The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Written by A.E. van Vogt
 from antiquity to 2017

   “Not the First”
by A.E. van Vogt
First publication: Astounding, Apr 1941

As Earth’s first starship passes the light-speed barrier, strange things happen to its acceleration—and to the passage of time.

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






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

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

All the stories were fixed up into two books, The Weapon Shops of Isher and The Weapon Makers, and the SFBC gathered both those into The Empire of Isher.
  1. The Seesaw (Jul 1941) Astounding
  2. The Weapon Shops (Dec 1942) Astounding
  3. The Weapon Makers (Feb-Apr 1943) Astounding
  4. The Weapon Shops of Isher (Feb 1949) Thrilling Wonder Stories

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




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

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

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


The story also appeared in this 2003 collection.   “Secret Unattainable”
by A.E. van Vogt
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1942

After his brother is killed by the Nazis, Herr Professor Johann Kenrube invents a machine that promises a little of everything to Hitler—unlimited energy and natural resources, instant transportation behind enemy lines, even a smidgden of time travel—but only after the Germans have over-committed themselves, does the truth about the machine emerge.

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

—comment on a memo from Himmler




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

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

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

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


The story also appeared in August Derleth’s 1948 anthology, Strange Ports of Call.

   “Far Centaurus”
by A.E. van Vogt
First publication: Astounding, Jan 1944

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




   Quest for the Future
by A.E. van Vogt
First publication: 1970

Hey, I got an idea! Let’s take three unrelated time-travel stories, change the name of the protagonist to be the same in all three, paste in some transition material, and call it a novel!

To be fair, I did enjoy this paperback when I bought it in the summer of 1970, but when I went to read van Vogt’s collected stories 42 years later, bits kept seeming familiar, which is when I discovered the truth. If I were a new reader, I’d just as soon read the individual stories and skip the conglomeration. The three stories are “Film Library,” “The Search” and “Far Centaurus” (all in van Vogt’s Transfinite collection).

 A new novel by “the undisputed idea man of the futuristic field” (to quote Forrest J. Ackerman) is bound to be an event of major interest to every science fiction reader. 

—from the back cover of the 1970 paperback


 


8 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)