The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Written by Lester del Rey
 from antiquity to 2017

The story also appeared in this 1975 collection.   “My Name Is Legion”
by Lester del Rey
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1942

At the end of World War II, as the Allies occupation army closes in on Hitler, a man offers him a way to bring back thousands of copies of himself from the future.

 Years ago in one of those American magazines, there was a story of a man who saw himself. He came through a woods somewhere and stumbled on a machine, got in, and it took him three days back in time. Then, he lived forward again, saw himself get in the machine and go back. 


Lester del Rey, Master Traveller

For me, the scope of “My Name Is Legion” might well have garnered del Rey a Master Traveller Citation, but the actual award came when his 1966 juvenile novel, Tunnel Through Time, brought adventure time travel to young readers.



   “. . . 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. 


   “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? 


   “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! 


   “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. 




   Tunnel Through Time
by Lester del Rey
First publication: May 1966

When Bob Miller’s dad invents a time machine and sends Doc Tom gets trapped in the time of the dinosaurs, there’s only one possible solution: send a pair of 17-year-olds (including Bob) back on a rescue mission!

This was the first book that I got through the Scholastic Book Club when we moved to Bellevue in 1968. Each month, the club would give you a flier where you ticked off the books that you wanted, and the next month the books would magically show up at school!

 But theyd overlooked someone. Me. Somehow, by hook or crook, I was going to make that trip, too. Doc Tom wasnt the only one who liked dinos! 


 


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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)