The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1910 to 1918



   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.



 


13 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)