying!
Bobby: So can I! Its that magic crystal that did it! 

[Jul 2012]

The first story also appeared in this July 1973 reprint magazine.
The Time Control Stories
by Philip Jacques Bartel
First story: Amazing, Feb 1935
Two Russians (Khalin and Mikhailloff) and an American engineer (Earl Lyons) find a way to step outside of time, view the future, then step back into time at the very point that they left, thereby preventing bad things such as Mikhailloff’s murder (in “When Time Stood Still,” Amazing, Feb 1935) and an insult that’s intended to start a war (“The Time Control,” Amazing, Dec 1936).
[Nov 2013]


“Valley of the Rukh”
by Harl Vincent
First publication: Amazing, Feb 1935
Pilot Stanley Kent and his client, spoiled authoress Ruth Owens, find themselves in a piece of Venus that’s been transported from the past, whereupon they have exciting adventures.
[Nov 2013]


“The Prophetic Voice”
by Laurence Manning
First publication: Wonder Stories, Apr 1935
A voice, purporting to be from the future, warns mankind that they must all go into suspended animation or face extinction; mankind obeys, but when they wake up, the people at the other end of the future phone don’t know anything about the earlier message.
[Nov 2013]

Brick Bradford #5,
Jul 1948

Brick Bradford
by William Ritt and Clarence Gray
First time travel: 20 Apr 1935




Ritt and Gray introduced The Time Top as a short-lived separate topper strip on April 20/21, 1935, and it first appeared in Brick’s Sunday strip on Oct 17, 1937; thereafter, it frequently took the comic strip adventurer into the future (and occasionally the past).

Brick’s strips were reprinted as early as 1934 with two hardcover issues of Saalfield Comics (#1059 and #1309). He was reprinted in King Comics starting with the first April 1936 issue, and he headlined one 1938 hardcover Big Little Book (#1468, combining text with line illustrations). Some Ace Comics had reprints (1947-49), and he appeared in four issues of his own comic book: #5 (Jul 1948) to #8 (Jul 1949) that were possibly strip reprints. In the 60s, new Brick backup features appeared in some issues of The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician (at least #5, #6 and #10) and Flash Gordon (at least #14, #16, #17). They probably all used the top, but I don’t know for sure. All that was just in the U.S.: He was vastly more popular in Australia and New Zealand.

 Into the past . . . into the future . . . read on for another exciting adventure in time with Brick Bradford  
Brick Bradford and the Time Top 25, Australia

[Dec 2010]


“Alas, All Thinking”
by Harry Bates
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1935

Charles Wayland is tasked with discovering why his cold-hearted college buddy and all-around genius (I.Q. 248) physicist Harlan T. Frick has abandoned everything technical for mundane pursuits such as golfing, clothes, travel, fishing, night clubs, and so on—and the explanation may have to do with either Humpty Dumpty or Frick’s trip to the future with an average (but meditative) young woman named Pearl who is most curious about love.

 I showed her New York. Shed say, “But why do the people hurry so? Is it really necessary for all those automobiles to keep going and coming? Do the people like to live in layers? If the United States is as big as you say it is, why do you build such high buildings? What is your reason for having so few people rich, so many people poor?” It was like that. And endless. 

[Jan 2013]


“A Thief in Time”
by Vernon H. Jones (as by Raymond A. Young)
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jul 1935
A scientist sends gangster Tony Carponi to steal some radium, and only years later does Carponi realized that the caper involved time travel.
[Apr 2013]


“The Branches of Time”
by David R. Daniels
First publication: Wonder Stories, Aug 1935
James Bell invents a time machine, sees the end of mankind in the near future, travels further to see man’s successor, returns to mankind’s end to save the species, and visits the Mesozoic, anticipating Bradbury’s Butterfly Effect.
[Nov 2013]


“The Kingdom of Thought”
by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach
First publication: Amazing, Aug 1935
Donald Stile is transported to the future by a Time Sphere where he finds two groups of giant brains (the good white brains and the evil black brains) battling—but what of the grey brain?
[Nov 2013]


“The Man Who Met Himself”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: Top-Notch, Aug 1935
Among physicists, the most favored resolution to time-travel paradoxes is a world of one fixed landscape of time and its events. Time travel may be possible, but if so, the Karma will conspire to have only those events that have been written into the landscape to occur. Heinlein’s “All You Zombies—” may be the pinnacle of such stories, but Farley’s is the earliest case that I’ve read to present a clear deterministic time loop along these lines. In the story, Boston stock broker Dick Withrick is on a 1935 tiger hunt in Cambodia when he runs into a strangely familiar (and slightly older) man who warns him, “As you value your freedom, do not touch the machine—” And yet, he does touch the machine, taking him back to 1925 so he (in the company of his Buddhist Abbot host) can relive the decade of financial turmoil.

 “It cannot be,” the Abbot asserted suavely. “The years from 1925 to 1935 happen only once in the whole course of eternity. You are not now living through a repetition of those ten years. Rather it is those same ten years. The events which you remember as having happened back in Boston, and the events which are happening here today, are happening simultaneously. Your ten years in Boston from 1925 to 1935, are one and the same ten years. It is only an illusion of your mind that they seem to be successive, rather than concurrent. And this illusion is not so different from the illusion of all mankind with respect to the flow of timel for Brahm, the Creator, sees all time and all space as once complete instantaneous event.” 

[Feb 2015]

This story was reprinted in the Winter 1951 issue of Fantastic Story Quarterly
“The Reign of the Reptiles”
by Alan Connell
First publication: Wonder Stories, Aug 1935
Sanders is kidnapped and sent to a laboratory in the far past from which he escapes to find a civilization of intelligent, winged reptiles—possibly the first story of intelligent dinosaurs in our past.
[May 2015]


“Night”
by John W. Campbell, Jr. (as by Don A. Stuart)
First publication: Astounding, Oct 1935


Bob Carter takes a plane up to 45,000 feet to test an anti-gravity device, but instead it hurls him into the same future as the story “Twilight”—but whereas the earlier story had mankind who were dying out in 7,000,000 A.D. because of the ubiquity of machines, Carter finds himself billions of years beyond that, with both man and (most) machines long gone.

 Ah, yes, you have a mathematical means of expression, but no understanding of that time, so it is useless. But the last of humanity was allowed to end before the Sun changed from the original G-O stage—a very, very long time ago. 

[Jan 2013]


“The Fall of Mercury”
by Leslie F. Stone
First publication: Amazing, Dec 1935
Mort Forrest and his fellow explorer Bruce are headed for supposedly uninhabited Mercury when they are captured by Mercurians intent on taking over the solar system, but fortunately, a friendly Saturnian named Chen-Chak (with a ray gun that can momentarily transfer bad guys into the future) rescues them, tells them of the history of species from all the planets, and saves the solar system.
[Nov 2013]

The story also appeared in Phil Stong’s 1941 anthology, The Other Worlds.
“The Fourth-Dimensional Demonstrator”
by Murray Leinster
First publication: Astounding, Dec 1935
Pete Davidson has inherited all the properties of an uncle who had been an authority on the fourth dimension, including the Fourth-Dimensional Demonstrator that can pull copies of matches, coins, dollar bills, fiancées and kangaroos out of the past.

 Its produced another burnt match. Dragged it forward out of the past, sir. There was a burnt match at that spot, until the glass plate moved a few seconds ago. Like the girl and the banana peel, sir. The machine went back to the place where the match had been, and then it went back in time to where the match was, and then it brought it forward. 

[Jul 2013]


“Human Machines”
by J. Harvey Haggard
First publication: Astounding, Dec 1935
When the megalomanic and utopia-builder Lan Darth is opposed by Therm Sutner, Darth throws Sutner into a horrid future world that is populated by strange creatures that arose out of Darth’s eugenic and policies that banned sexual reproduction.
[Feb 2013]


“Time Found Again”
by Mildred Cram
First publication: Cosmopolitan, Dec 1935

Bart Henderson hates his life in 1935, longing for a daughter without painted fingernails and curled coxcombs, a son without bloodshot eyes at the breakfast table, a wife less jaded. Then his army buddy visits and suggests that nothing is ever lost in time, and it might be possible for the human mind to tear off the veils and return to a time such as the 18th century that Bart longs for.

It was fun to see both the advertisements and the innovation of Cosmopolitan to publish a time-travel story by the prolific Mildred Cram in 1935. The style reminds me of later Jack Finney stories of the 50s.

 He ran a few steps forward in the dark, stumbling. The syncopated, thudding hoofbeats broke rhythm, paused . . . And Bart Henderson found himself, in broad daylight, standing beside a fine carriage driven by a coachman in livery, drawn by two black horses with silver-trimmed harness. 

[Jan 2012]

“In the World’s Dusk”
by Edmond Hamilton
First publication: Weird Tales, Mar 1936

Galos Gann, the greatest scientist whom Earth had ever seen and last man on Earth, vows than mankind will not perish.

 There are no living men and women in the world today. But what of the trillions of men and women who have existed on Earth in the past? Those trillions are separated from me by the abyss of time. Yet . . . 

[May 2015]


“The Shadow Out of Time”
by H.P. Lovecraft
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1936




During an economics lecture, Professor Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee’s body and mind are taken over by a being who can travel to any time and place of his choice, and during the next five years the being studies us, all of which Peaslee pieces together after his return.

Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi says that Lovecraft saw the movie Berkeley Square four times in 1933, and “its portrayal of a man of the 20th century who somehow merges his personality with that of is 18th-century ancestor” served as Lovecraft’s inspiration for this story.

 The projected mind, in the body of the organism of the future, would then pose as a member of the race whose outward form it wore, learning as quickly as possible all that could be learned of the chosen age and its massed information and techniques. 

[Jul 2013]


“The Land Where Time Stood Still”
by Arthur Leo Zagat
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Aug 1936
Modern-day Englishman Ronald Stratton and Arthurian damsel Elaise find themselves in a land with people from all ages and predators from the year 6000A.D.
[Nov 2013]


“The Time Entity”
by Otto Binder (as by Eando Binder)
First publication: Astounding, Oct 1936
John Dakin considers paradoxes as he communicates by radio with his future descendant.
[Nov 2013]


Popeye the Sailor Cartoons
created by Elzie Crisler Segar
First time travel: 27 Nov 1936 (Sindbad)

Several early Popeye cartoons had plots that might only be explained by time travel, such as meeting Sindbad (played by Bluto) in a sixteen minute 1936 cartoon. However, for me, the real time travelin’ began in the 1960s television cartoon when the Professor had a time machine. Heres a list of episodes which I know of that might be explained by time travel. Send me others that you spot!

 Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad (1936)to ancient Persia?
Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba (1937)time of 1001 Nights
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (1939)evil vizier to present
Popeye and the Pirates (1947)pirate ship to present
Wotta Knight (1947)jousting tournament
Pre-Hysterical Manb (1948)caveman times
Popeye Meets Hercules (1948)to ancient Greece
Robin Hood-Winked (1948)to Sherwood Forest
Pilgrim Popeye (1951)Popeye as a pilgrim
Big Bad Sindbad (1952)mostly reuse from 1936
The Golden-Type Fleece (1960)to ancient Greece
Popeye and the Dragon (1960)to middle ages
Invisible Popeye (1960)future Martians
Out of This World (1960)to the future
The Glad Gladiator (1960)Roman gladiators
Popeyed Columbus (1960)1492
Astro-Nut (1960)just time dilation
Popeye’s Tea Party (1960)Boston Tea Party
Time Marches Backwards (1960)caveman days
Quick Change Ollie (1960)middle ages via magic hen
Camel Aires (1960)to ancient Egypt
The Black Knight (1960)Arthurian times
Have Time, Will Travel (1961)prehistoric

 Huck-huck-huck-huck. There aint no such thing as pirates, Olive. Theyre only a fragamentation of the imagamentation. 
—Popeye and the Pirates

[Jan 2015]


“Trapped in Eternity”
by Ray Cummings
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec 1936
Alan Blair and his beautiful fiancée Dora are brought to the future by the lecherous Groat who cures her blindness and then proposes to start a new race with Dora.
[Dec 2013]


“Tryst in Time”
by C.L. Moore
First publication: Astounding, Dec 1936
Bold and bored soldier-of-fortune Eric Rosner meets a scientist who sends him skipping through time, always meeting the same beguiling girl with the smoke-blue eyes.

 I can transport you into the past, and you can create events there which never took place in the past we know—but the events are not new. They were ordained from the beginning, if you took that particular path. You are simply embarking upon a different path into a different future, a fixed and preordained future, yet one which will be strange to you because it lies outside your own layer of experience. So you have infinite freedom in all your actions, yet everything you can possibly do is already fixed in time. 

[May 2011]

“He Who Mastered Time”
by J. Harvey Haggard
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Feb 1937
After testing his time machine on mice, Richard Sauger himself travels to the far end of time with no plot other than that.

 He stood on a flat plain that undulated gently. That much was understandable. The surface of the earth, if it really was changing rapidly, had become a mere blur to his senses. The solid ring of substance across the sky was the sun, traveling at a prodigious rate that kept pase with his transit through Time. The retina of the eye caught its image as a solid ring, so swift was the earths rotation. As the seasons altered the ring shifted lower or higher across the horizon, that was all. 

[Aug 2015]




The Sands of Time Stories
by P. Schuyler Miller
First story: Astounding, Apr 1937
Terry Donovan realizes that it’s possible to travel through time in 60,000,000-year increments, so naturally he travels back to the time of dinosaurs and visiting aliens.

The first story, “The Sands of Time,” was under Tremaine’s Astounding editorship (Apr 1937) but the sequel, “Coils of Time,” appeared under Campbell’s (May 1939).

 Incidentally, I have forgotten the most important thing of all. Remember that Donovans dominating idea was to prove to me, and to the world, that he had been in the Cretaceous and hobnobbed with its flora and fauna. He was a physicist by inclination, and had the physicists flair for ingenious proofs. Before leaving, he loaded a lead cube with three quartz quills of pure radium chloride that he had been using in a previous experiment, and locked the whole thing up in a steel box. 

[Oct 2010]


“Forgetfulness”
by John W. Campbell, Jr. (as by Don A. Stuart)
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1937

Millions of years after mankind raised various species and sent them to the stars, one of the species returns and believes that humans have fallen into a primitive existence. And the time travel? Partway through the story, there’s a power source that goes to the end of time and cycles back to the beginning of time. The story also appeared in Healey and McComas’s seminal anthology, Adventures in Time and Space, and it was made into a one-act play in 1943 by Wayne Gordon.

 In the first revolution it made, the first day it was built, it circled to the ultimate end of time and the universe, and back to the day it was built. 

[Dec 2012]

The story later appeared in this 1953 anthology.
“Reverse Phylogeny”
by Amelia Reynolds Long
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1937

Eric Dale once again tells of an escapade of his friend, Professor Aloysius O’Flannigan—this time it’s about his quest to prove or disprove the existance of Atlantis via hypnosis and the recovery of ancestral memories. You’ll need to wait until the end for the tiny bit of time travel to be cast out.

 There are times, I reflected, when nothing else in the English language is so expressive as the single word, “Nuts.” But I said nothing, hoping that he would work off his enthusiasm by writing a letter to the magazine. I should have known better. 

[Dec 2012]


“Seeker of To-Morrow”
by Eric Frank Russell and Leslie J. Johnson
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1937
Explorer Urnas Karin and his crew of twenty return to Venus from abandoned Earth along with the body of a man who appears to have traveled from the ancient past—and then they revive him, whereupon he tells of his invention of time travel (to the future only) and subsequent journey from 1998 to the present day.

 I had set up my laboratory in the wilds of the Peak District in Derbyshire, in England, where work could be carried on with the minimum of interference. From this laboratory I had dispatched into the unknown, presumably the future, a multitude of objects, including several live creatures such as rats, mice, pigeons and domestic fowl. In no case could I bring back anything I had made to vanish. Once gone, the subject was gone forever. There was no way of discovering exactly where it had gone. There was nothing but to take a risk and go myself. 

[Dec 2012]

For Us, the Living
by Robert A. Heinlein
First written: 1938 (posthumously published in 2003)


I’m sad that I’ve now read all the extant Heinlein fiction, this posthumous (and first) novel being the last piece for me. It certainly held 3.5 stars worth of enjoyment for a Heinlein fan, but much of that was in seeing the nascent ideas of the writer that I would devour in my childhood. In the story, a military pilot from 1939 dies, and his consciousness is thrown forward to 2086 where social and economic aspects of society are hugely altered, though technological advances are more conservative (but, dammit, I want my flying car).

 “Let me get out of these furs.” She walked away while fumbling with a zipper at her throat. The furs were all one garment which slipped off her shoulders and fell to the floor. Perry felt a shock like an icy shower and then a warm tingle. 

[Jun 2011]


Hal Hardy and the Lost Land of Giants
First publication: Whitman Big Little Book 1413, 1938
Not surprisingly, Hal finds himself in the land of dinosaurs.

 The beast Hal saw looked like a rhinoceros, save for the horns. 





The Once and Future King
by T.H. White
First book: 1938

Merlyn, who experiences time backward, is the traveler in this series, which was introduced to me by Denbigh Starkey, my undergraduate advisor at WSU and later a member of my Ph.D. committee.

The first four of these short books in the series were collected into a single volume, The Once and Future King, in 1958. A final part, The Book of Merlyn, written in 1941 was published posthumously in 1971.

 The Sword in the Stone (1938)Arthur is crowned
The Queen of Air and Darkness (1939)aka The Witch in the Wood
The Ill-Made Knight (1940)Sir Lancelot
The Candle in the Wind (1958)end of Camelot
The Book of Merlyn (1977)final battle with Mordred

 EVERYTHING NOT FORBIDDEN IS COMPULSORY. 
—a sign at the ant colony
     (and also physicist Murray Gell-Mann’s description of particle physics)

[Apr 1978]




“Shuffled Symphonies”
by Basil Reynolds
First time travel: 1 Jan 1938 in Mickey Mouse Weekly 100


Shuffled Symphonies were short, illustrated fantasy stories in the British Mickey Mouse Weekly. Some of the episodes included time travel via Doctor Einmug’s time machine. The four that I know about include a trip to Stonehenge (1 Jan 1938), to visit Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth I (12 Mar 1938), a visit to Shakespeare (6 Aug 1938), and a trip to a robotic future (26 Nov, 1938).

 A few more shivers and quivers, and the heap of gleaming metal sprang into life and bowled after the terrified Twin! 
Mickey Mouse Weekly 147, 26 Nov, 1938

[Jul 2012]


“Lords of 9016”
by John Russell Fearn
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Apr 1938

Dick and his scientist friend Ladbrook take a helicopter into the giant hole that has opened in the ground near two cities where all people and animals have disappeared, only to find giant ants from the future.

 Not ants of your time, however, but the rulers of the year ninety-sixteen, seven thousand of so years ahead of you—time enough for the busy creatures of your present day to have evolved into the significant might you see we have. 

[Dec 2013]


The Legion of Time
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Astounding Science Fiction, May-Jul 1938

After two beautiful women of two different possible futures appear to physicist Denny Lanning, he finds himself swept up by a time-traveling ship, the Chronion, along with a band of fighting men who swear their allegiance to The Legion of Time and its mission to ensure that the eviler of the two beautiful women never comes to pass.

 But Max Planck with the quantum theory, de Broglie and Schroedinger with the wave mechanics, Heisenberg with matrix mechanics, enourmously complicated the structure of the universe—and with it the problem of Time.
With the substitution of waves of probability for concrete particles, the world lines of objects are no longer the fixed and simple paths they once were. Geodesics have an infinite proliferation of possible branches, at the whim of sub-atomic indeterminism.
Still, of course, in large masses the statistical results of the new physics are not much different from those given by the classical laws. But there is a fundamental difference. The apparent reality of the universe is the same—but it rests upon a quicksand of possible change.
 

[Nov 2013]


“The Invisible Bomber”
by Ralph Milne Farley (as by Lt. John Pease)
First publication: Amazing, Jun 1938
Here’s a new rule about what constitutes a time-travel story: If the author claims that there’s time travel in the story, then it’s a time-travel story. That’s the case for this story, which doesn’t feel like time travel to me, but in the afterward of The Omnibus of Time Farley says that the airplane bomber in this story becomes soundless and invisible via a “laminated” model of space-time in which a series of different worlds are stacked one on top of another, each just a short time in front of its predecessor. According to Farley, “time-traveling will carry the traveler, not into the future, but rather into an entirely different space-time continuum than our own.” The plane becomes invisible by traveling just a short distance toward the next world without reaching anywhere near it.

My thought on this is that the notion of time as a dimension does not have anything to do with the stacking dimension. In fact, I don’t think they can be the same dimension because that would imply that there is nothing to distinguish a point in our space-time continuum from a point with the same space-time coordinates in some other continuum.

P.S. I also didn’t care for the president’s solution to the story’s problem.

 We human beings live in a three dimensional space, or which time has sometimes been called the fourth dimension. But did it ever occur to you, Mr. President, that we do not extend in time. We never experience any other time than the present. Our so-called space-time existence is thus seen to be a mere three-dimensional layer, or lamina, infinitely thin in the time direction. There could exist another three-dimensional space just a second or two away from ours, and we would never know it. 

[Feb 2015]

Part I of Asimov’s autobiography
“Cosmic Corkscrew”
by Isaac Asimov
Unpublished

“Cosmic Corkscrew” was the first story that Asimov ever wrote for submission to the pulp magazines of the day. In the first part of his autobiography, he describes starting the story, setting it aside, and returning to it some thirteen months later. It wast the story that he took with him on his first visit to John Campbell, inquiring about why the July 1938 Astounding was late arriving. Alas, the story was rejected and then lost, but it did have time travel!

 In it, I viewed time as a helix (this is, as something like a bedspring). Someone could cut across from one turn directly to the next, thus moving into the future by some exact interval, but being incapable of traveling one day less into the future. (I didnt know the term at the time, but what I had done was to “quantize” time travel.) 
In Memory Yet Green, Part I of Asimov’s autobiography

[Jul 1972]


Language for Time Travelers
by L. Sprague de Camp
First publication: Astounding Science Fiction, Jul 1938

This essay convinced me to add at least a few nonfiction works to my list. After all, why not? De Camp interleaves a few fictional vignettes with thoughts on how language might change over the next few centuries. For me, it shows how well the time-travel paradigm had been established by 1939.

As a bonus, this essay appeared in the very issue of Astounding that has the final installment of The Legion of Time and which caused all the trouble in my story “Saving Astounding.”

 Wah lenksh? Inksh lenksh, coss. Wah you speak? Said, sah-y, daw geh-ih. Daw, neitha. You fresh? Jumm? 

[Jul 2001]






Fiction House Comics
Published by Thurman T. Scott
First time travel: Jumbo Comics 1, Sep 1938



Fiction House was a major publisher of pulp magazines and comics through the 1950s. Their comics came out of a pulp tradition with stories of jungle heros (Sheena, Queen of the Jungle), air aces (Wings Comics), westerns (Cowgirl Romances), science fiction (Planet Comics), and, of course, Jumbo Comics (Action! Adventure! Mystery!).

The first time travel that I tracked down here was an adventurer named Stuart Taylor who teamed with Dr. Hayward and his beautiful daughter Lora (later Laura) in many issues of Jumbo Comics. For me, it was exciting for two reasons: (1) It’s some of the earliest time travel in a comic book that I know of; (2) At least the first few stories were drawn by Jack King Kirby (as by Curt Davis). Time travel probably occurred in 1-4 (“The Experiment of Kromo’), as well as in 5-14, 17-78, 84-139, plus a reprint in 140. (Numbers 15-16 had no time travel; I think 79-83 are shorter, with no Stuart Taylor, and Stu disappeared after 140.)

Their science fiction comic, Planet Comics, had at least one bout of time travel when a chronoscope brought dinosaurs and such to The Lost World of heros Hunt and Lyssa (Planet Comics 41, March 1946); it also short, 2-page stories, at least one of which was time travel (“Lost World of Time” in Planet Comics 7, July 1940).

 My name is Stuart Taylor. Do you mind if I ask what seems a silly question! What year is this? 
—from Jumbo Comics 13

[Jun 2012]


If—You Were Stranded in Time
by Jack Binder
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec 1938

Comic book artist Jack Binder wasn’t as well known among science fiction readers as his two brothers Otto and Earl, but Jack did series of what-if comics for “Thrilling Wonder Stories, including this

 Suppose some fourth-dimensional phenomenon catapulted you back to the days of Caesar, with the possibility of a return to your own twentieth century entirely removed. Equipped with an elementary understanding of various sciences, how would you capitalize on your knowledge of future events and discoveries? Could you, with a head-start of two thousand years, earn a living? 

[Jul 2015]

The Shadow
created by Walter B. Gibson
First time travel: 1 Jan 1939

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of time travelers? I found one time-travel episode of The Shadow: the Jan 1, 1939 NBC radio broadcast of “The Man Who Murdered Time”:

 My machine bends the staight track of time, curves it, curves it, so that the time track forms a perfect circle! 

[Jun 2011]




DC Comics (Anthologies)
First time travel: Adventure Comics 37, Apr 1939


Like all the other publishers, DC also published anthologies of weird stories (as opposed to continuing characters) in the 50s, but even before that, they had anthologies of adventure stories. The earliest time travel that I’ve found so far is a five-part story of “A Playboy in King Arthur’s Court” starting in in Adventure Comics 37. As for the 50s weird stories, the first one I found there was a tale in Strange Adventures 4. As I find others, I’ll list them in my time-travel comic books page.

 History runs wild when Columbus, Napolean, and Cleopatra journey through time from the past to the present! 
—from the cover of Strange Adventures 60

[Jun 2012]




Alley Oop
created by V.T. Hamlin
First time travel: 5 Apr 1939



The caveman’s first exposure to time travel was in the 5 April, 1939 daily strip, shortly before Dr. Wonmug brought the insignts of the boisterous Alley Oop to the 20th century and elsewhere in time.

The image to the left is from Alley Oop 12 from Standard’s 1947-49 run of nine comics (10-18) that reprinted strips. The first one had pre-time-travel strips, but all of the rest probably included some time travel. The time machine picture to the right is from Dragon Lady Press strip reprints in the 1980s.

I’ve also found one Alley Oop take-off called Irving Oops in an the EC comic Panic 8, May 1955—which makes me wonder whether that other Irving of the comics, Irving Forbush, ever time traveled.

 By golly, kid, I’d swear that thing wasn’t there a while ago! I’m gonna see what-- 
—Alley Oop watching a camera from the future dissolve away, 5 Apr 1939

[Dec 2010]




Fox Features Syndicate Comics
founded by Victor S. Fox
First time travel: Wonder Comics 2, Jun 1939



Fox Comics had one of the earliest lineups of anthology comic books with continuing characters. Their earliest time travel that I found was by the recurring character Don Quixote, who appeared in the second issue of Wonder Comics. (The first issue starred Will Eisner’s superhero, Wonder Man, but he was quashed by a DC lawsuit.)

My favorite Fox time traveler was the Sorceress of Zoom. She was a female anti-hero along the lines of the Submariner, but her realm was not in the sea, it was the cloud city of Zoom. She had at least one time travel adventure in Weird Comics 7 (Oct 1940) when she gets the best of Morgan Le Fay in Camelot.

As I find more, I’ll list each character’s first time travel here and the details will be on my time-travel comics page. (Sadly, I never spotted any time travel by Marga the Panther Woman, who appeared alongside Cosmic Carson in Science Comics.)

 Don Quixote (Jun 1939)Wonder Comics 2
Flick Falcon (Dec 1939)Fantastic Comics 1
Cosmic Carson (Jul 1940)Science Comics 6
The Sorceress of Zoom (Oct 1940)Weird Comics 7

 Ill project the City of Zoom into the past where it will be safe for the time being! 
Weird Comics 7

[Jun 2015]


Pete Manx and the Time Chair Stories
by Henry Kuttner and Arthur K. Barnes (as by Kelvin Kent)
First story: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Aug 1939
Captain Marvel’s time chair got scooped by Dr. Horation Mayhem who sent Pete Manx into dangerous hijinks in the past in the pages of Thrilling Wonder Stories.

 Roman Holiday (Aug 1939)Kuttner and Barnes
World’s Pharaoh (Dec 1939)Kuttner
Science is Golden (Apr 1940)Kuttner and Barnes
Knight Must Fall (Jun 1940)Barnes
The Comedy of Eras (Sep 1940)Kuttner
Man about Time (Oct 1940)Kuttner
The Greeks Had a War for It (Jan 1941)Barnes
Hercules Muscles In (Feb 1941)Kuttner
Dames Is Poison (Jun 1942)Kuttner
De Wolfe of Wall Street (Feb 1943)Barnes
Grief of Bagdad (Jun 1943)Barnes
Swing Your Lady (Winter 1944)Kuttner

 “Yes, my boy. I understand your aversion to making any more trips into the historical Past. You have been a—um—lodestone for violent trouble . . .”
“Something always happens to me!” exclaimed Pete. “What if I shd get bumped off in the Past? Nix. No more o that stuff for me.”
“Quite right, my son. And yet—” Mayhems benign tone and dreamy stare at the ceiling were pure ham. “I would never have invited you here again, Pete, knowing it to be a place of strange memories, except that occassionally in our lives there arise demands that transcend all selfish personal considerations. Do you follow me?”
 
—“Grief of Bagdad”

[Aug 2015]


Arch Oboler’s Plays
by Arch Oboler
First time travel: 9 Sep 1939


Arch Oboler was a prolific radio playright from the mid-1930s, starting with NBC’s Lights Out radio show. One of the stories in the 1939 Arch Obolers Plays series was “And Adam Begot,” which told the story of two men and a woman thrown back into prehistoric times. The story appear in print in a 1944 anthology, was reprised for the 1951 Lights Out tv show, and formed the basis for a 1953 Steve Ditko story in the Black Magic comic book.

 The young dramalist expects to face his biggest casting problem in filling the roles of the two Neanderthal men which he has written into “And Adam Begot.” He wants a voice, he explains, which will instantly suggest a cave-man to the radio listener. With that in mind, he conducted a survey of what people expect in a Neanderthal voice. “A cross-section of the answers,” Oboler says, “suggests a bass voiced prizefighter, talking double talk with his mouth full of hot potatoes.” 
—The Lima News, 9 Sep 1939

[May 2015]


Lest Darkness Fall
by L. Sprague de Camp
First published as complete novel: Unknown, Dec 1939



During a thunderstorm, archaeologist Martin Padway is thrown back to Rome of 535 A.D., whereupon he sets out to stop the coming Dark Ages.

 Padway feared a mob of religious enthusiasts more than anything on earth, no doubt because their mental processes were so utterly alien to his own. 

[May 2012]


Top-Notch Comics
by Otto Binder and Jack Binder
First publication: Dec 1939




The first two issues of Top-Notch Comics had a feature called “Scott Rand in the Worlds of Time” written by science fiction staple Otto Binder and drawn by his older brother, Jack (rather than Earl). Rand first drove his time car back to Rome in 200 A.D. where he picked up Thor. In the second episode, they went to New York in 2000 A.D. Jack Binder continued the episodes of Rand and Thor in Top-Notch 3, heading to Mars of the future, but I don’t yet know whether there were any other stories.

This title morphed into Top-Notch Laugh Comics, and was then acquired by Archie Comics. I don’t know whether there were any further adventures in time by Rand or others during the Top-Notch run.

 The time car is working perfectly! We can go anywhere . . . the past or the future! 
—Dr. Meade in Top-Notch Comics 1

[Jun 2012]

“Bombardment in Reverse”
by Norman L. Knight
First publication: Astounding, Feb 1940

Jamie Todd Rubin wrote about this story as part of his Vacation in the Golden Age, and I got a pdf copy on Thanksgiving Day in 2012. The story tells of two alien nations at war—a somewhat amateurish was by Martian or Terrestrial standards, but one in which time-traveling weapons target where the enemy was in the past.

 The Nyandrians are attacking Strofander with shells which traverse not only space, but time as well. 

[Nov 2012]

This mimeographed Futurian publication was probably printed on the same mimeograph machine as the first mimeo of
“The Final Men.”

“The Final Men”
by H.G. Wells
First separate publication: Mar 1940 by Futurian Robert W. Lowndes



The first complete, published version of The Time Machine appeared as a five-part serial in the January through May 1895 issues of New Review, edited by William Ernest Henley. In the introduction to the 1924 edition, Wells wrote about the back-and-forth between himself and Henley, saying that “There was a slight struggle between the writer and W.E. Henley who wanted, he said, to put a little ‘writing’ into the tale.”

One piece of that writing was a short episode after the traveller leaves the Eloi and the Morlocks, just before visiting the red sun and the end of the world. This episode was deleted from both the American (Holt text) and the British (Heinemann text) published book editions of the novel, but it did appear as a 7-page mimeographed and stapled publication from American fan and Futurian Robert W. Lowndes in 1940, and it appeared in a number of other places, sometimes called “The Grey Man” and once called “The Missing Pages.”

 No doubt, too, the rain and snow had long since washed out the Morlock tunnels. A nipping breeze stung my hands and face. So far as I could see there were neither hills, nor trees, nor rivers: only an uneven stretch of cheerless plateau. 

[Jan 2013]


Silver Streak Comics
by Jack Cole, et. al.
First time travel: Dickie Dean in Silver Streak 3, Mar 1940


Jack Cole, the Playboy cartoonist, must have been a little boy when he wrote the adventures of Boy Inventor Dickie Dean. Dickie’s inventions included a machine to capture conversations from the past (Silver Streak Comics 3), a time camera (probably in issue 10). You could argue that neither of these is real time travel, but never mind.

I’ll bet there was more time travel in various of the comics published by Lev Gleason, but I haven’t yet tracked them down.

 Without getting technical, this is a “time camera”! It is possible to reconstruct and photogaph scenes of the past with this machine! 

[Jun 2012]


“Hindsight”
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Astounding, May 1940

Years ago, engineer Bill Webster abandoned Earth for the employ of the piratical Astrarch; now the Astrarch is aiming the final blow at a defeated Earth, and Bill wonders whether the gunsites that he invented can site—and change!—events in the past.

 He didnt like to be called the Renegade. 

[Jun 2011]



list of correct respondents to the story contest

“The Time-Wise Guy”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: Amazing, May 1940

The kindly Professor Tyrrell invites his most worthy student, football player George Worthey, to his house after class to debate over the feasibility of time travel, all the time knowing that he can prove that time travel is possible (modulo certain forbidden treks) by sending George far into the future and instructing him to return a short time later.

The story ends with a challenge to the reader with a total of $50 in cash prizes for the best answers! The answer to the challenge was given in the June issue. Somehow in the answer, George Worthey’s name changed to Sherwin, but I think that was just an editorial mistake. I didn’t much care for Farley’s “correct” answer, although I did spot Isaac Asimov’s name listed among the 112 correct respondents in the July issue. The contest winner was Albert F. Lopez from East Boston, Mass.

 This contest is one any of our readers can win. It’s extremely simple. You don’t need to know anything about writing. You don’t have to write a story. You aren’t expected to know a great deal of science. All you must do is read the entertaining story “The Time-Wise Guy,” on page 6, and then, in your own words, in a short letter, tell the editors what you think happened to the hero of the story. In other words, how does the story end?

Your answer should be based on the facts of time travel and its rules, as stated in the story by Professor Tyrrell. Your editors suspect that the correct answer would also shed light on the fate of the Professor’s friend in Holland—rather FROM Holland. But of course, there is a little of George Worthey in all of us, and you may not believe this. Editors don’t know it all, either—

Except that Ralph Milne Farley has kindly supplied us with the answer, and we know it and believe it. We’ll give it to you in the next issue, what’s more, and they you’ll believe it too.
 

[Aug 2015]


Twice in Time
by Manley Wade Wellman
First publication: Startling Stories, May 1940
Inventor Leo Thrasher, perhaps the last modern-day Renaissance man, builds a machine to throw him back to Renaissance Italy, where he plans to leave his mark as a painter. Once there, he’s taken under the wing of Guaracco who views him as a potential rival, but still sees a use for the time traveler. When Leo’s memory of future wonders begins to fade, Guaracco pulls 20th-century memories from Leo’s subconscious via hypnotic interviews, somehow even managing to pull out (among other more mundane things) a working pair of wings for Leo to fly over 15th-century Florence.

 But suppose this me is taken completely out of Twentieth Century existence—dematerialized, recreated in another epoch. That makes twice in time, doesnt it? 

[Jun 2015]


“The Mosaic”
by J.B. Ryan
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1940
Emir Ismail (a soldier and scientist in a Muslim-led 20th century) travels back to the crucial Battle of Tours in 732 A.D.

This is the first story that I read via electronic interlibrary loan with the help of the University of Colorado librarians.

 History is built event by incident—and each is a brick in its structure. If one small piece should slip— 
—John W. Campbell’s introductory blurb for the story

[Aug 2011]


“Murder in the Time World”
by Malcolm Jameson
First publication: Amazing, Aug 1940

Karl Tarig plans to murder his kindly cousin, Dr. Claude Morrison, who took Karl in when nobody else would. Then he'll toss cousin Claude’s body into the time machine that Claude built. Lastly, he’ll sell all of Claude’s valuables and run away with the winsome Ellen Warren. The perfect crime!

 To hell with the law! For he had thought out the perfect crime. There could be no dangerous consequences. You cant hang a man for murder with a body—a corpus delicti. For the first time in the history of crime, a murderer had at his disposal the sure means of ridding himself of his corpse. 

[Aug 2015]


“Who’s Cribbing”
by Todd Thromberry
First publication: Macabre Adventures, Aug 1940

 Dear Mr. Gates,
. . . Please write and tell me what you think of my theory.
Respectfully,
Jack Lewis
 



“Rescue into the Past”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: Amazing, Oct 1940

Physicist Barney Baker, now a lawyer, uses his time machine to go back to the sacking of Fort Randolph in 1776 where he hopes to find evidence for an important legal case. He does find that along with attacking Redcoats and Indians and a beautiful young woman who instantly captures his heart, but alas, he can save nothing and no one—or can he?

 Go back there again to 1776, and this time do things right. Go back to just before Carolines death, and this time rescue her. Why not! 

[Feb 2015]


“Sunspot Purge”
by Clifford D. Simak
First publication: Astounding, Nov 1940

“Read the News Before It Happens!” That’s the slogan that reporter Mike Hamilton proposes when the Globe buys a time machine. But when Mike goes onto the future beat, it’s more than just the stock market and the Minnesota-Wisconsin football game that he runs into—it’s the world of 2450 with only scattered population.

 Think of the opportunities a time machine offers a newspaper. The other papers can tell them what has happened and what is happening, but, by Godrey, theyll have to read the Globe to know what is going to happen. 

[Aug 2011]


“The Blonde, the Time Machine and Johnny Bell”
by Kenneth L. Harrison
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec 1940
Johnny Bell, a reporter for the Clarion, expected to get a story out of Pop Keller’s Curiosity Shop. What he didn’t expect to find were a blonde who looks like Betty Grable who cons him into buying a used time machine.

This was a $25 contest winner story, but Harrison, 23 at the time and living in Portland, Oregon, never published another story.

 But the strangest thing he had ever seen was the queer-looking mechanical apparatus in the center of the window. Johnny Bells gray eyes narrowed in perplexity as he read the advertising card atop it:

TIME MACHINE
FOR SALE—CHEAP

 

[Aug 2015]


“Trouble in Time”
by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth (as by S.D. Gottesman)
First publication: Astonishing Stories, Dec 1940
I enjoyed this early effort from the two young Futurians, especially the beginning where chemical engineer Mabel Evans of Colchester, Vermont, goes to visit the newly arrived mad scientist who offers her ethyl alcohol and a trip to the future.

 That was approximately what Stephen had said, so I supposed that he was. “Right as rarebits,” I said. 

[Dec 2013]

“The Mechanical Mice”
by Eric Frank Russell
First publication: Astounding, Jan 1941 (as by Maurice G. Hugi)
Slightly mad scientist Burman invents a time machine that lets him see the future, from whence he brings back other inventions including a swarm of reproducing mechanical beasties.

 I pinched the idea. What makes it madder is that I wasnt quite sure of what I was stealing, and, crazier still, I dont know from whence I stole it. 

[Apr 2012]


“The Best-Laid Scheme”
by L. Sprague de Camp
First publication: Astounding, Feb 1941

I like the verb that de Camp coined for forward time travel—vanwinkling—but when the hero, De Witt, chases Hedges back in time, they start changing things and everyone (including them) remembers both the old time and the new. It’s beyond me to grok that form of time travel, but I give credit for creativity.

 The problem of backward-jumping has not hitherto been solved. It involves an obvious paradox. If I go back and slay my own grandfather, what becomes of me? 

[Mar 2012]


“Doubled and Redoubled”
by Malcolm Jameson
First publication: Unknown, Feb 1941

Jimmy Childers was certain of two things: that last night he’d set the alarm to silent (even though it went off this morning) and that yesterday, June 14th, was the perfect day, the likes of which could certainly never be repeated again.

This is the earliest sf story that I’ve seen with a time loop, although there was the earlier 1939 episode of The Shadow.

 Jimmy had the queer feeling, which comes over one at times, he was reliving something that had already happened. 

[Nov 2013]


“Poker Face”
by Theodore Sturgeon
First publication: Astounding, Mar 1941
The accountant, Mr. Face, joins the poker game and, among other things, has the remarkable ability to rig any deal without even touching the cards—what else would you expect for a man who’s traveled some 30,000 years from the future?

 “Now spill it. Just where did you come from?”
   “Geographically,” said Face, “not very far from here. Chronologically, a hell of a long way.”
 

[Jul 2001]


“Not the First”
by A.E. van Vogt
First publication: Astounding, Apr 1941
As Earth’s first starship passes the light-speed barrier, strange things happen to its acceleration—and to the passage of time.

 Still, it was odd that the lighting system should have gone on the blink on this first ‘night’ of this first trip of the first spaceship powered by the new, stupendous atomic drive. 

[Dec 2010]


“Time Wants a Skeleton”
by Ross Rocklynne
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1941
After seeing a skeleton with a well-known ring on its finger, a spaceship is thrown back in time and the crew believes that one of them is fated to become that skeleton. This is an early story that addresses the question of whether something known about the future must become true.

 He could feel the supple firmness of her body even through the folds of her undistended pressure suit. 

[Dec 2011]


“Yesterday Was Monday”
by Theodore Sturgeon
First publication: Unknown, Jun 1941

Harry Wright goes to bed on Monday night, skips over Tuesday, and wakes up in a Wednesday that’s not quite been built yet.

 The weather makers put .006 of one percent too little moisture in the air on this set. Theres three-sevenths of an ounce too little gasoline in the storage tanks under here. 

[Jul 2001]




Fawcett Comics
First time travel: Wow Comics 2, Summer 1941



Time travel made it to the Marvel family in 1942, or at least the the earliest instance that I’ve spotted was a Captain Marvel story of that year (“The Amazing Trip into Time” in Whiz Comics 26 from 23 Jan 1942). Between then and the lawful demise of Fawcett’s Marvels, the whole family (the Captain, Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr., the Lieutenant Marvels) and the evil Dr. Sivana had a myriad of time-travel episodes by various means from Father Time to the doctor’s time pill to the captain’s time chair.

Fawcett also had other comics, some with time travel, such as Atom Blake who met himself in time in Wow Comics 2 and Nyoka, the Jungle Girl who traveled to prehistoric times in issue 10. As I find more of those, I’ll list them on my time-travel comics page.

 OMIGOSH! Now I remember everything! I went to the past in order to prevent Captain Marvel from ever existing! But when I got to the past, all I did was re-live the same events as before! Curses! 
—Dr. Sirvana from Captain Marvel Adventures 80

[circa 1970]


“I Killed Hitler”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: Weird Tales, Jul 1941
This story does get bonus points for being the earliest kill-hitler time-travel story that I know of (and for predicting Pearl Harbor), but I didn’t fully follow the ending (after the killing) of this story where a distant cousin to the great dictator goes back to 1899 to gain the trust of the boy he knows will grow up to cruelly rule Europe.

 “You think so?” The Swami shook his head. “Ah, no. For it is written that there must be a Dictator—not only a Dictator, but this particular Dictator”to rule over docile Europe, and plunge the world in war.” 

[Feb 2015]

The story also appeared in this 2000 collection.
“The Probable Man”
by Alfred Bester
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1941
Years before The Demolished Man, there was Bester’s probable man. I looked forward to reading it as the first story of my retirement, and I enjoyed the time-travel model that Bester set up: David Conn travels backward from 2941 to World War II, but then returns to a vastly changed future. For me, though, I found the naïve attitude toward war unappealing.

 Shed be Hilda Pietjen, daughter of the prime minister, just another chip in the Nazi poker game. And hed be dead in a bunker, a thousand years before hed been born. 

[Jan 2012]


“Sidetrack in Time”
by William P. McGivern
First publication: Amazing, Jul 1941
Philip Kingley has a plan to get rid of his time-traveling professor some 5000 years in the future. Unfortunately, the ending to Philip’s professor also got rid of any chance more than half a star in my rating.

 He scrambled out of the machine, the delirious feeling of success and power coursing through his veins like strong drink. His eyes traveled about the laboratory, slowly, gloatingly. All of it his. The equipment, the formulas, and most of all—the time machine. 

[Apr 2014]




The Weapon Shop Stories
by A.E. van Vogt
First story: Astounding, Jul 1941



Time travel plays only a small role in Van Vogt’s three stories and a serial. The stories follow the immortal founder of The Weapon Shops, an organization that puts science to work to ensure that the common man is never dominated by government or corporations. Along the way, a 20th century man becomes a time-travel pawn, a young man seven millennia in the future takes advantage of a much shorter time-travel escapade, and you’ll spot at least one other time-travel moment.

All the stories were fixed up into two books, The Weapon Shops of Isher and The Weapon Makers, and the SFBC gathered both those into The Empire of Isher.

 The Seesaw (Jul 1941)Astounding
The Weapon Shops (Dec 1942)Astounding
The Weapon Makers (Feb-Apr 1943)Astounding
The Weapon Shops of Isher (Feb 1949)Thrilling Wonder Stories

 What did happen to McAllister from the instant that he found the door of the gunshop unlocked? 

[Jul 1969]


“Backlash”
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Astounding, Aug 1941

Although it doesn’t involve Hitler by name, this story may be the start of the Use-a-Time-Machine-to-Kill-Hitler subgenre.

 With the new tri-polar units I can deflect the projection field back through time. Thats where Im going to attack Levin—in his vulnerable past. 

[Dec 2011]

The story also appears in the 1953 collection Assignment in Eternity, including this copy which I bought at Heathrow while waiting for my mother to arrive for my wedding.
“Elsewhere”
aka “Elsewhen”
by Robert A. Heinlein (as by Caleb Saunders)
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1941



Professor Arthur Frost has a small but willing class of students who explore elsewhere and elsewhen.

 Most people think of time as a track that they run on from birth to death as inexorably as a train follows its rails—they feel instinctively that time follows a straight line, the past lying behind, the future lying in front. Now I have reason to believe—to know—that time is analogous to a surface rather than a line, and a rolling hilly surface at that. Think of this track we follow over the surface of time as a winding road cut through hills. Every little way the road branches and the branches follow side canyons. At these branches the crucial decisions of your life take place. You can turn right or left into entirely different futures. Occasionally there is a switchback where one can scramble up or down a bank and skip over a few thousand or million years—if you dont have your eyes so fixed on the road that you miss the short cut. 

[Feb 1980]

Asimov’s “Nightfall” also appeared in this issue.
“Short-Circuited Probability”
by Norman L. Knight
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1941
Our hero, Mark Livingston, finds a dead human body that is older than the human race—but still quite clearly his own body along with a highly evolved traveling companion.

 This is a story of something that did—or didnt—happen. Question is, can it be properly said that it did or did not? 
—Campbell’s introduction to the story

[Dec 2010]


“By His Bootstraps”
by Robert A. Heinlein (as by Anson MacDonald)
First publication: Astounding, Oct 1941




Bob Wilson, Ph.D. student, throws himself 30,000 years into the future, where he tries to figure out what began this whole adventure.

Evan Zweifel gave me a copy of this magazine as a present!

 Wait a minute now—he was under no compulsion. He was sure of that. Everything he did and said was the result of his own free will. Even if he didnt remember the script, there were some things that he knew “Joe” hadnt said. “Mary had a little lamb,” for example. He would recite a nursery rhyme and get off this damned repetitive treadmill. He opened his mouth— 

[Dec 1974]


“Bandits of Time”
by Ray Cummings
First publication: Amazing, Dec 1941

Bob Manse and his fiancée Doris are invited by a peculiar man calling himself Tork to a cult-like meeting at 3 A.M. where, says Tork, they will be taken to a New Era in the future with no troubles, no worries, no problems giving eyesight to the blind-from-birth Doris—and no problems kidnapping Doris whether she wants to go or not.

 Three A.M. A distant church spire in the city behind us boomed the hour, floating here on the heavy night-air. Abruptly figures were around us in the woods; arriving me. A man carrying the limp form of a girl. From the ship a tiny beam of white light struck on them. Tork! I recognized him. But more than that Blake and I both recognized the unconscious, inert girl. So great a horror swept me that for a second the weird scene blurred before me. 

[Aug 2015]


“Snulbug”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Unknown Worlds, Dec 1941

In need of $10,000 to open a medical clinic, Bill Hitchens calls forth Snulbug, a one-inch high demon who likes the warmth in Bill’s pipe, and orders the demon to retrieve tomorrow’s newspaper and bring it back to today.

 Then as soon as I release you from that pentacle, youre to bring me tomorrows newspaper. 

[Jan 2013]







DC Comics (Superheroes)
First time travel: Adventure Comics 71, Feb 1942


As a kid, I never read DC (Why would I? Excelsior!), but I’ve read some DC time-travel comics since then (don’t tell Stan). The earliest DC time travel that I’ve found was in 1942, but as for the big boys, the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder got the jump on the Man of Steel by a few months: Batman’s first travel was back to ancient Rome in Batman 24 via hypnosis by Professor Carter Nichols. Here’s a table of notable DC first time-travel experiences that I’ve found through 1969 (after that, everything became time-travel chaos):

 Starman (Feb 1942)Adventure Comics 71
Justice Society of America    (Apr/May 1942)All Star Comics 10
Green Arrow, et. al. (Jun 1942)Leading Comics 3
Green Lantern (Spring 1943)Green Lantern 7
The Shining Knight (Jul 1943)Adventure Comics 86
Batman and Robin (Fall 1943)World’s Finest 11
Wonder Woman (Nov 1946)Wonder Woman 20
Superman (Jan-Feb 1947)Superman 44
Johnny Quick (Nov 1948)Adventure Comics 134
Superboy (May/Jun 1949)Superboy 2
Lois Lane (Jan 1951)Action Comics 152
Blackhawk Commandos (Dec 1951)Blackhawk 47
Rex the Wonder Dog (Oct 1954)Rex 17
Jimmy Olsen (Sep 1955)Jimmy Olsen 7
The Flash (Oct 1956)Showcase 4
Legion of Super-Heroes (Apr 1958)Adventure Comics 247
Aquaman (Aug 1958)Adventure Comics 251
Challengers (Nov 1958)Chal. of the Unknown 4
Rip Hunter (May 1959)DC Showcase 20
Supergirl (Aug 1959)Action Comics 255
Adam Strange (Dec 1960)Mystery in Space 62
The Atomic Knights (Jun 1961)Strange Adventures 129
Elongated Man (Nov 1961)The Flash 124
JLA (Mar 1962)Justice League of America 10
The Atom (Nov 1962)The Atom 3
J’onn J’onzz (Dec 1962)Detective Comics 305
The Spectre (Apr 1966)Showcase 61
Eclipso (Jul 1966)House of Secrets 79
Prince Ra-Man (Jul 1966)House of Secrets 79
Sea Devils (Dec 1966)Sea Devils 32
[circa 1990]


“The Immortality of Alan Whidden”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: Amazing, Feb 1942
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction characterizes Farley as “a rough-hewn, traditional sense-of-wonder writer,” who “as a consequence became relatively inactive with the greater sophistication of the genre after WWII.” But by the time of this story, Farley’s rough-hewn edges of his 1920s Radio Man stories had been smoothed out, and I find his writing to be engaging. I’ll grant that he never stepped away from the view of women as mere objects of beauty, and his characters have too much purity or evil with no examination of the morality of murdering a greedy man. Also, I have seen only stereotyped presentations of other cultures, but his time-travel plots are still fun and worthy of study. In this story, an immortal man serendipitously invents time travel which takes him from 1949 back to the time of his dastardly grandfather and a consistent resolution of the grandfather paradox.

 Framed in the front doorway stood a gloriously radiant girl of under twenty. Her flaunting reddish-brown hair was the first feature that caught Whiddens admiring gaze. Then her eyes, yellow-green and feral, set wide and at just the least little slant, beneath definitely slanted furry brows of the same tawny color as the hair. Lips, full and inviting. Complexion, pink and cream. And a gingham clad figure, virginally volupuous. A sunbonnet hung down her back from strings tied in a little bow beneath her piquant chin. 

[Feb 2015]


“Recruiting Station”
aka Masters of Time, aka Earth’s Last Fortress
by A.E. van Vogt
First publication: Astounding, Mar 1942

When the Glorious begin shanghaiing military recruits throughout time, Miss Norma Matheson and her once-and-future boyfriend Jack Garson are caught up in 18 versions of our solar system and a Glorious-vs-Planetarians war.

 We are masters of time. We live at the farthest frontier of time itself, and all the ages belong to us. No words could begin to describe the vastness of our empire or the futility of opposing us. 

[Mar 2012]


“Some Curious Effects of Time Travel”
by L. Sprague de Camp
First publication: Astounding, Apr 1942
The very first Probability Zero story in Astounding took us on a romp back in time by the members of the Drinkwhiskey Institute to obtain saleable specimens of Pleistocene fauna, we learn that time travel has an effect on aging (coincidentally, the same effect described by Gaspar in Chapter 9 of El Anacronópete).

 A curious feature of time travel back from the present is that one gets younger and younger, becoming successively a youth, a child, an embryo and finally nothing at all. 

[Nov 2012]


“Time Pussy”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Astounding, Apr 1942 (as by George E. Dale)


Mr. Mac tells of the troubles of trying to preserve the body of a four-dimensional cat.

 ‘Four-dimensional, Mr. Mac? But the fourth dimension is time. I had learned that the year before, in the third grade. 

[Jul 1972]

This issue also contains Asimov’s first Foundation story.
“Forever Is Not So Long”
by F. Anton Reeds
First publication: Astounding, May 1942
The professor’s handsome assistant, Stephen Darville, is in love with the professor’s beautiful daughter and wants to spend every waking moment with her, but duty calls—duty to build a time machine, of course, in which the youthful assistant can go ten years into the future to return with the more polished time machines that will be produced by the professor’s very own technicians over the next ten years.

 The technicians would “save” themselves ten years of labor and the new sweeping highway in the future and the past would be open to mankind within the life of its discoverer. 

[Dec 2012]


“The Ghost of Me”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Unknown, Jun 1942

After Dr. John Adams is murdered, his ghost accidentally begins haunting some time before the murder occurred.

 Ive simply come back into time at the wrong point. 

[Jan 2013]

The story also appears in Groff Conklin’s 1952 anthology, The Omnibus of Science Fiction.
“Heritage”
by Robert Abernathy
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1942
Nick Doody, inventor of the time machine and sole explorer through time, ventures some nine millennia beyond what he reckons was the fall of mankind.

 Are you not a Man, and do not Men know everything? But I am only a . . . 

[Apr 2012]

The story also appeared in this 1975 collection.
“My Name Is Legion”
by Lester del Rey
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1942
At the end of World War II, as the Allies occupation army closes in on Hitler, a man offers him a way to bring back thousands of copies of himself from the future.

 Years ago in one of those American magazines, there was a story of a man who saw himself. He came through a woods somewhere and stumbled on a machine, got in, and it took him three days back in time. Then, he lived forward again, saw himself get in the machine and go back. 

[Apr 2007]


“Time Dredge”
by Robert Arthur, Jr.
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1942

I haven’t yet read this story which appeared only in Astounding, but Jamie Todd Rubin writes that the story is of two men who seek a German professor who plans to pull things out of ancient South America to help the Germany win World War II.

 The German professor had a nice idea for making archeology a branch of Blitzkrieg technique—with the aid of a little tinkering with Time. 
—John W. Campbell’s introduction to the story

[Dec 2013]

The story also appeared in this 2003 collection.
“Secret Unattainable”
by A.E. van Vogt
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1942
After his brother is killed by the Nazis, Herr Professor Johann Kenrube invents a machine that promises a little of everything to Hitler—unlimited energy and natural resources, instant transportation behind enemy lines, even a smidgden of time travel—but only after the Germans have over-committed themselves, does the truth about the machine emerge.

 Kenrube was at Gribe Schloss before two P.M., March 21st. This completely nullifies the six P.M. story. Place these scoundrels under arrest, and bring them before me at eight oclock tonight. 
—comment on a memo from Himmler

[May 2012]


“About Quarrels, about the Past”
by John Pierce
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1942
In addition to A.E. van Vogt’s “Secret Unattainable,” the July 1942 Astounding also had three short, short time travel stories as part of the magazine’s Probability Zero series. In this story, our narrator tells of the quirky Quarrels who took his time machine into the past—or we should say some past— to woo the winsome Nephertiti.

 Well, didnt you realize that this uncertainty holds for the past, too? I hadnt until Quarrels pointed it out. All we have is a lot of incomplete data. Is it just because were stupid? Not at all. We cant find a unique wave function. 

[May 2012]

Some other flag covers from July 1942
“The Strange Case of the Missing Hero”
by Frank Holby
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1942

Many magazines across the U.S. featured a flag on the cover in this patriotic month. In this second Probability Zero story of the issue, Elliot Gallant, hero to the people and beacon light of courage, was the first man to travel through time; Sebastian Lelong, editor of the Encyclopedia Galactica, aims to find out why he never returned.

This is the earliest story that I’ve spotted anywhere with the time traveler coming to know his own mother.

 Elliot Gallant went back into time thirty years. He liked the peaceful days of yesteryear. He married, had a son. 

[May 2012]

Interior artwork for the Probability Zero series
“That Mysterious Bomb Raid”
by Bob Tucker
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1942
Sitting around Hinkle’s, the narrator tells the story of how he, Hinkle and the local university scientist took a bomb back in time in an attempt to nip World War II in the bud.

 Well, sir, that little machine traveled so fast that before we could stop it we found ourselves in the last century. Somewhere in the 1890s. We were going to drop our oil drip there but I happened to remember that my grandfather was spending his honeymoon in Tokyo sometime during that decade— 

[May 2012]


“Time Marches On”
by Ted Carnell
First publication: Astounding, Aug 1942
Also appearing in the first ever Probability Zero column (along with de Camp’s story, listed above, and a story by Malcolm Jameson) is Carnell’s tale of a group of science fiction authors who explore the consequences of a simple time machine that can be built from radio parts, but can take the traveler only into the future.

 Yes, they were practically all here, thought Doc Smith, as his gaze moved from one to another of the circle. Williamson, Miller, Hubbard, Bond, McClary, Rocklynne, Heinlein and MacDonald, and many others who had once written about the mysteries of time travel—so many hundreds of years ago now. 

[Sep 2012]


“Barrier”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1942
John Brent travels 500 years into the future only to find that he can’t return because the authoritarian state has erected barriers to change that include regularization of all verbs and temporal barriers that prevent backward time travel.

 That is only to be expected when you jump five hundred years, but it is nonetheless perplexing to have your first query of" “What city is this?” answered by the sentence: “Stappers will get you. Or be you Slanduch?” 

[Nov 2012]

The story also appeared in Healy and McComas’s famous 1946 anthology, Adventures in Time and Space.
“The Twonky”
by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore (as by Lewis Padgett)
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1942

A dazed man (apparently dazed from running into a temporal snag) appears in a radio factory, whereupon (before returning to his own time) he makes a radio that’s actually a twonky which gets shipped to a Mr. Kerry Westerfield, who is initially quite confounded and amazed at all it can do.

Because of the opening, I’m convinced that this twonky is from the future, but the origin of the twonky in the 1953 movie is less certain.

 “Great Snell!” he gasped. “So that was it! I ran into a temporal snag!” 

[Sep 2012]


The Anachron Stories
by Malcolm Jameson
First story: Astounding, Oct 1942
Golden-age favorite Malcolm Jameson wrote three stories of Anachron, Inc., a company that recruits ex-commandos for their “foreign” department—a euphemism for intertemporal commerce.

 Anachron, Inc. (Oct 1942)Astounding
Barrius, Imp. (Jan 1943)Astounding
When Is When? (Aug 1943)Astounding

 We can use a limited number of agents for our “foreign” department, but they must be wiry, active, of unusually sound constitution, and familiar with the use of all types of weapons. They MUST be resourceful, of quick decision, tact and of proven courage, as they may be called upon to work in difficult and dangerous situations without guidance or supervision. Previous experience in purchasing or sales work desirable but not necessary. EX-COMMANDO MEN usually do well with us. 

[Nov 2012]


“The Case of the Baby Dinosaur”
by Walter Kubilius (as by J.S. Klimaris)
First publication: Future Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct 1942
Futurian Walter Kubilius wrote this story about Wilbur and Stevenson, two members of the Society for the Investigation of Unusual Phenomena, who must track down a time-machinist jokester who, among other things, drops a baby dinosaur in Times Square, plops Cleopatra into a modern beauty contest, and brings Shakespeare to a modern-day theater.

 A time-machinist with a sense of humor! 

[Apr 2014]


The Thunderbolt
drawn by Rafael Astarita
First publication: Doc Savage Comics 10, Nov 1942

According to the Michigan State University Comic Art Collection index, Doc Savage #10 included a 7-page origin of a superhero called The Thunderbolt (aka Dr. Adams). The story involved a scientific princess and time travel, but the hero was never heard from again. (Maybe he/she is lost in time.)

 With the aid of the mystic powers of Princess Ione, mistress of scientific wonders . . . 

A translation appeard in the all-Boucher issue of Urania (10 Feb 1991). Strangely enough, “snulbug” translates as “snulbug” in Italian; however “Elsewhen” is “Viaggio nel tempo.”
“Elsewhen”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Astounding, Jan 1943

Private detective Fergus O’Breen investigates Harrison Patrigde, inventor and ne’er-do-well, who accidentally invents a short-range time machine, causing him to envision how the world (and the lovely Faith Preston) will admire him if only he can get enough money to build a bigger version (perhaps via a murder with the time machine providing an alibi).

 Time can pass quickly when you are absorbed in your work, but not so quickly as all that. Mr. Partridge looked at his pocket watch. It said nine thirty-one. Suddely, in the space of seconds, the best chronometer available had gained forty-two minutes. 

[Nov 2012]


“The Search”
by A.E. van Vogt
First publication: Astounding, Jan 1943

When salesman Ralph Carson Drake tries to recover his missing memory of the past two weeks, he discovers that he had interactions with a woman named Selanie Johns who sold remarkable futuristic devices for one dollar, her father, and an old gray-eyed, man who is feared by Selanie and her father.

Van Vogt combined this with two other stories and a little fix-up material for his 1970 publication of Quest for the Future.

 “Just grab his right shoulder with that glove, from behind,” SpockPrice was saying. “Press below the collarbone with the points of your fingers, press hard.” 

[Apr 2012]

The story also appeared in this 1952 collection.
“Time Locker”
by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore (as by Lewis Padgett)
First publication: Astounding, Jan 1943
Once again, drunken genius Gallegher invents something without knowing that he has done so’this time, a box that swallows things up until they reappear at now + x.

 He was, Vanning reflected, an odd duck. Galloway was essentially amoral, thoroughly out of place in this too-complicated world. He seemed to watch, with a certain wry amusement, from a vantage point of his own, rather disinterested for the most part. And he made things— 

[Dec 2010]


“The Angelic Angleworm”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: Unknown, Feb 1943
If Charlie Wills and you have patience, then Charlie will figure out what’s causing those strange occurrences (such as an angleworm turning into an angel) and you will figure out that angels can time travel.

 We can drop you anywhere in the continuum. 

[Aug 2011]


“Mimsy Were the Borogroves”
by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore (as by Lewis Padgett)
First publication: Astounding, Feb 1943



A scientist in the far future sends back two boxes of educational toys to test his time machine. One is discovered by Charles Dodgson’s niece in the 19th century, and the other by two children in 1942.

This story was in the first book that I got from the SF Book Club in the summer of 1970, The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume 1 (edited by Robert Silverberg). I read and reread those stories until the book fell apart.

 Neither Paradine nor Jane guessed how much of an effect the contents of the time machine were having on the kids. 

[Jul 1970]


“Blind Alley”
aka “Of Late I Think of Cliffordville”
by Malcolm Jameson
First publication: Unknown, Jun 1943

Business tycoon Jack Feathersmith longs for the simple, good old days of his youth in Cliffordsville.

 Nothing was further from Mr. Feathersmiths mind than dealings with streamlined, mid-twentieth-century witches or dickerings with the Devil. But something had to be done. The world was fast going to the bowwows, and he suffered from an overwhelming nostalgia for the days of his youth. His thoughts contantly turned to Cliffordsville and the good old days when men were men and God was in His heaven and all was right with the world. 

[Jun 2015]


“Sanctuary”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1943
Mr. Holding, an American poet in Vichy France before the U.S. came into the war, visits an American scientist who is trying to stay neutral as he builds his time machine.

 I am, sir, a citizen of the world of science. 

[Jan 2013]


“Endowment Policy”
by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore (as by Lewis Padgett)
First publication: Astounding, Aug 1943

A futuristic old man asks the taxi dispatcher for Denny Holt’s cab by name. When the man gets in the cab, he offers Denny $1000 to protect him from pursuit for the night and to steal a brown notebook with a secret formula for the War Department.

 Now, shielding the bills with his body, he took them out for a closer examination. They looked all right. They werent counterfeit; the serial numbers were O.K.; and they had the same odd musty smell Holt had noticed before.
“You must have been hoarding these,” he hazarded.
Smith said absently, “Theyve been on exhibit for sixty years—” He caught himself and drank rye.
 

[Jul 2015]


“Doorway into Time”
by C.L. Moore
First publication: Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Sep 1943

Treasures and beings from across time and space populate the halls of an age-old collector whose tiredness of life can be renewed only by the danger of the next hunt, which in this case means going naked and weaponless against Paul, defender of the lovely Alanna.

 On the wall before him, in the dimness of the room, a great circular screen looked out opaquely, waiting his touch. A doorway into time and space. A doorway to beauty and deadly peril and everything that made livable for him a life which had perhaps gone on too long already. 

[Jul 2015]


“Paradox Lost”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: Astounding, Oct 1943
During a philosophy lecture, the left hand of bored college student Shorty McCabe disappears, at which point Shorty figures he may as well follow whereever the hand went, which turns out to be into a time machine invented by the only kind of person who could invent such a thing—a crazy man.

 But a time machine is impossible. It is a paradox. Your professors will explain that a time machine cannot be, because it would mean that two things could occupy the same space at the same time. And a man could go back and kill himself when he was younger, and—oh, all sorts of stuff like that. Its completely impossible. Only a crazy man could— 

[Dec 2012]

Dick Devins, King of Futuria
First appearance: Mystery Comics 1, 1944


Dick Devins was a 20th century time traveler who protected the 30th century from all that was evil. He appeared in the four 1944 issues of Mystery Comics (#-4) and in at least four 1947 issues of Wonder Comics (11-14).

 Twenty-four hours in the 30th century, eh? Sounds interesting—if your time machine works! Ill take your offer, professor! 
—from the splash page in Mystery Comics 1

[Jun 2012]


“As Never Was”
by P. Schuyler Miller
First publication: Astounding, Jan 1944

One of the first inexplicable finds by archealogists traveling to the future is the blue knife made of no known material brought back by Walter Toynbee who promptly dies, leaving it to his grandson to explain the origin of the knife.

 I knew grandfather. He would go as far as his machine could take him. I had duplicated that. He would look around him for a promising site, get out his tools, and pitch in. Well, I could do that, too. 

[Mar 2012]

The story also appeared in August Derleth’s 1948 anthology, Strange Ports of Call.
“Far Centaurus”
by A.E. van Vogt
First publication: Astounding, Jan 1944

Four men set out for Alpha Centauri on a 500-year journey where each will awaken only a handful of times. That’s not time travel, of course, but be patient and you will run into real time travel.

Van Vogt combined this with two other stories and some fix-up material (especially for “Far Centaurus”) for his 1970 publication of Quest for the Future.

 Were here! Its over, the long night, the incredible journey. Well all be waking, seeing each other, as well as the civilization out there. Seeing, too, the great Centauri suns. 

[Apr 2012]


Archie Comics
created by John L. Goldwater, Vic Bloom and Bob Montana
First time travel: Archie 7, Mar 1944



I’d like to know more about time travel by Riverdale’s upstanding citizens. The earliest I found was in “Time Trouble” from Archie 7 (Mar 1944), which did get the jump on Batman by five months. Later episodes were in Pep 131 (Feb 1959) and at least a handful of 1960s stories.
[Dec 2010]


“And Adam Begot”
by Arch Oboler
First publication: Out of This World, May 1944

I haven’t yet read this story, which came from Oboler’s 1939 radio play of the same name. It was later turned into a tv episode of Lights Out and was the basis of a Steve Ditko story in the Black Magic comic book (1953).
[May 2015]


Time Flies
by Ted Kavanagh, J.O.C. Orton, and Howard Irving Young (Walter Forde, director)
First release: 8 May 1944


Actress Susie Barton’s husband invested their nestegg in Time Ferry Services, Ltd., but the only way she’ll ever get anything out of it is by taking a trip to Elizabethan times.

 The Professor: Time? What is time? Having successfully controverted the classical views of Euclid and Newton, we arrive at the Theory of Relativity, which states that space-time in the neighborhood of a gravitational field is curved—pop!, pardon—whereas at an infinite distance from such a field field, it is not.
Tommy: How true, how true! Proceed, Prof.
The Professor: Now, the curvature of space-time at any point in the continuum is proportional to the intensity of the gravitational field at that point, and consequently, as I have shown, there is no reason whatever why time should be of infinite duration.
Bill: Very interesting, isnt it?
Susie: Yeah, whats he talking about?
Bill: He didnt say. 

[Jul 2015]


Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies Cartoons
voices by Mel Blanc
First time travel: 28 Oct 1944



I hope I’ll find more time travel in the Warner Brothers cartoons, but for starters, there’s “The Old Grey Hare” where Elmer Fudd is taken far into the future—past 1990!— where he chases bugs with the Buck Rogers Lightning Quick Rabbit Killer, and Daffy Duck with Speedy Gonzalez in “See Ya Later, Gladiator” (1968).

 When you hear the sound of the gong, it will be exactly twoooooo thowwwwwsand Ayyyyy Deee! 

[Jul 2013]
production photo from
The Encyclopedia of
American Radio

The Mysterious Traveler
by Robert A. Arthur and David Kogan
First time travel: 13 Jan 1945


I believe all episodes of The Mysterious Traveler were written by the prolific pair of Arthur and Kogan. The episodes stretched the sf field from thrillers to hard science fiction, but always with a creepy atmosphere. There were at least three time travel episodes and several more that I’ll mark as probably time travel based on their titles.

 Escape Through Time (13 Jan 1945)possible time travel
Murder at the Dawn of Time (4 Nov 1947)possible time travel
Escape into the Future (10 May 1949)possible time travel
The Man Who Tried to Save Lincoln (7 Feb 1950)traveler meets Lincoln historian
Operation Tomorrow (11 Apr 1950)traveler sees future war
Journey Through Time (27 Jun 1950)possible time travel
Escape to 2480 (21 Nov 1950)possible time travel
The Most Famous Man in the World (20 Nov 1951)travelers vs dictator

 This is the Mysterious Traveler, inviting you to join me on another journey into the realm of the strange and the terrifying. I hope you will enjoy the trip, that it will thrill you a little, and chill you a little. So, settle back, get a good grip on your nerves, and be comfortable if you can, and hear the strange story that I call “The Man Who Tried to Save Lincoln.” 

[Jul 2015]


“The Pink Caterpillar”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Adventure, Feb 1945

After Norm Harker tells of a magic man who can bring you back a single item from the future (for the right price), Anthony Boucher’s detective Fergus O’Breen tops the story with the tale of how he figured out why a dead American living in Mexico liked to call himself a doctor.

 At least thats the firm belief everywhere on the island: a tualala can go forward in time and bring you back any single item you specify, for a price. We used to spend the night watches speculating on what would be the one best thing to order. 

[Dec 2012]


Classic Comics’
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

adapted by Jack Hearne
First publication: Classic Comics 24, Sep 1945



Jack Hearne’s illustrations provided an abbreviated but accurate adaptation of Hank Morgan’s medieval travails.

 Ah! I’ve got it! On June 21st, 528, there was a total eclipse of the sun, but in 1879 there was none . . . now to wait . . . that will prove everything! 

[Jun 2011]


“Mr. Lupescu”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Weird Tales, Sep 1945

Time travel makes a cameo appearance in this story in which young Bobby tells his Uncle Alan about his godfather, Mr. Lupescu, who has a great big red nose, red gloves, red eyes, and little red wings that twitch.

 But one of Mr. Lupescus friends, now, was captain of a ship, only it went in time, and Mr. Lupescu took trips with him and came back and told you all about what was happening this very minute five hundred years ago. 

[Jan 2013]


“What You Need”
by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore (as by Lewis Padgett)
First publication: Astounding, Oct 1945
Reporter Tim Carmichael visits Peter Talley, a shopkeeper on Park Avenue who provides for a select clientele things that they will need in the future.

I never include prescience stories in my list, but like Heinlein’s “Life-Line,” this one is an exception, both because of its tone and because it was made into episodes of both Tales of Tomorrow (the tv show) and The Twilight Zone.

   

[Apr 2012]

“The Chronokinesis of Jonathan Hull”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1946

Private Eye Fergus O’Breen is back for his third and final encounter with time travel, this time with a time traveler who shows up dead in his room one day and is alive and walking in a stilted manner the next. In the process of explaining himself, the traveler also displays knowledge of Boucher’ traveler in “Barrier” and also of Breen’s other time travel encounters.

 And now, I realize, Mr. OBreen, why I was inclined to trust you the moment I saw yoiur card. It was through a fortunately preserved letter of your sisters, which found its way into our archives, that we knew of the early fiasco of Harrison Partridge and your part therein. We knew, too, of the researches of Dr. Derringer, and how he gave up in despair after his time traveler failed to return, having encountered who knows what unimaginable future barrier. 

[Dec 2012]


“Film Library”
by A.E. van Vogt
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1946

Each time a film goes through Peter Caxton’s projector at Tichenor Collegiate, it gets replaced with a different film from the future.

Van Vogt combined this with two other stories and a little fix-up material for his 1970 publication of Quest for the Future.

 Not that he would necessarily have suspected anyway that he had come into possession of films that had been made more than fifty years in the future. 

[Apr 2012]


Prize Comics’ Frankenstein
by Dirk Briefer
First time travel: Jul 1946




I’m always on the lookout for early depictions outside of sf with a climb-in-able time machine where you set the dials and go. Briefer’s humorous Frankenstein had just a such a machine in a 9-page story in issue 3 (Jul 1946). Frankenstein runs into Professor Goniph, and they travel in his machine to 2046 and 1646, although there is a twist at the end.

 It works!! It works!!! I am a genius!! We are in 2046!!! 

[Jan 2012]

The story also appeared in this 1982 collection.
“Blind Time”
by George O. Smith
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1946
Oak Tool Works has developed a handy time treatment whereby a portion of any tool can be sent into the future for a limited time, but its movements during that time must exactly mirror the movements of the rest of the tool during the current time. Peter Wright is the insurance adjuster who must examine an accident that the treatment is going to cause at 8pm.

 There is that element of wonder, too, you know. Every man in the place knows that someone is going to get clipped with that crane. 

[Mar 2012]


“Vintage Season”
by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1946

More and more strange people are appearing each day in and around Oliver Wilson’s home; the explanation from the euphoric redhead leads him to believe they are time travelers gathering for an important event.

 Looking backward later, Oliver thought that in that moment, for the first time clearly, he began to suspect the truth. But he had no time to ponder it, for after the brief instant of enmity the three people from—elsewhere—began to speak all at once, as if in a belated attempt to cover something they did not want noticed. 

[Jun 2011]


“Technical Error”
aka “The Reversed Man”
by Arthur C. Clarke
First publication: Fantasy, Dec 1946

When Dick Nelson is accidentally exposed to a tremendous electromagnetic field, he comes out with his body reversed left-to-right, essentially a death sentence since certain necessary stereoisomers will be unavailable in the reverse form in his diet. The solution is to flip Dick over once again, requiring a trip through the fourth dimension (spacial) and a bit of time travel to boot. The head physicist assures Nelson that this is purely a spacial fourth dimension that he’ll be flipped over in.

 “You say that Nelson has been rotated in the Fourth Dimension; but I thought Einstein had shown that the Fourth Dimension was time.”
Hughes groaned inwardly.
“I was referring to an additional dimension of space,” he explained patiently.
 

[Jul 2001]


Timely Comics
founded by Martin Goodman
First time travel: All Winners Comics 21, Winter 1946-47



Timely was the predecessor to Atlas which became Marvel Comics in the ’60s. Some of their superheroes survived that transition (Captain America, the Sub-Mariner, and an android Human Torch, among others). I’ve only begun to dig up their time travel, finding one issue of All Winners Comics where Captain America and the All Winners Squad do battle with a man from 1,000,000 A.D. Also, in 1948, the Timely superhuman, comical boxer, Powerhouse Pepper, visited the pilgrims via time machine (Powerhouse Pepper 4, Sep 1948).

 Project yourselves far into the fture . . . to the year one million A.D. The Earth is almost unfit for human life! 
—Captain America in All Winners Comics 21

[Jun 2012]

“The Man Who Never Grew Young”
by Fritz Leiber, Jr.
First publication: Night’s Black Agents, 1947

Without knowing why, our narrator describes his life as a man who stays the same for millennia, even as others, one-by-one, are disintered, slowly grow younger and younger.

The story is soft-spoken but moving, and for me, it was a good complement to T.H. White’s backward-time-traveler, Merlyn.

 It is the same in all we do. Our houses grow new and we dismantle them and stow the materials inconspicuously away, in mine and quarry, forest and field. Our clothes grow new and we put them off. And we grow new and forget and blindly seek a mother. 

[Apr 2012]


“Child’s Play”
by William Tenn
First publication: Astounding, Mar 1947

Sam Weber, an underemployed lawyer, receives a Bild-a-Man kit as a Christmas gift from 400 years in the future—and it’s a timely gift, too, seeing as how he could use a replacement girlfriend.

 Bild-a-Man Set #3. This set is intended solely for the use of children, between the ages of eleven and thirteen. The equipment, much more advanced that Bild-a-Man Sets 1 and 2, will enable the child of this age-group to build and assemble complete adult humans in perfect working order. 

[May 2015]


“Time and Time Again”
by H. Beam Piper
First publication: Astounding, Apr 1947


At 43 years old, Allan Hartley is caught in a flash-bomb at the Battle of Buffalo, only to wake up in his own 13-year-old body on the day before Hiroshima.

Piper’s first short story impacted me because I fantasize about the same thing (perhaps we all do). What would you do? Who would you tell? What would you try to change? What would you fear changing?

 Here; if you can remember the next thirty years, suppose you tell me when the War’s going to end. This one, I mean. 

[Jan 2012]


“Tomorrow and Tomorrow”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Fantastic Adventures, May 1947
When a typewriter appears on the floor of his boarding room and begins typing messages from the future, down-on-his-luck Steve Temple thinks that it must be his old jokester friend Harry—but he’s wrong about that, and the fate of the world 500 years down the line now depends on what Steve does about the upcoming election.

“Tomorrow and Tomorrow” doesn’t have the notority of that other Bradbury story about time travel and an elected official, but even though this one’s riddled with ridiculous ideas on time, it does accurately predict text messaging!

 Sorry. Not Harry. Name is Ellen Abbot. Female. 26 years old. Year 2442. Five feet ten inches tall. Blonde hair, blue eyes—semantician and dimentional research expert. Sorry. Not Harry. 

[Apr 2012]


Repeat Performance
by Walter Bullock and William O’Farrell
First release: 22 May 1947

After Sheila Page kills her husband in a fit of passion on New Years Eve, she wishes nothing other than to have the entire year back—if destiny will only let her.

 How many times have you said, “I wish I could live this year over again?” This is the story of a woman who did relive one year of her life. 

[Jan 2015]


“Errand Boy”
by William Tenn
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1947
When invention mogul Malcolm Blyn spots an unusual can of paint that a young boy brings to his factory, he begins to wonder whether it came from the future and what else the future may hold.

 I hand him an empty can and say I want it filled with green paint—it should have orange polka dots. 

[Apr 2012]


“The Figure”
by Edward Grendon
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1947
The narrator, along with his pals Dettner and Lasker, are frantically working on a machine that can bring something back from the future before they’re all called away by the army to work on some cockroach problem.

I enjoy stories with some personal connection to myself (and generally award an extra half star). In this case, the connection is Alfred Tarski, the Polish logician who was the advisor of the advisor of my own academic advisor, David B. Benson.

 Lasker is a mathematician. He specializes in symbolic logic and is the only man I know who can really understand Tarski. 

[May 2015]


“The Children’s Room”
by Raymond F. Jones
First publication: Fantastic Adventures, Sep 1947

Bill Starbrook, an engineer and a devoted family man, discovers a hidden Children’s Room in the university library where his genius son Walt has been checking out books which nobody except himself and Walt can read. In some way that’s hard to explain, that leads to mutants on Earth, an alien invasion, a worry that the mutants are going to take away Walt to save mankind, and (in passing) a requirement that the Children’s Room be moved to a different time.

It’s fair to say that this story’s not about the time travel.

 Some emergency has come up. I dont know what, exactly. Theyve got to move the Childrens Room to some other age right away—something about picking up an important mutant who is about to be destroyed in some future time. 

[Aug 2015]


“Meddler’s Moon”
by George O. Smith
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1947
Joseph Hedgerly travels back in time some 60 years to ensure that his grandfather marries the right woman.

 Either we live by accident and die by accident, or we live by plan and die by plan. If our lives are written in the Book of Acts, then no effort is worth the candle. For there will be those who will eternally strive to be good and yet shall fail. There will be others who care not nor strive not and yet will thrive. Why? Only because it is so written. And by whom? By the omnipotent God. Who, my friends, has then written into our lives both the good and the evil that we do ourselves! He moves us as pawns, directs us to strive against odds, yet knows that we must fail, because he planned it that way. 

[Mar 2012]




DC Comics (Funnybooks)
First time travel: All Funny Comics 20, Nov 1947


It seems that everyone in the DC stable wanted to get in on the road to time travel including the humor line-up. The earliest that I’ve found so far in the Nov 1947 issue of All Funny Comics. Later, there were Bob Hope (in Bob Hope 43) and Jerry Lewis (in Jerry Lewis 43 and 54). In Bob’s story, he gets sent into the future by Carolyn Spooner. It also had a cover with Bob as a caveman. As I find others, I’ll list them in my time-travel comic books page.

 This cant be the stone age!—Im just putty in the hands of a girl like you! 
—from the cover of Bob Hope 43

[Jun 2012]


“The Timeless Tomorrow”
by Manley Wade Wellman
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec 1947

Demoisell Anne Poins Genelle visits Nostradamus and witnesses one of his visions—children climbing into a series of long, wheeled structures with glass windows—and she promptly steps into the vision.

I enjoyed how he wrote out his visions in quatrains.

 Within the Isles the children are transported,
The most of them despairing and forlorn,
Upon the soil their lives will be supported
While hope shall flee. . . .
 

[Jul 2015]


Brick Bradford Movie Serial
by George Plympton, Arthur Hoerl and Lewis Clay
First release: 18 Dec 1947



In fifteen episodes, Brick travels to the moon to protect a rocket interceptor while his pals take the time top to the 18th century to find a critical hidden formula.

 Maybe tomorrow you’ll be visiting your great, great grandmother. 

[Dec 2010]


“Me, Myself and I”
by William Tenn
First publication: Planet Stories, Winter 1947

As an experiment, a scientist sends unemployed strongman Cartney back 110 million years to make a small change. He makes this first change, which changes things in the present, and then he must go back again and again, whereupon he meets himself and him.

I keep finding earlier and earlier stories with the idea of destroying mankind by squishing a bug, and I am wondering whether this is the earliest linchpin bug (although that doesn’t actually happen here).

 Maybe tomorrow you’ll be visiting your great, great grandmother. 

[Jan 2012]

“Double Cross in Double Time”
by William P. McGivern
First publication: Fantastic Adventures, Feb 1948

I like stories that begin with a want ad, including Heinlein’s Glory Road and the recent movie Safety Not Guaranteed. This is the earliest such story that I’ve seen, in which Paddy Donovan answers the ad (just off Fourth Avenue) to find Professor O’Neill, the professor’s angelic daughter, and a machine that stimulates a man’s dormant ability to travel through time. So, after a quick jaunt to ancient Egypt, Paddy offers to bankroll the development of the time machine’s business potential.

 Opening for young man of adventurous nature. Opportunity for travel, excitement, glory. 

[May 2015]


“The Monster”
aka “The Brighton Monster”
by Gerald Kersh
First publication: Saturday Evening Post, 21 Feb 1948
In April of 1947, a man makes a connection between a tattooed Japanese man and a monster that washed up in Brighton two centuries earlier.

 I should never have taken the trouble to pocket his Account of a Strange Monster Captured Near Brighthelmstone in the County of Sussex on August 6th in the Year of Our Lord 1745. 

[Jan 2014]




The Thiotimoline Stories
by Isaac Asimov
First story: Astounding, Mar 1948



I don’t know if this is time travel or not, but it certainly violates causality when the time for thiotimoline to dissolve in water is minus 1.12 seconds.

 The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline (Mar 1948)Astounding
The Micropsychiatric Properties of Thiotimoline (Dec 1953)Astounding
Thiotimoline and the Space Age (Oct 1960)Analog
Thiotimoline to the Stars (Nov 1973)Analog
Antithiotimoline (Dec 1977)Analog

 Mr. Asimov, tell us something about the thermodynamic properties of the compound thiotimoline. 
—Professor Ralph S. Halford to Asimov at the conclusion of his Ph.D. oral exam on May 20, 1948.

[Apr 2012]


“The Tides of Time”
by A. Bertram Chandler
First publication: Fantastic Adventures, Jun 1948
Upon his 21st birthday, the twentieth in the line of descendents of Aubrey St. John Sheraton is to be taken into confidence about the secret of his family’s centuries-long financial success.

 I’d wait five hundred years for you, my darling. 

[Feb 2015]


“Time Trap”
by Charles L. Harness
First publication: Astounding, Aug 1948
The story presents a fixed series of events, which includes a man disappearing at one point in the future and (from his point of view) reappearing at the start of the story to then interact with himself, his own wife, and the evil alien.

It’s nice that there’s no talk of the universe exploding when he meets himself, but even so, the story suffers from a murkiness that is often part of time-travel stories that are otherwise enjoyable. The murkiness stems from two points: (1) That somehow the events are repeating over and over again—but from whose viewpoint? (2) The events are deterministic and must be acted out exactly the same each time. I enjoy clever stories that espouse the viewpoint of the second item (“By His Bootstraps”). But this does not play well with the first item, and (as with many stories), Harness did not address that conflict nor the consequent issue of free will. Still, I enjoyed the story and wish I’d met Harness when I traveled to Penn State University in the spring of 1982.

 But searching down time, Troy-Poole now found only the old combination of Troy and Poole he knew so well. Hundreds, thousands, millions of them, each preceding the other. As far back as he could sense, there was always a Poole hovering over a Troy. Now he would become the next Poole, enmesh the next Troy in the web of time, and go his own way to bloody death. 

[Jul 2011]


“Brooklyn Project”
by William Tenn
First publication: Planet Stories, Fall 1948

So far, this is the earliest story I’ve read with the thought that a miniscule change in the past can cause major changes to our time. The setting is a press conference where the Secretary of Security presents the time-travel device to twelve reporters.

 The traitorous Shayson and his illegal federation extended this hypothesis to include much more detailed and minor acts such as shifting a molecule of hydrogen that in our past really was never shifted. 

[Jul 2011]


“The Cube Root of Conquest”
by Rog Phillips
First publication: Amazing, Oct 1948

Hute Hitle, a dictator on the war-torn planet of Amba, plans to bring down an apocalypse and then travel to the future where he can fulfil his insatiable ambitions to be accepted as the one Leader.

The story is a crudely written Hitler fantasy, but it does have the interesting idea that travel through time can best be accomplished by stepping sideways into a parallel universe, traveling through time in that other universe, and then stepping back. Fortuntely for Amba, the scientist who discovered this version of time travel knows more than Hitle ever will.

 A time machine in one of these other universes could carry me to any point in the future without danger it might have encountered in this one, such as an atom bomb dropped on the space it would have been in here? 

[Jun 2015]

“La otre muerte”
aka “The Other Death”
by Jorge Luís Borges
First publication: El Aleph, 1949


I’ve read many translated stories of Jorge Lu%iacute; Borges, and many of those have surreal time elements, but this is the only one that I’ll deem to have time travel with a sophisticated branching universe, no less!

In the story, Borges himself tells of a man, Dom Pedro Damián, who first has a history as a soldier who lost his nerve at the 1904 Battle of Masoller and then lived out a long, quiet life. But after Damián dies some decades later, a second history appears in which the soldier was actually a dead hero at that very same battle, and no one remembers anything of the earlier life.

Motivated by the final part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Borges argues that the only complete explanation involves God granting a death-bed wish to the 1946 Damián, allowing him to return to the 1904 battle, causing time to branch into two universal histories, the first of which is largely—but not wholly—suppressed.

 In the fifth chapter of that treatise, Pier Damiani asserts—against Aristotle and against Fredegarius de Tours—that it is within Gods power to make what once was into something that has never been. Reading those old theological discussions, I began to understand Pedro Damiá;s tragic story. 

[Jul 2015]


“The Red Queen’s Race”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Astounding Science Fiction, Jan 1949

By my count, this was Asimov’s third foray into time travel, but his first as Dr. Asimov. In the story, the dead Elmer Tywood also had a Ph.D. and a plan to translate a modern chemistry textbook into Greek before sending it back in time to inaugurate a Golden Age of science long before it actually occurred.

 There was a short silence, then he said: “Ill tell you. Why dont you check with his students?”
I lifted my eyebrows: “You mean in his classes?”
He seemed annoyed: “No, for Heavens sake. His research students! His doctoral candidates!
 

[Jul 1972]


Hallmark Playhouse
hosted by James Hilton
First time travel: 3 Mar 1949 in Berkeley Square


Before tv’s Hallmark Hall of Fame, CBS aired the half-hour Hallmark Playhouse on its radio networks. I spotted only one time-travel episode, the well-worn Berkeley Square, which aired on 3 Mar 1949.

 An ancestor of mine built this house in 1730. See that picture there, above the fireplace? His father. Look at it. 

[Feb 2015]



Young William Shatner

Studio One
created by Fletcher Markle
First time travel: 20 Mar 1949 (“Berkeley Square”)



Almost every week for a period of nearly eleven years (7 Nov 1948 to 29 Sep 1958), Studio One presented a black-and-white drama to CBS’s television audience. We can claim some of the tv plays as our own in the sf genre, and at least two included time travel (a “Berkeley Square” remake on 20 March 1949, and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” on 19 May 1952). One other sf connection comes from Studio One clips of William Shatner (in “The Defender”, 1957) which were used to portray a young Denny Crane in an episode of Boston Legal (“Son of the Defender”, 2007).

 Youve heard of the transmigration of soul; have you ever heard of the transposition of a mans body in time and place? 
—A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

[Jan 2015]


ACG Comics (Anthologies)
founded by Benjamin W. Sangory
First time travel: Adventures into the Unknown 4, Apr 1949


ACG had a handful of weird story comic books including Adventures into the Unknown, Forbidden Worlds and Forbidden Worlds. I picked up a few of these at garage sales as a kid, but never really got into them. The earliest time travel that I’ve found so far was a story called “Back to Yesterday” in Adventures into the Unknown 4. Some of the issues are now available on google books.

 Its supposed to work by producing a displacement in the hyper-temporal field by means of a powerful mesotronic stasis of the continuum—and anyone near the machines field will immediately be projected into the future! 
——Hugh Martinson in “Adventure into the Future”

[Jun 1965]


A Connecticut Yankee
in King Arthur’s Court

adapted by Edmund Beloin (Tay Garnett, director)
First release: 22 Apr 1949



You know the story of Hank Morgan well enough by now, but do you know Edmund Beloin’s (one of Bob Hope’s writers) musical version with bumpkin Bing Crosby? This is my favorite of all the filmed versions.

 ♫Lord help the sister, who comes between me and my sister,
and Lord help the mister, who comes between me and my maaaan!♫
 
—oops, wrong Crosby movie!

[Jan 2015]


Mighty Mouse Comics
First time travel: Mighty Mouse 11, Jun 1949


Surely Mighty Mouse time traveled in his comics many times, but the one that I ran across in the Michgan State University library records is a 2-page text piece called “The Time Machine”in issue 11. I haven’t read it, so I can’t say whether it’s fiction or perhaps something on H.G. Wells’s story.

The mouse did save the day himself via time travel in 1961 (Mighty Mouse 152). As I find other instances, I’ll add them to my time-travel comics page.


“Let the Ants Try”
by Frederik Pohl (as by James MacCreigh)
First publication: Planet Stories, Winter 1949
After a nuclear war, Dr. Salva Gordy and John de Terry decide to use their time machine to see whether a recently mutated form of ant might do a better job than mankind if the ants were given a 40-million-year head start.

 And I doubt that you speak mathematics. The closest I can come is to say that it displaces temporal coordinates. Is that gibberish? 

[Jul 2015]

The Man Who Lived Backward
by Malcolm Ross
First publication: 1950

Mark Selby, born in June of 1940, achieves a unique perspective on life and war and death due to the fact that he lives each day from morning to night, aging in the usual way, but the next morning he wakes up on the previous day until he eventually dies just after (or is it before?) Lincoln’s assassination.

 Tomorrow, my tomorrow, is the day of the President’s death. 

[Feb 2013]


Pebble in the Sky
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: 1950


Joseph Schwartz takes one step from 1949 to the year 847 of the Galactic Era, where he meets archaeologist Bel Arvardan, Earth scientist Dr. Shekt, the doctor’s beautiful daughter Pola, and a plot to destroy all non-Earth life in the galaxy.

 He lifted his foot to step over a Raggedy Ann doll smiling through its neglect as it lay there in the middle of the walk, a foundling not yet missed. He had not quite put his foot down again . . . 

[Nov 1970]


“Stranded in Time”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: The Omnibus of Time, 1950
Only Farley himself knows his intent with this story, but to me it seems as if he were trying to make amends for his sexist tales of bygone pulp days by writing a story of football player cum physics student Milton Collett and his beautiful—but not airheaded—gal, Carolyn Van Horn, who together take a one-way trip to a future in which roles of men and women have been reversed. For me, Farley didn’t quite pull it off.

 His interne stared at him with awed respect. A man—able to read! 

[Feb 2015]

The story also appeared in the second volume of Fantasy Book toward the end of 1950.
“The Man Who Lived Backward”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: The Omnibus of Time, 1950
Although this story shared a title with Malcolm Ross’s 1950 book of the same name, Farley’s story has but a small scope and a technical bent, explaining the natural mechanism that has taken the psychiatric patient known as Sixtythree and turned him into someone who (among other backward things) calls his beloved Margaret “Gnillrahd Tellagrahm!”

 For example, I well remember the night when he woke up the entire Asylym by yelling “Fire!”, just before the boiler explosion which nearly caused a holocaust. 

[Feb 2015]

Farley wrote time travel stories in his spare time while under his birth name, Roger Sherman Hoar, he was a patent lawyer—and I have no other picture to illustrate another Farley story except this diagram from a time machine patent.
The Revenge of the Great White Lodge
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: first two chapters in The Omnibus of Time, 1950
Farley published the first 5500 words of this unfinished novel in his 1950 collection, The Omnibus of Time, but he never finished the partly autobiographical book about a New Hampshire lawyer, Lincoln Houghton, who follows an apparent time traveler to a cult compound before being transported to an alternate reality.

 As to the advice which I promised you. Watch your cousin warren, so far as Katherine is concerned!—Now you have a real reason to dislike your cousin. 

[Mar 2015]

The story also appeared in this 1978 anthology.
“The Man Who Could Turn Back the Clock”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: The Omnibus of Time, 1950
After a night in an isolated barn with a seductive woman, a man tries to explain his absence to his wife. It could be that Farley invented the choose-your-own-ending-story with this short parable.

 Then the man saw that he had made a tactical mistake; so he turned back the clock a few minutes and tried the conversation over again. 

[Mar 2015]


“Spectator Sport”
by John D. MacDonald
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Feb 1950
Dr. Rufus Maddon is the first man to travel 400 years into the future, but those he meets think he’s in need of treatment.

 Every man can have Temp and if you save your money you can have Permanent, which they say, is as close to heaven as man can get. 

[Apr 2012]


“The Wheel of Time”
by Robert Arthur, Jr.
First publication: Super Science Stories, Mar 1950
Decades before that other Robert wrote of his Wheel of Time, Robert Arthur gave us this story of his recurring mad scientist Jeremiah Jupiter and his long-suffering assistant Lucius. This time, Jupiter plans to create a time machine from oranges, The Encyclopedia Britannica, bass drums, tiny motorcycles, and three trained chimps.

 I am going to set up an interference in the time rhythm at this particular spot. Then the chimpanzies will enter it with my time capsules—since I know you wont— and they will deposit the capules here a million years ago! 

[Apr 2012]


“Forever and the Earth”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Planet Stories, Spring 1950


At age 70, Mr. Henry William Field feels that he’s wasted his life trying to capture the world of the 23rd century in prose, but he also feels there’s one last hope: Use Professor Bolton’s time machine to bring a great writer of the 20th century forward to today.

 Ive called you because I feel Tom Wolfes the man, the necessary man, to write of space, of time, huge things like nebulae and galactic war, meteors and planets, all the dark things he loved and put on paper were like this. He was born out of his time. He needed really big things to play with and never found them on Earth. He should have been born this afternoon instead of one hundred thousand mornings ago. 

[Jul 2015]


2000 Plus
created by Sherman H. Dreyer and Robert Weenolsen
First time travel: 27 Apr 1950


After World War II, the American public became fascinated with science, scientists and the future, one result of which were the national science fiction anthology radio shows starting with 2000 Plus. There was no limit to the scientific wonders that we would have by the year 2000! The series had at least two time-travel episodes in its two-year run or original scripts (and possibly a third, “Time Out of Hand”).

 The Man Who Conquered Time (12 Apr 1950)to 10,000 AD
The Temple of the Pharaohs (12 Jul 1951)to ancient Egypt

 The sky, the sky is wrong, Sebastian! The constellations are all twisted up. Halley’s comet is back where it must have been a few thousand years ago! Sebastion, I’ve got it! That sky! That sky is the sky of about 5000 years ago! 
—from “The Temple of the Pharaohs”

[Jan 2012]





number 11 of 50 hand-colored Frazetta prints of Weird Science-Fantasy 29

EC Comics (Anthologies)
First time travel: May 1950



The prototypical comic book weird story anthologies were EC’s titles that began in April 1950 with Crypt of Terror. I don’t know whether that title and EC’s other horror comics had any time travel (because I was forbidden from reading those!), but Harry Harrison, Wally Wood and their fellow artists managed some in the titles that were more geared to sf.

I’m aiming for a complete list of EC’s time-travel vignettes, but the list as of now is only partial. The first one I found was in Weird Fantasy 13 (May/Jun 1950), which was actually its first issue. That was part of a ruse to take over a second-class postage permit from A Moon, a Girl . . .Romance (which ended with issue 12). They stuck with that numbering through the fifth issue (number 17) when the postmaster general took note, and the next one was number 6. I did kinda wonder how many of those romance readers were surprised when Weird Fantasy 13 showed up in their mailboxes.

There was a sister title, Weird Science, which began in May/Jun 1952 with issue 12 (taking over the postage permit after the 11th issue of Saddle Romance). It had many time travel stories, starting with “Machine from Nowhere” in issue 14 (the 3rd issue).

Weird Science and Weird Fantasy were not selling that well, so EC combined them into a single title—Weird Science-Fantasy—with issue 23 in March 1954. Alas, there was but one time-travel story, “The Pioneer” in number 24 (Jun 1954), about which EC’s site says A man attempts to be the first to successfully time travel, but there are some casualties on the way. . . ..
By the way, the whole run of EC comics would be 4 stars, but it gets an extra ½ star because of Al Williamson’s adaptation of “The Sound of Thunder” in Weird Science-Fantasy 24 and the beautiful Frank Frazetta cover on the final issue (number 29) of Weird Science-Fantasy. The third image to the left is is that Frazetta did of that cover in 1972, with a bonus vamp in the bottom right corner. The cover had a gladiator fighting cave men, but it was not a time-travel story.

In 1955, the Comics Code Authority banned the word “Weird,” so the title became Incredible Science Fiction with number 30 (Jul/Aug 1955). The four-issue run had only one time-travel tale (“Time to Leave” by Roy G. Krenkel in number 31).

 I just stepped off the path, that’s all. Got a little mud on my shoes! What do you want me to do, get down and pray? 

[Circa 1963]


“Night Meeting”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: The Martian Chronicles, May 1950

On his own in the Martian night, Tómas Gomez meets an ancient Martian whom he can talk with but not touch.

 How can you prove who is from the Past, who from the Future? 

[Nov 1973]


“The Fox and the Forest”
aka “To the Future”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Colliers, 13 May 1950

Roger Kristen and his wife decide to take a time-travel vacation and then run so they’ll never have to return to the war torn world of 2155 AD.

 The inhabitants of the future resent you two hiding on a tropical isle, as it were, while they drop off the cliff into hell. Death loves death, not life. Dying people love to know that others die with them. It is a comfort to learn you are not alone in the kiln, in the grave. I am the guardian of their collective resentment against you two. 

[Jan 2012]


Dimension X
created by Fred Wiehe and Edward King
First time travel: 27 May 1950



In the month that Colliers ran its first time-travel story, Dimension X broadcast the same story with an original adaptation. I found just one later story of time-travel in their 46-episode run. (They also did an abbreviated Pebble in the Sky, but without Joseph Schwartz’s time travel.)

 To the Future (27 May 1950)from war in 2155 to peaceful 1950s
Time and Time Again (12 Jul 1951)dying soldier to his childhood)

 We have Time Machines for sale—simple little machines of paper and ink, tubes and wires that, coupled with your own mind can soar down the years of
Eternity.
 
—from a Dimension X advertisement

[Jan 2012]


“Time in Thy Flight”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Jun/Jul 1950
Mr. Fields takes Janet, Robert and William back to 1928 to study their strange ways.

 And those older people seated with the children. Mothers, fathers, they called them. Oh, that was strange. 

[Dec 2013]


“The Little Black Bag”
by C.M. Kornbluth
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1950


In a 25th century where the vast majority of people have stunted intelligence (or at least talk with poor grammar), a physicist accidentally sends a medical bag back through time to Dr. Bayard Full, a down-on-his-luck, generally drunk, always callously self-absorbed, dog-kicking shyster. Despite falling in with a guttersnipe of a girl, Annie Aquella, he tries to make good use of the gift.

 Switch is right. It was about time travel. What we call travel through time. So I took the tube numbers he gave me and I put them into the circuit-builder; I set it for ‘series’ and there it is-my time-traveling machine. It travels things through time real good. 

[May 2015]


“Vengeance, Unlimited”
aka “Vengeance Fleet”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: Super Science Stories, Jul 1950
After Venus is destroyed by an invading fleet, Earth and Mars end their dispute in order to put together a fleet that can travel back in time to extract vengeance on the invaders. I like Brown’s work a lot, but not this story which had gaping holes, not the least of which was a problem with the units of c raised to the c power (sorry, that is one of my pet peeves.

 In ten years, traveling forward in space and backward in time, the fleet would have traversed just that distance—186,334186,334 miles. 

[Jan 2014]


“Time’s Arrow”
by Arthur C. Clarke
First publication: Science-Fantasy, Summer 1950

Barton and Davis, assistants to Professor Fowler, are on an archaeological dig when a physicist sets up camp next door and speculates abound about viewing into the past—or is it only viewing?

 The discovery of negative entropy introduces quite new and revolutionary conceptions into our picture of the physical world. 

[Dec 2008]


“Flight from Tomorrow”
by H. Beam Piper
First publication: Future Science Fiction, Sept/Oct 1950


When the revolution finally comes, the dictatorial leader Hradzka escapes to the past in a time machine, but he overshoots his target and ends up in the first decade after the discovery of atomic power.

 “The ‘time-machine’” Zarvas Pol replied. “If hes managed to get it finished, the Great Mind only knows where he may be, now. Or when.” 

[Jun 2015]


Operation Peril’s Time Travelers
created by Richard Hughes
First publication: Operation Peril 1, Oct/Nov 1950



Before it became a war comic, the first twelve issues of ACG’s Operation Peril included a regular series about Dr. Tom Redfield and his rich fiancé, Peggy, who buy some of Nostradamuss papers and discover that hed designed a time machine.

I haven’t found difinitive information on the creators of this series. Several sites name ACG editor Richard E. Hughes as the writer; some places speculate that it was drawn by Ken Bald, but Pappy’s Golden Age Blog indicates that a reader names Lin Streeter as the actual artist, and Pappy agrees.

 Why, what an odd-looking blueprint! Tempus Machina--why, Tom! Thats Latin for Time Machine! 

[Apr 2014]


Time and Again
by Clifford D. Simak
First publication: Galaxy, Oct/Nov/Dec 1950
After twenty years, Ash Sutton reurns in a cracked-up ship without food, air or water—only to report that the mysterious planet that nobody can visit is no threat to Earth. But a man from the future insists that Sutton must be killed to stop a war in time; while Sutton himself, who has developed metaphysical, religious leanings, finds a copy of This Is Destiny, the very book that he is planning to write.

 It would reach back to win its battles. It would strike at points in time and space which would not even know that thre was a war. It could, logically, go back to the silver mines of Athens, to the horse and chariot of Thutmosis III, to the sailing of Columbus. 

[May 2012]


“The Third Level”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Colliers, 7 Oct 1950


A New York man stumbles upon a third underground level at Grand Central Station which is a portal to the past.

This is the first of Finney’s many fine time-travel stories.

 I turned toward the ticket windows knowing that here—on the third level at Grand Central—I could buy tickets that would take Louisa and me anywhere in the United States we wanted to go. In the year 1894. 

[Mar 2005]


“Day of the Hunters”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Future Science Fiction, Nov 1950


A midwestern professor tells a half-drunken story of time travel and the real cause of the dinosaur extinction.

 Because I built a time machine for myself a couple of years ago and went back to the Mesozoic Era and found out what happened to the dinosaurs. 

[Jul 1976]


“Transfer Point”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Galaxy, Nov 1950

Vyrko, the Last Man on Earth, is confined to a shelter with the beautiful but unalluring scientist’s daughter Lavra, until he starts reading a stash of old pulp magazines with stories that exactly describe himself and Lavra.

 Good old endless-cycle gimmick. Lot of fun to kick around but Bob Heinlein did it once and for all in ‘By His Bootstraps.’ Damnedest tour de force I ever read; there just arent any switcheroos left after that. 

[Jan 2013]


Ziff-Davis Comics (Anthologies)
founded by William B. Ziff, Sr. and Beranrd G. Davis
First time travel: Amazing Adventures 1, Nov 1950



Ziff-Davis published dozens of comic book titles in the first half of the 1950s including some anthologies of weird stories. The first issue of their Amazing Adventures included a time-travel tale called “Treaspasser in Time” in which the hero and the professor go through a strange fourth dimension full of inverted coneheads.

 Were obviously stranded in the fourth dimension . . . Weve both escaped that monster by plunging into the color-stream . . . which must be the stream of time! 

[Jun 2012]


“A Stone and a Spear”
by Raymond F. Jones
First publication: Galaxy, Dec 1950
In a post-Hiroshima world, Dr. Dell resigns from a weapons lab to farm, and when Dr. Curtis Johnson visits to pursuade him to come back, he finds that Dell’s reasons are linked to time travel.

 Here within this brain of mine has been conceived a thing which will probably destroy a billion human lives in the coming years. D. triconus toxin in a suitable aerosol requires only a countable number of molecules in the lungs of a man to kill him. My brain and mine alone is responsible for that vicious, murderous discovery. 

[Apr 2012]

“Such Interesting Neighbors”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Colliers, 6 Jan 1951


Al Lewis and his wife Nell have new neighbors, an inventor who talks of time travel from the future and his wife Ann.

The story was the basis for the second episode of Science Fiction Theater and also Spielberg’s Amazing Stories.

 But Ann walked straight into that door and fell. I couldnt figure out how she came to do it; it was as though she expected the door to open by itself or something. Thats what Ted said, too, going over to help her up. “Be careful, honey,” he said, and laughed a little, making a joke of it. “Youll have to learn, you know, that doors wont open themselves.” 

[Mar 2005]


“. . . and It Comes Out Here”
by Lester del Rey
First publication: Galaxy, Feb 1951
Old Jerome Boell, inventor of the household atomic power unit, visits his young self to make sure that the household atomic power unit gets invented, so to speak.

 But its a longish story, and you might as well let me in. You will, you know, so why quibble about it? At least, you always have—or do—or will. I dont know, verbs get all mixed up. We dont have the right attitude toward tenses for a situation like this. 

[Apr 2012]


“Like a Bird, Like a Fish”
by H.B. Hickey
First publication: Worlds Beyond, Feb 1951

When a strange ship crashes in Guadalajara, the villagers call Father Vincent. When the priest realizes that the visitors are lost and their ship is broken, he calls Pablo, who can fix anything (although generally mañana). And when everyone realizes that the visitors, who have already conquered their own realm where time-is-space and vice versa, mean to conquer Earth next (after all, Earthlings make good food), it seems too late to call anyone.

 Father Vincent was sorry that the villagers had called him. They should have set the fire. But it was too late.

“You will come in peace?” he asked, his voice beginning to tremble. “You will do no harm?”
 

[Aug 2015]


Atlas Comics (Anthologies)
First time travel: Astonishing 6, Apr 1951



Before they started slinging superheroes, Stan Lee and the bullpen were working at Marvel’s predecessor, Atlas Comics, putting out comics that mimicked EC’s anthologies. The first one I found was in Astonishing 6 (Apr 1951). As I find others, I’ll list them on my time-travel comics page.

 Of course! thats it! I forgot to connect the plug to the electric outlet! 
—Harry in Mystery Tales 10, Apr 1953, explaining why his time machine did’s work the first time

[circa 1962]


“Don’t Live in the Past”
by Damon Knight
First publication: Galaxy, Jun 1951
A future transportation system goes awry, which results in flangs, tweedledums, collapsed flooring, argo paste, and mangels (yes, especially mangels) being delivered to the homes and business places of persons in a past century. Moreover, it’s quite possible that civilization down the line (including Bloggetts own time!) will be altered. When the buck finally stops, the buck-kickers have decided that it’s up to Ronald Mao Jean-Jacques von Hochbein Mazurin to travel back and set things right.

 The mathematicians are still working on that, Your Honor, and the best they can say now is that it was probably somewhere between the mid-Twentieth Century and the last Twenty-First. However 

[Aug 2015]


Lights Out
created by Fred Coe
First time travel: 2 Jul 1951



I wonder whether Lights Out was the earliest sf anthology tv show and the earliest time travel on tv. The first four episodes were live broadcasts on New York’s WNBT-TV (NBC) starting on 3 Jun 1946. It was renewed by NBC for three seasons of national broadcast starting 26 Jul 1949, and I spotted at least two time-travel episodes. Some episodes have found their way to Youtube, although I watched “And Adam Beget” on Disk 5 of the Netflix offering. I haven’t yet listened to any of the earlier radio broadcasts.

The episode “And Adam Beget” came from a 1939 radio episode of Arch Obolers Plays, and it formed the basis for a 1953 Steve Ditko story, “A Hole in His Head,” in the Black Magic comic book.

 And Adam Begot (2 Jul 1951)time warp to prehistoric past
Of Time and Third Avenue (30 Dec 1951)from Bester’s story

 You dont understand. Look at the short, hairy, twisted body—the neck bent, the head thrust forward, those enormous brows, the short flat nose . . . 
—from “And Adam Begot ”

[Apr 2012]


Youthful Magazines
founded by Bill Friedman and Sophie Friedman
First time travel: Captain Science 5, Aug 1951



From 1949 through 1954, the Friedman’s Youthful Magazines published ten distinct comic book titles. The first time travel I spotted was in Captain Science 5, where the brainy captain takes yourthful teen Rip and redheaded bombshell Luana to Pluto at 40 times the speed of light to fight villians from the future. As I find other Youthful time travel, I’ll add it to my time-travel comics page.

 Yes. Lets see. Infinity over pi minus the two quadrants cubed . . . 
Captain Science 5

[Jun 2012]


“Quit Zoomin’ Those Hands Through the Air”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Colliers, 4 Aug 1951

Grandpa is over 100 now, so surely his promise to General Grant no longer binds him to keep quiet about a time-travel expedition and a biplane.

 Air power in the Civil War? Well, its been a pretty well-kept secret all these years, but we had it. The Major and me invented it ourselves. 

[May 2011]


“The Biography Project”
by H.L. Gold (as by Dudley Dell)
First publication: Galaxy, Sep 1951
Many sf stories are called upon to provide one-way viewing of the past with no two-way interference, but few (not this one) will answer.

 There were 1,000 teams of biographers, military analysts, historians, etc., to begin recording history as it actually happened—with special attention, according to Maxwells grant, to past leaders of industry, politics, science, and the arts, in the order named. 

[Jul 2013]


“I’m Scared”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Colliers, 15 Sep 1951

A retired man investigates scores of cases of the past impinging itself on the present and speculates about the cause and the eventual effect.

 Then, undressing in my bedroom, I remembered that Major Bowes was dead. Years had passed, half a decade, since that dry chuckle and familiar, “All right, all right,” had been heard in the nations living rooms. 

[Mar 2005]


“Ambition”
by William L. Bade
First publication: Galaxy, Oct 1951
Bob Maitland, a 1950s rocket scientist who dreams of going to the moon and the planets, is kidnapped in the middle of the night by an intelligent, athletic man named Swarts who speaks with an unusual accent. After the first interrogation by Swarts, Maitland realizes that Venus’s position in the sky means that he’s not only been taken to a different place, but to a different time as well—but he still doesn’t know why.

 When Swarts started saying a list of words—doubtlessly some sort of semantic reaction test—Maitland began the job of integrating “csc³x dx” in his head. It was a calculation which required great concentration and frequent tracing back of steps. After several minutes, he noticed that Swarts had stopped calling words. He opened his eyes to find the other man standing over him, looking somewhat exasperated and a little baffled. 

[Jul 2015]


“Of Time and Third Avenue”
by Alfred Bester
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct 1951

Apparently, time travel has rules. For example, you cannot go back and simply take something from the past—it must be given to you. Thus, our man from the future must talk young Oliver Wilson Knight and his girlfriend into giving up the 1990 almanac that they bought in 1950.

 If there was such a thing as a 1990 almanac, and if it was in that package, wild horses couldnt get it away from me. 

[Apr 2012]






Walt Disney’s Comics
First time travel: Mickey Mouse daily strips, 22 Oct 1951

The first mention of time travel that I’ve found for Disney characters in the comics was the story of Uncle Wombat’s Tock Tock Time Machine which ran in Mickey’s daily strip from 22 Oct 1951 through 19 Jan 1952. As for comic books, the first one that I ever read in the comic books was when Mickey and Goofy traveled back to Blackbeard in August, 1968. I’ve since found travel in the comic books as early as 1964 (Gyro Gearloose travels in Uncle Scrooge 50) and 1962 (Chip ’n’ Dale 30). I’ll keep looking and add any new finds to my time-travel comic book page.

 A fantastic time machine enables Mickey and Goofy to live in different periods of history. Right now they are aboard Mickeys unarmed merchant vessel off the Carolinas in the early 1700s—and off to starboard is a treacherous pirate ship . . . 
Mickey Mouse 114

[Jul 1968]


“Fool’s Errand”
by Lester del Rey
First publication: Science Fiction Quarterly, Nov 1951
Roger Sidney, a 23rd-century professor of paraphysics, travels back to ask an aging Nostradamus whether he truly wrote those uncannily accurate predictions that were not found until 1989, but Sidney overshoots his target and ends up searching for a young Nostradamus in a tavern in southern France.

“Fool’s Errand” was the second story del Rey wrote after moving to New York in 1944 where he rented a $3/week room near Ninth Avenue and Fifty-Seventh Street, but Campbell rejected the story for Astounding as being too obvious. It was another seven years before Roger Sidney would find his way into the pages of Science Fiction Quarterly, one of the new spate of 1950s sf magazines.

 If Nostradamus would accept the manuscript as being his, the controversy would be ended, and the paraphysicists could extend their mathematics with sureness that led on toward glorious, breathtaking possibilities. Somewhere, perhaps within a few feet, was the man who could settle the question conclusively, and somehow Sidney must find him—and soon! 

[Aug 2015]


“The Hunting Season”
by Frank M. Robinson
First publication: Astounding, Nov 1951
For the crime of questioning the State’s hunts in public, huntman David Black is sentenced to become the quarry in a three-day hunt in the past—the 20th century in this case.

My own student, David Black, who died unexpectedly in the summer of 2006, would always talk with me about anything and everything. So if he were still alive as I read this (in 2015), we would have a happy afternoon reading it and talking about the social situation the story brings up, or maybe we’d figure out why I’m so attracted to one-against-the-system stories.

 Youre much better off than if we had held the hunt in Sixteenth Century Spain during the inquisition or perhaps ancient Rome during the reign of Caligula. You may even like it here during the brief period of the hunt. Its a fairly civilized culture, at least in a material sense. 

[Jul 2015]


I’ll Never Forget You
aka The House in the Square, aka Man of Two Worlds
adapted by Ranald MacDougall
First release: 7 Dec 1951


John Balderston’s play Berkeley Square is updated to the 1950s where Peter Standish, now an atomic scientist, is once again transported back to the 18th century (unfortunately, not via a nuclear accident) to romance beautiful Kate Petigrew.

 Roger, I believe the 18th century still exists. Its all around us, if only we could find it. Put it this way: Polaris, the North Star, is very bright, yet its light takes nearly fifty years to reach us. For all we know, Polaris may have ceased to exist somewhere around 1900. Yet we still see it, its past is our present. As far as Polaris is concerned, Teddy Roosevelt is just going down San Juan hill. 

[Mar 2015]


“Pawley’s Peepholes”
by John Wyndham
First publication: Science-Fantasy, Winter 1951-52

Jerry, his girl Sally, and everyone else in the quiet town of Westwich are forced to put up with gawking but immaterial tourists from the future who glide by on sight-seeing platforms.

 Was Great Grandma as Good as She Made Out? See the Things Your Family History Never Told You 

[Jul 2013]


Mighty Mouse Cartoons
created by Izzy Klein and Paul Terry
First time travel: 28 Dec 1951


Mighty Mouse saved the day many a time, so doubtlessly he has saved the day in many other times, too, but so far I’ve seen only one such episode (“Prehistoric Perils”, 1952) in which our mouse goes in our villian’s machine back to the dinosaurs to save Pearl Pureheart.

 And now, my little papoose, I shall take you off in my time machine. 

[Dec 2011]

Tales of Tomorrow
aka Tomorrow Is Yours
by Theodore Sturgeon and Mort Abrahamson
First time travel: 8 Feb 1952




When Sturgeon and Abrahamson sold the idea of this anthology show to ABC, they had the backing of the Science Fiction League of America, giving ABC first shot at any stories written by league members. They took good advantage of the deal, including stories by Fredric Brown, Arthur C. Clarke, C.M. Kornbluth, and others including Henry Kutter and C.M. Moore’s “What You Need”. That excellent 1945 story involves future prediction without time travel, but I included it in my time-travel list just because I liked it so much (and it was later made into a Twilight Zone episode, too). Hence, I’ll count the Feb 1952 airing of the story as the first time travel in Tales of Tomorrow. There were at least four other see-into-the-future-or-past episodes, but I won’t include them in the list below. After all, one must have standards!

In general, I’d place the stories on the more horrific end of the science fiction scale, but certainly worth watching.

 What You Need (8 Feb 1952)Henry Kuttner and C.M. Moore
The Little Black Bag (30 May 1952)C.M. Kornbluth
Ahead of His Time (18 Jul 1952)Paul Tripp
The Chase (19 Sep 1952)Mann Rubin
Another Chance (13 Feb 1953)Frank De Felitta
Past Tense, with Boris Karloff (3 Apr 1953)Robert F. Lewine

 After my treatment, youl awake. Youll find yourself in a room a thousand miles from here and back seven years in time. Youll have absolutely no remembrance of these past seven years. The slate will be clean. 
—“Another Chance”

[Jul 2015]


“The Choice”
by W. Hilton-Young (published anonymously)
First publication: Punch, 19 Mar 1952

In this short-short story (about 200 words), our hero, Williams, goes to the future and returns with the memory of only one small thing.

 How did it happen? Can you remember nothing at all? 

[Apr 2012]


“The Business, as Usual”
by Mack Reynolds
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jun 1952

A time traveler from the 20th century has only 15 minutes to negotiate a trade for an artifact to prove that he’s been to the 30th century.

 “Look, don’t you get it? I’m a time traveler. They picked me to send to the future. I’m important.”
   “Ummm. But you must realize that we have time travelers turning up continuously these days.”
 

[Jan 2012]


“Sound of Thunder”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Colliers, 28 Jun 1952



Eckels, a wealthy hunter, is one of three hunters on a prehistoric hunt for T. Rex conducted by Time Safari, Inc.

This was not the first speculation on small changes in the past causing big changes now (for example, Tenn’s “Me, Myself, and I”), but I wonder whether this was the first time that sensitive dependence on initial conditions was expressed in terms of a single butterfly.

 Not a little thing like that! Not a butterfly! 

[May 2003]




Charlton Comics (Anthologies)
First time travel: Space Adventures 1, Jul 1952



Charlton’s first issue of Space Adventures included a character called Hap Holliday, the Time Skipper, who travels to the future to rescue a queen. Hap appeared again in issue 3.

Later in the 1950s, with the legal demise of Fawcett Comics in the ’50s, Charton Comics took over the non-superhero Fawcett titles, and I’m still tracking down their time-travel stories, but the earliest I’ve found so far is a Steve Ditko tale, “The Last Laugh” in Strange Suspense Stories 32 (May 1957). As I find more definitive time-traveling (surely there’s some in the comic book version of The Mysterious Traveler), I’ll include the comics on my time-travel comics page.

 What a book title! Time—The Fourth Dimension! Going time travelling, Lester? 
—from “The Last Laugh”

[circa 1968]


“Star, Bright”
by Mark Clifton
First publication: Galaxy, Jul 1952


Pete Holmes knows that Star, his three-year-old girl, is bright, and he worries that being so intelligent will make life difficult for her (as it has for himself); and then when an equally bright boy moves in next door and Pete observes them playing together and dropping an impossibly ancient Egyptian coin, he’s not sure whether that makes the situation better or worse.

 And those were the children who were too little to cross the street! 

[Feb 2015]


“Hobson’s Choice”
by Alfred Bester
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aug 1952
By night, Addyer dreams of traveling to different times; by day, he is a statistician investigating an anomalous increase in the country’s population centered right in the part of the country that took the heaviest radiation damage in the war.

 Either he imagined himself moved backward in time with a double armful of Encyclopedia Britannica, best-sellers, hit plays and gambling records; or else he imagined himself transported forward in time a thousand years to the Golden Age of perfection. 

[Jan 2015]


Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies Comics
First time travel: Bugs Bunny 50, Aug 1952


No doubt that the bunny and his friends have often traveled through time in the pages of four colors with many titles published by Dell/Gold Key/Whitman. The first such possible escapade that I’ve seen was a story called “Fiddling with the Future” in Bugs Bunny 50 in which some gypsy friends of Bugs can read the future.

 We saw you reading the future with it over at the carnival! 



“There Is a Tide”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Colliers, 2 Aug 1952

A sleepless man, struggling with a business decision, sees an earlier occupant of his apartment who is struggling with a decision of his own.

 I saw the ghost in my own living room, alone, between three and four in the morning, and I was there, wide awake, for a perfectly sound reason: I was worrying. 

[May 2011]


“The Entrepreneur”
by Thomas Wilson
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1952
Ivan Smithov, an upstanding U.S. Communist from the year 2125, is charged with making arrangements for a team of three entrepreneurs to visit the U.S. in 1953 to make preparations for a time tourist enterprise—but Ivan runs into problems procuring local currency for the expedition from the Soviet embassy of the time until his companions’ behavior draws enough attention that the ambassador begins to believe him. But what other consequences might their goings-on have?

 Mrat-See turned quickly, wincing at the protest of his aching muscles. The creature standing before him might have issued from a nightmare. Its heavy, barrellike body was slung like a hammock on four bowed legs. The enormous head, with undershot jaw, protruding fangs, and pendulous lips, was turned toward him unswervingly, and the continuing growl was a deep rumble of menace from the massive chest. Mrat-Sees heart leaped with fear. He had seen such creatures before in the Yorkgrad zoo. Dogs they were called. 

[May 2015]


“Bring the Jubilee”
by Ward Moore
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Nov 1952
In a world where the South won the “War for Southron Independence,” Hodge Backmaker, a northern country bumpkin with academic leanings, makes his way to New York City where he becomes disillusioned, ponders the notions of time and free will, and eventually goes to a communal think-tank where time travel offers him the chance to visit the key Gettysburg battle of the war.

 I could say that time is an illusion and that all events occur simultaneously. 

[Dec 2013]


“Unto Him That Hath”
by Lester del Rey (as by Philip St. John)
First publication: Space Science Fiction, Nov 1952
After losing a leg fighting the Pan-Asians, Captain Michael Dane returns home to his brilliant physicist girlfriend, his father, and a college professor/general who wants his help in swiping technology from the future. But when they grab a future fighter plane, his father is seemingly sucked into the future and his girlfriend may be a spy.

 The government was convinced enough to finance Project Swipe, so it cant be too crazy. Were actually reaching into the future. Look, were losing the war—we know that. Pan-Asia is matching our technology and beating our manpower. But somewhere ahead, they’ve got things that Pan-Asia cant have—and we're going to get some of that. 

[Aug 2015]

Bring the Jubilee
by Ward Moore
First publication: 1953

The novella version of this story appeared first, but I don’t know which was written first. Both are well worth reading, but my preference is for the novella which tells the same story in a more direct fashion.

 I could say that time is a convention and that all events occur simultaneously. 

[Dec 2013]


Operation Freedom
First publication: Six issues circa 1953

A group called the Institute of Fiscal and Political Education published a series of at least six giveaway comic books to extol the virtues of America and democracy. Some were printed with blue and red ink with nice halftones, and others were black and white. I don’t know many details, but Lone Star Comics says that Joshua Strong goes back in time to explain issues such as the right to free speech and press (in issue 5).

 We must never forget our rights are based on our FAITH IN GOD. We claim them in Jeffersons words, Not under the charters of kinds or legislatures, but under the King of Kings. 
—from the first issue

[Jun 2012]

Button Gwinnett plays the title role in this story.
“Button, Button”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Startling Stories, Jan 1953

Harry Smith has an eccentric scientist uncle who needs to make some money from his astonishing invention that can bring one gram of material from the past.

 Do you remember the time a few weeks back when all of upper Manhattan and the Bronx were without electricity for twelve hours because of the damndest overload cut-off in the main power board? I wont say we did that, because I am in no mood to be sued for damages. But I will say this: The electricity went off when my uncle Otton turned the third knob. 

[Jul 1976]


“Time Bum”
by C.M. Kornbluth
First publication: Fantastic, Jan/Feb 1953

After a con man reads a lurid science fiction magazine, a man who’s quite apparently out-of-time shows up to rent a furnished bungalow from Walter Lacblan.

 Esperanto isnt anywhere. Its an artificial language. I played around with it a little once. It was supposed to end war and all sorts of things. Some people called it the language of the future. 

[May 2015]


“Who’s Cribbing”
by Jack Lewis
First publication: Startling Stories, Jan 1953

Jack Lewis finds that all his story submissions are being returned to him with accusations of plagiarizing the great, late Todd Thromberry, but Lewis has another explanation.

 Dear Mr. Lewis,
   We think you should consult a psychiatrist.
Sincerely,
Doyle P. Gates
Science Fiction Editor
Deep Space Magazine
 

[Jan 2012]

The story also appeared in this 1997 collection.
“Dominoes”
by C.M. Kornbluth
First publication: Star Science Fiction Stories, Feb 1953
Stock broker W.J. Born jumps two years into the future to find out when the big crash is coming.

 A two-year forecast on the market was worth a billion! 

[Apr 2012]


“A Scent of Sarsaparilla”
by Ray Bradbury

Mr. William Finch is certain that the nostalgic feeling of cleaning out an attic is more than mere nostalgic, but his wife Cora is is more down-to-Earth.

 Consider an attic. Its very atmosphere is Time. It deals in other years, the cocoons and chrysalises of another age. All the bureau drawers are little coffins where a thousand yesterdays lie in state. Oh, the attics a dark, friendly place, full of Time, and if you stand in the very center of it, straight and tall, squinting your eyes, and thinking and thinking, and smelling the Past, and putting out your hands to feel of Long ago, why, it . . . 

[Jul 2015]


“The Old Die Rich”
by H.L. Gold
First publication: Galaxy, Mar 1953

Dang those drop-dead beautiful, naked redheads with a gun and a time machine! How did actor Mark Weldon start out investigating the starvation deaths of rich, old vagrants and end up at the wrong end of a derringer being forced into a time machine invented by Miss Robert’s mad scientist father?

 She had the gun in her hand. I went into the mesh cage, not knowing what to expect and yet too afraid of her to refuse. I didn’t want to wind up dead of starvation, no matter how much money she gave me—but I didn”t want to get shot, either. 

[Jan 2012]


“The Other Inauguration”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mar 1953
Usually, when I start a story, I already know whether it has time travel in the plot, but occassionally I’m surprised when the temporal antics arise, as in this story of Peter Lanroyd’s attempt to change the outcome of a presidental election that’s stolen by an ideologue. (No, no—not the year 2000. This is a fictional tale.)

I first read this story during my ice-climbing trip to Ouray with Tim.

 To any man even remotely interested in politics, let alone one as involved as I am, every 1st Tue of every 4th Nov must seem like one of the crucial if-points of history. 

[Jan 2013]


“The Time Capsule”
by Otto Binder (as by Eando Binder)
First publication: Science Fiction Plus, Mar 1953

I was surprised when I ran across the first issue of Science Fiction Plus (Mar 1953) and saw Hugo Gernsback, Editor, staring back at me from the top-right corner of the cover. Somehow I assumed that Wonder Stories was his last foray into what he called scientifiction, or even that he’d died when that magazine became Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1936. But, no, here he was again, albeit for only seven issues (Mar-Dec 1953) and with Sam Moskowitz behind the scenes.

That first issue had this Otto Binder story in which a farmer takes two archeologits, Stoddard and Jackson, to a time capsule that’s so unusual it couldn’t possibly have been buried by any known civilization. They take it to the Archeological Institute where their boss instructs them to clean up the outside apparently believing that they’ll stop once it’s clean.

 That thing has been buried for untold centuries perhaps. Millions of days. What would one more day matter? All right, go ahead, you two eager-beavers. But youre getting the dirty work, scraping off that mold. 

[Jul 2015]

The Danville, VA, Bee,
26 Mar 1953, announcing the evening’s programs, including
“The Old Die Rich”

Tales of Tomorrow
hosted by Omentor (aka Raymond E. Johnson)
First time travel: 26 Mar 1953



The radio program spun off from the tv show of the day, but instead of having a deal for stories with the entire SFLA, it exclusively aired stories from Galaxy, including at least one time travel story, H.L. Gold’s “The Olde Die Rich” on 26 Mar 1953.

 This is your host, Omentor, saying, “Hello.” Id like to take a little trip to another century, just name your choice: You can go back through the years as far as youd like or forward to the future and visit civilizations as yet unknown. Fantastic? Not if you use the proper vehicle, which in this case is a time machine. Whats that? Where do you find a time machine? Well, I found one in a remarkable story from Galaxy magazine. 

[Jul 2015]


“Infinite Intruder”
by Alan E. Nourse
First publication: Space Science Fiction, Jul 1953

Since the 4-day atomic war of 2078, Roger Strang has been working on the Barrier Project to build an electronic barrier against missles, but now someone is trying to kill his 12-year-old son with attacks that seemingly succeed but don’t, while any records of his own background have been erased, as if he had never even lived, at least not in the 21st century. As a bonus, the story also has a grandfather paradox.

 The theory said that a man returning through time could alter the social and technological trends of the people and times to which he returned, in order to change history that was already past. 

[May 2012]


“Minimum Sentence”
by Theodore R. Cogswell
First publication: Galaxy, Aug 1953
Flip Danielson and his partner-in-crime Potsy are facing a minimum of four years hard time for their deeds, so they hijack a spaceship to Alpha Centauri, thinking (as the rest of humanity) that the ship is faster-than-light, but as the buglike Quang Dal keeps telling them, it is a sub-light ship that’s has only a few time conveniences that won’t help the humans shorten the journey at all.

 “Are explaining many times before,” said Quang Dal patiently. “Is no such thing as faster-than-light drive. As your good man Einstein show you long time ago, is theoretical impossibility.” 

[Aug 2015]


ACE Comics
published by Aaron A. Wyn and Rose Wyn
First time travel: Baffling Mysteries 18, Nov 1953



Ace Comics published a couple dozen anthology comic titles between 1940 and 1956. The only time travel that I’ve spotted so far was in Baffling Mysteries 18.

 I am Chronos, the spirit of time! Do not destroy the sacred sun dial! Come closer and I shall initiate you into the mysteries of time which you pursue so hotly. 

[Jun 2012]


Black Magic
edited by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon
First time travel: Black Magic 27, Nov 1953



Simon and Kirby put together the Black Magic horror comic for Prize Comics in the fifties, and there was at least one time-travel story, “A Hole in His Head” by none other than an early Steve Ditko. That story was based on a 1951 tv episode of Lights Out (“And Adam Begot”) written by Arch Oboler and taken from the 1939 radio show Arch Obolers Plays.

 Somehow we have stepped out of our own time into another. 
—from “A Hole in His Head”

[Apr 2012]

Radio Times, 5 Dec 1954
Journey into Space
created by Charles Chilton
First time travel: 30 Nov 1953


According to the Operation Luna liner notes, this serial drama program was the last BBC radio broadcast to outdraw the television audience on the same night. The first of the three original series (“Journey to the Moon”) centered on a crew of four, rocketing to the moon in 1965. The first time travel occurs in the 11th episode where they find themselves displaced on Earth by thousands of years. Eventually, they return to their own time.

Almost all of the recordings of that first series were destroyed, but most were rerecorded for a rerun series (renamed “Operation Luna”). Those rerecordings are available on CD along with the non-time-travel second series (“The Red Planet”) and third series (“The World in Peril”).

 And during that period, time for me went backwards. I returned to my childhood. 

[Jun 2015]


“Hall of Mirrors”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: Galaxy, Dec 1953
You have invented a time machine of sorts that can, at any time, replace yourself with an exact duplicate of your body—and mind—from any time in the past.

 They didnt use that style of furniture in Los Angeles—or anywhere else that you know of—in 1954. That thing over there in the corner—you cant even guess what it is. So might your grandfather, at your age, have looked at a television. 

[Jul 2011]

“Anachron”
by Damon Knight
First publication: If, Jan 1954
Brother Number One invents a machine that can extract things and place things in elsewhen, but only if the acts don’t interfere with free will; Brother Number Two tries to steal the machine.

 “By God and all the saints,” he said. “Time travel.”
    Harold snorted impatiently. “My dear Peter, ‘time’ is a meaningless word taken by itself, just as ‘space’ is.”
    “But barring that, time travel.”
    “If you like, yes.”
 

[Jul 2011]


“Experiment”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: Galaxy, Feb 1954

Professor Johnson’s colleagues wonder what would happen if he refuses to send an object back to the past after it has already appeared there.

I haven’t found anything earlier that brings up this question, but although the resolution was clever, it didn’t satisfy me, and (though I could be wrong) I think Brown misses the fact that at one point there should be two copies of the object in existence at the same time. In any case, this was the first part of a pair of short-short stories in the Feb ’54 Galaxy, which together were called Two-Timer (the second of which had no time travel).

 What if, now that it has already appeared five minutes before you place it there, you should change your mind about doing so and not place it there at three o’clock? Wouldn’t there be a paradox of some sort involved? 

[Jan 2012]


The Haertel Scholium Stories
by James Blish
First story: Galaxy, Feb 1954

Blish’s story “Beep” appeared in 1954 with a casual mention of time-travel when a message is overheard from a future spaceship that’s following a worldline backwards through time. The main story follows video reporter Dana Lje who stumbles upon the newly invented Dirac radio which allows instantaneous communication and, as only she realizes, also carries a record of every transmission ever made, both past and future.

At Larry Shaw’s request, Blish expanded “Beep” into the short novel The Quincunx of Time, and both these stories share a background wherein the work of Dolph Haertel (the next Einstein) provides an ftl-drive (the Haertel Overdrive, later called the Imaginary Drive), an antigravity device (the spindizzy), and an instantaneous communicator (the Dirac Radio). I read many of these in the early ’70s, but can’t find my notes and don’t remember any other time travel beyond that one communiqué that Lje overheard. Still, I’ll list everything in The Haertel Scholium and reread them some day!

 Pantropy and Seedling Stars stories (1942-1956)Various publications
Cities in Flight stories (1952-1962)Various publications
Common Time (Jul 1953)in Shadow of Tomorrow
Beep (Feb 1954)Galaxy
Nor Iron Bars (Nov 1957)Infinity
A Case of Conscience (Sep 1953) & novel (1958)If
A Dusk of Idols (Mar 1961)Amazing
Midsummer Century (Apr 1972) & novel (May 1972)F&SF

 It is instead one of the seven or eight great philosophical questions that remain unanswered, the problem of whether man has or has not free will. 

[circa 1974]


The Marvelman Family
created by Mick Anglo
First issue: 3 Feb 1954


When Fawcett was forced by legal action to shut down their Captain Marvel franchise, the British publisher L. Miller and Son scrambled to find a replacement for their weekly reprints. The result was a new Marvel family created by Mick Anglo and featuring Marvelman, Young Marvelman, and Kid Marvelman. The first issues were Marvelman 25 and Young Marvelman 25 on 3 Feb 1953 (with the #25 being a continuation of the Captain Marvel numbering).

Marvelman (also called Jack Marvel in Australia, and later renamed Miracleman for a 1980s reboot) counted time travel among his powers, although I don’t know when he or his kin first traveled.

 Ive got it! Ill go to an era back in time where my superior intellect will soon make me master of the universe—and Marvelman cant touch me! 
—the evil Gargunza in the 1959 Marvelman annual (probably a reprint)

[Jul 2015]


“Jon’s World”
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Time to Come, Apr 1954


First the Soviets and the Westerners fought. Then the Westerners brought Schonerman’s killing robots into the mix. Then the robots fought both human sides. You know all that from Dick’s earlier story, “Second Variety.’ But now it’s long after the desolation when Caleb Ryan and his financial backer Kastner intend to go back in time to steal the secret of Schonerman’s artificial brains to make the world a better place for surviving mankind, including Ryan’s visionary son Jon.

 And then the terminatorsclaws began to manufacture their own varieties and attack Soviets and Westerners alike. The only humans that survived were those at the UN base on Luna. 

[Aug 2015]


“The Immortal Bard”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Universe Science Fiction, May 1954



Dr. Phineas Welch tells an English professor a disturbing story about a matter of temperal transference and a student in the professor’s Shakespeare class.

 I did. I needed someone with a universal mind; someone who knew people well enough to be able to live with them centuries way from his own time. Shakespeare was the man. Ive got his signature. As a memento, you know. 

[Jul 1976]


“Where the World is Quiet”
by Henry Kuttner (as by C.H. Liddell)
First publication: Fantastic Universe, May 1954

This story appears in an issue of Fantastic Stories with a remarkable lineup including Frank Belknap Long, Philip José Farmer, Jack Williamson, Philip K. Dick, Richard Matheson, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Robert Bloch. As for Kuttner’s contribution, a crippled priest enlists the aid of an adventurous anthropologist, Señor White, to track the fate of seven young girls who disappeared into the Cordilleras of eastern Peru in the direction of the great peak, Hauscan. Do anthropologists know anything about time-slips? (Yes, just a slight time-travel connection.)

 So, even now I do not know all that lay behind the terror in that Peruvian valley. This much I learned: the Other, like Lhar and her robot, had been cast adrift by a time-slip, and thus marooned here. There was no way for it to return to its normal Time-sector. It had created the fog-wall to protect itself from the direct rays of the sun, which threatened its existence. 

[May 2015]


“Something for Nothing”
by Robert Sheckley
First publication: Galaxy, Jun 1954

A wishing machine (aka Class-A Utilizer, Series AA-1256432) appears in Joe Collins’ bedroom along with a warning that this machine should be used only by Class-A ratings!

 In rapid succession, he asked for five million dollars, three functioning oil wells, a motion-picture studio, perfect health, twenty-five more dancing girls, immortality, a sports car and a herd of pedigreed cattle. 

[Jan 2012]


“Breakfast at Twilight”
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Amazing, Jul 1954


Tim McLean’s ordinary family awakens on an ordinary day to find themselves in a war zone seven years in the future.

 We fought in Korea. We fought in China. In Germany and Yugoslavia and Iran. It spread, farther and farther. Finally the bombs were falling here. It came like the plague. The war grew. It didn’t begin. 

[Jan 2012]


“This Is the Way the World Ends”
by H.W. Johnson
First publication: Astounding, Aug 1954
Living in a world threatened by nuclear extinction, seven-year-old Tommy receives the current and future thoughts of animals and people.

 There isnt going to be anything. Its all black after tomorrow. 

[Dec 2012]


“The Easy Way”
by Oscar A. Boch
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1954
Hal Thomas’s wife thinks that he doesn’t pay enough attention to his children, one of whom is building an antigravity/time machine upstairs and the other of whom doesn’t need the machine to move through space and time.

 Space-time—is cute? 

[Dec 2012]


“Meddler”
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Future Science Fiction, Oct 1954


A government project sends a Time Dip into the future just to observe whether their actions have turned out well, but subsequent observations show that the act the observing has somehow eliminated mankind, so Hasten (the world’s most competent histo-researcher) must now go forward to find out what caused the lethal factor.

 We sent the Dip on ahead, at fifty year leaps. Nothing. Nothing each time. Cities, roads, buildings, but no human life. Everyone dead. 

[Jan 2012]


Cave Girl
by Bob Powell
First time travel: Cave Girl 14, Dec 1954


Cave Girl had four issues of jungle adventures (numbers 11 to 14), and the last one had a strange machine that made dead people come to life by sending them into their own past, but keeping them in the present moment. In the end, the machine sends itself into the far past and disappears from the present.

The comic was published by Magazine Enterprises, which published from 1944 to 1958. So far, this Cave Girl is the only time travel I’ve spotted, though I do have one of their Teena issues in my dad’s stash of comics.

 Men in strange garb appear. It seems that they unfasten the machine and take it away. Actually they are setting up the machine, but since time is running backwards—so do they! 

[Jun 2012]

The End of Eternity
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: 1955


Andrew Harlan, Technician in the everwhen of Eternity, falls in love and starts a chain of events that can mean the end of everything.

 He had boarded the kettle in the 575th Century, the base of operations assigned to him two years earlier. At the time the 575th had been the farthest upwhen he had ever traveled. Now he was moving upwhen to the 2456th Century. 

[Apr 1968]


“The Past Master”
by Robert Bloch
First publication: Bluebook, Jan 1955

In a United States on the verge of atomic war with the Communists, a handsome, naked man—call him John Smith”walks out of the ocean with a bag full of money and, according to eyewitnesses, a mind to buy the Mona Lisa and a long list of other masterpieces.

 Then he began writing titles. Im afraid I gasped. “Really,” I said. “You cant actually expect to buy the ‘Mona Lisa’!” 

[Feb 2015]


“Blood”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Feb 1955