The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Written by Anthony Boucher
 from antiquity to 2016

   “Snulbug”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Unknown Worlds, Dec 1941

In need of $10,000 to open a medical clinic, Bill Hitchens calls forth Snulbug, a one-inch high demon who likes the warmth in Bill’s pipe, and orders the demon to retrieve tomorrow’s newspaper and bring it back to today.

 Then as soon as I release you from that pentacle, youre to bring me tomorrows newspaper. 

[Jan 2013]
   “The Ghost of Me”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Unknown, Jun 1942

After Dr. John Adams is murdered, his ghost accidentally begins haunting some time before the murder occurred.

 Ive simply come back into time at the wrong point. 

[Jan 2013]

   “The Barrier”
aka “Barrier”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1942

John Brent travels 500 years into the future only to find that he can’t return because the authoritarian state has erected barriers to change that include regularization of all verbs and temporal barriers that prevent backward time travel.

Fred Galvin mentioned to me that this story has the earliest mention that he remembers of the Where are all the time travelers? question, but we are still looking for any earlier reference.

 Stephen frowned. “Before failure of Barrier, we often wondered why we never seed time travelers. We doubted Charnwoods Law and yet—We decided there beed only two explanations. Either time travel bees impossible, or time travelers cannot be seed or intervene in time they visit.” 

[Nov 2012]
A translation appeard in the all-Boucher issue of Urania (10 Feb 1991). Strangely enough, “snulbug” translates as “snulbug” in Italian; however “Elsewhen” is “Viaggio nel tempo.”   “Elsewhen”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Astounding, Jan 1943

Private detective Fergus O’Breen investigates Harrison Patrigde, inventor and ne’er-do-well, who accidentally invents a short-range time machine, causing him to envision how the world (and the lovely Faith Preston) will admire him if only he can get enough money to build a bigger version (perhaps via a murder with the time machine providing an alibi).

 Time can pass quickly when you are absorbed in your work, but not so quickly as all that. Mr. Partridge looked at his pocket watch. It said nine thirty-one. Suddely, in the space of seconds, the best chronometer available had gained forty-two minutes. 

[Nov 2012]

   “Sanctuary”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1943

Mr. Holding, an American poet in Vichy France before the U.S. came into the war, visits an American scientist who is trying to stay neutral as he builds his time machine.

 I am, sir, a citizen of the world of science. 

[Jan 2013]
   “The Pink Caterpillar”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Adventure, Feb 1945

After Norm Harker tells of a magic man who can bring you back a single item from the future (for the right price), Anthony Boucher’s detective Fergus O’Breen tops the story with the tale of how he figured out why a dead American living in Mexico liked to call himself a doctor.

 At least thats the firm belief everywhere on the island: a tualala can go forward in time and bring you back any single item you specify, for a price. We used to spend the night watches speculating on what would be the one best thing to order. 

[Dec 2012]

   “Mr. Lupescu”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Weird Tales, Sep 1945

Time travel makes a cameo appearance in this story in which young Bobby tells his Uncle Alan about his godfather, Mr. Lupescu, who has a great big red nose, red gloves, red eyes, and little red wings that twitch.

 But one of Mr. Lupescus friends, now, was captain of a ship, only it went in time, and Mr. Lupescu took trips with him and came back and told you all about what was happening this very minute five hundred years ago. 

[Jan 2013]
   “The Chronokinesis
of Jonathan Hull”

by Anthony Boucher
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1946

Private Eye Fergus O’Breen is back for his third and final encounter with time travel, this time with a time traveler who shows up dead in his room one day and is alive and walking in a stilted manner the next. In the process of explaining himself, the traveler also displays knowledge of Boucher’s traveler in “Barrier” and also of Breen’s other time travel encounters.

 And now, I realize, Mr. OBreen, why I was inclined to trust you the moment I saw yoiur card. It was through a fortunately preserved letter of your sisters, which found its way into our archives, that we knew of the early fiasco of Harrison Partridge and your part therein. We knew, too, of the researches of Dr. Derringer, and how he gave up in despair after his time traveler failed to return, having encountered who knows what unimaginable future barrier. 

[Dec 2012]
   “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. 

[Jan 2013]
   “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. 

[Jan 2013]
   “A Shape in Time”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: The Future Is Now, 1970

Time-traveling, Marriage-prevention specialist Agent L-3H has her first failure while trying to intervene in the 1880 marriage of Edwin Sullivan to Angelina Gilbert.

 Temporal Agent L-3H is always delectable in any shape; thats why the Bureau employs her on marriage-prevention assignments. 

[Jan 2013]
   “Rappaccini’s Other Daughter”
by Anthony Boucher
First publication: The Compleat Boucher, 1 Aug 1999

You know of Nathanial Hawthorne’s tale of “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” but do you know of the second, equally beautiful, daughter who had a significant effect on all time travelers?

 And that is why our time machines are not permitted to travel back farther than the middle of the twentieth century. 

[Jan 2013]
 


12 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)