12 Best Books About Time Travel Update 05/2022

This list of time-traveling stories includes everything from dark and ominous classics to bright and colorful picture books that explore the galaxy.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1968)

This beloved children’s book from the 1960s, adapted for the big screen by Disney and starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, has amassed a slew of accolades and a devoted following. In order to track down her missing scientist father, 13-year-old Meg Murry and her pals use a tesseract, which her father was researching at the time of his disappearance. From science and religion to good vs. evil, this tale is a must-read for anybody curious about the mysteries of the world around us.

Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

Whether or not the protagonist of this story actually travels back in time has been a subject of discussion among readers ever since it was first released in 2007. Billy Pilgrim, who has gotten “unstuck in time,” is destined to relive the events of the Dresden firebombing, which was inspired by Vonnegut’s personal experiences. Blackly comic tale of innocence and brutality, time is not linear here.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (2003)

Isn’t it wonderful that The Time Traveler’s Wife is loved around the world? Henry and Clare, a time-traveling couple, are the focus of this dark and dreamy film. As a result of a birth defect, Henry’s genetic clock resets at random, causing him to travel in time backwards and forwards with no memory of where he has been or how long he has been. Those who enjoy a love story that veers between soaring romanticism and devastating horror will find this to be a perfect fit.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (1991)

The TV adaptation of this epic historical fantasy series has gained even more followers in recent years, thanks to its stunning depiction of Scottish landscapes (and actors). An 18th-century nurse from 1946 is transferred to the Highlands in 1743, where she meets a passionate Scot called Jamie Fraser and is thrust into a world of clans and war.

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (2017)

This book takes a fresh look at time travel, asking: What if one small mistake had the power to send shockwaves throughout the globe and alter the course of history forever? A hasty decision by our protagonist, Tom, sends him back in time to 2016, where he discovers just how horrible things have turned out. But as time goes on, he begins to question if his own life would be better in this parallel universe. Should he try to fix the mistakes he made, or start a new life in a less-than-perfect world? Andy Weir, the author of The Martian, recommends this book as a riveting thriller with an ethical twist.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (1895)

This novel, written in 1895, is one of the most well-known time travel books ever written and has had a profound effect on the art of time travel. As the reader learns, the story revolves around a Victorian scientist, dubbed by him the “Time Traveller,” who is able to time travel to the year 802701 AD. At first glance, this future world appears tranquil, but he soon comes to realize that something considerably more horrible is going on here. When his time machine mysteriously vanishes, he is forced to intervene. ‘

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy byDouglas Adams (1979)

The second book in the series, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, is where Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams goes all out on time travel. In response to a simple request, our heroes Arthur, Trillian and Ford are carried to the nearest eatery in space, but not time. There are five hundred and seventy-six million years in the future that they’ve arrived at the famed cafe.

Doctor Who: The Lost Planet by George Mann (2017)

A sinister alien plant life has taken root in the TARDIS and the eleventh Doctor (played by Peter Capaldi on the small screen) is battling it out with the help of his companions. A secret door leads to a world where long-forgotten rivalries are resurrected… as he comes closer to its core.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (2012)

There are just two central questions in this beautiful, sorrowful, but ultimately uplifting tale of routes not taken: what would you do if you could live your life again and over again and do it right? In other words, how would you define “right”? After her birth in 1910, Ursula Todd has numerous chances to discover the truth. It’s no wonder that this book won the 2013 Costa Book Award for being inventive, humorous, and delightful. The narrative of one of Ursula’s siblings is told in Atkinson’s companion novel, A God in Ruins, if you enjoy it.

Here And Now And Then By Mike Chen

A time-traveling agent from the year 2142 is stuck in 1990s San Francisco after a botched assignment, and his rescue team arrives 18 years too late. Sci-fi fans will like Here and Now And Then, which has the appropriate amount of Doctor Who-level sorrow without going overboard. As a result of Kin’s dramatic and gripping portrayal of the effects of time travel, this episode has been awarded a Murray Gold Medal.

The Future Of Another Timeline By Annalee Newitz

The “Machines” are a geological phenomenon in the planet of Another Timeline where time travel has existed since the beginning of time. A group of women called the Daughters of Harriett is dedicated to improving the lives of women by rewriting history at important points in time. They have to contend with the Comstockers, a sexist organization working in the other direction. Punk rock concerts and nerd references abound as well as a time travel plot and an edit war. History is a “synthesis of excellent fuckery,” as Newitz recently stated in an extra of their podcast, Our Opinions Are Correct, and I can’t think of a better term to characterize this book.

An Ocean Of Minutes By Thea Lim

In the United States, there is a terrible flu pandemic. Frank, Polly’s lover, falls ill, so she decides to take a one-way trip into the future in order to pay for his treatment. Polly is diverted to a time when America is split and she has no connections or money, so they arrange to meet up in the future. This is a beautiful and heart-wrenching narrative about time travel, dystopian society, the severity of surviving in a foreign planet, and the character study of a normal person struggling with all of it.

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