Time Travel Project

The Time Travel Project: An Introduction

Introducing a new regular Book Smugglers feature!

The other day I was wondering about what new features I could introduce in 2016 that would be simultaneously cool and comforting. The answer, went it came to me, was pretty obvious: a time travel project.

I love time travel. Together with unreliable narrators and epistolary narratives, it is probably my favourite trope/plot. I then looked up both the novels featuring time travel that I have read and the ones that I haven’t, and noticed that even though I have read a lot of classic and new time travel stories, there are quite a few still left for me to enjoy. HOORAY.

Thus, The Time Travel Project was born.

About the Project:

Time Travel Project - Folder

Starting this month and with no end date in sight, I shall be reading ALL the time travel novels:

– I will be reading a mix of older Time Travel stories and upcoming ones;
– Time slip counts as time travel;
– Novels can be in any genre (Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror) and any age category (Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adult).


Keeping Track of Time (Travel) – Part I:

There is a tag – The Time Travel Project – which will make for easy search on the blog. For older reviews, prior to this project, go here.

Some of the books I have already read are:

To  Say Nothing of the Dog When You Reach Me

    The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer
    A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones
    The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
    All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
    The Kairos Mechanism by Kate Milford
    The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
    The Man From Primrose Lane by James Renner
    So You Want to Be A Wizard by Diane Duane
    Singing the Dogstar Blues by Alison Goodman
    Mr Was by Pete Hautman
    The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman
    Blue Thread by Ruth Tenzer Feldman
    Into the Wise Dark by Neesha Meminger
    Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis
    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
    The Night Watch by Connie Willis
    All our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
    When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
    A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott
    Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock
    The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
    The WarLord of the Air by Michael Moorcock
    The Cydonian Pyramid by Pete Hautman
    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
    The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman
    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

My favorites among those are: All the Connie Willis, When You reach Me, The Freedom Maze, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.


Keeping Track of Time (Travel) – Part 2

I’ve created a Goodreads shelf which I will keep adding to.

Books I plan to read this month:

Passenger Garden of Iden

New: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Old: In The Garden of Iden by Kage Baker

What are YOUR favourite Time Travel books? I would LOVE to hear your suggestions on what to add to the masterlist: comments welcome!

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  • Paul Weimer
    January 13, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Exciting, Ana.

    For me, time travel novels fall into two categories–the linear and the Time Travel as device. Linear Time Travel is usually one way, or a there and back again. As a Device, people move up and down on the timelines.

    My favorite time travel story of all time is “Flight to Forever” by Poul Anderson, where the narrator goes ever forward into the future, because, well, that would be telling.
    And you should totally check out his “Time Patrol” stories and novels, which feature a group of time travellers studying and protecting history.

    I also love “Lest Darkness Fall” by De Camp, which is a “Modern Man vs. the Past” sort of Time travel story.

    And then there are the roleplaying games…

  • Ana
    January 13, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Paul, I can always count on you for recs! adding those to the masterlist

  • Dawn Betts-Green
    January 13, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Map of Time by Felix J Palma, and of course, the granddaddy of all of the, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.

  • Ana
    January 13, 2016 at 9:38 am

    We have a review for Map of Time but it was a Thea-read. I might eventually get to it. I def want to read The Time Machine!

  • Lauren
    January 13, 2016 at 9:55 am

    What about Slaughterhouse-five? Where’s the love for Kurt?

    Also, Clockwork Scarab, by Colleen Gleason is a fun YA read.

  • Ana
    January 13, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I’ve got Slaughterhouse-five lined-up! I didn’t know Clockwork Scarab was a time travel novel!

  • Jeff Xilon
    January 13, 2016 at 10:12 am

    You already have possibly my favourite time travel book, King’s 11/22/63 on your Goodreads shelf, but I’d like to suggest Rysa Walker’s Chronos Files series, or at least book #1 – Timebound. It’s the first YA series I’ve personally read (at least since the designation came into existence) and I love it.

  • Ana
    January 13, 2016 at 10:34 am

    OOOOO Thank you Jeff, Timebound has been added to my list.

  • Pherenv
    January 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Brilliant idea! The Anubis Gates is one of my favourite books ever.

    I would just add the following ones:
    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, by Mark Twain
    Lightning, by Dean Koontz
    The Edge of Forever, by Melissa E. Hurst (this one was in one of your radar posts)

  • Ivy
    January 13, 2016 at 11:10 am

    I don’t know if you’ve ever read the Artemis Fowl books but Artemis Fowl – The Time Paradox is a fantastic time travel romp. My favorite in the series!

  • Cecily Kane
    January 13, 2016 at 11:12 am

    My favorite book in which time travel plays a significant component (though it’s debatable whether it’s a “time travel book’ — it’s definitely fantasy, not SF) is Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo. Witty, sardonic narrative voice; the story is based on a west African folk tale. I recommend it in many contexts!

    Great time travel short stories available for free online — Genevieve Valentine’s “The Insects of Love,” “First Flight” by Mary Robinette Kowal, and Rachael K. Jones’ “Makeisha in Time” — the latter of which is one of my favorite short stories of all time.

  • Gregory Johnson
    January 13, 2016 at 11:20 am

    The Kage Baker series is one of my favorite SF series of all time. You will love it!

  • Rhiannon Hart
    January 13, 2016 at 11:24 am

    I saw you added Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park to your GR list and I just wanted to give it a shout-out as it’s one of my all-time faves! I must have read it six times when I was fifteen. I hope it makes it into your hands soon.

  • Ana
    January 13, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Yay so many great recommendations and so much enthusiasm from fellow Time Travellists! <3

    I can’t wait to read all those, adding everything to my list

  • Gerd D.
    January 13, 2016 at 11:43 am

    I remember liking Philip JosΓ© Farmer’s time travel story “Time’s last gift”.

    My brother was quite taken with King’s take on a time travel story, “11/22/63”, haven’t read it myself yet, but he says it was better than “Arena”.

    Not exactly time travel, but Ken Grimwood’s time-loop story “Replay” was something I thought to be very well done. Even though I tend to call it a mid-life crisis novel. πŸ™‚

  • Megan
    January 13, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Soooo, have you read any Connie Willis? πŸ˜‰

    Joking aside, I LOVE THIS IDEA. You’ve got most of the big names (that I know of anyway) on your GR list, but I just wanted to second Kindred (which I think you’ll love) and Somewhere In Time. Haven’t actually read SIT yet, but I loooooove the movie. I almost think you should watch the movie first, because a beautiful young Christopher Reeve should never be spoiled.

    See, now I’m hoping you’ll do movies as well as books, which is clearly not the intent here.

  • Whitney @ Imaginary Book Club
    January 13, 2016 at 11:58 am

    That sounds like a super fun project! I’d definitely queue up Outlander for sometime around Valentine’s Day – it’s a bit steamy in the most delightful way. πŸ™‚

  • Roz
    January 13, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    My favorite is Jack Finney’s “From Time to Time”, experiencing New York City in the 1870’s. The sequel is “Time and Again.”

    The Stephen King book is fantastic.

  • Katy
    January 13, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Saw this on GR and thought of your Time Travel Project!


  • Vicente L Ruiz
    January 13, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    A couple of old classic scifi short novels come to mind: The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov, and A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury.

    Almost every other one I can come up with off the top of my head have already been mentioned.

  • Jasmin major
    January 13, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Jodi Taylor’s chronicles of St Mary’s.
    It follows a group of historians who ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time.’

  • Beth Martino
    January 13, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Well hello, Book Smugglers. I’m fairly new to the blog and haven’t commented before, but boy did this post catch my attention. I’m going to be following the project very carefully since Time Travel is one of my favorites, with Connie Willis probably being my ABSOLUTE favorite author.

    I wanted to mention a couple of my favorites that I don’t see on either your read or to-read list yet: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (assuming “time loop” books count), Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (again a time loop), Glimpses by Lewis Shiner, and The Man in the Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell.

  • Catherine F. King
    January 13, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Don’t know how much Terry Pratchett you’ve read, but I would 10000% Recommend his Discworld novel “Night Watch.” This book is smack in the middle of the Discworld chronology, but you definitely do not need to have read any previous books to understand it – Discworld continuity is wonderful that way. This a take on time travel that includes death, regret, history, revolution, and coming-of-age. Oh, did I mention it’s also a hilarious spoof of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables?

    It’s not time travel-centric *per se*, but if you can also find time to read “Thief of Time,” do that, too – preferably right afterwards, or immediately before. “Thief” was written before “Night,” and its incidence explains how the time travel in “Night” is possible. There is some time travel – but mostly the story is about *stopped* time, as well as Time as an anthropomorphic personification, and the History Monks, who travel around the Discworld clearing up temporal anomalies, trimming up excess time and carefully putting it back where it’ll do some good.

    Something a bit shorter and lighter… well, as the local Newbery expert ( :p ) I have to recommend the sequels to A Wrinkle in Time. The ones that deal explicitly with time travel are “Many Waters” (two modern era boys travel back to Biblical times), “An Acceptable Time” (sadly, a very weak novel) and “A Swiftly Tilting Planet.” The last involves COPIOUS traveling through time and American history in order to prevent Nuclear War – very red scare.

    You might also enjoy the Stravaganza books by Mary Hoffman. They’re more like dimension-hopping than time travel, but it still results in modern British teenagers being transplanted to Renaissance Italy – sure, it’s alternate-dimension Renaissance, but who’s keeping score? The first book is what made me fall in love, forever and always, with the city of Venice (or Bellezza, as it is known in the other world).

    Lucky for you, I’m typing this out while facing my bookshelves. Now, what else is there….

  • Steph
    January 13, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Such a cool reading goal!

    My time travel recommendation would be Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls. It features a time traveling killer and one of his victims who escaped trying to figure it out and catch him.

  • Steph
    January 13, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Eep! Just saw that you have already read my recc! πŸ™‚

  • Laura
    January 13, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I am a HUGE fan of Rysa Walker’s Chronos Files, which start with Timebound. This is my absolute favorite for dealing with the intricacies of time travel.

    I also LOVED 11/22/63.

    Definitely continue the Outlander series which has additional time jumps in later books as well as really great American history.

    Madeleine L’Engle….scrumptious, and I also highly recommend Many Waters.

    I encourage you to read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court – easily readable Mark Twain.

  • Debbie
    January 13, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I loved:
    Household Gods by Harry Turtledove and Judith Tarr
    Redshirts by John Scalzi
    1632 by Eric Flint
    Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card (I have very mixed feelings about Card but I can’t deny I loved this book when I read it)
    The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (while there’s no conventional time travel, Haldeman uses the theory of FTL space travel that the world around you speeds up so you come out the other end far into the future than when you started. He uses this quite well to look at societal change)

    I remember there was time travel in the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde but I can’t remember if it existed as a plot device in the first one, The Eyre Affair.

    The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler isn’t time travel per se but there’s some timey-whimeyness going on.

    I’m also currently reading The Tea Machine by Gill McKnight which is wonderfully quirky and full of temporal paradoxes. Oh, and giant space squid.

  • Amanda
    January 13, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia McKillip. It’s a brain bender, for sure (plus it’s wonderful because it’s McKillip).

  • Arhcadia
    January 14, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Awesome! Many of my fabourite books as a kid were time travel – i’d love to find some new ones to enjoy (though i did just read the fantastic To Say Nothing of the Dog).
    My old timey recommendations: The Other Elizabeth by Karleen Bradford (middle grade, war of 1812 – from the Canadian side!)
    Your Time, My Time by Ann Walsh (also Cdn, YA, really sweet romance, 1800s).
    Both so so good!

  • Debbie
    January 14, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Some others that came to me:
    The Ancient One by T.A. Barron – I’m fairly certain this is time travel and not sucked into a fantasy other-world. YA. I adore this book.
    World Without End by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy – it’s about Atlantis. One of my favorite books. I believe it’s out of print.
    Whispers from the Grave by Leslie Rule – So out of print. I read this as a young’un and loved it. The cover and title make it look creepy and horror-esque; it is emphatically not.
    Beauty by Sherri S. Tepper – tons of fairy tale influenced stuff, Tepper has a pretty strong ethical and moral message here. Fabulous.
    Moonheart by Charles de Lint – Main character does get pulled back in time for part of the book.

    And two old kid books. They’re probably considered middle-grade except that classification didn’t exist when I was in grade school.
    The Princess in the Pigpen by Jane Resch Thomas
    Shadow on the Dial by Anne Lindbergh
    Oh! And all the Indian in the Cupboard books. I guess they have time travel. Weird time travel but time travel.

  • Vicente L Ruiz
    January 14, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Oh, I remembered something all of George Mann’s steampunk “Newbury and Hobbes” series involve serious time travel. In fact, time travel is at the core of the series.

  • Hannah
    January 14, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Have you read Octavia Butler? She’s an amazing SciFi writer. Her book Kindred is a time travel book. What a fun list!

  • Sharon
    January 14, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    There are some really exciting upcoming ones, too! I saw that you have Passenger on your list, but I’m pretty excited about Into the Dim, which is coming out soon. And Jane Yolen’s The Devil’s Arithmetic is a great classic Holocaust time travel story.

    I’m really looking forward to this feature!

  • Charlotte
    January 14, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Ana,
    I’ve reviewed a couple of hundred over the years over at my place (mostly middle grade and YA), and have just gone through my master list with review links and put stars next the ones I recommend most enthusiastically–http://charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com/p/time-travel-books.html. I look forward to seeing your reviews (especially of ones I haven’t read yet!)

  • Alexandra the Great
    January 14, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I want to second the Chronicles of St. Mary’s (the writing gets better as they go on, and they’re tons of fun), and 1632 by Eric Flint (I never knew the Thirty Years War could be this entertaining(.

    The Time Traveler’s Almanac, if you’re looking for short stories
    Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly – more magical realism than sci-fi, but there is time travel (eventually)
    Revenant Eve by Sherwood Smith – the third book in her Coronets and Steel trilogy. I would recommend reading the other ones first, but I think you can figure out what’s going on from context

    I’m really looking forward to this feature! Time travel is my literary crack.

  • Lulu
    January 15, 2016 at 5:05 am

    My favourites are definitely the Connie Willis ones too (although I have yet to reach Blackout/All Clear.

    I highly recommend Kindred by Octavia E. Butler if you haven’t read it yet – about a black woman from the 70s who keeps being pulled back in time to the slave era.

  • Kate
    January 15, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    King of Shadows by Susan Cooper! A boy actor in the present day finds himself 400 years in the past and acting with WilliamShakespeare.

  • Pam Blome
    January 15, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Just finished an ARC of Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor. It’s a YA time travel book. Quite good! I reviewed it on GoodReads.

  • Jenny
    January 16, 2016 at 4:21 am

    Seconding an earlier suggestion of Kindred by Octavia Butler, one of the best books I read last year. I recently added a time travel shelf in GoodReads too! I will look forward to your reviews.

  • JoLee
    January 17, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    I love Connie Willis’s time travel novels too! They are definitely among my favorites. I really enjoyed Rysa Walker’s Chronos Files Trilogy. The final book was published in 2016, the series is very rooted in American history, and Walker is fantastic at the mind-boogling aspects of time travel. (My full post here, if you are interested.) Good luck on the time travel project.

  • Bookgazing
    January 17, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    So, not a book (sorry, I suspect you’ll be hearing that a lot in your recs) but “The Shape of My Name” by Nino Cipri is a really interesting short story that takes on time travel and pre-determination.

    I also kind of want to see you watch the 12 Monkeys series but that is very much not a book as well.

  • Susan
    January 23, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Hi Ana! Sounds like you have your work cut out for you! I have read and reviewed over 120 time travel books, mostly middle grade ones on my blog. This list http://timetraveltimestwo.com/2012/11/05/my-top-ten-time-travel-books/ contains many of my favorites. I know you will have a lot of fun reading so many time travel stories!

  • oda renate
    July 3, 2017 at 6:31 am

    My all time fave sub genre(calling it a genre) is time travell, found this blogg randomly googling passanger by Alexandra bracken.
    Since I have loved tt(time travell) for a bit over ten years now I have tons of recomandations.
    – old magic by marianne curley
    – guardians of time by marianne curley
    – once ever never by lesley livingston
    – once a witch by carolyn macollogh
    – sage hannigan books by peggy martinez
    – wander dust by michelle warren
    – dark past by m.j putney

    I recently made a goodreads group check it out if you want.

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