The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1950 to 1959

   The Man Who Lived Backward
by Malcolm Ross
First publication: 1950

Mark Selby, born in June of 1940, achieves a unique perspective on life and war and death due to the fact that he lives each day from morning to night, aging in the usual way, but the next morning he wakes up on the previous day until he eventually dies just after (or is it before?) Lincoln’s assassination.

 Tomorrow, my tomorrow, is the day of the President’s death. 

[Feb 2013]

   Pebble in the Sky
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: 1950

Joseph Schwartz takes one step from 1949 to the year 847 of the Galactic Era, where he meets archaeologist Bel Arvardan, Earth scientist Dr. Shekt, the doctor’s beautiful daughter Pola, and a plot to destroy all non-Earth life in the galaxy.

 He lifted his foot to step over a Raggedy Ann doll smiling through its neglect as it lay there in the middle of the walk, a foundling not yet missed. He had not quite put his foot down again . . . 

[Nov 1970]

   “Stranded in Time”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: The Omnibus of Time, 1950

Only Farley himself knows his intent with this story, but to me it seems as if he were trying to make amends for his sexist tales of bygone pulp days by writing a story of football player cum physics student Milton Collett and his beautiful—but not airheaded—gal, Carolyn Van Horn, who together take a one-way trip to a future in which roles of men and women have been reversed. For me, Farley didn’t quite pull it off.

 His interne stared at him with awed respect. A man—able to read! 

[Feb 2015]

The story also appeared in the second volume of Fantasy Book toward the end of 1950.   “The Man Who Lived Backward”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: The Omnibus of Time, 1950

Although this story shared a title with Malcolm Ross’s 1950 book of the same name, Farley’s story has but a small scope and a technical bent, explaining the natural mechanism that has taken the psychiatric patient known as Sixtythree and turned him into someone who (among other backward things) calls his beloved Margaret “Gnillrahd Tellagrahm!”

 For example, I well remember the night when he woke up the entire Asylym by yelling “Fire!”, just before the boiler explosion which nearly caused a holocaust. 

[Feb 2015]

Farley wrote time travel stories in his spare time while under his birth name, Roger Sherman Hoar, he was a patent lawyer—and I have no other picture to illustrate another Farley story except this diagram from a time machine patent.   The Revenge of the Great White Lodge
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: first two chapters in The Omnibus of Time, 1950

Farley published the first 5500 words of this unfinished novel in his 1950 collection, The Omnibus of Time, but he never finished the partly autobiographical book about a New Hampshire lawyer, Lincoln Houghton, who follows an apparent time traveler to a cult compound before being transported to an alternate reality.

 As to the advice which I promised you. Watch your cousin warren, so far as Katherine is concerned!—Now you have a real reason to dislike your cousin. 

[Mar 2015]

The story also appeared in this 1978 anthology.   “The Man Who Could Turn Back the Clock”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: The Omnibus of Time, 1950

After a night in an isolated barn with a seductive woman, a man tries to explain his absence to his wife. It could be that Farley invented the choose-your-own-ending-story with this short parable.

 Then the man saw that he had made a tactical mistake; so he turned back the clock a few minutes and tried the conversation over again. 

[Mar 2015]

   “Spectator Sport”
by John D. MacDonald
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Feb 1950

Dr. Rufus Maddon is the first man to travel 400 years into the future, but those he meets think he’s in need of treatment.

 Every man can have Temp and if you save your money you can have Permanent, which they say, is as close to heaven as man can get. 

[Apr 2012]

   “The Wheel of Time”
by Robert Arthur, Jr.
First publication: Super Science Stories, Mar 1950

Decades before that other Robert wrote of his Wheel of Time, Robert Arthur gave us this story of his recurring mad scientist Jeremiah Jupiter and his long-suffering assistant Lucius. This time, Jupiter plans to create a time machine from oranges, The Encyclopedia Britannica, bass drums, tiny motorcycles, and three trained chimps.

 I am going to set up an interference in the time rhythm at this particular spot. Then the chimpanzies will enter it with my time capsules—since I know you wont—and they will deposit the capules here a million years ago! 

[Apr 2012]

   “Forever and the Earth”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Planet Stories, Spring 1950

At age 70, Mr. Henry William Field feels that he’s wasted his life trying to capture the world of the 23rd century in prose, but he also feels there’s one last hope: Use Professor Bolton’s time machine to bring a great writer of the 20th century forward to today.

 Ive called you because I feel Tom Wolfes the man, the necessary man, to write of space, of time, huge things like nebulae and galactic war, meteors and planets, all the dark things he loved and put on paper were like this. He was born out of his time. He needed really big things to play with and never found them on Earth. He should have been born this afternoon instead of one hundred thousand mornings ago. 

[Jul 2015]

   2000 Plus
created by Sherman H. Dreyer and Robert Weenolsen
First time travel: 27 Apr 1950

After World War II, the American public became fascinated with science, scientists and the future, one result of which were the national science fiction anthology radio shows starting with 2000 Plus. There was no limit to the scientific wonders that we would have by the year 2000! The series had at least two time-travel episodes in its two-year run or original scripts (and possibly a third, “Time Out of Hand”).
  1. The Man Who Conquered Time (12 Apr 1950) to 10,000 AD
  2. The Temple of the Pharaohs (12 Jul 1951) to ancient Egypt

 The sky, the sky is wrong, Sebastian! The constellations are all twisted up. Halley’s comet is back where it must have been a few thousand years ago! Sebastion, I’ve got it! That sky! That sky is the sky of about 5000 years ago! 

—from “The Temple of the Pharaohs”

[Jan 2012]





number 11 of 50 hand-colored Frazetta prints of Weird Science-Fantasy 29
   EC Comics (Anthologies)
First time travel: May 1950

The prototypical comic book weird story anthologies were EC’s titles that began in April 1950 with Crypt of Terror. I don’t know whether that title and EC’s other horror comics had any time travel (because I was forbidden from reading those!), but Harry Harrison, Wally Wood and their fellow artists managed some in the titles that were more geared to sf.

I’m aiming for a complete list of EC’s time-travel vignettes, but the list as of now is only partial. The first one I found was in Weird Fantasy 13 (May/Jun 1950), which was actually its first issue. That was part of a ruse to take over a second-class postage permit from A Moon, a Girl . . .Romance (which ended with issue 12). They stuck with that numbering through the fifth issue (number 17) when the postmaster general took note, and the next one was number 6. I did kinda wonder how many of those romance readers were surprised when Weird Fantasy 13 showed up in their mailboxes.

There was a sister title, Weird Science, which began in May/Jun 1952 with issue 12 (taking over the postage permit after the 11th issue of Saddle Romance). It had many time travel stories, starting with “Machine from Nowhere” in issue 14 (the 3rd issue).

Weird Science and Weird Fantasy were not selling that well, so EC combined them into a single title—Weird Science-Fantasy—with issue 23 in March 1954. Alas, there was but one time-travel story, “The Pioneer” in number 24 (Jun 1954), about which EC’s site says A man attempts to be the first to successfully time travel, but there are some casualties on the way. . . ..
By the way, the whole run of EC comics would be 4 stars, but it gets an extra ½ star because of Al Williamson’s adaptation of “The Sound of Thunder” in Weird Science-Fantasy 24 and the beautiful Frank Frazetta cover on the final issue (number 29) of Weird Science-Fantasy. The third image to the left is is that Frazetta did of that cover in 1972, with a bonus vamp in the bottom right corner. The cover had a gladiator fighting cave men, but it was not a time-travel story.

In 1955, the Comics Code Authority banned the word “Weird,” so the title became Incredible Science Fiction with number 30 (Jul/Aug 1955). The four-issue run had only one time-travel tale (“Time to Leave” by Roy G. Krenkel in number 31).

 I just stepped off the path, that’s all. Got a little mud on my shoes! What do you want me to do, get down and pray? 

[Circa 1963]

   “Night Meeting”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: The Martian Chronicles, May 1950

On his own in the Martian night, Tómas Gomez meets an ancient Martian whom he can talk with but not touch.

 How can you prove who is from the Past, who from the Future? 

[Nov 1973]

   “The Fox and the Forest”
aka “To the Future”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Colliers, 13 May 1950

Roger Kristen and his wife decide to take a time-travel vacation and then run so they’ll never have to return to the war torn world of 2155 AD.

 The inhabitants of the future resent you two hiding on a tropical isle, as it were, while they drop off the cliff into hell. Death loves death, not life. Dying people love to know that others die with them. It is a comfort to learn you are not alone in the kiln, in the grave. I am the guardian of their collective resentment against you two. 

[Jan 2012]

   Dimension X
created by Fred Wiehe and Edward King
First time travel: 27 May 1950

In the month that Colliers ran its first time-travel story, Dimension X broadcast the same story with an original adaptation. I found just one later story of time-travel in their 46-episode run. (They also did an abbreviated Pebble in the Sky, but without Joseph Schwartz’s time travel.)
  1. To the Future (27 May 1950) from war in 2155 to peaceful 1950s
  2. Time and Time Again (12 Jul 1951) dying soldier to his childhood)

 We have Time Machines for sale—simple little machines of paper and ink, tubes and wires that, coupled with your own mind can soar down the years of
Eternity.
 

—from a Dimension X advertisement

[Jan 2012]

   “Time in Thy Flight”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Jun/Jul 1950

Mr. Fields takes Janet, Robert and William back to 1928 to study their strange ways.

 And those older people seated with the children. Mothers, fathers, they called them. Oh, that was strange. 

[Dec 2013]

   “The Little Black Bag”
by C.M. Kornbluth
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1950

In a 25th century where the vast majority of people have stunted intelligence (or at least talk with poor grammar), a physicist accidentally sends a medical bag back through time to Dr. Bayard Full, a down-on-his-luck, generally drunk, always callously self-absorbed, dog-kicking shyster. Despite falling in with a guttersnipe of a girl, Annie Aquella, he tries to make good use of the gift.

 Switch is right. It was about time travel. What we call travel through time. So I took the tube numbers he gave me and I put them into the circuit-builder; I set it for ‘series’ and there it is-my time-traveling machine. It travels things through time real good. 

[May 2015]

   “Vengeance, Unlimited”
aka “Vengeance Fleet”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: Super Science Stories, Jul 1950

After Venus is destroyed by an invading fleet, Earth and Mars end their dispute in order to put together a fleet that can travel back in time to extract vengeance on the invaders. I like Brown’s work a lot, but not this story which had gaping holes, not the least of which was a problem with the units of c raised to the c power (sorry, that is one of my pet peeves.

 In ten years, traveling forward in space and backward in time, the fleet would have traversed just that distance—186,334186,334 miles. 

[Jan 2014]

   “Friday, the Nineteenth”
by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Summer 1950

Tired of his marraige, Donald Boyce begins exchanging the odd kiss and soft touch on the hand with his best friend’s wife Molly, all quite innocent until Friday, the nineteenth, when Molly proposes that they have a clandistine rendezvous on Saturday, the twentieth, throwing both of them into a continuous repeat of the nineteenth.

A well-written, early time-loop story, and also one of the first two time travel stories (along with “An Ounce of Prevention”) to appear in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

 “I dont want to go either. It’s been so wonderful,” she said, “this little time alone together. I love this funny little bar; Ive loved every moment here. I wish today would never end.” 

[Jun 2016]

The story also appeared in this 1951 anthology.   “An Ounce of Prevention”
by Paul A. Carter (as by Philip Carter)
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Summer 1950

By virtue of being on Mars, John Stilson is the last survivor of the human race after the ultimate war, but the Martians have a plan to change all that by sending Stilson back to alter the amount of fissionable material in Earth’s crust.

 Wherever in history a decision involving alternatives has to be made, separate and distinct futures branch off, rooted in that choice. There is a world in which the American colonies became a nation, and a world in which they remained under British rule. There is a world in which Franklin Roosevelt was four times elected President, and a world in which the assassination attempt against him in Miami was successful. There is no “might have been,” for the events that “might have been” have actually taken place, somewhere in time—not before, not after, but beside their alternatives. . . . 

[Jun 2016]

   “Time’s Arrow”
by Arthur C. Clarke
First publication: Science-Fantasy, Summer 1950

Barton and Davis, assistants to Professor Fowler, are on an archaeological dig when a physicist sets up camp next door and speculates abound about viewing into the past—or is it only viewing?

 The discovery of negative entropy introduces quite new and revolutionary conceptions into our picture of the physical world. 

[Dec 2008]

   “Flight from Tomorrow”
by H. Beam Piper
First publication: Future Science Fiction, Sept/Oct 1950

When the revolution finally comes, the dictatorial leader Hradzka escapes to the past in a time machine, but he overshoots his target and ends up in the first decade after the discovery of atomic power.

 “The ‘time-machine’” Zarvas Pol replied. “If hes managed to get it finished, the Great Mind only knows where he may be, now. Or when.” 

[Jun 2015]

   Operation Peril’s Time Travelers
created by Richard Hughes
First publication: Operation Peril 1, Oct/Nov 1950

Before it became a war comic, the first twelve issues of ACG’s Operation Peril included a regular series about Dr. Tom Redfield and his rich fiancé, Peggy, who buy some of Nostradamuss papers and discover that hed designed a time machine.

I haven’t found difinitive information on the creators of this series. Several sites name ACG editor Richard E. Hughes as the writer; some places speculate that it was drawn by Ken Bald, but Pappy’s Golden Age Blog indicates that a reader names Lin Streeter as the actual artist, and Pappy agrees.

 Why, what an odd-looking blueprint! Tempus Machina—why, Tom! Thats Latin for Time Machine! 

[Apr 2014]

   Time and Again
by Clifford D. Simak
First publication: Galaxy, Oct/Nov/Dec 1950

After twenty years, Ash Sutton reurns in a cracked-up ship without food, air or water—only to report that the mysterious planet that nobody can visit is no threat to Earth. But a man from the future insists that Sutton must be killed to stop a war in time; while Sutton himself, who has developed metaphysical, religious leanings, finds a copy of This Is Destiny, the very book that he is planning to write.

 It would reach back to win its battles. It would strike at points in time and space which would not even know that thre was a war. It could, logically, go back to the silver mines of Athens, to the horse and chariot of Thutmosis III, to the sailing of Columbus. 

[May 2012]

   “The Third Level”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Colliers, 7 Oct 1950

A New York man stumbles upon a third underground level at Grand Central Station which is a portal to the past.

This is the first of Finney’s many fine time-travel stories.

 I turned toward the ticket windows knowing that here—on the third level at Grand Central—I could buy tickets that would take Louisa and me anywhere in the United States we wanted to go. In the year 1894. 

[Mar 2005]

   “Day of the Hunters”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Future Science Fiction, Nov 1950

A midwestern professor tells a half-drunken story of time travel and the real cause of the dinosaur extinction.

 Because I built a time machine for myself a couple of years ago and went back to the Mesozoic Era and found out what happened to the dinosaurs. 

[Jul 1976]

   “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]

   Ziff-Davis Comics (Anthologies)
founded by William B. Ziff, Sr. and Beranrd G. Davis
First time travel: Amazing Adventures 1, Nov 1950

Ziff-Davis published dozens of comic book titles in the first half of the 1950s including some anthologies of weird stories. The first issue of their Amazing Adventures included a time-travel tale called “Treaspasser in Time” in which the hero and the professor go through a strange fourth dimension full of inverted coneheads.

 Were obviously stranded in the fourth dimension . . . Weve both escaped that monster by plunging into the color-stream . . . which must be the stream of time! 

[Jun 2012]

   “A Stone and a Spear”
by Raymond F. Jones
First publication: Galaxy, Dec 1950

In a post-Hiroshima world, Dr. Dell resigns from a weapons lab to farm, and when Dr. Curtis Johnson visits to pursuade him to come back, he finds that Dell’s reasons are linked to time travel.

 Here within this brain of mine has been conceived a thing which will probably destroy a billion human lives in the coming years. D. triconus toxin in a suitable aerosol requires only a countable number of molecules in the lungs of a man to kill him. My brain and mine alone is responsible for that vicious, murderous discovery. 

[Apr 2012]
   The Gauntlet
by Ronald Welch
First publication: 1951

 Peter gazed at it in silence. His head was feeling oddly numb, and the mist seemed to swirl around him with redoubled speed and thickness. Hardly realizing what he was doing, he slipped his right hand inside the heavy gauntlet, and this fingers groped inside the wide spaces, for it was far too large for his small hand.
From behind there came the thud of hooves, a shout, shrill and defiant, the clang of metal on metal, and then a confused roar of sounds, shouts, more hoof-beats, clang after clang, dying away into the distance as suddenly as they had come. The gauntlet slipped from Peters hand, and he shook himself as if he had just awakened.
 

[Nexus]

   “Such Interesting Neighbors”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Colliers, 6 Jan 1951

Al Lewis and his wife Nell have new neighbors, an inventor who talks of time travel from the future and his wife Ann.

The story was the basis for the second episode of Science Fiction Theater and also Spielberg’s Amazing Stories.

 But Ann walked straight into that door and fell. I couldnt figure out how she came to do it; it was as though she expected the door to open by itself or something. Thats what Ted said, too, going over to help her up. “Be careful, honey,” he said, and laughed a little, making a joke of it. “Youll have to learn, you know, that doors wont open themselves.” 

[Mar 2005]

   “. . . 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. 

[Apr 2012]

   “Like a Bird, Like a Fish”
by H.B. Hickey
First publication: Worlds Beyond, Feb 1951

When a strange ship crashes in Guadalajara, the villagers call Father Vincent. When the priest realizes that the visitors are lost and their ship is broken, he calls Pablo, who can fix anything (although generally mañana). And when everyone realizes that the visitors, who have already conquered their own realm where time-is-space and vice versa, mean to conquer Earth next (after all, Earthlings make good food), it seems too late to call anyone.

 Father Vincent was sorry that the villagers had called him. They should have set the fire. But it was too late.
“You will come in peace?” he asked, his voice beginning to tremble. “You will do no harm?”
 

[Aug 2015]

   Atlas Comics (Anthologies)
First time travel: Astonishing 6, Apr 1951

Before they started slinging superheroes, Stan Lee and the bullpen were working at Marvel’s predecessor, Atlas Comics, putting out comics that mimicked EC’s anthologies. The first one I found was in Astonishing 6 (Apr 1951). As I find others, I’ll list them on my time-travel comics page.

 Of course! thats it! I forgot to connect the plug to the electric outlet! 

—Harry in Mystery Tales 10, Apr 1953, explaining why his time machine did’s work the first time

[circa 1962]

   “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? 

[Sep 2015]

   “Don’t Live in the Past”
by Damon Knight
First publication: Galaxy, Jun 1951

A future transportation system goes awry, which results in flangs, tweedledums, collapsed flooring, argo paste, and mangels (yes, especially mangels) being delivered to the homes and business places of persons in a past century. Moreover, it’s quite possible that civilization down the line (including Bloggetts own time!) will be altered. When the buck finally stops, the buck-kickers have decided that it’s up to Ronald Mao Jean-Jacques von Hochbein Mazurin to travel back and set things right.

 The mathematicians are still working on that, Your Honor, and the best they can say now is that it was probably somewhere between the mid-Twentieth Century and the last Twenty-First. However there is a strong possibility that none of the material reached any enclosed space which would attract it, and that it may all have been dissipated harmlessly in the form of inconruent molecules. 

[Aug 2015]

   Lights Out
created by Fred Coe
First time travel: 2 Jul 1951

I wonder whether Lights Out was the earliest sf anthology tv show. The first four episodes were live broadcasts on New York’s WNBT-TV (NBC) starting on 3 Jun 1946. It was renewed by NBC for three seasons of national broadcast starting 26 Jul 1949, and I spotted at least two time-travel episodes. Some episodes have found their way to Youtube, although I watched “And Adam Beget” on Disk 5 of the Netflix offering. I haven’t yet listened to any of the earlier radio broadcasts.

The episode “And Adam Beget” came from a 1939 radio episode of Arch Obolers Plays, and it formed the basis for a 1953 Steve Ditko story, “A Hole in His Head,” in the Black Magic comic book.
  1. And Adam Begot (2 Jul 1951) time warp to prehistoric past
  2. Of Time and Third Avenue (30 Dec 1951) from Bester’s story

 You dont understand. Look at the short, hairy, twisted body—the neck bent, the head thrust forward, those enormous brows, the short flat nose . . . 

—from “And Adam Begot ”

[Apr 2012]

   Youthful Magazines
founded by Bill Friedman and Sophie Friedman
First time travel: Captain Science 5, Aug 1951

From 1949 through 1954, the Friedman’s Youthful Magazines published ten distinct comic book titles. The first time travel I spotted was in Captain Science 5, where the brainy captain takes yourthful teen Rip and redheaded bombshell Luana to Pluto at 40 times the speed of light to fight villians from the future. As I find other Youthful time travel, I’ll add it to my time-travel comics page.

 Yes. Lets see. Infinity over pi minus the two quadrants cubed . . . 

Captain Science 5

[Jun 2012]

   “Quit Zoomin’ Those Hands Through the Air”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Colliers, 4 Aug 1951

Grandpa is over 100 now, so surely his promise to General Grant no longer binds him to keep quiet about a time-travel expedition and a biplane.

 Air power in the Civil War? Well, its been a pretty well-kept secret all these years, but we had it. The Major and me invented it ourselves. 

[May 2011]

   “The Biography Project”
by H.L. Gold (as by Dudley Dell)
First publication: Galaxy, Sep 1951

Many sf stories are called upon to provide one-way viewing of the past with no two-way interference, but few (not this one) will answer.

 There were 1,000 teams of biographers, military analysts, historians, etc., to begin recording history as it actually happened—with special attention, according to Maxwells grant, to past leaders of industry, politics, science, and the arts, in the order named. 

[Jul 2013]

   “I’m Scared”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Colliers, 15 Sep 1951

A retired man investigates scores of cases of the past impinging itself on the present and speculates about the cause and the eventual effect.

 Then, undressing in my bedroom, I remembered that Major Bowes was dead. Years had passed, half a decade, since that dry chuckle and familiar, “All right, all right,” had been heard in the nations living rooms. 

[Mar 2005]

   “Ambition”
by William L. Bade
First publication: Galaxy, Oct 1951

Bob Maitland, a 1950s rocket scientist who dreams of going to the moon and the planets, is kidnapped in the middle of the night by an intelligent, athletic man named Swarts who speaks with an unusual accent. After the first interrogation by Swarts, Maitland realizes that Venus’s position in the sky means that he’s not only been taken to a different place, but to a different time as well—but he still doesn’t know why.

 When Swarts started saying a list of words—doubtlessly some sort of semantic reaction test—Maitland began the job of integrating “csc³x dx” in his head. It was a calculation which required great concentration and frequent tracing back of steps. After several minutes, he noticed that Swarts had stopped calling words. He opened his eyes to find the other man standing over him, looking somewhat exasperated and a little baffled. 

[Jul 2015]

   “Of Time and Third Avenue”
by Alfred Bester
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct 1951

Apparently, time travel has rules. For example, you cannot go back and simply take something from the past—it must be given to you. Thus, our man from the future must talk young Oliver Wilson Knight and his girlfriend into giving up the 1990 almanac that they bought in 1950.

 If there was such a thing as a 1990 almanac, and if it was in that package, wild horses couldnt get it away from me. 

[Apr 2012]





   Walt Disney’s Comics
First time travel: Mickey Mouse daily strips, 22 Oct 1951

The first mention of time travel that I’ve found for Disney characters in the comics was the story of Uncle Wombat’s Tock Tock Time Machine which ran in Mickey’s daily strip from 22 Oct 1951 through 19 Jan 1952. As for comic books, the first one that I ever read in the comic books was when Mickey and Goofy traveled back to Blackbeard in August, 1968. I’ve since found travel in the comic books as early as 1964 (Gyro Gearloose travels in Uncle Scrooge 50) and 1962 (Chip ’n’ Dale 30). I’ll keep looking and add any new finds to my time-travel comic book page.

 A fantastic time machine enables Mickey and Goofy to live in different periods of history. Right now they are aboard Mickeys unarmed merchant vessel off the Carolinas in the early 1700s—and off to starboard is a treacherous pirate ship . . . 

Mickey Mouse 114

[Jul 1968]

   “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! 

[Aug 2015]

   “The Hunting Season”
by Frank M. Robinson
First publication: Astounding, Nov 1951

For the crime of questioning the State’s hunts in public, huntman David Black is sentenced to become the quarry in a three-day hunt in the past—the 20th century in this case.

My own student, David Black, who died unexpectedly in the summer of 2006, would always talk with me about anything and everything. So if he were still alive as I read this (in 2015), we would have a happy afternoon reading it and talking about the social situation the story brings up, or maybe we’d figure out why I’m so attracted to one-against-the-system stories.

 Youre much better off than if we had held the hunt in Sixteenth Century Spain during the inquisition or perhaps ancient Rome during the reign of Caligula. You may even like it here during the brief period of the hunt. Its a fairly civilized culture, at least in a material sense. 

[Jul 2015]



Columbus Circle then:

...and now:

   “Pillar to Post”
by John Wyndham
First publication: Galaxy, Dec 1951

Terence Molton, a double amputee, falls into a dope trance and wakens in the body of a Hymorell, a man in a flawed uptopian future that to Molton’s mind is immoral in many ways. As for his part, Hymorell is back in Terence’s body, building a machine to reverse the swap. Quite naturally, Terence feels some resistance to swapping back, a resistance that’s driving enough to give him some questionable morals himself.

One of the pleasures of reading old magazines is seeing the innocence of the ads, such as a 1.5-inch ad for Frank A. Schmid’s bookstore on Columbus Circle in New York. i’ve got them all! every one!, proclaims the ad, referring to sf books of the day. And perhaps they did!

 I sat up suddenly, feeling my legs, both of them. There wasnt any pain. But there were two legs and two feet!
Then I did something I hadnt let myself do in years—I burst into tears.
 

[Oct 2015]

   I’ll Never Forget You
aka The House in the Square, aka Man of Two Worlds
adapted by Ranald MacDougall
First release: 7 Dec 1951

John Balderston’s play Berkeley Square is updated to the 1950s where Peter Standish, now an atomic scientist, is once again transported back to the 18th century (unfortunately, not via a nuclear accident) to romance beautiful Kate Petigrew.

 Roger, I believe the 18th century still exists. Its all around us, if only we could find it. Put it this way: Polaris, the North Star, is very bright, yet its light takes nearly fifty years to reach us. For all we know, Polaris may have ceased to exist somewhere around 1900. Yet we still see it, its past is our present. As far as Polaris is concerned, Teddy Roosevelt is just going down San Juan hill. 

[Mar 2015]

   “Pawley’s Peepholes”
by John Wyndham
First publication: Science-Fantasy, Winter 1951-52

Jerry, his girl Sally, and everyone else in the quiet town of Westwich are forced to put up with gawking but immaterial tourists from the future who glide by on sight-seeing platforms.

 Was Great Grandma as Good as She Made Out? See the Things Your Family History Never Told You 

[Jul 2013]

   Mighty Mouse Cartoons
created by Izzy Klein and Paul Terry
First time travel: 28 Dec 1951

Mighty Mouse saved the day many a time, so doubtlessly he has saved the day in many other times, too, but so far I’ve seen only one such episode (“Prehistoric Perils”, 1952) in which our mouse goes in our villian’s machine back to the dinosaurs to save Pearl Pureheart.

 And now, my little papoose, I shall take you off in my time machine. 

[Dec 2011]
   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”

[Jul 2015]

   “The Choice”
by W. Hilton-Young (published anonymously)
First publication: Punch, 19 Mar 1952

In this short-short story (about 200 words), our hero, Williams, goes to the future and returns with the memory of only one small thing.

 How did it happen? Can you remember nothing at all? 

[Apr 2012]

   “The Business, As Usual”
by Mack Reynolds
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jun 1952

A time traveler from the 20th century has only 15 minutes to negotiate a trade for an artifact to prove that he’s been to the 30th century.

 “Look, don’t you get it? I’m a time traveler. They picked me to send to the future. I’m important.”
   “Ummm. But you must realize that we have time travelers turning up continuously these days.”
 

[Jan 2012]

   “Sound of Thunder”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Colliers, 28 Jun 1952

Eckels, a wealthy hunter, is one of three hunters on a prehistoric hunt for T. Rex conducted by Time Safari, Inc.

This was not the first speculation on small changes in the past causing big changes now (for example, Tenn’s “Me, Myself, and I”), but I wonder whether this was the first time that sensitive dependence on initial conditions was expressed in terms of a single butterfly.

 Not a little thing like that! Not a butterfly! 

[May 2003]



   Charlton Comics (Anthologies)
First time travel: Space Adventures 1, Jul 1952

Charlton’s first issue of Space Adventures included a character called Hap Holliday, the Time Skipper, who travels to the future to rescue a queen. Hap appeared again in issue 3.

Later in the 1950s, with the legal demise of Fawcett Comics in the ’50s, Charton Comics took over the non-superhero Fawcett titles, and I’m still tracking down their time-travel stories, but the earliest I’ve found so far is a Steve Ditko tale, “The Last Laugh” in Strange Suspense Stories 32 (May 1957). As I find more definitive time-traveling (surely there’s some in the comic book version of The Mysterious Traveler), I’ll include the comics on my time-travel comics page.

 What a book title! Time—The Fourth Dimension! Going time travelling, Lester? 

—from “The Last Laugh”

[circa 1968]

   “Star, Bright”
by Mark Clifton
First publication: Galaxy, Jul 1952

Pete Holmes knows that Star, his three-year-old girl, is bright, and he worries that being so intelligent will make life difficult for her (as it has for himself); and then when an equally bright boy moves in next door and Pete observes them playing together and dropping an impossibly ancient Egyptian coin, he’s not sure whether that makes the situation better or worse.

 And those were the children who were too little to cross the street! 

[Feb 2015]

   “Hobson’s Choice”
by Alfred Bester
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aug 1952

By night, Addyer dreams of traveling to different times; by day, he is a statistician investigating an anomalous increase in the country’s population centered right in the part of the country that took the heaviest radiation damage in the war.

 Either he imagined himself moved backward in time with a double armful of Encyclopedia Britannica, best-sellers, hit plays and gambling records; or else he imagined himself transported forward in time a thousand years to the Golden Age of perfection. 

[Jan 2015]

   Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies Comics
First time travel: Bugs Bunny 50, Aug 1952

No doubt that the bunny and his friends have often traveled through time in the pages of four colors with many titles published by Dell/Gold Key/Whitman. The first such possible escapade that I’ve seen was a story called “Fiddling with the Future” in Bugs Bunny 50 in which some gypsy friends of Bugs can read the future.

 We saw you reading the future with it over at the carnival! 


   “There Is a Tide”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Colliers, 2 Aug 1952

A sleepless man, struggling with a business decision, sees an earlier occupant of his apartment who is struggling with a decision of his own.

 I saw the ghost in my own living room, alone, between three and four in the morning, and I was there, wide awake, for a perfectly sound reason: I was worrying. 

[May 2011]

   “The Entrepreneur”
by Thomas Wilson
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1952

Ivan Smithov, an upstanding U.S. Communist from the year 2125, is charged with making arrangements for a team of three entrepreneurs to visit the U.S. in 1953 to make preparations for a time tourist enterprise—but Ivan runs into problems procuring local currency for the expedition from the Soviet embassy of the time until his companions’ behavior draws enough attention that the ambassador begins to believe him. But what other consequences might their goings-on have?

 Mrat-See turned quickly, wincing at the protest of his aching muscles. The creature standing before him might have issued from a nightmare. Its heavy, barrellike body was slung like a hammock on four bowed legs. The enormous head, with undershot jaw, protruding fangs, and pendulous lips, was turned toward him unswervingly, and the continuing growl was a deep rumble of menace from the massive chest. Mrat-Sees heart leaped with fear. He had seen such creatures before in the Yorkgrad zoo. Dogs they were called. 

[May 2015]

   “Bring the Jubilee”
by Ward Moore
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Nov 1952

In a world where the South won the “War for Southron Independence,” Hodge Backmaker, a northern country bumpkin with academic leanings, makes his way to New York City where he becomes disillusioned, ponders the notions of time and free will, and eventually goes to a communal think-tank where time travel offers him the chance to visit the key Gettysburg battle of the war.

 I could say that time is an illusion and that all events occur simultaneously. 

[Dec 2013]

   “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. 

[Aug 2015]
   Bring the Jubilee
by Ward Moore
First publication: 1953

The novella version of this story appeared first, but I don’t know which was written first. Both are well worth reading, but my preference is for the novella which tells the same story in a more direct fashion.

 I could say that time is a convention and that all events occur simultaneously. 

[Dec 2013]

   Operation Freedom
First publication: Six issues circa 1953

A group called the Institute of Fiscal and Political Education published a series of at least six giveaway comic books to extol the virtues of America and democracy. Some were printed with blue and red ink with nice halftones, and others were black and white. I don’t know many details, but Lone Star Comics says that Joshua Strong goes back in time to explain issues such as the right to free speech and press (in issue 5).

 We must never forget our rights are based on our FAITH IN GOD. We claim them in Jeffersons words, Not under the charters of kinds or legislatures, but under the King of Kings. 

—from the first issue

[Jun 2012]

Button Gwinnett plays the title role in this story.   “Button, Button”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Startling Stories, Jan 1953

Harry Smith has an eccentric scientist uncle who needs to make some money from his astonishing invention that can bring one gram of material from the past.

 Do you remember the time a few weeks back when all of upper Manhattan and the Bronx were without electricity for twelve hours because of the damndest overload cut-off in the main power board? I wont say we did that, because I am in no mood to be sued for damages. But I will say this: The electricity went off when my uncle Otton turned the third knob. 

[Jul 1976]

   “Time Bum”
by C.M. Kornbluth
First publication: Fantastic, Jan/Feb 1953

After a con man reads a lurid science fiction magazine, a man who’s quite apparently out-of-time shows up to rent a furnished bungalow from Walter Lacblan.

 Esperanto isnt anywhere. Its an artificial language. I played around with it a little once. It was supposed to end war and all sorts of things. Some people called it the language of the future. 

[May 2015]

   “Who’s Cribbing”
by Jack Lewis
First publication: Startling Stories, Jan 1953

Jack Lewis finds that all his story submissions are being returned to him with accusations of plagiarizing the great, late Todd Thromberry, but Lewis has another explanation.

 Dear Mr. Lewis,
   We think you should consult a psychiatrist.
Sincerely,
Doyle P. Gates
Science Fiction Editor
Deep Space Magazine
 

[Jan 2012]

The story also appeared as the first story in this 1956 collection.   “The Chronoclasm”
by John Wyndham
First publication: Star Science Fiction Stories, Feb 1953

An elderly gentleman implores Gerald Lattery to allow Tavia to return, but the only problem is that Gerald has never (yet) heard of Tavia. Oh, and the gentleman insists on addressing Lattery as Sir Gerald.

 It is concerning Tavia, Sir Gerald—er, Mr. Lattery. I think perhaps you dont understand the degree to which the whole situation is fraught with unpredictable consequences. It is not just my own responsibility, you understand, though that troubles me greatly—it is the results that cannot be forseen. She really must come back before very great harm is done. She must, Mr. Lattery. 

[Nov 2015]

The story also appeared in this 1997 collection.   “Dominoes”
by C.M. Kornbluth
First publication: Star Science Fiction Stories, Feb 1953

Stock broker W.J. Born jumps two years into the future to find out when the big crash is coming.

 A two-year forecast on the market was worth a billion! 

[Apr 2012]

   “A Scent of Sarsaparilla”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: Star Science Fiction Stories, Feb 1953

Mr. William Finch is certain that the nostalgic feeling of cleaning out an attic is more than mere nostalgic, but his wife Cora is is more down-to-Earth.

 Consider an attic. Its very atmosphere is Time. It deals in other years, the cocoons and chrysalises of another age. All the bureau drawers are little coffins where a thousand yesterdays lie in state. Oh, the attics a dark, friendly place, full of Time, and if you stand in the very center of it, straight and tall, squinting your eyes, and thinking and thinking, and smelling the Past, and putting out your hands to feel of Long ago, why, it . . . 

[Jul 2015]

   “The Old Die Rich”
by H.L. Gold
First publication: Galaxy, Mar 1953

Dang those drop-dead beautiful, naked redheads with a gun and a time machine! How did actor Mark Weldon start out investigating the starvation deaths of rich, old vagrants and end up at the wrong end of a derringer being forced into a time machine invented by Miss Robert’s mad scientist father?

 She had the gun in her hand. I went into the mesh cage, not knowing what to expect and yet too afraid of her to refuse. I didn’t want to wind up dead of starvation, no matter how much money she gave me—but I didn”t want to get shot, either. 

[Jan 2012]

   “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]

   “The Time Capsule”
by Otto Binder (as by Eando Binder)
First publication: Science Fiction Plus, Mar 1953

I was surprised when I ran across the first issue of Science Fiction Plus (Mar 1953) and saw Hugo Gernsback, Editor, staring back at me from the top-right corner of the cover. Somehow I assumed that Wonder Stories was his last foray into what he called scientifiction, or even that he’d died when that magazine became Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1936. But, no, here he was again, albeit for only seven issues (Mar-Dec 1953) and with Sam Moskowitz behind the scenes.

That first issue had this Otto Binder story in which a farmer takes two archeologits, Stoddard and Jackson, to a time capsule that’s so unusual it couldn’t possibly have been buried by any known civilization. They take it to the Archeological Institute where their boss instructs them to clean up the outside apparently believing that they’ll stop once it’s clean.

 That thing has been buried for untold centuries perhaps. Millions of days. What would one more day matter? All right, go ahead, you two eager-beavers. But youre getting the dirty work, scraping off that mold. 

[Jul 2015]

   “A Traveler in Time”
aka “Century Jumper”
by Agust Derleth
First publication: Orbit, Mar 1953

Derleth’s newspaper reporter Tex Harrigan had at least one time-travel encounter: a man named Vanderkamp who saw an atomic war thirty years in the future and then considered escaping back to 1650 New Amsterdam. But 1650 has a shrewish woman who reminds him a bit too much of his own shrewish sister, so that’s obviously not an ideal destination. The machine also has a curious effect on aging that Tex never did figure out (and neither did this reader).

 It looked like a top. The first thing I thought of was Brick Bradford, and before I could catch myself, Id asked, “Is that pure Brick Bradford?”
He didnt turn a hair. “Not by a long shot,” he answered. “H. G. Wells was there first. I owe it to Wells.”
 

[Oct 2015]

The Danville, VA, Bee,
26 Mar 1953, announcing the evening’s programs, including
“The Old Die Rich”
   Tales of Tomorrow
hosted by Omentor (aka Raymond E. Johnson)
First time travel: 26 Mar 1953

The radio program spun off from the tv show of the day, but instead of having a deal for stories with the entire SFLA, it exclusively aired stories from Galaxy, including at least one time travel story, H.L. Gold’s “The Old Die Rich” on 26 Mar 1953.

 This is your host, Omentor, saying, “Hello.” Id like to take a little trip to another century, just name your choice: You can go back through the years as far as youd like or forward to the future and visit civilizations as yet unknown. Fantastic? Not if you use the proper vehicle, which in this case is a time machine. Whats that? Where do you find a time machine? Well, I found one in a remarkable story from Galaxy magazine. 

[Jul 2015]

   “Yesterday’s Paper”
by Lyle G. Boyd and William C. Boyd (as by Boyd Ellanby)
First publication: Other Worlds Science Fiction, Jun 1953

Pete Harrison worries that the planned first trip to the moon might not go well, so to ease his mind, he sneaks into the Temporal Research lab for an unauthorized trip to the middle of next month to discern the trip’s outcome. But when he arrives, the only way to safely find out the outcome is to track down yesterday’s newspaper, which proves exceedingly hard.

 After much careful calculation, Peter decided to set the machine to project him to that important Friday at around eleven oclock in the morning. 

[Sep 2015]

   “Infinite Intruder”
by Alan E. Nourse
First publication: Space Science Fiction, Jul 1953

Since the 4-day atomic war of 2078, Roger Strang has been working on the Barrier Project to build an electronic barrier against missles, but now someone is trying to kill his 12-year-old son with attacks that seemingly succeed but don’t, while any records of his own background have been erased, as if he had never even lived, at least not in the 21st century. As a bonus, the story also has a grandfather paradox.

 The theory said that a man returning through time could alter the social and technological trends of the people and times to which he returned, in order to change history that was already past. 

[May 2012]



   “The King’s Wishes”
by Robert Sheckley
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jul 1953

Bob and Janice, co-owners of the Country Department Store, are determined to catch the thief who’s sneaking in to steal appliances every night. Yes, they do capture him; yes, he’s from the past, in fact he’s a ferra (cousins of the jinni); no, I’m not going to tell you why he’s after all those generators, refrigerators, and air conditioners.

By the way, I’d love to know more about the story behind the two different versions of the Emsh cover. The top one has the old F&SF logo, last used on the Sep 1952 issue; the bottom one has the new logo from Oct 1952 forward. Does anyone know the story behind this?

 The ferra of the cup has to be skilled in all branches of demonology. I had just graduated from college—with only passing grades. But of course, I thought I could handle anything. 

[Feb 2016]

   “Minimum Sentence”
by Theodore R. Cogswell
First publication: Galaxy, Aug 1953

Flip Danielson and his partner-in-crime Potsy are facing a minimum of four years hard time for their deeds, so they hijack a spaceship to Alpha Centauri, thinking (as the rest of humanity) that the ship is faster-than-light, but as the buglike Quang Dal keeps telling them, it is a sub-light ship that’s has only a few time conveniences that won’t help the humans shorten the journey at all.

 “Are explaining many times before,” said Quang Dal patiently. “Is no such thing as faster-than-light drive. As your good man Einstein show you long time ago, is theoretical impossibility.” 

[Aug 2015]

   “Never Go Back”
by Charles V. de Vet
First publication: Amazing, Aug/Sep 1953

As his first experiment in time travel, Arthur Meissner visits his own childhood in 1933 with the hope of saving a friend who drowned in the local swimming hole. He seems to aver the friend’s disaster, but he himself no longer exists in 1933, and moreover, he no longer seems to exist even when he returns to his adult time.

By the way, this is another example of a time traveler who arrives naked. I wonder who first penned that now clichéd mode of arrival. Also, the story expresses an early version of the Chronology Protection Principle.

 You see, you yourself are the object in this particular instance, and by going back into time you—the same object—would be occupying two separate units of space at the same time, which is axiomatically impossible. Therefore, nature made its adjustment; the same as it would if an irresible force hit a so-called immovable object. It eliminates one of them. 

[Sep 2015]

   ACE Comics
published by Aaron A. Wyn and Rose Wyn
First time travel: Baffling Mysteries 18, Nov 1953

Ace Comics published a couple dozen anthology comic titles between 1940 and 1956. The only time travel that I’ve spotted so far was in Baffling Mysteries 18.

 I am Chronos, the spirit of time! Do not destroy the sacred sun dial! Come closer and I shall initiate you into the mysteries of time which you pursue so hotly. 

[Jun 2012]

   Black Magic
edited by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon
First time travel: Black Magic 27, Nov 1953

Simon and Kirby put together the Black Magic horror comic for Prize Comics in the fifties, and there was at least one time-travel story, “A Hole in His Head” by none other than an early Steve Ditko. That story was based on a 1951 tv episode of Lights Out (“And Adam Begot”) written by Arch Oboler and taken from the 1939 radio show Arch Obolers Plays.

 Somehow we have stepped out of our own time into another. 

—from “A Hole in His Head”

[Apr 2012]

Radio Times, 5 Dec 1954   Journey into Space
created by Charles Chilton
First time travel: 30 Nov 1953

According to the Operation Luna liner notes, this serial drama program was the last BBC radio broadcast to outdraw the television audience on the same night. The first of the three original series (“Journey to the Moon”) centered on a crew of four, rocketing to the moon in 1965. The first time travel occurs in the 11th episode where they find themselves displaced on Earth by thousands of years. Eventually, they return to their own time.

Almost all of the recordings of that first series were destroyed, but most were rerecorded for a rerun series (renamed “Operation Luna”). Those rerecordings are available on CD along with the non-time-travel second series (“The Red Planet”) and third series (“The World in Peril”).

 And during that period, time for me went backwards. I returned to my childhood. 

[Jun 2015]

   “Hall of Mirrors”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: Galaxy, Dec 1953

You have invented a time machine of sorts that can, at any time, replace yourself with an exact duplicate of your body—and mind—from any time in the past.

 They didnt use that style of furniture in Los Angeles—or anywhere else that you know of—in 1954. That thing over there in the corner—you cant even guess what it is. So might your grandfather, at your age, have looked at a television. 

[Jul 2011]
   “Anachron”
by Damon Knight
First publication: If, Jan 1954

Brother Number One invents a machine that can extract things and place things in elsewhen, but only if the acts don’t interfere with free will; Brother Number Two tries to steal the machine.

 “By God and all the saints,” he said. “Time travel.”
    Harold snorted impatiently. “My dear Peter, ‘time’ is a meaningless word taken by itself, just as ‘space’ is.”
    “But barring that, time travel.”
    “If you like, yes.”
 

[Jul 2011]

   “Experiment”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: Galaxy, Feb 1954

Professor Johnson’s colleagues wonder what would happen if he refuses to send an object back to the past after it has already appeared there.

I haven’t found anything earlier that brings up this question, but although the resolution was clever, it didn’t satisfy me, and (though I could be wrong) I think Brown misses the fact that at one point there should be two copies of the object in existence at the same time. In any case, this was the first part of a pair of short-short stories in the Feb ’54 Galaxy, which together were called Two-Timer (the second of which had no time travel).

 What if, now that it has already appeared five minutes before you place it there, you should change your mind about doing so and not place it there at three o’clock? Wouldn’t there be a paradox of some sort involved? 

[Jan 2012]

   The Haertel Scholium Stories
by James Blish
First story: Galaxy, Feb 1954

Blish’s story “Beep” appeared in 1954 with a casual mention of time-travel when a message is overheard from a future spaceship that’s following a worldline backwards through time. The main story follows video reporter Dana Lje who stumbles upon the newly invented Dirac radio which allows instantaneous communication and, as only she realizes, also carries a record of every transmission ever made, both past and future.

At Larry Shaw’s request, Blish expanded “Beep” into the short novel The Quincunx of Time, and both these stories share a background wherein the work of Dolph Haertel (the next Einstein) provides an ftl-drive (the Haertel Overdrive, later called the Imaginary Drive), an antigravity device (the spindizzy), and an instantaneous communicator (the Dirac Radio). I read many of these in the early ’70s, but can’t find my notes and don’t remember any other time travel beyond that one communiqué that Lje overheard. Still, I’ll list everything in The Haertel Scholium and reread them some day!
  1. Pantropy and Seedling Stars stories (1942-1956) Various publications
  2. Cities in Flight stories (1952-1962) Various publications
  3. Common Time (Jul 1953) in Shadow of Tomorrow
  4. Beep (Feb 1954) Galaxy
  5. Nor Iron Bars (Nov 1957) Infinity
  6. A Case of Conscience (Sep 1953) & novel (1958) If
  7. A Dusk of Idols (Mar 1961) Amazing
  8. Midsummer Century (Apr 1972) & novel (May 1972) F&SF
  9. The Quincunx of Time (Oct 1973) expands “Beep”

 It is instead one of the seven or eight great philosophical questions that remain unanswered, the problem of whether man has or has not free will. 

[circa 1974]

   The Marvelman Family
created by Mick Anglo
First issue: 3 Feb 1954

When Fawcett was forced by legal action to shut down their Captain Marvel franchise, the British publisher L. Miller and Son scrambled to find a replacement for their weekly reprints. The result was a new Marvel family created by Mick Anglo and featuring Marvelman, Young Marvelman, and Kid Marvelman. The first issues were Marvelman 25 and Young Marvelman 25 on 3 Feb 1953 (with the #25 being a continuation of the Captain Marvel numbering).

Marvelman (also called Jack Marvel in Australia, and later renamed Miracleman for a 1980s reboot) counted time travel among his powers, although I don’t know when he or his kin first traveled.

 Ive got it! Ill go to an era back in time where my superior intellect will soon make me master of the universe—and Marvelman cant touch me! 

—the evil Gargunza in the 1959 Marvelman annual (probably a reprint)

[Jul 2015]

   “The Man from Time”
by Frank Belknap Long
First publication: Fantastic Adventures, Mar 1954

Daring Monsson (yes, that’s his name) is one of many travelers in a Time Observatory, but he feels a compelling urge to do more than just observe. So he quickly opens the Observatory’s iris and steps into the 20th century where he can read minds and interact with people in various dramas, but doesn’t know how to speak.

 How incredible that it had taken centuries of patient technological research to master in a practical way the tremendous implications of Einsteins original postulate. Warp space with a rapidly moving object, move away from the observer with the speed of light—and the whole of human history assumed the firm contours of a landscape in space. Time and space merged and became one. 

[Sep 2015]

   “Jon’s World”
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Time to Come, Apr 1954

First the Soviets and the Westerners fought. Then the Westerners brought Schonerman’s killing robots into the mix. Then the robots fought both human sides. You know all that from Dick’s earlier story, “Second Variety.’ But now it’s long after the desolation when Caleb Ryan and his financial backer Kastner intend to go back in time to steal the secret of Schonerman’s artificial brains to make the world a better place for surviving mankind, including Ryan’s visionary son Jon.

 And then the terminators claws began to manufacture their own varieties and attack Soviets and Westerners alike. The only humans that survived were those at the UN base on Luna. 

[Aug 2015]

   “The Immortal Bard”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Universe Science Fiction, May 1954

Dr. Phineas Welch tells an English professor a disturbing story about a matter of temperal transference and a student in the professor’s Shakespeare class.

 I did. I needed someone with a universal mind; someone who knew people well enough to be able to live with them centuries way from his own time. Shakespeare was the man. Ive got his signature. As a memento, you know. 

[Jul 1976]

   “Where the World is Quiet”
by Henry Kuttner (as by C.H. Liddell)
First publication: Fantastic Universe, May 1954

This story appears in an issue of Fantastic Universe with a remarkable lineup including Frank Belknap Long, Philip José Farmer, Jack Williamson, Philip K. Dick, Richard Matheson, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Robert Bloch. As for Kuttner’s contribution, a crippled priest enlists the aid of an adventurous anthropologist, Señor White, to track the fate of seven young girls who disappeared into the Cordilleras of eastern Peru in the direction of the great peak, Hauscan. Do anthropologists know anything about time-slips? (Yes, just a slight time-travel connection.)

 So, even now I do not know all that lay behind the terror in that Peruvian valley. This much I learned: the Other, like Lhar and her robot, had been cast adrift by a time-slip, and thus marooned here. There was no way for it to return to its normal Time-sector. It had created the fog-wall to protect itself from the direct rays of the sun, which threatened its existence. 

[May 2015]



   The Magic Series
by Edward Eager
First book: Half Magic, Jun 1954

In the first book, siblings Jane, Katharine, Mark and Martha find a magic wishing coin in the 1920s. But as wishes wont to be in stories, the wishes don’t work out as planned. This particular magic coin is only half-magic, granting only half of every wish (including time travel wishes), and leaving the children with the amusing challenge of finishing up the other half of the wish on their own. Sometimes it works out when they wish for twice what they want. Other times, not so much.

I’ve read only one of the other six books, The Time Garden, which Janet found for me in the local library.
  1. Half Magic (1954) King Arthur
  2. Knight’s Castle (1956) twelfth century
  3. Magic by the Lake (1957) Ali Baba
  4. The Time Garden (1958) retelling of Half Magic from new POV
  5. Magic or Not? (1959)
  6. The Well-Wishers (1960)
  7. Seven-Day Magic (1962)

 Dont you see? She wished she were home and ended up halfway home! I wished thered be a fire and got a little fire! A childs-size fire! Martha wished Carrie could talk and she can half talk! 

[Mar 2011]

   “Something for Nothing”
by Robert Sheckley
First publication: Galaxy, Jun 1954

A wishing machine (aka Class-A Utilizer, Series AA-1256432) appears in Joe Collins’ bedroom along with a warning that this machine should be used only by Class-A ratings!

 In rapid succession, he asked for five million dollars, three functioning oil wells, a motion-picture studio, perfect health, twenty-five more dancing girls, immortality, a sports car and a herd of pedigreed cattle. 

[Jan 2012]

   “Breakfast at Twilight”
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Amazing, Jul 1954

Tim McLean’s ordinary family awakens on an ordinary day to find themselves in a war zone seven years in the future.

 We fought in Korea. We fought in China. In Germany and Yugoslavia and Iran. It spread, farther and farther. Finally the bombs were falling here. It came like the plague. The war grew. It didn’t begin. 

[Jan 2012]

   “A Thief in Time”
by Robert Sheckley
First publication: Galaxy`o, Jul 1954

Eight years before Professor Thomas Eldridge invents a time machine, a man from the future shows up with two policemen to arrest him for his future crimes. Knowing that he could never be a criminal, Eldridge swipes their time machine and flees to three future times, discovering that he’s wanted in each time for crimes ranging from potato theft to murdering another man’s fiancé
All in all, Sheckley’s story is a perfect example of a causal loop: I knew those potatoes would come in handy and that, given time, the girl would show up safe and sound.

 “We have no lawyers here,” the man replied proudly. “Here we have justice.” 

[Jun 2016]

   “This Is the Way the World Ends”
by H.W. Johnson
First publication: Astounding, Aug 1954

Living in a world threatened by nuclear extinction, seven-year-old Tommy receives the current and future thoughts of animals and people.

 There isnt going to be anything. Its all black after tomorrow. 

[Dec 2012]

   “The Easy Way”
by Oscar A. Boch
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1954

Hal Thomas’s wife thinks that he doesn’t pay enough attention to his children, one of whom is building an antigravity/time machine upstairs and the other of whom doesn’t need the machine to move through space and time.

 Space-time—is cute? 

[Dec 2012]

   “Meddler”
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Future Science Fiction, Oct 1954

A government project sends a Time Dip into the future just to observe whether their actions have turned out well, but subsequent observations show that the act the observing has somehow eliminated mankind, so Hasten (the world’s most competent histo-researcher) must now go forward to find out what caused the lethal factor.

 We sent the Dip on ahead, at fifty year leaps. Nothing. Nothing each time. Cities, roads, buildings, but no human life. Everyone dead. 

[Jan 2012]

   Cave Girl
by Bob Powell
First time travel: Cave Girl 14, Dec 1954

Cave Girl had four issues of jungle adventures (numbers 11 to 14), and the last one had a strange machine that made dead people come to life by sending them into their own past, but keeping them in the present moment. In the end, the machine sends itself into the far past and disappears from the present.

The comic was published by Magazine Enterprises, which published from 1944 to 1958. So far, this Cave Girl is the only time travel I’ve spotted, though I do have one of their Teena issues in my dad’s stash of comics.

 Men in strange garb appear. It seems that they unfasten the machine and take it away. Actually they are setting up the machine, but since time is running backwards—so do they! 

[Jun 2012]
   The End of Eternity
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: 1955

Andrew Harlan, Technician in the everwhen of Eternity, falls in love and starts a chain of events that can mean the end of everything.

 He had boarded the kettle in the 575th Century, the base of operations assigned to him two years earlier. At the time the 575th had been the farthest upwhen he had ever traveled. Now he was moving upwhen to the 2456th Century. 

[Apr 1968]

   “The Past Master”
by Robert Bloch
First publication: Bluebook, Jan 1955

In a United States on the verge of atomic war with the Communists, a handsome, naked man—call him John Smith—walks out of the ocean with a bag full of money and, according to eyewitnesses, a mind to buy the Mona Lisa and a long list of other masterpieces.

 Then he began writing titles. Im afraid I gasped. “Really,” I said. “You cant actually expect to buy the ‘Mona Lisa’!” 

[Feb 2015]

   “Blood”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Feb 1955

A cute joke story about the last two vampires on Earth who flee into the future to escape persecution and simply search for a filling meal.

 I, a member of the dominant race, was once what you called . . . 

[Jul 2013]

   “The Dragon”
by Ray Bradbury
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mar 1955

On a dark night on a moor, 900 years after the nativity, two knights face down a steaming behemoth.

 It was a fog inside of a mist inside of a darkness, and this place was no mans place and there was no year or hour at all, but only these men in a faceless emptiness of sudden frost, storm, and white thunder which moved behind the great falling pane of green glass that was the lightning. 

[Dec 2013]

   “Project Mastodon”
by Clifford D. Simak
First publication: Galaxy, Mar 1955

Wes Adams, Johnny Cooper and Chuck Hudson (chums since boyhood) build a time machine and proceed to do exactly what you or I would do: Go back 150,000 years, found the new Republic of Mastodonia somewhere in pre-Wisconsin, and seek diplomatic recognition from the United States of America.

 If you guys ever travel in time, you’ll run up against more than you bargain for. I don’t mean the climate or the terrain or the fauna, but the economics and the politics. 

[Jan 2012]

   “Target One”
by Frederik Pohl
First publication: Galaxy, Apr 1955

Thirty-five years after the death of Albert Einstein, atomic bombs have left 2 billion corpses; the bombs came from Einstein’s formulae; so what is it we need?

I had the good fortune to meet Fred Pohl in July of 2003 at Jim Gunn's workshop in Manhattan, Kansas. On a warm day outside the student union building, he kindly sat and talked to me about the background for a story I was writing about him and Asimov.

 Quite simply, it is the murder of Albert Einstein. 

[Feb 2012]

   Science Fiction Theater
aka Beyond the Limits
created by Ivan Tors
First time travel: 15 Apr 1955

I’ve seen only the second episode, “Time Is Just a Place” (in color!), in which a happy 1950s couple (one of whom is Mr. B from Hazel—did she ever time travel?) get new neighbors who have escaped from the future. The episode was based on the 1951 Jack Finney story, “Such Interesting Neighbors.”

 Nothing to get excited about. Any housewife could use one. 

—the interesting neighbor talking about his sonic broom

[Sep 2011]



   Adventures of Superman
created by Whitney Ellsworth and Robert J. Maxwell
First time travel: 23 Apr 1955

In the first episode of Season 3, “Through the Time Barrier” (23 Mar 1955), Professor Twiddle’s time machine takes the staff of the Daily Planet back to prehistoric times. I don’t know whether there was any other time travel.

 Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look—up in the sky! Its a bird! Its a plane! Its Superman!
Yes, its Superman, strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who—disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannored reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper—fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!
 

[circa 1966]

   “Sam, This Is You”
by Murray Leinster
First publication: Galaxy, May 1955

While up on a pole, lineman Sam Yoder gets a call from his future self who proceeds to tell him exactly what to do, even if is suspiciously criminal and it makes his girl, Rosie, furious.

 Youve heard of time-traveling. Well, this is time-talking. Youre talking to yourself—thats me—and Im talking to myself—thats you—and it looks like weve got a mighty good chance to get rich. 

[Jun 2012]





   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]

   “Service Call”
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Science Fiction Stories, Jul 1955

It the midst of McCarthyism, Dick wrote this story about an accidental travel through time to the 1950s by a swibble repairman, whereupon Mr. Courtland and his colleagues pry information out of the repairman about exactly what a swibble is and how it has stopped all war.

 —remember the swibble slogan: Why be half loyal? 

[Jan 2012]

   Time Bomb
by Wilson Tucker
First publication: Aug 1955

As Illinois police Lieutenant Danforth investigates a series of politically motivated deadly bombings, he realizes that the mythical Gilgamesh himself may be involved as well as a bomb-delivering time machine from the future.

Unlike Tucker’s earlier Gilgamesh book, The Time Masters, this one really does have a time machine.

 A loose-knit but fanatical political party is driving for control of the nation. This November they may have it. Meanshile one or more equally fanatical parties are seeking a practical time machine. 

[Jul 2016]

   “First Time Machine”
by Fredric Brown
First publication: Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Sep 1955

A short-short, 1950s version of the grandfather paradox with a resolution that’s not quite satisfying (branching universes, I think, but it’s unclear). The cover of the 1958 paperback is by Hieronymus Bosch (Grzegorz’s favorite painter) with an owl in the background (Grzegorz’s favorite bird)!

 What would have happened if youd rushed to the door and kicked yourself in the seat of the pants? 

[Aug 2011]

   “The Discovery of Morniel Mathaway”
by William Tenn
First publication: Galaxy, Oct 1955

An art critic from the 25th century visits struggling poet David Dantziger and his totally unappreciated painter friend Morniel Mathaway.

 So we indulged in the twentieth-century custon of shaking hands with him. First Morniel, then me—and both very gingerly. Mr. Glescu shook hands with a peculiar awkwardness that made me think of the way an Iowan farmer might eat with chopsticks for the first time. 

[Apr 2012]

   Casper, the Friendly Ghost
created by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo
First time travel: 21 Oct 1955

Every Casper cartoon had the same plot, including at least one (“Red, White and Boo”) from 1955 where Casper wonders whether people in the past will also be scared of him, so he uses a time machine to visit a caveman, Robert Fulton, Paul Revere, General Washington and a Revolutionary War battle.

 Gee, maybe people in the past wont be scared of me. 

[circa 1960]

   “Psi-Man Heal My Child!”
aka Psi-Man
by Philip K. Dick
First publication: Imaginative Tales, Nov 1955

In a post nuclear apocalypse world, a small group of Psionic people use their powers to help survivors while Jack repeatedly travels back in time to try to stop a general from taking a firm stand against the Russians.

Unfortunately, for me, the unexplained time-travel paradoxes in the ending lowered my enjoyment, even though it was no worse than the inexplicable paradoxes in so many other stories.

 Eleven times and always the same. 

[Aug 2015]

   X Minus One
by Ernest Kinoy, George Lefferts, et. al.
First time travel: 14 Dec 1955

When Dimension X was canceled in 1951, I wonder whether radio listeners felt like future trekkies. If so, they had to wait less than four years for a revival of sorts with the first 15 episodes of X Minus One being new versions of old DX shows. Those were followed by more than 100 new episodes, many of which were taken from contemporary Galaxy stories and some of which took us through time.
  1. To the Future (14 Dec 1955) from war in 2155 to peaceful 1950s
  2. Time and Time Again (11 Jan 1956) dying soldier to his childhood
  3. A Gun for Dinosaur (7 Mar 1956) hunting in the late Mesozoic
  4. Project Mastodon (5 Jun 1956) to the Republic of Mastodonia, 150,000 BC
  5. The Old Die Rich (17 Jul 1956) slueth forced into time machine
  6. Sam, This Is You (31 Oct 1956) phone call from future
  7. Something for Nothing (10 Apr 1957) a wishing machine from future
  8. Morniel Mathaway (17 Apr 1957) art critic from the 25th century
  9. Target One (26 Dec 1956) back to kill Einstein to stop Armageddon

 These are stories of the future, adventures in which you’ll live in a million could-be years on a thousand maybe worlds. The National Broadcasting Company in cooperation with Galaxy Science Fiction magazine presents . . . X‑x‑x‑x‑x . . . Minus‑minus‑minus‑minus‑minus . . . One‑one‑one‑one‑one . . . 

[Jan 2012]
   “Consider Her Ways”
by John Wyndham
First publication: Sometime, Never, 1956

An amnesiac woman, Jane Waterleigh, awakens in an all-female future world with four castes (mothers, doctors, servants and workers), and she can only assume she’s in a dream or hallucination where she finds herself in an enormous body whom the doctors and servants call “Mother Orchis.”

 Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways. 

[Jan 2013]

   “The Futile Flight of John Arthur Benn”
by Richard Wilson (as by Edward Halibut)
First publication: Infinity Science Fiction, Feb 1956

A man with a death wish wishes himself back in time.

 Now, he thought, what? This was scarcely dinosaur country. 

[Jul 2013]

   “The Message”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Feb 1956

Time traveler and historian George tries to travel back to World War II without making any changes to the world.

 George was deliriously happy. Two years of red tape and now he was finally back in the past. Now he could complete his paper on the social life of the foot soldier of World War II with some authentic details. 

[Jul 1976]





   The Reggie Rivers Stories
by L. Sprague de Camp
First story: Galaxy, Mar 1956

Dinosaur hunters Reggie Rivers (no relation to the Denver Bronco) and his partner, the Raja, organize time-travel expeditions in a world with a Hawking-style chronological protection principle. The last of these stories is by Chris Bunch:
  1. A Gun for Dinosaur (Mar 1956) Galaxy
  2. The Big Splash (Jun 1992) Asimovs
  3. The Synthetic Barbarian (Sep 1992) Asimovs
  4. Crocamander Quest (Oct 1992) The Ultimate Dinosaur
  5. The Satanic Illusion (Nov 1992) Asimovs
  6. The Cayuse (Jan 1993) Expanse
  7. Pliocene Romance (Jan 1993) Analog
  8. The Mislaid Mastodon (May 1993) Analog
  9. Miocene Romance (Nov 1993) Rivers of Time
  10. Rivers of Time (Nov 1993) Rivers of Time
  11. The Honeymood Dragon (Nov 1993)    Rivers of Time
  12. Gun, Not for Dinosaur (Nov 1993) Rivers of Time

 Oh, Im no four-dimensional thinker; but, as I understand it, if people could go back to a more recent time, their actions would affect our own history, which would be a paradox or contradiction of facts. Cant have that in a well-run universe, you know. 

—from “A Gun for Dinosaur”

[Nov 1995]

   “Second Chance”
by Jack Finney
First publication: Good Housekeeping, Apr 1956

A college student lovingly restores a 1923 Jordan Playboy roadster—a restoration that takes him back in time.

 You cant drive into 1923 in a Jordan Playboy, along a four-lane superhighway; there are no superhighways in 1923. 

[Mar 2005]

   “The Failed Men”
by Brian Aldiss
First publication: Science Fantasy, May 1956

Surry Edmark, a 24th century volunteer on a humanitarian mission to save mankind from extinction some 360,000 centuries in the future, tells his story to a comforting young Chinese woman.

 You are the struback. 

[Apr 2014]

   Through Time and Space with
Ferdinand Feghoot

by Grendel Briarton (aka Reginald Bretnor)
First story: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1956

Under the anagramatic name Grendel Briarton, Reginald Bretnor began a series of pun-terminated short, short stories in the May 1956 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, some of which included time travel. Among others, they were a hit with Asimov both imitated and republished them in “Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine in the 1970s, and they also appeared in various other magazines. In fact, they were such a hit that any story-pun now goes by the generic name of a feghoot. But despite enjoying unforced puns, for me this kind of story is like a cross between that guy who built the Ark and the yellow part of a banana.

 “Marsh in flying sauce oars,” said Ferdinand Feghoot. 

Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot LXIII

[Sep 2015]

   “In the Cards”
by Alan Cogan
First publication: Galaxy, Jun 1956

Newlyweds Gerry and Marge are brought to the verge of divorce by a troublesome machine that shows the future without fail. That machine—the Grundy Projector—causes numerous problems in society, although (as we all know), viewing the future is not time travel. In this story, however, the solution to the Grundy problems does include a dose of real traveling.

 Its no different than reading a story and then having to relive the whole thing, anticipating each action and bit of dialogue. 

[Sep 2015]

   “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]

   “Absolutely Inflexible”
by Robert Silverberg
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Jul 1956

Whenever one-way jumpers from the past show up, it’s up to Mahler to shuffle them off to the moon where they won’t present any danger of infection to the rest of humanity, but now Mahler is faced with a two-way jumper.

 Even a cold, a common cold, would wipe out millions now. Resistance to disease has simply vanished over the past two centuries; it isnt needed, with all diseases conquered. But you time-travelers show up loaded with potentialities for all the diseases the world used to have. And we cant risk having you stay here with them. 

[Apr 2012]

Classics Illustrated 133

Pendulum Press (1971)
   Classics Illustrated’s The Time Machine
adapted by Lou Cameron (art), Lorenz Graham (story) and George Wilson (cover)
First publication: Classics Illustrated 133, Jul 1956

This first comic book adaptation appeared in the month of my birth. Of course, as a self-respecting child of the ’50s and ’60s, I was never seen reading Classics Illustrated in public. Fortuntately, adults everywhere can now read the classic comic online.

A black and white version was reprinted in 1971 by Pendulum Press as a precursor to their original Pedulum Classics series.

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


   “Compounded Interest”
by Mack Reynolds
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aug 1956

“Mr. Smith” shows up in 1300 A.D. to invest ten gold coins at 10% annual interest with Sior Marin Goldini’s firm, after which he shows up every 100 years to provide guidance.

 In one hundred years, at ten per cent compounded annually, your gold would be worth better than 700,000 zecchini. 

[Dec 2013]

   “The Celebrated No-Hit Inning”
by Frederik Pohl
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Sep 1956

If pitcher and star hitter Boley—the league’s best player and certainly on par with Snider, Mays and Mantle—has any weakness, it is a lack of modesty, but the team owner’s uncle has a plan to address that involving the future of baseball.

 Dont you see? Hes chasing the outfield off the field. He wants to face the next two men without any outfield! Thats Satchell Paiges old trick, only he never did it except in exhibitions where who cares? But that Boley— 

[Jul 2015]

   The Door Into Summer
by Robert A. Heinlein
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct-Dec 1956

Inventor Dan Davis falls into bad company and wakes up 30 years later, but he gets an idea of how to put things right even at this late point.

 Denver in 1970 was a very quaint place with a fine old-fashioned flavor; I became very fond of it. It was nothing like the slick New Plan maze it had been (or would be) when I had arrived (or would arrive) there from Yuma; it still had less than two million people, there were still buses and other vehicular traffic in the streets—there were still streets; I had no trouble finding Colfax Avenue. 

[Aug 1968]

   “George All the Way”
by Richard Wilson
First publication: Galaxy, Oct 1956

Because of his sizeable donation to the time travel project in 1977, playboy Bill Marcer is one of the first to climb in the machine that’s supposed to take him to a fanciful 2177. Upon arrival, those who greet him have thoughtfully studied up on twentieth century slang, and women are paraded before him like commodities.

 “Then everythings jake,” he said with a visible return of his assurance. “Weve straightened up and are flying right. Ishkabibble?” 

[Sep 2015]

   “Hopper”
by Robert Silverberg
First publication: Infinity Science Fiction, Oct 1956

I haven’t yet read this short story that Silverberg expanded to a novel in 1967, though perhaps some day I will spot the Ace Double paperback that packaged it along with four other stories and the short novel, The Seed of Earth.

The story also appeared in this 1957 anthology.   “The Man Who Liked Lions”
by John Bernard Daley
First publication: Infinity Science Fiction, Oct 1956

At a zoo, a Nobel time traveler (and mind manipulator) who hunted mankind’s ancestors and communes well with lions tries to evade capture by another Nobel and a Scientist who disapprove of the rift in time that the hunter created.

 “Lions seldom eat people,” said Mr. Kemper. 

[Sep 2015]

   The Stars My Destination
by Alfred Bestor
First publication: Galaxy, Oct 1956—Jan 1957

Even before I found Asimov and Heinlein and other books with space ships on the spine in the local library, I stole this paperback from my dad’s shelf aroudn 1964. As you can see from the picture, it had an irresistible cover (yes, that’s the stolen copy).

For the most part, Bestor’s story has jaunting (teleportation through space) with no time travel, which is enough to cause plenty of excitement for Gully Foyle (aka Geoffrey Fourmyle) as he jaunts around the war-torn solar system, seeking revenge on various space merchants. But at one climactic point, he also manages a jaunt through time.

 And then he was tumbling down, down, down the space-time lines, back into the dreadful pit of Now. 

[Jul 1963]

   “Gimmicks Three”
aka “The Brazen Locked Room”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Nov 1956

Isidore Wellby makes a timely pact with the devil’s demon.

 Ten years of anything you want, within reason, and then youre a demon. Youre one of us, with a new name of demonic potency, and many privileges beside. Youll hardly know youre damned. 

[Jul 1976]

   “The Hohokam Dig”
by Theodore Pratt
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Nov 1956

George Arthbut and Sidney Hunt plan to spend their summer at an archeology dig to settle once and for all why the prehistoric Hohokam abandoned their villages, but wouldn’t it be nice if they could talk directly to the ancient people?

 “Theres a few questions Id like to ask them,” said George. “I certainly wish we had some to talk with.” 

[Sep 2015]

This story also appeared in this 1966 collection.   “Of Time and Texas”
by William F. Nolan
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Nov 1956

Professor C. Cydwick Ohms has a way of solving the world’s population problem by opening a one-way time door to the wide-open spaces of 1957 Texas.

 And now—good-bye, gentlemen. Or, to use the proper colloquialism—so long, hombres! 

[Sep 2015]

   “It Ends with a Flicker”
by William Tenn
First publication: Galaxy, Dec 1956

Max AlbenMac Albin is genetically predisposed to survive time travel, so he is the natural choice to go back in time and shift the course of a missle that shifted the course of history.

 Now! Now to make a halfway decent world! Max Alben pulled the little red switch toward him.

flick!

Now! Now to make a halfway interesting world! Mac Albin pulled the little red switch toward him.
flick!
 
[Apr 2012]

   “The Sons of Japheth”
by Richard Wilson
First publication: Infinity Science Fiction, Dec 1956

When all Earth is destroyed in World War V, only bomber pilot Ray Vanjan and scientist Dr. Garfield Gar remain in outer space, so Gar sends Vanjan back to nip mankind in the bud at the time Noah and his family emerged from the Ark.

 “I want you to strafe the Ark, exercising car not to hurt any of the animals,” said old Dr. Garfield Gar. 

[Sep 2015]
   Dzienniki gwiazdowe
English title: The Star Diaries (translated from Polish)
by Stanisław Lem
First story: the 7th and 20th voyages, 1957

Lem’s space traveler extraordinaire Ijon Tichy also voyaged through time in his seventh voyage (where he met multiple copies of himself in a plethora of time vortices) and in his twentieth voyage (where a single, annoying future self fasttalks the younger Tichy into undertaking a little engineering to rectify the messier parts of humanity’s history). Both voyages were first collected in the 1957 Tichy collection, Dzienniki gwiazdowe.

 If youd stop a moment and think, youd figure all that out for yourself. Im later than you, so I must remember what I thought—that is, what you thought since I am you only from the future. 

—the Twentieth Voyage

[Feb 2016]

   “The Last Word”
by Damon Knight
First publication: Satellite Science Fiction, Feb 1957

A fallen angel, who himself cannot undo time, pushes mankind to the brink of extinction.

 Cowardice again—that man did not want to argue about the boundaries with his neighbors muscular cousin. Another lucky accident, and there you are. Geometry. 

[Jun 2015]

   “Blank!”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Infinity Science Fiction, Jun 1957

Dr. Edward Barron has a theory that time is arranged like a series of particles that can be traveled up or down; his colleague and hesitant collaborator August Pointdexter isn’t so sure about the application of the theory to reality.

 An elevator doesnt involve paradoxes. You cant move from the fifth floor to the fourth and kill your grandfather as a child. 

[Jul 1976]

   “The Assassin”
by Robert Silverberg
First publication: Imaginative Tales, Jul 1957

Walter Bigelow has spent 20 years of his life building the Time Distorter that will allow him to go back to save Abraham Lincoln.

 The day passed. President Lincoln was to attend the Ford Theatre that night, to see a production of a play called “Our American Cousin.” 

[Apr 2014]

   “A Loint of Paw”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aug 1957

Master criminal Montie Stein has found a way around the statute of limitations.

 It introduced law to the fourth dimension. 

[Jul 1976]

   CBS Radio Workshop
produced by William N. Robson and William Froug
First time travel: 15 Sep 1957

Perhaps it was Finney’s success in the 50s that encouraged the experimental CBS Radio Workshop to air their only time-travel fantasy in their penultimate episode, “Time Found Again” from a 1935 Mildrem Cram story. Earlier in the series, they did other science fiction including a musical version of Heinlein’s “The Green Hills of Earth,” Pohl and Kornbluth’s The Space Merchants, Huxley’s Brave New World, two Bradbury character sketches, and more.

 Bart: Do you think it’s possible for a person to go back in time?
George: Well, you know there is a theory that nothing is lost, nothing is destroyed.
Bart: Then you do believe it’s possible?
George: Anything is possible, Bart, to a degree. Science has proved that. It’s conceivable, with concentration and imagination, that a person might, for a moment, escape from the present into the past. 

—from “Time Found Again”

[Jan 2012]

   “A Gun for Grandfather”
by F.M. Busby
First publication: Future Science Fiction, Fall 1957

The para doesn’t quite dox for me, but the story is still enjoyable as Busby’s first publication.

 I’m not kidding you at all,” Barney insisted. “I have produced a workable Time Machine, and I am going to use it to go back and kill my grandfather. 

[Jun 2011]

   “Double Indemnity”
by Robert Sheckley
First publication: Galaxy, Oct 1957

Everett Barhold, sales manager for the Alpro Manufacturing Company (Toys for All the Ages) has plans to make a fortune in the time traveling business, but not in the usual way. He and his wife have hatched a plan to swindle the Inter-Temporal Insurance Company by taking advantage of the rarely used double indemnity clause.

 Everett Barhold didn’t take out a life insurance policy casually. First he read up on the subject, with special attention to Breach of Contract, Willful Deceit, Temporal Fraud, and Payment. 

[Jun 2016]

   “Soldier from the Future”
aka “Soldier”
by Harlan Ellison
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Oct 1957

Qarlo Clobregnny (aka pryt sizfifwunohtootoonyn), psychologically and physically conditioned as a foot soldier from the moment of birth, is transported from the time of Great War VII to a 1950s subway platform where he and his story eventually become a force in an unexpected direction.

A few years later, the story was the basis of an Outer Limits episode.

 No matter how violent, how involved, how pushbutton-ridden Wars became, it always simmered down to the man on foot. It had to, for men fought men still. 

[Feb 2016]

   “Sanctuary”
by William Tenn
First publication: Galaxy, Dec 1957

Henry Hancock Groppus seeks sanctuary from the Ambassador from the Next Century after he is condemned to death for proposing and practicing genetic selective breeding to solve the problems of the Uterine Plague.

 “The point being,” said the Secretary of State, “that most social values are conditioned by the time, place and prevailing political climate. Is that what you mean by perspective? 

[Apr 2012]

   “Time Out for Tomorrow”
by Richard Wilson
First publication: Science Fantasy, Dec 1957

Darius Dave, chairman of the Omega Science Fiction Club, brings his great grandson from the year 2017 to address the club. Most of the club members think the time traveler is just a gag, but artist Jennie Rhine has golddigging designs on Darius’s descendant.

 Even as he spoke, there was a shimmering in the air next to him and a whining hum. The shimmering became the outline of a man—a tall man wearing silvery shorts and some sort of metalic hardness over his bronzed skin, with a heavy cloak thrown back from the shoulders. 

[Sep 2015]
   The Lincoln Hunters
by Wilson Tucker
First publication: 1958

When a time travel novel brags the title The Lincoln Hunters, you more-or-less expect a mad race to stop John Wilkes Booth, but Tucker’s book instead focuses on Benjamin Steward, an agent of Time Researchers who is pegged to lead a team from the year 2578 back to 1856 Bloomington, Illinois, where they plan to record Lincoln’s lost speech condemning slavery.

 Full of fire and energy and force; it was logic; it was pathos; it was enthusiasm; it was justice, equity, truth and right, the good set ablaze by the divine fires of a soul maddened by the wrong; it was hard, heavy, knotty, gnarled, edged and heated, backed with wrath. 

[Aug 2016]

   The Time Traders Series
by Andre Norton
First book: 1958

Young Ross Murdoch, on the streets and getting by with petty crime and quick feet, gets nabbed and sent to a secret project near the north pole.
  1. The Time Traders (1958) Ross joins the project
  2. Galactic Derelict (1959) prehistoric alien wreck
  3. The Defiant Agents (Feb 1962) more Russians and aliens
  4. Key Out of Time (Mar 1963) on the planet Hawaika
  5. Firehand, with P.M. Griffin (Jun 1964) vs murderous aliens
  6. Echoes in Time, with Sherwood Smith (Nov 1999) alien Rosetta stone
  7. Atlantis Endgame, with Sherwood Smith (Nov 2002) back to Atlantis

 So they have not briefed you? Well, a run is a little jaunt back into history—not nice comfortable history such as you learned out of a book when you were a little kid. No, you are dropped back into some savage time before history— 

[Mar 2014]

   Tom’s Midnight Garden
by Philippa Pearce
First publication: 1958

When young Tom is sent to live in a flat with his aunt and uncle, all he longs for is a garden to play in; when he finds it during midnight wanderings, it takes him a few nights to realize that the garden and his playmate Hattie are from the previous century.

 Town gardens are small, as a rule, and the Longs’ garden was no exception to the rule; there was a vegetable plot and a grass plot and one flower-bed and a rough patch by the back fence. 

[Mar 2011]

   Wards Presents Magical Shoes
First publication: circa 1958

Of course, Montgomery Ward wants every kid to want their shoes, so what better way than to have a giveaway comic book advertisement in which young Billy and Milly realize that their Montgomery Ward shoes were special indeed!

 Milly: Theyre like seven-league boots!
Billy: Even better! Were covering a hundred miles at a step and were going back through history, too! These Ward shoes must have magical powers! 

[Jul 2012]



Host John W. Campbell, Jr., by Frank Kelly Freas
   Exploring Tomorrow
hosted by John W. Campbell, Jr.
First time travel: 29 Jan 1958

From Dec 1957 to Jun 1958, John W. Campbell himself hosted this radio series for the Mutual Broadcasting System. Many episodes were written by John Flemming, and although there was no official connection between the show and Campbell’s Astounding, many other scripts were by Campbell’s stable of writers including Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Gordon R. Dickson, Murry Leinster, Robert Silverberg and George O. Smith (“Time Traveler”). There were at least three time-travel episodes.
  1. Flashback (1/29/58) new father flashes forward to war
  2. Time Traveler, aka Meddler’s Moon (5/21/58)    50 years back to grandparents
  3. The Adventure of the Beauty Queen (6/25/58) love from the future

 Youve got a son to take care of you in your old age, Mr. Thompson. 

—from “Flashback”

[Mar 2012]

   “Aristotle and the Gun”
by L. Sprague de Camp
First publication: Astounding, Feb 1958

When Sherman Weaver’s time machine project is abruptly canceled, he takes matters into his own hands, visiting Aristotle with the plan to ensure that the philosopher takes the scientific method to heart so strongly that the dark ages will never come and science will progress to a point where it appreciates Sherman’s particular genius.

 Like his colleagues, Aristotle never appreciated the need for constant verification. Thus, though he was married twice, he said that men have more teeth than women. He never thought to ask either of his wives to open her mouth for a count. 

[May 2012]

   “Time Travel Inc.”
by Robert F. Young
First publication: Super-Science Fiction, Feb 1958

I found this in one of three old sf magazines that I traded for at Denver’s own West Side Books. (Thank you, Lois.) Both the title and the table-of-contents blurb (They wanted to witness the Cruxifiction) foreshadow Moorcock’s “Behold the Man,” although the story is not as vivid.

 Oh . . . The Cruxifiction. You want to witness it, of course— 

[Apr 2014]





   The Changewar Stories
by Fritz Leiber
First story: Astounding, Mar 1958

Two groups, the Snakes and the Spiders, battle each other for the control of all time. At least one other story (“When the Change-Winds Blow”) has appeared in the Change War collections with no snakes or spiders, but it may be in the Change War universe nonetheless.
  1. Try and Change the Past (Mar 1958) Astounding
  2. The Big Time (Mar and Apr 1958) Galaxy
  3. Damnation Morning (Aug 1959) Fantastic
  4. The Oldest Soldier (May 1960) F&SF
  5. No Great Magic (Dec 1963) Galaxy
  6. When the Change-Winds Blow (Aug 1964) F&SF
  7. Knight’s Move, aka Knight to Move (Dec 1965) Broadside

    These might be Changewar, but with no time travel:
  8. A Deskful of Girls (Apr 1958) F&SF
  9. The Number of the Beast (Dec 1958) Galaxy
  10. The Haunted Future, aka Tranquility, or Else! (Nov 1959)    Fantastic
  11. The Mind Spider (Nov 1959) Fantastic
  12. When the Change-Winds Blow (Aug 1964) F&SF
  13. Black Corridor (Dec 1967) Galaxy

 Change one event in the past and you get a brand new future? Erase the conquests of Alexander by nudging a Neolithic pebble? Extirpate America by pulling up a shoot of Sumerian grain? Brother, that isnt the way it works at all! The space-time continuums built of stubborn stuff and change is anything but a chain-reaction. 

—“Try and Change the Past”

[Apr 2012]

   “Poor Little Warrior!”
by Brian Aldiss
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Apr 1958

You are reading an artsy story, told in the second-person, about a time traveler from AD 2181 who hunts a brontosaurus.

 Time for listening to the oracle is past; youre beyond the stage for omens, youre now headed in for the kill, yours or his; superstition has had its little day for today; from now on, only this windy nerve of yours, thius shakey conglomeration of muscle entangled untraceably beneath the sweat-shiny carapice of skin, this bloody little urge to slay the dragon, is going to answer all your orisons. 

[Dec 2013]

   “Two Dooms”
by C.M. Kornbluth
First publication: Venture Science Fiction, Jul 1958

Young Dr. Edward Royland, a physicist at Los Alamos in 1945, travels via a Hopi God Food to the early 22nd century to see what a world ruled by the Axis powers will be like—and quite possibly setting off a seemingly endless sequence of alternate WWII stories such as The Man in the High Castle, most of which, sadly, do not include time travel.

I liked Kornbluth’s description of the differential analyzer as well as the cadre of office girls solving differential equations by brute force of adding machines.

 Instead of a decent differential analyzer machine they had a human sea of office girls with Burroughs desk calculators; the girls screamed “Banzai!” and charged on differential equations and swamped them by sheer volume; they clicked them to death with their little adding machines. Royland thought hungrily of Conants huge, beautiful analog differentiator up at M.I.T.; it was probably tied up by whatever the mysterious “Radiation Laboratory” there was doing. Royland suspected that the “Radiation Laboratory” had as much to do with radiation as his own “Manhattan Engineer District” had to do with Manhattan engineering. And the world was supposed to be trembling on the edge these days of a New Dispensation of Computing that would obsolete even the M.I.T. machine—tubes, relays, and binary arithmetic at blinding speed instead of the suavely turning cams and the smoothly extruding rods and the elegant scribed curves of Conants masterpiece. He decided that he would like it even less than he liked the little office girls clacking away, pushing lank hair from their dewed brows with undistracted hands. 

[May 2015]

   “The Amazing Mrs. Mimms”
by David C. Knight
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Aug 1958

The Amazing Althea Mimms is an operative for the time-traveling nonprofit agency Destinyworkers, Inc. This time (the only time actually recorded in a story as far as I could determine), she’s tasked with sowing domestic harmony in a 1950s apartment building in New York City. Its neverending, hard work, but at least there’s the compensation of 20th-century tea when she has enough energy left to make it.

 There was a muffled rushing noise and the faintly acrid smell of ion electrodes as the Time Translator deposited Mrs. Mimms back into the year 1958. Being used to such journeys, she looked calmly about with quick gray eyes, making little flicking gestures with her hands as if brushing the stray minutes and seconds from her plain brown coat. 

[Oct 2015]

   “Thing of Beauty”
by Damon Knight
First publication: Galaxy, Sep 1958

After a time-slip, con artist Gordon Fish receives nine packages containing a machine that makes magnificent drawings, but the instructions are in some unknown language.

 There was a time slip in Southern California at about one in the afternoon. Mr. Gordon Fish thought it was an earthquake. 

[Jun 2015]

The story also appeared in this 1959 collection.   “The Ugly Little Boy”
aka “Lastborn”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Galaxy, Sep 1958

Edith Fellowes is hired to look after young Timmie, a Neanderthal boy brought from the past, but never able to leave the time statis bubble where he lives.

 He was a very ugly little boy and Edith Fellowes loved him dearly. 

[Mar 1976]

   “The Men Who Murdered Mohammed”
by Alfred Bester
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct 1958

When Professor Henry Hassel discovers his wife in the arms of another man, he does what any mad scientist would do: build a time machine to go back and kill his wife’s grandfather. He has no trouble changing the past, but any effect on the present seems rather harder to achieve.

 “While I was backing up, I inadvertently trampled and killed a small Pleistocene insect.”
   “Aha!” said Hassel.
   “I was terrified by the indicent. I had visions of returning to my world to find it completely changed as a result of this single death. Imagine my surprise when I returned to my world to find that nothing had changed!”
 

[Apr 2012]

   “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 Time Element
by Rod Serling
First aired: 24 Nov 1958 (on Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse)

Serling wrote this one-hour time-travel episode as a pilot for a one-hour anthology show, but after it was filmed, Willaim Dozier at CBS requested a change to a half-hour format. So, “The Time Element” was shelved while Serling worked on a new pilot (which also had a stormy history). Meanwhile, Bert Granet, producer of the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, caught wind of the original Serling pilot and quickly snapped up the production for which he had to then fight hard with the Westinghouse bigwigs in order to air.

The story involves a time traveler, Pete Jensen, who couldn’t stop the attack on Pearl Harbor, but he certainly made his mark as the Twilight Zone precursor.

 I have information that the Japanese are gonna bomb Pearl Harbor tomorrow morning at approximately 8am Honolulu time. 

[Dec 2010]
an earlier volume of the annual anthology where Jackson’s story appeared   “Millennium”
by Ruth Jackson
First publication: Anthology of Best Short Short Stories, Volume 7, 1959

While on a walk a few days before Christmas, Bill Ebberly has a dizzy spell and momentarily finds himself millennia in the future where he learns that the world has outgrown the need for hospitals and police.

Parts of this story had the tenor of a Jack Finney story, but the characters and plot did not generate the interest that Finney’s can.

 You know, you have touched upon a train of thought that has always interested me—our sense of time. Time, as we know it, is only an objective concept, like a sense of color. We here upon this earth are moving upon a plane and recognize as really existing only the small circle lighted by our consciousness, one meridian. That which is behind has disappeared and that which is ahead has not yet appeared, so we say that they do not exist. 

[Mar 2016]

The story also appeared in the Aug 1964 Venture.   “Snitkin’s Law”
by Eleazar Lipsky
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fegb 1959

Lipsky, himself a lawyer, tells the story of Lester Snitkin, an untrustworthy, small-time lawyer who is whisked into the Unimaginable Future to save mankind from the perfect justice meted out by the Justice Machine.

 According to the Theory of Improbability, all moral qualities can be suitably quantified under the so-called Lenin-Stalin-Khrushchev Transformation Equations. By these fruitful formulations, it was discovered early in the twentieth century that everything can be taken to mean anything else provided that the number field be restricted to the transcendentals. 

[Jul 2016]

   “A Statue for Father”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: Satellite Science Fiction, Feb 1959

A wealthy man’s father was a time-travel researcher who died some years ago, but not before leaving a legacy for all mankind.

 Theyve put up statues to him, too. The oldest is on the hillside right here where the discovery was made. You can just see it out the window. Yes. Can you make out the inscription? Well, were standing at a bad angle. No matter. 

[Dec 2009]

The story also appeared in this 2003 collection.   “The Willow Tree”
by Jane Rice
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Feb 1959

By my count, this is the fifth time travel story in the February 1959 issue of F&SF, which is a record. Maybe they were anticipating the release of The Time Machine in the subsequent year.

In this story, four orphans are sent to live in the past with the rather odd Aunt Martha and the slightly less odd Aunt Harriet, who together give the children only one commandment: Never play under the willow tree!

 When the four O  ::  children, Lucy, Robert, Charles, and May, were orphaned by a freak of circumstances, they were sent to live in the Past with two spinster relatives, ostensibly because of crowded conditions elsewhere. 

[Jul 2016]

   Hallmark Hall of Fame
First time travel: 5 Feb 1959

Over the years, I’ve seen dozens of the Hallmark Hall of Fame specials. More recently, I went through the list of episodes back to 1951 when they started as a weekly anthology show on NBC. I spotted only one episode with time travel, the venerable Berkeley Square, broadcast in color on a special day in 1959, but I haven't yet tracked down a copy to watch.
[Dec 1965]

   “—All You Zombies—”
by Robert A. Heinlein
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mar 1959

A 25-year-old man, originally born as an orphan girl named Jane, tells his story to a 55-year-old bartender who then recruits him for a time-travel adventure.

 When I opened you, I found a mess. I sent for the Chief of Surgery while I got the baby out, then we held a consultation with you on the table—and worked for hours to salvage what we could. You had two full sets of organs, both immature, but with the female set well enough developed for you to have a baby. They could never be any use to you again, so we took them out and rearranged things so that you can develop properly as a man. 

[May 1970]

the story also appeared in this 1961 collection   “Of Time and Cats”
by Howard Fast
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mar 1959

In a panic, Professor Bob Bottman calls his wife from the Waldorf where he’s hiding out from dozens of other Bob Bottmans (and possibly just as many of Professor Dunbar’s cats).

 They want to live as much as I do. I am the first me, and therefore the real me; but they are also me—different moments of consciousness in me—but they are me. 

[Jun 2016]

   “Unto the Fourth Generation”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Apr 1959

During an ordinary day of business, Sam Marten is obsessivly drawn to different men named Levkowich, each with a different spelling.

When I began putting together this Big List in 2005, I started with all the Asimov time travel stories that I could remember. Somehow I forgot about this story which I first read in 1973 in Nightfall and Other Stories. But then, while scouring the 1950s back issues of F&SF for more obscure stories, there it was: Sam Marten’s great, great grandfather brought from his deathbed to meet Sam, and there, also, was a moment of time travel for Sam himself.

Two new sentences were added at the end of the original story for the reprinting in Asimov’s collection, so I thought it would be appropriate to quote those new sentences here:

 Yet somehow he knew that all would be well with him. Somehow, as never before, he knew. 

[Dec 1973]

   “Lost in Translation”
by Rosel George Brown
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1959

Prudish Mercedes King, a devotee and advocate of the neo-Victorian revival as well as a true Graecophile, is approached by her father’s graduate student about participating in a certain experiment.

 Let me at least tell you what the experiment is. You can faint after Im finished. 

[Jul 2016]

The story also appeared in the Apr 1960 issue of this French story magazine.   “Tenth Time Around”
by J.T. McIntosh
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1959

Gene Player seems destined to always lose his love Belinda to his friend Harry Scott, but maybe, just maybe, he’ll get it right on the tenth time around as he’s once again sent back to his 1975 body in this branching universe time travel story. But what if in the new 1975, he meets young Doreen for the first time, not to mention those other small things that go differently?

 It was a big decision, the first time. If you were at all successful in life at forty, fifty, sixth, the glorious thought of being young again, strong, healthy and probably in love, was considerably tempered by the consideration that youd be pushed around again, that youd have to get up at seven and work hard all day for less than a tenth of what you made now, that youd have to go through this or that operation again, that youd have to see your father and mother die again  . . . 

[Jul 2016]

from the telerecording of Nineteen-Eighty-Four   BBC Sunday-Night Theater
aka BBC Sunday-Night Play
First time travel: 31 May 1959

For nearly all of 14 years, the BBC staged and broadcast weekly live plays, at least one which included time travel: a production of the 1926 play, Berkeley Square. According to lostshows.com, no copy of Berkeley Square survived, but I did enjoy a telerecording of their 1954 staging of Nineteen-Eighty-Four (with no time travel!) that caused a stir in cold-war era Britain.

 Attention, comrades, attention! Here is a complementary production bulletin issued by the Ministry of Plenty giving further glorious news of the success of the seventh three-year plan! In clear demonstration of the rising standards of our new, happy life, the latest calculated increases are as follows . . . 

Nineteen-Eighty-Four

[Feb 1977]

   “Production Problem”
by Robert F. Young
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jun 1960

Bridgemaker has never had any trouble making money, but it’s a different vocation that he longs for, a vocation that was apparently widespread in the past, so he sends men from Timesearch, Inc., to find the secret that had to exist in the past.

 Our field men have explored the Pre-Technological Age, the First Technological Age, and the early years of our own age; but even though they witnessed some of the ancient technicians at work, they never caught a glimpse of the machine. 

[Jul 2016]

   “Unborn Tomorrow”
by Mack Reynolds
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1959

Private investigator Simon and his assistant Betty are hired by a curious old man to hunt up some time travelers at Oktoberfest. Betty is game, but Simon, sporting a major hangover, is uncharacteristically reticent.

 “Time travel is impossible.”
“Why?”
“Why?”
“Yes, why?”
Betty looked to her boss for assistance. None was forthcoming. There ought to be some very quick, positive, definite answer. She said, “Well, for one thing, paradox. Suppose you had a time machine and traveled back a hundred years or so and killed your own great-grandfather. Then how could you ever be born?”
“Confound it if I know,” the little fellow growled. “How?”
 

[Oct 2015]

from Colorforms’ play set   Hector Heathcote
created by Eli Bauer
First publication: 4 Jul 1959

Hector first appeared in a movie theater short feature (I miss short features) called “The Minute and ½ Man” in 1959 where he goes back to the American Revolution and fouls things up until the end when he scares away the Redcoats (remniscent of the 1955 Casper cartoon). I haven’t seen that first cartoon in which Hector travels by time machine, but Hector later had tv escapades (his own show, starting 5 Oct 1963) visiting the likes of Daniel Boone and inventing the telephone in 1876, all without a time machine in the ones I saw. There was also a children’s book (which had no time travel), a Dell spin-off comic book (Mar 1964), and a Colorforms’ play set (which provided the image to the top-left).

 Youre wanted on the telephone—a young lady. 

—Wilbur the dog in “The First Telephone”

[circa 1963]

   “Obituary”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aug 1959

The wife of Lancelot Stebbins (not his real name) tells of the difficulties of being married to a man who is obsessively driven to find fame as a physicist, even to the point of worrying about what his obituary will say—but perhaps time travel can put that worry to rest.

 At any rate, he turned full on me. His lean body shook and his dark eyebrows pulled down over his deep-set eyes as he shrieked at me in a falsetto, “But Ill never read my obituary. Ill be deprived even of that.” 

[Apr 1979]

   “The Love Letter”
by Jack Finney
First publication: The Saturday Evening Post, 1 Aug 1959

A young man looking for love in 1959 Brooklyn finds and answers a letter from a young woman in 1869 Brooklyn.

 The folded paper opened stiffly, the crease permanent with age, and even before I saw the date I knew this letter was old. The handwriting was obviously feminine, and beautifully clear—its called Spencerian, isnt it?—the letters perfectly formed and very ornate, the capitals especially being a whirl of dainty curlicues. The ink was rust-black, the date at the top of the page was May 14, 1882, and reading it, I saw that it was a love letter. 

[Mar 2005]

   The Twilight Zone
created by Rod Serling
First time travel: 30 Oct 1959

Five seasons with many time-travel episodes. Four (marked with ¤) were written by Richard Matheson, one was by E. Jack Neuman (“Templeton”), one by Reginold Rose (“Horace Ford”), and the rest were by Serling (including “What You Need” based on a Lewis Padgett story with prescience only and no real time travel, “Execution” from a story of George Clayton Johnson, “A Quality of Mercy” from a Sam Rolfe story featuring a young Dean Stockwell, and “Of Late I Think of Cliffordville” from Malcolm Jameson’s “Blind Alley”).
  1. Walking Distance (30 Oct 1959) Hero to time of youth
  2. Judgment Night (4 Dec 1959) Time Loop in World War II
  3. What You Need (25 Dec 1959) Prescience (no time travel)
  4. The Last Flight (5 Feb 1960) ¤ 42 years beyond WW II
  5. Execution (1 Apr 1960) From 1880 West to 1960 NY
  6. A Stop at Willoughby (6 May 1960) To idyllic past
  7. The Trouble with Templeton (9 Dec 1960) To 1927
  8. Back There (13 Jan 1961) Lincoln in 1865
  9. The Odyssey of Flight 33 (24 Feb 1961) To age of dinosaurs and more
  10. A Hundred Yards over the Rim (7 Apr 1961) From 1847 to 1961
  11. Once Upon a Time (15 Dec 1961) ¤ From 1890s to present
  12. A Quality of Mercy (29 Dec 1961) From 1945 to ’42 in WWII
  13. Death Ship (7 Feb 1963) ¤ Time Loop?
  14. No Time Like the Past (7 Mar 1963) To 1881 Indiana
  15. Of Late I Think of Cliffordville (11 Apr 1963) From age 75 to 30
  16. The Incredible World of Horace Ford (18 Apr 1963)    Hero to Time of Youth
  17. The Bard (23 May 1963) Shakespeare to the present
  18. The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms (6 Dec 1963) To Custer’s Last Stand
  19. Spur of the Moment (21 Feb 1964) ¤ Heroine warns earlier self

 There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of mans fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone. 

[Jul 1966]

   “Halloween for Mr. Faulkner”
by August Derleth
First publication: Fantastic Universe, Nov 1959

Mr. Guy Faulkner, an American lost in the London fog, finds himself back in the time of the Gunpowder Plot.

 I say, Wright, now Guys here, we can get on with it. 

[Jul 2013]

   Peabody’s Improbable History
created by Ted Key
First aired: 29 Nov 1959

The genius dog, Mr. Peabody, and his boy Sherman travel back in the Wayback Machine to see what truly happened at key points of history.

 Peabody here. 

[circa 1965]



   The Boys’ Life Time Machine Stories
by Donald Keith (aka Donald and Keith Monroe)
First story: Boys’ Life, Dec 1959

Boy Scout Bob “Tuck” Tucker, of the Polaris Patrol, doesn’t want to look after tag-along Elsworth “Brains” Baynes, but he does so as a favor to his father. Then one day near the scout camp, they find a time machine that lets them explore history with a bit of science fiction (people have no hair or teeth in the future) thrown in on the side. Later in the series, they’re joined by Kai from the city of Troy in the year 4000 and Dion from ancient Sparta.

Some of the stories were gathered into two collections: Mutiny in the Time Machine (1963) and Time Machine to the Rescue (1967).
  1. The Day We Explored the Future (Dec 1959) finding the machine
  2. The Time Machine Flies Backwards (Feb 1960) back to Teddy Roosevelt
  3. How We Got the Mind-Reading Pills (Jun 1960) to future to rescue Kai Bezzy
  4. Our Time Machine at the Jamboree (Jul 1960) to ancient Sparta to get Dion
  5. Marco Polo and Our Time Machine (Oct 1961) to Marco Polo’s China
  6. The Time Machine Slips a Cog (Feb 1962) accidental trip to 1972
  7. Mutiny in the Time Machine (Dec'62-Mar'63) Pre-Columbian America
  8. The Time Machine Cracks a Safe (Jun 1964) to rescue Kai’s parents
  9. Time Machine to the Rescue (Oct 1964) rescue the parents again!
  10. The Time Machine Gets Stuck (Feb-Apr 1965)) to Maximilian I
  11. Time Machine Hunts a Treasure (Apr-Jun 1967) diary investigation in 1900
  12. The Dog from the Time Machine (Dec 1968) briefly to 1473 with wolf-dog
  13. Time Machine and the Generation Gap (Sep 1970) underwater in 2020
  14. The King and the Time Machine (Aug 1971) Edward III to far future
  15. The Time Machine Cleans Up (Feb 1973) recycler from the future
  16. The Time Machine Twins the Jamboree (Aug 1973) visit two places at once
  17. Santa Claus and the Time Machine (Dec 1973) put together a Santa Claus
  18. The Time Machine Fights Earthquakes (Nov 1974) visit to past/future quakes
  19. The Time Machine Saves a Patriot (Apr 1975) to Paul Revere
  20. The Time Machine Kidnaps a Parade (Jul 1976) Colonial soldiers to today
  21. Target Timbuktu (Sep 1988) to ancient Africa
  22. Why We Kidnapped Our Scoutmaster (Feb 1989) an 1850s mountain man
  23. Pirates Took Our Time Machine (Sep 1989) pirates in 1731

 One little egghead reached out, kind of scared, and gave my hair a nasty tug. “Mullo,” the Scoutmaster said sharply. “Jog law six. A Scout is kind. He is warmheart to animals. He nul kills or pangs any living creature for trivia.”
Their words for the sixth Scout Law were weird, but I was glad to know they still had the law, especially if they thought I was an animal.
 

—“The Day We Explored the Future”

[Jul 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.
1950 to 1959

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


 1950
“Last Enemy” by H. Beam Piper (paratime) [alternate timelines]

“Outside of Time” by Carroll John Daly [stopping time]

“S.O.S. . . . in Time” by D.K. Garton (as by Durham Keys) [plagiarised from Simak’s The Loot of Time]

“A Subway Named Mobius” by A.J. Deutsch [4D spacial topology]
                aka Non-Stop

To the Stars by L. Ron Hubbard [time dilation]
                aka Return to Tomorrow



 1951
“Excalibur and the Atom” by Theodore Sturgeon [despite title, no time travel]

“Genesis” by H. Beam Piper (paratime) [alternate timelines]

“Reaping Time” by A. Bertram Chandler [despite title, no time travel]

“Temple Trouble” by H. Beam Piper (paratime) [alternate timelines]



 1952
“All the Time in the World” by Arthur C. Clarke [personal time rate differences]

“Catch That Martian” by Damon Knight [nearby tenuous universes]

“The Island of Five Colors” by Martin Gardner [4D spacial topology]

“Sail On! Sail On!” by Philip José Farmer [alternate history]

“What If—” by Isaac Asimov [viewing alternate pasts]



 1953
“Paycheck” by Philip K. Dick [visions of possible futures]

The Time Masters by Wilson Tucker [long life]

The Twonky by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore [no definite time travel]

“Death Ship” by Richard Matheson [Flying Dutchman]



 1954
“The Golden Man” by Philip K. Dick [visions of possible futures]

“Lost in the Future” by John Victor Peterson [continually viewing the past]

“Time Fuze” by Randall Garrett [FTL]



 1955
“Of Missing Persons” by Jack Finney [no definite time travel]

“Time Crime” by H. Beam Piper (paratime) [alternate timelines]

“The Trolley (from Dandelion Wine)” by Ray Bradbury [despite appearances, no time travel]



 1956
The Crossroads of Time by Andre Norton [parallel universes]

“The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick [precognition]

“A Question of Time” by Edmund Cooper [despite title, no time travel]

Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein [time dilation]

“Time in Advance” by William Tenn [despite title, no time travel]

“The Waitabits” by Eric Frank Russell [personal time rate differences]

The World Jones Made by Philip K. Dick [precognition]

“Backward, O Time” by Damon Knight [odd entropy]
                aka This Way to the Regress

The Winds of Time by Chad Oliver [long sleep]



 1957
Below the Salt by Thomas Costain [no definite time travel]

“The Edge of the Knife” by H. Beam Piper [precognition]



 1958
“The Last Paradox” by Edward D. Hoch [bizarre physiological aging]

“That Hell-Bound Train” by Robert Bloch [stopping time]


223 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)