Temporal Tales: Ten Terrific Time Travel Titles

Published Friday, June 23, 2023

Time Travel is one of the most intriguing ideas in literature. It has inspired everything from science fiction to horror to actual conspiracy theories. Many of us would love to visit one or more periods of history, perhaps to meet an important historical figure, or to see things that once existed and now do not. Some of us might like to see the future, perhaps out of curiosity, or perhaps to find out the winning number for the lottery. Since at least for now there is no way for me to actually go to the past or the future, I like to read books about others who are able to do so. Some of these works have time travel as the primary focus, such as The Time Machine, or Nick of Time, while for others it is a smaller part of a larger narrative, such as Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. All of these works, however, make excellent use of the theme of time travel, and I highly recommend all of them. - Logan

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
by Mark Twain

This lesser known work by Mark Twain is one my personal favorite books. It follows the 19th century Hank Morgan who gets knocked out in a fight, and awakens in King Arthur’s England. He decides to do his best to “modernize” the people of the time, befriending, and becoming enemies with, everyone from Merlin to Arthur himself.

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Marvel 1602
by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Andy Kubert

Queen Elizabeth's court magician Doctor Stephen Strange senses something that should not be is going on, while her top spy Sir Nicholas Fury fends off an assassination attempt by the winged warriors who are in the service of Otto Von Doom. There is also a band of young people with mysterious and dangerous abilities and powers called "Witchbreed" who are led by the enigmatic Carlos Javier. Familiar Marvel superhero characters must grapple with the issues of the day, chief among them the machinations of the evil King James of Scotland.

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs

After the death of his Grandfather and namesake, 16-year-old Jacob feels compelled to visit an abandoned orphanage off the coast of Wales, the place where his Grandfather was raised. He discovers that some of the fantastical tales his Grandfather had always told him were perhaps not so fantastical after all.

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Nick of Time
by Ted Bell

At the dawn of World War II Nick McIver is a boy who loves sailing, hates Nazis, and lives in a lighthouse. After a large storm Nick finds a chest with a mysterious machine inside of it. Enlisting the aid of the enigmatic Lord Hawke, he finds out this machine can enable him to travel through time, and has been sent to him by his ancestor to ask his aid in fighting the evil pirate Captain Billy Blood.

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The Reluctant Assassin
by Eoin Colfer

In Victorian London Albert Garrick, an assassin for hire, is forcing his hesitant young apprentice Riley to commit his first murder. In modern London, a failed junior FBI agent has been assigned the task of guarding a mysterious machine. When Riley attempts to kill his target, both he and Garrick are transported to the modern day, activating the machine the FBI agent was guarding.

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Time Cat
by Lloyd Alexander

After a nasty fight with his family Jason is left distraught, going to his cat Gareth for comfort. He is somewhat surprised when Gareth actually begins to speak to him though. Gareth explains how cats all have 9 places in time they can visit whenever they would like, 9 lives they can live. Gareth offers to take Jason along on an adventure of a lifetime through all 9 of his lives, meeting Roman legionnaires, an Egyptian Pharaoh, and even Leonardo Da Vinci, among many others.

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The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells

This novel has long been credited with being the originator of the idea of time travel by means of machine. It is not only a classic work important to the development of an entire genre of storytelling, it is also simply an excellent read in its own right. The book follows a man, the “time traveler”, who leaves behind a war filled 20th century to find himself in a future inhabited by the utopian Eloi, and also the evil Morlocks who feed upon them.

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The Time Travelers
by Linda Buckley-Archer

Twelve-year-old Peter, sent to Derbyshire by his neglectful father, befriends the family he is staying with, in particular Kate, and is allowed to come visit Kate’s father’s lab. In the lab both he and Kate are accidentally sent back to England in 1763 and are forced to befriend people of the time in an attempt to find their way back to their own time.

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Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Interplanetary rulers from the 27th century send two teenaged boys, who should have been studying history instead of playing rock music, on a guided trip through time and history.

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Edge of Tomorrow

In the near future, an alien race has hit the Earth in an unbeatable assault. Major William Cage has never seen a day of combat, but is dropped into a suicide mission and killed within minutes. Cage now finds himself thrown into a time loop-forcing him to live out the same day over and over, fighting and dying each time. With each life, Cage learns more fighting skills, so that when he and warrior Rita Vrataski take the fight to the aliens, they are one step closer to defeating the enemy.

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About the Author

Logan is a Circulation Clerk and started working at EPL in May of 2021. He is studying History at SIUE, and he enjoys reading Fantasy and Sci-Fi in particular, but will give pretty much anything a try.