The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1906 to 1919



   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 ]



   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?”
 


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? 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
Through the Little Green Door by Mary Dickerson Donahey [no definite time travel ]



   “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. 


the 1970 sfbc edition

   The Barsoom Series
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
First book: 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 bought. I’d already read them at an earlier age, but how could I pass up the Frazetta covers? Now I admit there’s not much time travelin’ on Barsoom, so I won’t list all the books separately, but I swear on Grandpa Main’s tractor that this is no chronotypical story (see the Master Traveller citation below).

 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. 


Edgar Rice Burroughs, Master Traveller

In addition to introducing me to H.G. Wells, my Grandpa Main also gave me my first taste of John Carter of Mars. While he was working on the tractor in his barn, we discussed just how the Prince of Helium got to Dejah Thoris’s Mars, so different from today’s Mars. There seemed only one explanation, and as a result, we awarded Edgar Rice Burroughs with a Master Traveller Citation for the first interplanetary time travel.





  The Year 2000 #2
Castaways of the Year 2000
by W.W. Cook
First publication: Argosy, Oct 1912–Feb 1913

In this sequel to 1903’s A Round Trip to the Year 2000; or a Flight Through Time, 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.

I wish that today’s story magazines sported such alluring artwork. Not only that, but in October of 1912, for just 30¢ you could have bought this issue of The Argosy as well as the first-ever story of Tarzan of the Apes in Argosy’s sister magazine, The All-Story. And today, instead, we get endless reality tv, including Castaway 2000.

Put me out of my misery if I ever start sounding curmudgeonly.

 Dr. Alonzo Kelpie, author of “Time and Space and Their Limitations,” was a hunchback. Although a small man physically, intellectually he was a giant. To have him emerge thus unexpectedly through the dissolving mists of their environment was a seven-day wonder to Lumley, Kinch, McWilliams, Mortimer, and Ripley. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
The Adventures of Ceresota by Northwestern Consolidated [legendary figures ]



   “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. 




   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. 


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! 




   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


   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.



   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. 


Willis O’Brien, Master Traveller

Without The Ghosts of Slumber Mountain, would Marty McFly ever have been born? Probably, but Willis O’Brien still deserves a Master Traveller Citation for the first time travel film.





   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. 


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? 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The Man Who Met Himself” by Donovan Bayley, The Thrill Book, Mar 1919 [despite title, no time travel ]

 


25 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)