The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1950 to 1956



   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. 




   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 . . . 


   “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! 


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. 


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. 


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. 


   “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. 


   “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! 




   “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. 




   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”).
  1. The Man Who Conquered Time (12 Apr 1950) to 10,000 AD
  2. 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”






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? 




   “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? 




   “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. 




   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.)
  1. To the Future (27 May 1950) from war in 2155 to peaceful 1950s
  2. 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


   “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. 




   “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. 


   “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 (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. 


   “Friday, the Nineteenth”
by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Summer 1950

Tired of his marraige, Donald Boyce begins exchanging the odd kiss and soft touch on the hand with his best friend’s wife Molly, all quite innocent until Friday, the nineteenth, when Molly proposes that they have a clandistine rendezvous on Saturday, the twentieth, throwing both of them into a continuous repeat of the nineteenth.

A well-written, early time-loop story, and also one of the first two time travel stories (along with “An Ounce of Prevention”) to appear in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

 “I dont want to go either. It’s been so wonderful,” she said, “this little time alone together. I love this funny little bar; Ive loved every moment here. I wish today would never end.” 


The story also appeared in this 1951 anthology.   “An Ounce of Prevention”
by Paul A. Carter (as by Philip Carter)
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Summer 1950

By virtue of being on Mars, John Stilson is the last survivor of the human race after the ultimate war, but the Martians have a plan to change all that by sending Stilson back to alter the amount of fissionable material in Earth’s crust.

 Wherever in history a decision involving alternatives has to be made, separate and distinct futures branch off, rooted in that choice. There is a world in which the American colonies became a nation, and a world in which they remained under British rule. There is a world in which Franklin Roosevelt was four times elected President, and a world in which the assassination attempt against him in Miami was successful. There is no “might have been,” for the events that “might have been” have actually taken place, somewhere in time—not before, not after, but beside their alternatives. . . . 




   “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. 




   “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.” 




   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! 


   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. 




   “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. 




   “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. 




   “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. 




   Ziff-Davis Comics (Anthologies)
published 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! 


   “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. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“Outside of Time” by Carroll John Daly, Weird Tales, Jan 1950 [stopping time ]

To the Stars by L. Ron Hubbard, Astounding, Feb–Mar 1950 [time dilation ]
aka Return to Tomorrow

“Last Enemy” by H. Beam Piper (paratime), Astounding, Aug 1950 [alternate timelines ]

“S.O.S. . . . in Time” by D.K. Garton (as by Durham Keys), Thrills Incorporated, Oct 1950 [plagiarised from Simak’s The Loot of Time ]

“A Subway Named Mobius” by A.J. Deutsch, Astounding, Dec 1950 [4D spacial topology ]
aka ‘Non-Stop’



   The Gauntlet
by Ronald Welch
First publication: 1951

 Peter gazed at it in silence. His head was feeling oddly numb, and the mist seemed to swirl around him with redoubled speed and thickness. Hardly realizing what he was doing, he slipped his right hand inside the heavy gauntlet, and this fingers groped inside the wide spaces, for it was far too large for his small hand.
From behind there came the thud of hooves, a shout, shrill and defiant, the clang of metal on metal, and then a confused roar of sounds, shouts, more hoof-beats, clang after clang, dying away into the distance as suddenly as they had come. The gauntlet slipped from Peters hand, and he shook himself as if he had just awakened.
 




   “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.” 


   “. . . 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. 




   “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?”
 




   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


   “Absolutely No Paradox”
by Lester del Rey
First publication: Science Fiction Quarterly, May 1951

Old Ned recalls the time fifty years ago when his young friend Pete LeFranc set off for the future despite Ned’s warning that time travel can lead to nothing but paradoxes. And, asks Ned (anticipating Hawking), if time travel were so easy, then where are all the time travelers from the future?

 If yours works, therell be more time machines built. With more built, theyll be improved. Theyll get to be commonplace. Peopled use them—and someone would turn up here with one. Or in the past. Why havent we met time travelers, Pete? 




   “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 there is a strong possibility that none of the material reached any enclosed space which would attract it, and that it may all have been dissipated harmlessly in the form of inconruent molecules. 




   Lights Out
created by Fred Coe
First time travel: 2 Jul 1951

I wonder whether Lights Out was the earliest sf anthology tv show. 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.
  1. And Adam Begot (2 Jul 1951) time warp to prehistoric past
  2. 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 ”




   Youthful Magazines
published 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




   “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. 


   “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. 




   “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. 


   “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. 




   “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. 


The story was reprinted in this 1959 anthology.   “The Shape of Things That Came”
by Richard Deming
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct 1951

George Blades takes a trip from 1900 to 1950 (wearing his uncle’s time-nightshirt, of course), and upon his return, he chronicles the journey in fictional form, which he submits to his unbelieving editor.

 I am concerned solely with potential reader reaction. The average reader simply won’t believe in your year 1950. 








   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


   “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! 


   “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. 




Columbus Circle then:

...and now:

   “Pillar to Post”
by John Wyndham
First publication: Galaxy, Dec 1951

Terence Molton, a double amputee, falls into a dope trance and wakens in the body of a Hymorell, a man in a flawed uptopian future that to Molton’s mind is immoral in many ways. As for his part, Hymorell is back in Terence’s body, building a machine to reverse the swap. Quite naturally, Terence feels some resistance to swapping back, a resistance that’s driving enough to give him some questionable morals himself.

One of the pleasures of reading old magazines is seeing the innocence of the ads, such as a 1.5-inch ad for Frank A. Schmid’s bookstore on Columbus Circle in New York. i’ve got them all! every one!, proclaims the ad, referring to sf books of the day. And perhaps they did!

 I sat up suddenly, feeling my legs, both of them. There wasnt any pain. But there were two legs and two feet!
Then I did something I hadnt let myself do in years—I burst into tears.
 




   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. 




   “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 




   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. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“Reaping Time” by A. Bertram Chandler, Slant, Winter 1951 [despite title, no time travel ]

“Temple Trouble” by H. Beam Piper (paratime), Astounding, Apr 1951 [alternate timelines ]

“Excalibur and the Atom” by Theodore Sturgeon, Fantastic Adventures, Aug 1951 [despite title, no time travel ]

“Genesis” by H. Beam Piper (paratime), Future/Science Fiction Stories, Sep 1951 [alternate timelines ]



   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.
  1. What You Need (8 Feb 1952) Henry Kuttner and C.M. Moore
  2. The Little Black Bag (30 May 1952) C.M. Kornbluth
  3. Ahead of His Time (18 Jul 1952) Paul Tripp
  4. The Chase (19 Sep 1952) Mann Rubin
  5. Another Chance (13 Feb 1953) Frank De Felitta
  6. 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”




   “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? 




   “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.”
 




   “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! 






   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”




   “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! 


   “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. 




   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. 


   “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. 


   “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. 


   “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. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The Island of Five Colors” by Martin Gardner [4D spacial topology ]

“Catch That Martian” by Damon Knight, Galaxy, Mar 1952 [nearby tenuous universes ]

“What If—” by Isaac Asimov, Fantastic, Summer 1952 [viewing alternate pasts ]

“All the Time in the World” by Arthur C. Clarke, Startling Stories, Jul 1952 [personal time rate differences ]

“Sail On! Sail On!” by Philip José Farmer, Startling Stories, Dec 1952 [alternate history ]



   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. 




   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


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. 




   “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. 




   “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
 


The story also appeared as the first story in this 1956 collection.   “The Chronoclasm”
by John Wyndham
First publication: Star Science Fiction Stories, Feb 1953

An elderly gentleman implores Gerald Lattery to allow Tavia to return, but the only problem is that Gerald has never (yet) heard of Tavia. Oh, and the gentleman insists on addressing Lattery as Sir Gerald.

 It is concerning Tavia, Sir Gerald—er, Mr. Lattery. I think perhaps you dont understand the degree to which the whole situation is fraught with unpredictable consequences. It is not just my own responsibility, you understand, though that troubles me greatly—it is the results that cannot be forseen. She really must come back before very great harm is done. She must, Mr. Lattery. 


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! 




   “A Scent of Sarsaparilla”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Star Science Fiction Stories, Feb 1953

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 . . . 




   “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. 


   “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. 




   “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. 




   “A Traveler in Time”
aka “Century Jumper”
by Agust Derleth
First publication: Orbit, Mar 1953

Derleth’s newspaper reporter Tex Harrigan had at least one time-travel encounter: a man named Vanderkamp who saw an atomic war thirty years in the future and then considered escaping back to 1650 New Amsterdam. But 1650 has a shrewish woman who reminds him a bit too much of his own shrewish sister, so that’s obviously not an ideal destination. The machine also has a curious effect on aging that Tex never did figure out (and neither did this reader).

 It looked like a top. The first thing I thought of was Brick Bradford, and before I could catch myself, Id asked, “Is that pure Brick Bradford?”
He didnt turn a hair. “Not by a long shot,” he answered. “H. G. Wells was there first. I owe it to Wells.”
 


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 Old 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. 


   “Yesterday’s Paper”
by Lyle G. Boyd and William C. Boyd (as by Boyd Ellanby)
First publication: Other Worlds Science Fiction, Jun 1953

Pete Harrison worries that the planned first trip to the moon might not go well, so to ease his mind, he sneaks into the Temporal Research lab for an unauthorized trip to the middle of next month to discern the trip’s outcome. But when he arrives, the only way to safely find out the outcome is to track down yesterday’s newspaper, which proves exceedingly hard.

 After much careful calculation, Peter decided to set the machine to project him to that important Friday at around eleven oclock in the morning. 




   “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. 






   “The King’s Wishes”
by Robert Sheckley
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jul 1953

Bob and Janice, co-owners of the Country Department Store, are determined to catch the thief who’s sneaking in to steal appliances every night. Yes, they do capture him; yes, he’s from the past, in fact he’s a ferra (cousins of the jinni); no, I’m not going to tell you why he’s after all those generators, refrigerators, and air conditioners.

By the way, I’d love to know more about the story behind the two different versions of the Emsh cover. The top one has the old F&SF logo, last used on the Sep 1952 issue; the bottom one has the new logo from Oct 1952 forward. Does anyone know the story behind this?

 The ferra of the cup has to be skilled in all branches of demonology. I had just graduated from college—with only passing grades. But of course, I thought I could handle anything. 


   “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.” 




   “Never Go Back”
by Charles V. de Vet
First publication: Amazing, Aug/Sep 1953

As his first experiment in time travel, Arthur Meissner visits his own childhood in 1933 with the hope of saving a friend who drowned in the local swimming hole. He seems to aver the friend’s disaster, but he himself no longer exists in 1933, and moreover, he no longer seems to exist even when he returns to his adult time.

By the way, this is another example of a time traveler who arrives naked. I wonder who first penned that now clichéd mode of arrival. Also, the story expresses an early version of the Chronology Protection Principle.

 You see, you yourself are the object in this particular instance, and by going back into time you—the same object—would be occupying two separate units of space at the same time, which is axiomatically impossible. Therefore, nature made its adjustment; the same as it would if an irresible force hit a so-called immovable object. It eliminates one of them. 




   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. 




   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”


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. 


   “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. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
The Time Masters by Wilson Tucker [long life ]

The Twonky by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, 10 jun 1953 [no definite time travel ]

“Paycheck” by Philip K. Dick, Imagination, Jun 1953 [visions of possible futures ]

   “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.”
 




   “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? 




   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!
  1. Pantropy and Seedling Stars stories (1942-1956) Various publications
  2. Cities in Flight stories (1952-1962) Various publications
  3. Common Time (Jul 1953) in Shadow of Tomorrow
  4. Beep (Feb 1954) Galaxy
  5. Nor Iron Bars (Nov 1957) Infinity
  6. A Case of Conscience (Sep 1953) & novel (1958) If
  7. A Dusk of Idols (Mar 1961) Amazing
  8. Midsummer Century (Apr 1972) & novel (May 1972) F&SF
  9. The Quincunx of Time (Oct 1973) expands “Beep”

 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. 




   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)




   “The Man from Time”
by Frank Belknap Long
First publication: Fantastic Adventures, Mar 1954

Daring Monsson (yes, that’s his name) is one of many travelers in a Time Observatory, but he feels a compelling urge to do more than just observe. So he quickly opens the Observatory’s iris and steps into the 20th century where he can read minds and interact with people in various dramas, but doesn’t know how to speak.

 How incredible that it had taken centuries of patient technological research to master in a practical way the tremendous implications of Einsteins original postulate. Warp space with a rapidly moving object, move away from the observer with the speed of light—and the whole of human history assumed the firm contours of a landscape in space. Time and space merged and became one. 




   “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 terminators claws 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. 




   “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. 




   “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 Universe 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. 




  
 Tales of Magic #1
Half Magic
by Edward Eager
First publication: Jun 1954

In the first of the seven books, siblings Jane, Katharine, Mark and Martha find a magic wishing coin in the 1920s. But as wishes wont to be in stories, the wishes don’t work out as planned. This particular magic coin is only half-magic, granting only half of every wish (including time travel wishes), and leaving the children with the amusing challenge of finishing up the other half of the wish on their own. Sometimes it works out when they wish for twice what they want. Other times, not so much.

 Dont you see? She wished she were home and ended up halfway home! I wished thered be a fire and got a little fire! A childs-size fire! Martha wished Carrie could talk and she can half talk! 




   “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. 




   “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. 




   “A Thief in Time”
by Robert Sheckley
First publication: Galaxy`o, Jul 1954

Eight years before Professor Thomas Eldridge invents a time machine, a man from the future shows up with two policemen to arrest him for his future crimes. Knowing that he could never be a criminal, Eldridge swipes their time machine and flees to three future times, discovering that he’s wanted in each time for crimes ranging from potato theft to murdering another man’s fiancé
All in all, Sheckley’s story is a perfect example of a causal loop: I knew those potatoes would come in handy and that, given time, the girl would show up safe and sound.

 “We have no lawyers here,” the man replied proudly. “Here we have justice.” 


   “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. 


   “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? 




   “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. 




   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! 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“Lost in the Future” by John Victor Peterson, Fantastic Universe, Jan 1954 [continually viewing the past ]

“Time Fuze” by Randall Garrett, If, Mar 1954 [FTL ]

“The Golden Man” by Philip K. Dick, If, Apr 1954 [visions of possible futures ]



   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. 




   “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’!” 




   “Blood”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Feb 1955

A cute joke story about the last two vampires on Earth who flee into the future to escape persecution and simply search for a filling meal.

 I, a member of the dominant race, was once what you called . . . 




   “The Dragon”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mar 1955

On a dark night on a moor, 900 years after the nativity, two knights face down a steaming behemoth.

 It was a fog inside of a mist inside of a darkness, and this place was no mans place and there was no year or hour at all, but only these men in a faceless emptiness of sudden frost, storm, and white thunder which moved behind the great falling pane of green glass that was the lightning. 




   “Project Mastodon”
by Clifford D. Simak
First publication: Galaxy, Mar 1955

Wes Adams, Johnny Cooper and Chuck Hudson (chums since boyhood) build a time machine and proceed to do exactly what you or I would do: Go back 150,000 years, found the new Republic of Mastodonia somewhere in pre-Wisconsin, and seek diplomatic recognition from the United States of America.

 If you guys ever travel in time, you’ll run up against more than you bargain for. I don’t mean the climate or the terrain or the fauna, but the economics and the politics. 


   “Target One”
by Frederik Pohl
First publication: Galaxy, Apr 1955

Thirty-five years after the death of Albert Einstein, atomic bombs have left 2 billion corpses; the bombs came from Einstein’s formulae; so what is it we need?

I had the good fortune to meet Fred Pohl in July of 2003 at Jim Gunn's workshop in Manhattan, Kansas. On a warm day outside the student union building, he kindly sat and talked to me about the background for a story I was writing about him and Asimov.

 Quite simply, it is the murder of Albert Einstein. 




   Science Fiction Theater
aka Beyond the Limits
created by Ivan Tors
First time travel: 15 Apr 1955

I’ve seen only the second episode, “Time Is Just a Place” (in color!), in which a happy 1950s couple (one of whom is Mr. B from Hazel—did she ever time travel?) get new neighbors who have escaped from the future. The episode was based on the 1951 Jack Finney story, “Such Interesting Neighbors.”

 Nothing to get excited about. Any housewife could use one. 

—the interesting neighbor talking about his sonic broom






   Adventures of Superman
created by Whitney Ellsworth and Robert J. Maxwell
First time travel: 23 Apr 1955

In the first episode of Season 3, “Through the Time Barrier” (23 Mar 1955), Professor Twiddle’s time machine takes the staff of the Daily Planet back to prehistoric times. I don’t know whether there was any other time travel.

 Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look—up in the sky! Its a bird! Its a plane! Its Superman!
Yes, its Superman, strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who—disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannored reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper—fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!
 




   “Sam, This Is You”
by Murray Leinster
First publication: Galaxy, May 1955

While up on a pole, lineman Sam Yoder gets a call from his future self who proceeds to tell him exactly what to do, even if is suspiciously criminal and it makes his girl, Rosie, furious.

 Youve heard of time-traveling. Well, this is time-talking. Youre talking to yourself—thats me—and Im talking to myself—thats you—and it looks like weve got a mighty good chance to get rich. 








   The Time Patrol Stories
by Poul Anderson
First story: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1955

Former military engineer Manse Everard is recruited by the Time Patrol to prevent time travelers from making major changes to history (history bounces back from the small stuff).

For me, the logic of these stories pushes in a good direction, but still leaves one gaping hole that’s evinced by the fate of Manse’s compatriot Keith Denison in “Brave to Be a King”—namely, what happened to the younger Denison? Perhaps my problem is simply that I don’t grok ℵ-valued logic.

The stories have been collected in various volumes, the most complete of which is the 2006 Time Patrol that contains all but The Shield of Time.
  1. Time Patrol (May 1955) F&SF
  2. Delenda Est (Dec 1955) F&SF
  3. Brave to Be a King (Aug 1959) F&SF
  4. The Only Game in Town (Jan 1960) F&SF
  5. Gibraltar Falls (Oct 1975) F&SF
  6. Ivory, and Apes, and Peacocks (Oct 1983) in Time Patrolman
  7. The Sorrow of Odin the Goth (Oct 1983) in Time Patrolman
  8. Star of the Sea (Oct 1991) in The Time Patrol
  9. The Year of the Ransom (Apr 1988) about 25,000 words
  10. The Stranger That Is Within Thy Gates (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  11. Women and Horses and Power and War (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  12. Before the Gods That Made the Gods (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  13. Beringia (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  14. Riddle Me This (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  15. Amazement of the World (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  16. Death and the Knight (Jun 1995) in Tales of the Knights Templar

 If you went back to, I would guess, 1946, and worked to prevent your parents’ marriage in 1947, you would still have existed in that year; you would not go out of existence just because you had influenced events. The same would apply even if you had only been in 1946 one microsecond before shooting the man who would otherwise have become your father. 




   “Service Call”
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Science Fiction Stories, Jul 1955

It the midst of McCarthyism, Dick wrote this story about an accidental travel through time to the 1950s by a swibble repairman, whereupon Mr. Courtland and his colleagues pry information out of the repairman about exactly what a swibble is and how it has stopped all war.

 —remember the swibble slogan: Why be half loyal? 


   Time Bomb
by Wilson Tucker
First publication: Aug 1955

As Illinois police Lieutenant Danforth investigates a series of politically motivated deadly bombings, he realizes that the mythical Gilgamesh himself may be involved as well as a bomb-delivering time machine from the future.

Unlike Tucker’s earlier Gilgamesh book, The Time Masters, this one really does have a time machine.

 A loose-knit but fanatical political party is driving for control of the nation. This November they may have it. Meanshile one or more equally fanatical parties are seeking a practical time machine. 


   “First Time Machine”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Sep 1955

A short-short, 1950s version of the grandfather paradox with a resolution that’s not quite satisfying (branching universes, I think, but it’s unclear).

The story was reprinted in the 1958 collection, Honeymoon in Hell, which features a cover by Hieronymus Bosch (Grzegorz’s favorite painter) with an owl in the background (Grzegorz’s favorite bird)!

 What would have happened if youd rushed to the door and kicked yourself in the seat of the pants? 


   “The Discovery of Morniel Mathaway”
by William Tenn
First publication: Galaxy, Oct 1955

An art critic from the 25th century visits struggling poet David Dantziger and his totally unappreciated painter friend Morniel Mathaway.

 So we indulged in the twentieth-century custon of shaking hands with him. First Morniel, then me—and both very gingerly. Mr. Glescu shook hands with a peculiar awkwardness that made me think of the way an Iowan farmer might eat with chopsticks for the first time. 




   Casper, the Friendly Ghost
created by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo
First time travel: 21 Oct 1955

Every Casper cartoon had the same plot, including at least one (“Red, White and Boo”) from 1955 where Casper wonders whether people in the past will also be scared of him, so he uses a time machine to visit a caveman, Robert Fulton, Paul Revere, General Washington and a Revolutionary War battle.

 Gee, maybe people in the past wont be scared of me. 


   “Psi-Man Heal My Child!”
aka Psi-Man
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Imaginative Tales, Nov 1955

In a post nuclear apocalypse world, a small group of Psionic people use their powers to help survivors while Jack repeatedly travels back in time to try to stop a general from taking a firm stand against the Russians.

Unfortunately, for me, the unexplained time-travel paradoxes in the ending lowered my enjoyment, even though it was no worse than the inexplicable paradoxes in so many other stories.

 Eleven times and always the same. 




   X Minus One
by Ernest Kinoy, George Lefferts, et. al.
First time travel: 14 Dec 1955

When Dimension X was canceled in 1951, I wonder whether radio listeners felt like future trekkies. If so, they had to wait less than four years for a revival of sorts with the first 15 episodes of X Minus One being new versions of old DX shows. Those were followed by more than 100 new episodes, many of which were taken from contemporary Galaxy stories and some of which took us through time.
  1. To the Future (14 Dec 1955) from war in 2155 to peaceful 1950s
  2. Time and Time Again (11 Jan 1956) dying soldier to his childhood
  3. A Gun for Dinosaur (7 Mar 1956) hunting in the late Mesozoic
  4. Project Mastodon (5 Jun 1956) to the Republic of Mastodonia, 150,000 BC
  5. The Old Die Rich (17 Jul 1956) slueth forced into time machine
  6. Sam, This Is You (31 Oct 1956) phone call from future
  7. Something for Nothing (10 Apr 1957) a wishing machine from future
  8. Morniel Mathaway (17 Apr 1957) art critic from the 25th century
  9. Target One (26 Dec 1956) back to kill Einstein to stop Armageddon

 These are stories of the future, adventures in which you’ll live in a million could-be years on a thousand maybe worlds. The National Broadcasting Company in cooperation with Galaxy Science Fiction magazine presents . . . X‑x‑x‑x‑x . . . Minus‑minus‑minus‑minus‑minus . . . One‑one‑one‑one‑one . . . 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
Time Bomb by Wilson Tucker, Aug 1953 [long life ]

“Time Crime” by H. Beam Piper (paratime), Astounding, Feb 1955 [alternate timelines ]

“Of Missing Persons” by Jack Finney, Good Housekeeping, Mar 1955 [no definite time travel ]

“The Trolley” by Ray Bradbury, Good Housekeeping, Jul 1955 [despite appearances, no time travel ]
aka part of Dandelion Wine

“The Waitabits” by Eric Frank Russell, Astounding, Jul 1955 [personal time rate differences ]



   “Consider Her Ways”
by John Wyndham
First publication: Sometime, Never, 1956

An amnesiac woman, Jane Waterleigh, awakens in an all-female future world with four castes (mothers, doctors, servants and workers), and she can only assume she’s in a dream or hallucination where she finds herself in an enormous body whom the doctors and servants call “Mother Orchis.”

 Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways. 


   “The Futile Flight of John Arthur Benn”
by Richard Wilson (as by Edward Halibut)
First publication: Infinity Science Fiction, Feb 1956

A man with a death wish wishes himself back in time.

 Now, he thought, what? This was scarcely dinosaur country. 




  Tales of Magic #2
Knight’s Castle
by Edward Eager
First publication: Feb 1956

The children of the first book are now grown up, but Martha and her husband have children of their own, Roger and Ann, who spend a summer with their cousins Jane and Mark (sprung from Katharine). It was that summer that the oldest of Roger’s toy soldiers came to life and took them all to the age of Robin Hood, Ivanhoe, chivalry, and knights.

 It happened just the other day, to a boy named Roger.
Most of it happened to his sister Ann, too, but she was a girl and didn

t count, or at least that

s what Roger thought, or at least he thought that in the beginning.
Part of it happened to his cousins Jack and Eliza, too, but they didn

t come into it till later.
 




   “The Message”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Feb 1956

Time traveler and historian George tries to travel back to World War II without making any changes to the world.

 George was deliriously happy. Two years of red tape and now he was finally back in the past. Now he could complete his paper on the social life of the foot soldier of World War II with some authentic details. 




  
 Reggie Rivers #1
“A Gun for Dinosaur”
by L. Sprague de Camp
First publication: Galaxy, Mar 1956

Dinosaur hunters Reggie Rivers (no relation to the Denver Bronco) and his partner, the Raja, organize time-travel safaris in a world with a Hawking-style chronological protection principle.

In 1992, Silverberg asked de Camp to provide one sequel to the by-then classic “A Gun for Dinosaur.’ De Camp complied and used it as a springboard to write seven more stories over the next year. All those stories plus the original Reggie River adventure were published together in the 1993 collection Rivers of Time. After de Camp’s death, Chris Bunch wrote a tenth story as a tribute to the master.

 Oh, Im no four-dimensional thinker; but, as I understand it, if people could go back to a more recent time, their actions would affect our own history, which would be a paradox or contradiction of facts. Cant have that in a well-run universe, you know. 




   “Second Chance”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Good Housekeeping, Apr 1956

A college student lovingly restores a 1923 Jordan Playboy roadster—a restoration that takes him back in time.

 You cant drive into 1923 in a Jordan Playboy, along a four-lane superhighway; there are no superhighways in 1923. 




   “The Failed Men”
by Brian Aldiss
First publication: Science Fantasy, May 1956

Surry Edmark, a 24th century volunteer on a humanitarian mission to save mankind from extinction some 360,000 centuries in the future, tells his story to a comforting young Chinese woman.

 You are the struback. 




   Through Time and Space with
Ferdinand Feghoot

by Grendel Briarton (aka Reginald Bretnor)
First story: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1956

Under the anagramatic name Grendel Briarton, Reginald Bretnor began a series of pun-terminated short, short stories in the May 1956 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, some of which included time travel. Among others, they were a hit with Asimov both imitated and republished them in “Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine in the 1970s, and they also appeared in various other magazines. In fact, they were such a hit that any story-pun now goes by the generic name of a feghoot. But despite enjoying unforced puns, for me this kind of story is like a cross between that guy who built the Ark and the yellow part of a banana.

 “Marsh in flying sauce oars,” said Ferdinand Feghoot. 

Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot LXIII




   “In the Cards”
by Alan Cogan
First publication: Galaxy, Jun 1956

Newlyweds Gerry and Marge are brought to the verge of divorce by a troublesome machine that shows the future without fail. That machine—the Grundy Projector—causes numerous problems in society, although (as we all know), viewing the future is not time travel. In this story, however, the solution to the Grundy problems does include a dose of real traveling.

 Its no different than reading a story and then having to relive the whole thing, anticipating each action and bit of dialogue. 




   “The Man Who Came Early”
by Poul Anderson
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jun 1956

An explosion throws Sergeant Gerald Robbins from the 1950s to about 990 AD Iceland where, dispite his advanced knowledge, he had trouble fitting in.

 Now, then. There is one point on which I must set you right. The end of the world is not coming in two years. This I know. 




   “Absolutely Inflexible”
by Robert Silverberg
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Jul 1956

Whenever one-way jumpers from the past show up, it’s up to Mahler to shuffle them off to the moon where they won’t present any danger of infection to the rest of humanity, but now Mahler is faced with a two-way jumper.

 Even a cold, a common cold, would wipe out millions now. Resistance to disease has simply vanished over the past two centuries; it isnt needed, with all diseases conquered. But you time-travelers show up loaded with potentialities for all the diseases the world used to have. And we cant risk having you stay here with them. 


Classics Illustrated 133

Pendulum Press (1971)

   Classics Illustrated’s The Time Machine
adapted by Lou Cameron (art), Lorenz Graham (story) and George Wilson (cover)
First publication: Classics Illustrated 133, Jul 1956

This first comic book adaptation appeared in the month of my birth. Of course, as a self-respecting child of the ’50s and ’60s, I was never seen reading Classics Illustrated in public. Fortuntately, adults everywhere can now read the classic comic online.

A black and white version was reprinted in 1971 by Pendulum Press as a precursor to their original Pedulum Classics series.

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




   “Compounded Interest”
by Mack Reynolds
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aug 1956

“Mr. Smith” shows up in 1300 A.D. to invest ten gold coins at 10% annual interest with Sior Marin Goldini’s firm, after which he shows up every 100 years to provide guidance.

 In one hundred years, at ten per cent compounded annually, your gold would be worth better than 700,000 zecchini. 


   “The Celebrated No-Hit Inning”
by Frederik Pohl
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Sep 1956

If pitcher and star hitter Boley—the league’s best player and certainly on par with Snider, Mays and Mantle—has any weakness, it is a lack of modesty, but the team owner’s uncle has a plan to address that involving the future of baseball.

 Dont you see? Hes chasing the outfield off the field. He wants to face the next two men without any outfield! Thats Satchell Paiges old trick, only he never did it except in exhibitions where who cares? But that Boley— 




   The Door Into Summer
by Robert A. Heinlein
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct-Dec 1956

Inventor Dan Davis falls into bad company and wakes up 30 years later, but he gets an idea of how to put things right even at this late point.

 Denver in 1970 was a very quaint place with a fine old-fashioned flavor; I became very fond of it. It was nothing like the slick New Plan maze it had been (or would be) when I had arrived (or would arrive) there from Yuma; it still had less than two million people, there were still buses and other vehicular traffic in the streets—there were still streets; I had no trouble finding Colfax Avenue. 


   “George All the Way”
by Richard Wilson
First publication: Galaxy, Oct 1956

Because of his sizeable donation to the time travel project in 1977, playboy Bill Marcer is one of the first to climb in the machine that’s supposed to take him to a fanciful 2177. Upon arrival, those who greet him have thoughtfully studied up on twentieth century slang, and women are paraded before him like commodities.

 “Then everythings jake,” he said with a visible return of his assurance. “Weve straightened up and are flying right. Ishkabibble?” 


   “Hopper”
by Robert Silverberg
First publication: Infinity Science Fiction, Oct 1956

I haven’t yet read this short story that Silverberg expanded to a novel in 1967, though perhaps some day I will spot the Ace Double paperback that packaged it along with four other stories and the short novel, The Seed of Earth.

The story also appeared in this 1957 anthology.   “The Man Who Liked Lions”
by John Bernard Daley
First publication: Infinity Science Fiction, Oct 1956

At a zoo, a Nobel time traveler (and mind manipulator) who hunted mankind’s ancestors and communes well with lions tries to evade capture by another Nobel and a Scientist who disapprove of the rift in time that the hunter created.

 “Lions seldom eat people,” said Mr. Kemper. 




   The Stars My Destination
by Alfred Bestor
First publication: Galaxy, Oct 1956—Jan 1957

Even before I found Asimov and Heinlein and other books with space ships on the spine in the local library, I stole this paperback from my dad’s shelf aroudn 1964. As you can see from the picture, it had an irresistible cover (yes, that’s the stolen copy).

For the most part, Bestor’s story has jaunting (teleportation through space) with no time travel, which is enough to cause plenty of excitement for Gully Foyle (aka Geoffrey Fourmyle) as he jaunts around the war-torn solar system, seeking revenge on various space merchants. But at one climactic point, he also manages a jaunt through time.

 And then he was tumbling down, down, down the space-time lines, back into the dreadful pit of Now. 




   “Gimmicks Three”
aka “The Brazen Locked Room”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Nov 1956

Isidore Wellby makes a timely pact with the devil’s demon.

 Ten years of anything you want, within reason, and then youre a demon. Youre one of us, with a new name of demonic potency, and many privileges beside. Youll hardly know youre damned. 




   “The Hohokam Dig”
by Theodore Pratt
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Nov 1956

George Arthbut and Sidney Hunt plan to spend their summer at an archeology dig to settle once and for all why the prehistoric Hohokam abandoned their villages, but wouldn’t it be nice if they could talk directly to the ancient people?

 “Theres a few questions Id like to ask them,” said George. “I certainly wish we had some to talk with.” 


This story also appeared in this 1966 collection.

   “Of Time and Texas”
by William F. Nolan
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Nov 1956

Professor C. Cydwick Ohms has a way of solving the world’s population problem by opening a one-way time door to the wide-open spaces of 1957 Texas.

 And now—good-bye, gentlemen. Or, to use the proper colloquialism—so long, hombres! 


   “It Ends with a Flicker”
by William Tenn
First publication: Galaxy, Dec 1956

Max AlbenMac Albin is genetically predisposed to survive time travel, so he is the natural choice to go back in time and shift the course of a missle that shifted the course of history.

 Now! Now to make a halfway decent world! Max Alben pulled the little red switch toward him.

flick!

Now! Now to make a halfway interesting world! Mac Albin pulled the little red switch toward him.
flick!
 

   “The Sons of Japheth”
by Richard Wilson
First publication: Infinity Science Fiction, Dec 1956

When all Earth is destroyed in World War V, only bomber pilot Ray Vanjan and scientist Dr. Garfield Gar remain in outer space, so Gar sends Vanjan back to nip mankind in the bud at the time Noah and his family emerged from the Ark.

 “I want you to strafe the Ark, exercising car not to hurt any of the animals,” said old Dr. Garfield Gar. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
The Crossroads of Time by Andre Norton [parallel universes ]

The World Jones Made by Philip K. Dick [precognition ]

“The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick, Fantastic Universe, Jan 1956 [precognition ]

“A Question of Time” by Edmund Cooper, Fantastic Universe, May 1956 [despite title, no time travel ]

“The Waitabits” by Eric Frank Russell, Astounding, Jul 1955 [personal time rate differences ]

Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein, Aug 1956 [time dilation ]

“Time in Advance” by William Tenn, Galaxy, Aug 1956 [despite title, no time travel ]

 


173 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)