the Little Red Reviewer

My Favorite Time Travel Stories

Posted on: July 9, 2019

I’ve been on a time travel kick lately.  And who doesn’t like time travel, in all it’s wibbly wobbly timey wimey wonderfulness?   I love it when authors think to themselves “let’s travel through time, what could possibly go wrong?”.    You don’t need a Delorean or a TARDIS to travel through time. Sometimes time travel isn’t exactly what you thought it would be, and that makes it even better.


This post is simply a love letter to my favorite time travel stories.  Shout out to your favorites in the comments!


Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds (2019) – I love how this book explains what happens when a time traveler successfully changes the past.  The actual machinery used to travel through time doesn’t always work as planned, either. To say more would spoil this unique time travel story.  Just a damn good, edge of seat, time travel thriller!


The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (1992) –  Everytime I read this I cry buckets at the end. Kivrin is a historian at Oxford, and she travels back to England in the 1300s. While she’s gone, a terrible flu-like virus hits Oxford, putting her time travel technician in the hospital.  If he’s not at the lab, she can’t come home. There’s another, much worse reason why she might not be able to get home.  This book reads like a much shorter book, the pages fly by.


Blackout by Connie Willis (2010) – Four more Oxford time travelers. Let’s go to London during World War II, what could possibly go wrong?  Umm . . .. how about everything? The last hundred pages of this book I nearly chewed my fingernails completely off. Blackout is the first book in  a duology, I recommend if you’re going to read this that you purchase the 2nd book in the duology, All Clear, at the same time.  Got a teenager at home who hates history class? These are the books for them.


Time Was by Ian McDonald (2018) – I loved the characters and their different voices.  Lovers separated by time, trying to find each other. They leave notes for each other in bookstores all over the world, always in the same book.   This is a love story told via Klein bottle.


Household Gods by Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove (1999) – A thoroughly modern woman wakes up in an ancient Roman frontier town.  Is she hallucinating? Is she crazy? This is, actually, the best escape from her modern life, so maybe she could get used to being a tavern keeper.  For your friends who think scifi is too weird, give them this book. It reads like a historical fiction. And why yes, there were dentists ancient Rome!

In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker (1997) – this is the first book in her Company series.  In the future, The Company sends their cybernetic operatives into the past to . . .   do what exactly? Baker plays a very long game, and she was a storycrafting genius. Start at the beginning with Mendoza in Garden of Iden (and be prepared to cry), and a few books later when things start to feel a little repetitive, trust me, just keep reading.  One of these days, I will finish this series, I promise. Actually, no, I don’t. I don’t *want* to finish this series. Because then it will be over.


The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers (1983) – A historian thinks he’s getting paid to give a lecture. As a surprise from their host, the entire dinner party goes through time to London in 1810.  In my opinion, The Anubis Gates is Powers’ best work. Time travel mixed with paranormal, mixed with using your knowledge of the present to work your way around the past. A must read!


I feel certain that this list is missing books I’ve loved, and can’t bring to mind.  😦


If time travel movies and TV shows are more your thing, I highly recommend:


Dark – the 2nd season of this German thriller just dropped on Netflix.  Think Twin Peaks meets time travel.  also? the music is fantastic!


Kate and Leopold – I usually find romance stories to be overly cheesy, but I loved this movie so much!!


Steins;Gate – this anime came out a few years ago, and it is dark, nerdy, hilarious, addictive, heart breaking.  Because time travel – what could possibly go wrong?



what time travel stories have you enjoyed?  Why do you enjoy time travel stories?  Let’s chat!

20 Responses to "My Favorite Time Travel Stories"

The Doomsday book made me cry too. I absolutely fell in love with those characters and it was so, so hard to say goodbye.

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I love The Anubis Gates! It’s one of my favorite Powers as well😁

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Poul Anderson’s Time Patrol stories and novels.

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I love Willis’ time traveling historians!

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11/22/63 by Stephen King 😀

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These sound amazing! Added, like, all of them to my to-read list. 😀

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I haven’t read any of these, even though I do also love time travel stuff. I keep meaning to read The Doomsday Book, although I heard it’s quite an emotional journey so I keep putting it off LOL 🙂


My kid just read Doomsday Book and TSNotD, and is zipping through Blackout/All Clear. I’m re-reading TSNotD for the 50th time. But that is not why I’m commenting! Yesterday I discovered something about Doomsday Book:

St. Roch is the saint you pray to if you have the plague. And he’s also for innocents falsely accused.


The Doomsday Book is amazing and so is Blackout. All Clear too. Really, anything Connie Willis tends to be amazing! The Anubis Gate has been on my TBR for longer than I can remember. Probably time to get to that one.


[…] @ The Little Red Reviewer is talking about some of her favorite time travel books. Great list of books that I’ve yet to get […]


Have just read your review for Monteverde and was like, “hmmm, wasn’t there a post of Little Red’s I was really looking forward to reading?” (have been busy with family stuff), so I’m commenting late on this post … but I love everything on your list!!! Especially, well, everything … but The Anubis Gates is one of my more recent favourites, and I have Baker’s Company books and Reynold’s Permafrost to look forward to, and Yay! Time Travel rules!! 😀

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When I need to read a book that i KNOW will be awesome and I’ll have a blast? I pick up Anubis Gates! Permafrost is a fantastic little quick-read gem. If you start Baker’s Company books, just aware they are a slow burn and are meant to be savored, no need to blast through the entire series in a few months (unless you really want to).

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Duly noted re the Company books. 🙂


Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


The Tine Machine by H G Wells maybe seen as an old novel but is still a good read. I also love 1984 by George Orwell, not exactly time travel but a novel predicting what the author thought the world could look like.

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it is always fun to read books that “predicted the future”, to read books that took place in the year 2010 or something, and see what they got right and wrong. No one seemed to predict cell phones!

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I’m currently writing a children’s novel based on time travel so your reviews are of great interest. @BarneyBradshaw

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The first novel I ever read was time travel. The Old Powder Line by Richard Parker. Absolutely adored it. My favourite movie at the time was Time Bandits.

I posted a Time Travel story on my blog today, the first in a series of adventures of a time travelling train spotter and his troublesome sidekick.

I bought The Moon Dial by Helen Cresswell, the tv series was hugely influential on me, and The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis at Christmas, but I haven’t had chance to read either yet.

I’m also working on a Children’s book, pre teen, based on a time travel mystery.

Time travel stories are the best.


yes! Time travel stories are the best! ahh, another lover of Time Bandits, you’ve got good tastes! 🙂

I’m not familiar with The Moon Dial, what was the premise of that?


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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