The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Written by Theodore Sturgeon
 from antiquity to 2017

   “Poker Face”
by Theodore Sturgeon
First publication: Astounding, Mar 1941

The accountant, Mr. Face, joins the poker game and, among other things, has the remarkable ability to rig any deal without even touching the cards—what else would you expect for a man who’s traveled some 30,000 years from the future?

 “Now spill it. Just where did you come from?”
   “Geographically,” said Face, “not very far from here. Chronologically, a hell of a long way.”
 




   “Yesterday Was Monday”
by Theodore Sturgeon
First publication: Unknown, Jun 1941

Harry Wright goes to bed on Monday night, skips over Tuesday, and wakes up in a Wednesday that’s not quite been built yet.

 The weather makers put .006 of one percent too little moisture in the air on this set. Theres three-sevenths of an ounce too little gasoline in the storage tanks under here. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“Excalibur and the Atom” by Theodore Sturgeon, Fantastic Adventures, Aug 1951 [despite title, no time travel ]



   Tales of Tomorrow
aka Tomorrow Is Yours
by Theodore Sturgeon and Mort Abrahamson
First time travel: 8 Feb 1952

When Sturgeon and Abrahamson sold the idea of this anthology show to ABC, they had the backing of the Science Fiction League of America, giving ABC first shot at any stories written by league members. They took good advantage of the deal, including stories by Fredric Brown, Arthur C. Clarke, C.M. Kornbluth, and others including Henry Kutter and C.M. Moore’s “What You Need”. That excellent 1945 story involves future prediction without time travel, but I included it in my time-travel list just because I liked it so much (and it was later made into a Twilight Zone episode, too). Hence, I’ll count the Feb 1952 airing of the story as the first time travel in Tales of Tomorrow. There were at least four other see-into-the-future-or-past episodes, but I won’t include them in the list below. After all, one must have standards!

In general, I’d place the stories on the more horrific end of the science fiction scale, but certainly worth watching.
  1. What You Need (8 Feb 1952) Henry Kuttner and C.M. Moore
  2. The Little Black Bag (30 May 1952) C.M. Kornbluth
  3. Ahead of His Time (18 Jul 1952) Paul Tripp
  4. The Chase (19 Sep 1952) Mann Rubin
  5. Another Chance (13 Feb 1953) Frank De Felitta
  6. Past Tense, with Boris Karloff (3 Apr 1953) Robert F. Lewine

 After my treatment, youl awake. Youll find yourself in a room a thousand miles from here and back seven years in time. Youll have absolutely no remembrance of these past seven years. The slate will be clean. 

—“Another Chance”


   “Dazed”
by Theodore Sturgeon
First publication: Galaxy, Sep/Oct 1971

In 1950, a 25-year-old man begins to think that his own generation—those who will soon be in charge—are taking the world in an Orwellian direction because of an imbalance that’s occuring, so he writes a personal ad seeking help in rebalancing the world, and he gets an instant answer that, among other things, takes him a few decades into the future.

 When he was in Lilliput there was a war between the Lilliputians and another nation of little people—I forget what they called themselves—and Gulliver intervened and ended the war. Anyway, he researched the two countries and found they had once been one. And he tried to find out what caused so many years of bitter enmity between them after they split. He found that there had been two factions in that original kingdom—the Big Endians and the Little Endians. And do you know where that started? Far back in their history, at breakfast one morning, one of the kings courtiers opened his boiled egg at the big end and another told him that was wrong, it should be opened at the small end! The point Dean Swift was making is that from such insignificant causes grow conflicts that can last centuries and kill thousands. Well, he was near the thing thats plagued me all my life, but he was content to say it happened that way. What blow-torches me is—why. Why are human beings capable of hating each other over such trifles? Why, when an ancient triviality is proved to be the cause of trouble, dont people just stop fighting? 




   “Time Warp”
by Theodore Sturgeon
First publication: Omni, Oct 1978

On the hidden planet of Ceer, Althair tells all the little pups and pammies of the time when he accompanied the brave Will Hawkins and the chief pilot Jonna Verret as they traveled back in time to save Earth from the Meercaths from Orel who had the power to blow up the Earth and would use it whether the Earthlings revealed the secret of time travel or not.

In my first semester of graduate school, I bought the first issue of Omni, which included this story. But I forgot about it until Bill Seabrook (a baseball fan and sf reader from Tyne-and-Wear) sent me a pointer to this story as well as J.B. Priestley’s time plays.

 Well arrive on Orel before they leave and stop them. 


 


6 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)