The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Written by Alfred Bester
 from antiquity to 2017

The story also appeared in this 2000 collection.   “The Probable Man”
by Alfred Bester
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1941

Years before The Demolished Man, there was Bester’s probable man. I looked forward to reading it as the first story of my retirement, and I enjoyed the time-travel model that Bester set up: David Conn travels backward from 2941 to World War II, but then returns to a vastly changed future. For me, though, I found the naïve attitude toward war unappealing.

 Shed be Hilda Pietjen, daughter of the prime minister, just another chip in the Nazi poker game. And hed be dead in a bunker, a thousand years before hed been born. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The Push of a Finger” by Alfred Bester, Astounding, May 1942 [predictions ]



   “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. 


   “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. 




   “The Men Who Murdered Mohammed”
by Alfred Bester
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct 1958

When Professor Henry Hassel discovers his wife in the arms of another man, he does what any mad scientist would do: build a time machine to go back and kill his wife’s grandfather. He has no trouble changing the past, but any effect on the present seems rather harder to achieve.

 “While I was backing up, I inadvertently trampled and killed a small Pleistocene insect.”
   “Aha!” said Hassel.
   “I was terrified by the indicent. I had visions of returning to my world to find it completely changed as a result of this single death. Imagine my surprise when I returned to my world to find that nothing had changed!”
 


 


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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)