The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Written by Poul Anderson
 from antiquity to 2016





   The Time Patrol Stories
by Poul Anderson
First story: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1955

Former military engineer Manse Everard is recruited by the Time Patrol to prevent time travelers from making major changes to history (history bounces back from the small stuff).

For me, the logic of these stories pushes in a good direction, but still leaves one gaping hole that’s evinced by the fate of Manse’s compatriot Keith Denison in “Brave to Be a King”—namely, what happened to the younger Denison? Perhaps my problem is simply that I don’t grok ℵ-valued logic.

The stories have been collected in various volumes, the most complete of which is the 2006 Time Patrol that contains all but The Shield of Time.
  1. Time Patrol (May 1955) F&SF
  2. Delenda Est (Dec 1955) F&SF
  3. Brave to Be a King (Aug 1959) F&SF
  4. The Only Game in Town (Jan 1960) F&SF
  5. Gibraltar Falls (Oct 1975) F&SF
  6. Ivory, and Apes, and Peacocks (Oct 1983) in Time Patrolman
  7. The Sorrow of Odin the Goth (Oct 1983) in Time Patrolman
  8. Star of the Sea (Oct 1991) in The Time Patrol
  9. The Year of the Ransom (Apr 1988) about 25,000 words
  10. The Stranger That Is Within Thy Gates (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  11. Women and Horses and Power and War (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  12. Before the Gods That Made the Gods (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  13. Beringia (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  14. Riddle Me This (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  15. Amazement of the World (Sep 1990) in The Shield of Time
  16. Death and the Knight (Jun 1995) in Tales of the Knights Templar

 If you went back to, I would guess, 1946, and worked to prevent your parents’ marriage in 1947, you would still have existed in that year; you would not go out of existence just because you had influenced events. The same would apply even if you had only been in 1946 one microsecond before shooting the man who would otherwise have become your father. 

[Feb 2012]
   “The Man Who Came Early”
by Poul Anderson
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jun 1956

An explosion throws Sergeant Gerald Robbins from the 1950s to about 990 AD Iceland where, dispite his advanced knowledge, he had trouble fitting in.

 Now, then. There is one point on which I must set you right. The end of the world is not coming in two years. This I know. 

[Jul 2011]
   “Wildcat”
by Poul Anderson
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Nov 1958

Herries, the leader of 500 men drilling for oil in the Jurassic, wonders about free will and the eventual fate of twentieth century America and its nuclear-armed adversaries.

The story was a nice forerunner to Silverberg’s “Hawksbill Station.”

 But we are mortal men. And we have free will. The fixed-time concept need not, logically, produce fatalism; after all, Herries, mans will is itself one of the links in teh causal chain. I suspect that this irrational fatalism is an important reason why twentieth-century civilization is approaching suicide. If we think we know our future is unchangeable, if our every action is foreordained, if we are doomed already, whats the use of trying? Why go through all the pain of thought, of seeking an answer and struggling to make others accept it? But if we really believed in ourselves, we woiuld look for a solution, and find one. 

[Jun 2016]
   “The Covenant”
by Anderson, Asimov, Sheckley, Leinster and Bloch
First publication: Fantastic, Jul 1960

Captain Ban, son of the Warden, is told by an oracle that he alone must fly to the island stronghold of those masters of time, the Cloud-People.

 Your world is a slope and you roll down it all the time. Down and down until you wear out and die. 

[Dec 2003]

   “Welcome”
by Poul Anderson
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct 1960

Tom Barlow, the world’s first time traveler, receives a welcome from Earth’s rulers 500 years in the future.

Tom departed from the late twentieth century because of its unpleasant political climate, but the description of Barlow’s orginal time reads more as if Anderson got a peek at 2016 Donald Trump.

 Disgust would be the simplest word. 

[Jun 2016]
   “My Object All Sublime”
by Poul Anderson
First publication: Galaxy, Jun 1961

A man becomes fast friends with a real estate entrepreneur who, one night, tells him a fantastic story of time-travelers in the far future who use the past as a criminal dumping ground.

 The homesickeness, though, thats what eats you. Little things you never noticed. Some particular food, the way people walk, the games played, the small-talk topics. Even the constellations. They're different in the future. The sun has traveled that far in its galactic orbit. 

[Nov 2013]


   The Corridors of Time
by Poul Anderson
First publication: Amazing, May-Jun 1965

While awaiting trial for a self-defense killing, young Malcolm Lockridge is approached by a wealthy beauty, Storm Darroway, who offers to defend him in return for him joining her in what he eventually finds out are Wars in Time between the naturalist Wardens and the technocrat Rangers.

For many years, I thought this novel was part of Poul’s Time Patrol series, until Bob Hasse mentioned this as one of his favorites that is not in the series. The beginning reminded me of Heinlein’s Glory Road, and the rest is remniscent of Asimov’s The End of Eternity, both of which captivated me in the summer of 1968. Poul’s book holds up well in that company.

 A series of parallel black lines, several inches apart, extended from it, some distance across the corridor floor. At the head of each was a brief inscription, in no alphabet he could recognize. But every ten feet or so a number was added. He saw 4950, 4951, 4952 . . . 

[Apr 2014]
   The Dancer from Atlantis
by Poul Anderson
First publication: Aug 1971

On a romantic cruise with his wife and his troubled marriage, forty-year-old Duncan Reid is snatched from the deck by a vortex and deposited around 4000 B.C., where he meets three others who were similarly taken: the Russian Oleg, the Goth Uldin, and the beautiful bull-breeder Erissa who remembers the gods of her time, remembers Atlantis, and remembers Duncan fathering her child.

 She was lean, though full enough in hips and firm breasts to please any man, and long-limbed, swan-necked, head proudly held. That head was dolichocephalic but wide across brow and cheeks, tapering toward the chin, with, a classically straight nose and a full and mobile mouth which was a touch too big for conventional beauty. Arching brows and sooty lashes framed large bright eyes whose hazel shifted momentarily from leaf-green to storm-gray. Her black hair, thick and wavy, fell past her shoulders; a white streak ran back from the forehead. Except for suntan, a dusting of freckles, a few fine wrinkles and crows-feet, a beginning dryness, her skin was clear and fair. He guessed her age as about equal to his. 

[Jun 2015]
   There Will Be TIme
by Poul Anderson
First publication: 1972

The doctor and confidant of Jack Havig relates Jack’s life story from the time the infant started disappearing and reappearing to the extended firefight through time with the few other time travelers that Havig encountered.

 No, no, no. I suppose it’s simply a logical impossibility to change the past, same as it’s logically impossible for a uniformly colored spot to be both red and green. 

[Feb 2012]
   “Joelle”
by Poul Anderson
First publication: Asimov’s Science Fiction, Fall 1977

Canadian Eruc Stranathan is one of the few people in the world who can merge his mind with computer hardware, taking him to mental vistas beyond that of mere humans. At a conference to explore the possibilities of the technology, he meets the beautiful American Joelle who shares his ability. The two fall deeply in love, but because of security restrictions, it’s fifteen months before she can show him the capabilities of her mind-machine connection.

The time-travel connection is slight in this long story, but it is relevant to Joelle. As I read though, I wondered whether the story could have been much more had the time-travel element been taken more to heart.

 He swept out of the cell, through space and through time, at light-speed across unseen prairies, into the storms that raged down a great particle accelerator. 

[Sep 1977]
   The Avatar
by Poul Anderson
First publication: Oct 1978

No, this book has nothing to do with Cameron’s more widely-known movie, although critics have noted a similarity between the movie and an earlier Anderson story, “Call Me Joe.” As for The Avatar, it’s a political story of time-space portals (Tipler cylinders known in the book as T-machines) left behind by the “Others.” Wealthy Daniel Broderson wants to use results of a portal exploration team for the benefit of all mankind, while the authoritarian leaders of Earth thinks that mankind isn’t ready for the full truth.

The title avatar of Anderson’s book is present as one of the portal exploration team members right from the start of the goings-on, but the name avatar isn’t used until the conclusion of the book—and the meaning of the word is the one that predates our modern digital view.

 For us, approximately eight Terrestrial years have passed. It turns out that the T-machine is indeed a time machine of sorts, as well as a space transporter. The Betans—the beings whom we followed—calculated our course to bring us out near the date when we left. 

[Jun 2015]
 

Additional Adventures (without Time Travel)

I often see potential time-travel stories that, alas, have no time travel. I track them, so that I don’t process these same chronotypical stories over and over in a time loop of my very own.
Written by Poul Anderson
from antiquity to 2016

 These arent the droids youre looking for . . . move along. 


 1949
“Time Heals” by Poul Anderson [long sleep]



 1967
“To Outlive Eternity” by Poul Anderson [time dilation]



 1970
Tau Zero by Poul Anderson [time dilation]



 1989
“Statesmen” by Poul Anderson (Time Gate) [simulacrums]


15 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)