The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Written by H.G. Wells
 from antiquity to 2017

The story and its importance were noted in the first issue of Tomorrow.

   “The Chronic Argonauts”
by H.G. Wells
First publication: The Science School Journal, 1888

Wells abandoned this early version of the story after three installments. He may not have liked it, but it’s a fun historical read—and the first mention that I’ve seen of time as the fourth dimension.

 Those who were there say that they saw Dr. Nebogipfel, standing in the toneless electric glare, on a peculiar erection of brass and ebony and ivory; and that he seemed to be smiling at them, half pityingly and half scornfully, as it is said martyrs are wont to smile. 


The essays were reprinted in this 1975 scholarly work edited by Robert Philmus and David Y. Hughes.

   The National Observer Essays
by H.G. Wells (as by Anonymous)
First story: 17 Mar 1894 - 23 Jun 1894

After his first fictional foray into time travel (“The Chronic Argonauts”), Wells anonymously published a series of seven fictionalized essays in The National Observer that contained the genesis of what was to come.
  1. Time Travelling: Possibility or Paradox? (17 Mar 1894)  
  2. The Time Machine (24 Mar 1894)  
  3. The Sunset of Mankind (28 Mar 1894)  
  4. The Refinement of Humanity: A.D. 12,203 (21 Apr 1894)  
  5. A.D. 12,203: A Glimpse of the Future (31 Apr 1894)  
  6. In the Underworld (19 May 1894)  
  7. The Time Traveller Returns (23 Jun 1894)  

 ‘Possibly not,’ said the Philosophical Inventor. ‘But now you begin to see the object of my investigations into the geometry of four dimensions. I have a vague inkling of a machine—’ 




   The Time Machine
aka The Time Machine: An Invention
by H.G. Wells
First publication: New Review, Jan-May 1895



In which the Traveller first introduces us to his machine.

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


H.G. Wells, Master Traveller

In 1919, my Grandpa Main cited H.G. Wells as the inaugural recipient of the Master Traveller Citation recognizing innovative writers for their contributions to time travel.




No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The Plattner Story” by H.G. Wells, New Review, Apr 1896 [4D spacial topology ]

interior illustration from the first publication

   “The Man Who Could Work Miracles”
by H.G. Wells
First publication: The Illustrated London News, special summer number, 1898

When George McWhirter Fotheringay discovers that he can work miracles by sheer force of will, the results are wont to bring unexpected consequences, leading to one final miracle that invokes time travel.

 As he struggled to get his shirt over his head, he was struck with a brilliant idea. “Let me be in bed,” he said, and found himself so. “Undressed,’ he stipulated; and, finding the sheets cold, added hastily, ’and in my nightshirt—ho, in a nice soft woolen nightshirt. Ah!” he said with immense enjoyment. “And now let me be comfortably asleep . . .” 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells [long sleep ]
aka The Sleeper Awakes


No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The New Accelerator” by H.G. Wells, The Strand Magazine, Dec 1901 [personal time rate differences ]


No Time Travel.
Move along.
The Dream by H.G. Wells [just a dream ]



   “The Queer Story of Brownlow’s Newspaper”
by H.G. Wells
First publication: Ladies’ Home Journal, Feb 1932

A copy of the Evening Standard newspaper makes its way from 1971 back to one Mr. Brownlow in 1931, and the narrator relates to us the queer happenings from forty years in the future. Would that the political aspects of his world would have materialized!

 It means, I take it, that in only forty years from now the great game of sovereign states will be over. It looks also as if the parliamentary game will be over, and as if some quite new method of handling human affairs will have been adopted. Not a word of patriotism or nationalism; not a word of party, not an allusion. But in only forty years! While half the human beings already alive in the world will still be living! You cannot believe it for a moment. Nor could I, if it wasn't for two little torn scraps of paper. 


This mimeographed Futurian publication was probably printed on the same mimeograph machine as the first mimeo of
“The Final Men.”


   “The Final Men”
by H.G. Wells
First separate publication: Mar 1940 by Futurian Robert W. Lowndes

The first complete, published version of The Time Machine appeared as a five-part serial in the January through May 1895 issues of New Review, edited by William Ernest Henley. In the introduction to the 1924 edition, Wells wrote about the back-and-forth between himself and Henley, saying that “There was a slight struggle between the writer and W.E. Henley who wanted, he said, to put a little ‘writing’ into the tale.”

One piece of that writing was a short episode after the traveller leaves the Eloi and the Morlocks, just before visiting the red sun and the end of the world. This episode was deleted from both the American (Holt text) and the British (Heinemann text) published book editions of the novel, but it did appear as a 7-page mimeographed and stapled publication from American fan and Futurian Robert W. Lowndes in 1940, and it appeared in a number of other places, sometimes called “The Grey Man” and once called “The Missing Pages.”

 No doubt, too, the rain and snow had long since washed out the Morlock tunnels. A nipping breeze stung my hands and face. So far as I could see there were neither hills, nor trees, nor rivers: only an uneven stretch of cheerless plateau. 


 


10 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)