Monday, 11 November 2013

Summits Of Time Travel Fiction

Mark Twain: a novel about "transposition of epochs" to the Arthurian period.
HG Wells: the story of the Time Traveler's journey to the future.
Robert Heinlein: two stories and one novel about time travelers experiencing circular causality in the future.
Harry Harrison and Tim Powers: one novel each about time travelers experiencing circular causality in historical periods.
L Sprague de Camp and Ward Moore: one novel each about time travelers experiencing causality violation in historical periods.
Poul Anderson: a long story about a traveler around the circle of time.
Poul Anderson: a novel about time travelers experiencing circular causality in Atlantean prehistory.
Poul Anderson: two novels about time travelers experiencing circular causality in historical and future periods.
Poul Anderson: a series of stories and novels about an organization of time travelers experiencing both causality paradoxes in many historical periods.
Jack Finney: one collection and two long novels about time travelers to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century United States.
Richard Matheson and Audrey Niffeneger: one novel each about circular causality in romantic relationships.

I do not rate A Connecticut Yankee highly but Twain was there before Wells and before the Wellsian phrase "time traveling." I had thought of Anderson's Time Patrol series and Finney's two Time novels as the two peaks of time travel fiction but later had to add Niffeneger's The Time Traveler's Wife. Adhering to a single consistent timeline, Niffeneger avoids the incoherencies that Finney generates with his causality violation.

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