The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1898 to 1909

interior illustration from the first publication

   “The Man Who Could Work Miracles”
by H.G. Wells
First publication: The Illustrated London News, special summer number, 1898

When George McWhirter Fotheringay discovers that he can work miracles by sheer force of will, the results are wont to bring unexpected consequences, leading to one final miracle that invokes time travel.

 As he struggled to get his shirt over his head, he was struck with a brilliant idea. “Let me be in bed,” he said, and found himself so. “Undressed,’ he stipulated; and, finding the sheets cold, added hastily, ’and in my nightshirt—ho, in a nice soft woolen nightshirt. Ah!” he said with immense enjoyment. “And now let me be comfortably asleep . . .” 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
Dix mille ans dans un bloc de glace by Louis Boussenard [long sleep ]
English title: 10,000 Years in a Block of Ice

“The Hour Glass” by Robert Barr, San Francisco Call, 15 May 1898 [ghost story ]

Lawerence Lek’s vision of Jarry’s machine

   “Commentaire pour servir à la construction pratique de la machine à explorer le temps”
English title: How to Construct a Time Machine (translated from French)
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. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells [long sleep ]
aka The Sleeper Awakes

“The Conversion of the Professor: A Tale of the Fourth Dimension” by George Griffith, Pearson’s, May 1899 [despite title, no time travel ]



   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. 




   “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. 




   “A Relic of the Pliocene”
aka "Angry Mammoth"
by Jack London
First publication: Colliers, 12 Jan 1901
Reprinted in: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1959

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. 


Jack London, Master Traveller

For the most part, my grandpa was enamored of Jack London’s tales of northern dogs; but Grandpa also awarded London a Master Traveller Citation for bringing time travel to the Yukon in this story.




No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The New Accelerator” by H.G. Wells, The Strand Magazine, Dec 1901 [personal time rate differences ]

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.” 


Rudyard Kipling, Master Traveller

Admitedly, Rudyard Kipling is not known as a time traveling pioneer, yet early on, my Grandpa awarded him a Master Traveller Citation, most likely more for the chronotypical adventures of Captains Courageous and Mowgli than for Puck or for his earlier “Wireless” story.





  
 The Year 2000 Series #1
A Round Trip to the Year 2000;
or a Flight through Time

by W.W. Cook
First publication: Argosy, Jul–Oct 1903

Pursued by Detective Klinch, Everson Lumley takes up Dr. Alonzo Kelpie’s offer to whisk him off to the year 2000 (in his time-coupé) where Lumley first observes various scientific marvels and then realizes that Klinch is still chasing him through time and into more adventures. All that, and there’s also a 1913 sequel!

William Wallace Cook’s larger claim to fame might be his 1928 aid to writers of all ilk: Plotto: The Master Book of All (1,462) Plots.

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




   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? 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
Around a Distant Star by Jean Delaire (aka Muirson Blake) [viewing the past ]

The Old Mountain Hermit by James F. Raymond [long sleep ]



   The Amulet
aka The Story of the Amulet
by E. Nesbit
First publication: The Strand Magazine, Apr 1905–Mar 1906

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), and finally The Amulet, which was the only one with time travel. In that third story, the eponymous magic amulet takes them to times that span from ancient Egypt to the future. It was only the amulet that had the power of time travel, and even if I never bonded much with Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and the baby, I do admire Nesbit for bringing time travel to children’s stories.

The story was initially serialized as The Amulet in twelve monthly issues of The Strand before the book was published in 1906 as The Story of the Amulet. Decades later, the children show up in a cameo in the fourth book of Edward Eager’s Tales of Magic series.

 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. 




   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. 


   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.

 Wanted—A party of courageous men, experts in the various trades, to accompany a philanthropic gentleman on a mission of enlightenment to the Middle Ages. Single men only. References exchanged. An opportunity offers to construct anew the history of several benighted nations. If interested, call or write. Percival Tapscott, No. 198 Forty-Third Street. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The Time Reflector” by George Allan England, Monthly Story Magazine, Sep 1905 [viewing the past ]



   Puck of Pook’s Hill
by Rudyard Kipling
First time travel: The Strand Magazine (U.K.), Feb 1906 (“Young Men at the Manor”)

Puck is an elf who magicks people from the past to tell their stories to two children in England.

These first ten Puck stories were published in British version of The Strand Magazine from January through October of this year. In the states, the first four stories appeared simultaneously in The Ladies’ Home Journal. All ten stories along with sixteen poems were published together in the 1906 collection, Puck of Pooks Hill. A second series appeared in 1909–1910.
  1. “Weland’s Sword” The Strand, Jan 1906
  2. “Young Men at the Manor” The Strand, Feb 1906
  3. “The Knights of the Joyous Venture” The Strand, Mar 1906
  4. “Old Men at Pevensey” The Strand, Apr 1906
  5. “A Centurion of the Thirtieth” The Strand, May 1906
  6. “On the Great Wall” The Strand, Jun 1906
  7. “The Winged Hats” The Strand, Jul 1906
  8. “Hal o’ the Draft” The Strand, Aug 1906
  9. “Dimchurch Flit” The Strand, Sep 1906
  10. “The Treasure and the Law” The Strand, Oct 1906
Some of these stories were told by Puck himself rather than by historical figures. Puck told me that the first time-traveling storyteller was Sir Richard Dalyngridge in the second Puck story in the February Strand.

 ‘But you said that all the fair—People of the Hills had left England.’
‘So they have; but I told you that you should come and go and look and know, didn’t I? The knight isn’t a fairy. He’s Sir Richard Dalyngridge, a very old friend of mine. He came over with William the Conqueror, and he wants to see you particularly.’
 

—“Young Men at the Manor”


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 the 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! 


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. 




   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. 




  
 Fabian Time Fantasy #1
The House of Arden
by E. Nesbit
First publication: The Strand, Jan–Nov 1908

Janet found The House of Arden for me at Christmas in 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 trunk of magic clothes to have adventures in past times and discover where the family treasure lies hidden—much like the time-traveling mechanism in Nesbit’s earlier The Story of Amulet. Also like Amulet, this story was initially serialized in The Strand before the book publication. A companion book, Hardings Luck, appeared the following year.

In the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, John Clute connects the two books to the Fabian Society (named after the British socialists Fabian Society, which also included included H.G. Wells) because “Nesbit’s consistent Fabian socialism is central to the version of British history’ presented in the books.

 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.
 




  Fabian Time Fantasies #2
Harding’s Luck
by E. Nesbit
First publication: The Strand, Jan–Nov 1909

Lame and orphaned Dickie Harding has just fallen in with thieves when he’s first taken in by a kind woman (with a pony) and then wakes up in the time of James the First, where he does have some minor encounters with Edred and his sister from The House of Arden. But those encounters aren’t the real story. The real story is that in the past he’s definitely livin’ the life as some sort of royalty, not even lame! How’s he to decide which era to live in?

 He was very happy. There seemed somehow to be more room in this new life than in the old one, and more time. No one was in a hurry, and there was not another house within a quarter of a mile. All green fields. Also he was a person of consequence. The servants called him “Master Richard,” and he felt, as he heard them, that being called Master Richard meant not only that the servants respected him as their master’s son, but that he was somebody from whom great things were expected. That he had duties of kindness and protection to the servants; that he was expected to grow up brave and noble and generous and unselfish, to care for those who called him master. He felt now very fully, what he had felt vaguely and dimly at Talbot Court, that he was not the sort of person who ought to do anything mean and dishonorable, such as being a burglar, and climbing in at pantry windows; that when he grew up he would be expected to look after his servants and laborers, and all the men and women whom he would have under him—that their happiness and well-being would be his charge. And the thought swelled his heart, and it seemed that he was born to a great destiny. He—little lame Dickie Harding of Deptford—he would hold these peoples lives in his hand. Well, he knew what poor people wanted; he had been poor—or he had dreamed that he was poor—it was all the same. Dreams and real life were so very much alike. 


   “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




   Rewards and Fairies
by Rudyard Kipling
First time travel: The Delineator, Oct 1906 (“A Doctor of Medicine”)

Rewards and Fairies is the second Kipling collection of stories about the the elf Puck and the people he magicked from the past to tell tales of history to the young twins, Dan and Una. The book appeared in 1910, but the stories themselves began in the September 1909 issue of The Delineator and the time travelin’ commenced with the arrival of the 17th-century astrologer/herbalist/plague-curer Nicholas Culpeper. The online scans of The Delineator are almost as much fun to read for the Ivory Soap ads as they are for Kipling.
  1. “Cold Iron”, The Delineator, Sep 1909
  2. “Gloriana”, The Delineator, Dec 1909
  3. “The Wrong Thing”, The Delineator, Nov 1909
  4. “Marklake Witches”, Rewards and Fairies, Oct 1910
  5. “The Knife and the Naked Chalk”, Harpers, Dec 1909
  6. “Brother Square-Toes”, The Delineator, Jul 1910
  7. “‘A Priest in Spite of Himself’”, The Delineator, Aug 1910
  8. “The Conversation of St. Wilfrid”, The Delineator, Jan 1910
  9. “A Doctor of Medicine”, The Delineator, Oct 1909
  10. “Simple Simon”, The Delineator, Jun 1910
  11. “The Tree of Justice”, The Delineator, Feb 1910

     ‘Ah – well! There have been worse men that Nick Culpeper to take lessons from. Now, where can we sit thats not indoors?’
    ‘In the hay-mow, next to old Middenboro,’ Dan suggested. ‘He doesnt mind.’
     

    —“A Doctor of Medicine”



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“Entrance and Exit” by Algernon Blackwood, The Westminster Gazette, 13 Feb 1909 [people-trapping dimensions ]

 


28 items are in the time-travel list for these search settings.
Thanks for visiting my time-travel page, and thanks to the many sources that provided stories and more (see the Links and Credits in the menu at the top). —Michael (
main@colorado.edu)