Adler. Jr., Bill. Time Machines: the Greatest Time Travel Stories Ever Written. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1998.
Reason read: December is Star Man month and that makes me think of time travel.
Time Machines is made up of twenty-two really diverse short science fiction stories all centered on time travel or time machines.
- A Shape in Time by Anthony Boucher – Agent L-3H is hired to prevent marriages until she fails to seduce her man. This story has one of my favorite quotes, “Temporal Agent L-3H is always delectable in any shape; that’s why the bureau employs her on marriage-prevention assignments” (p 1).
- Who’s Cribbin’ by Jack Lewis – someone from the past is stealing a young sci-fi writer’s work. Who is the plagiarist?
- The Business, As Usual by Mack Reynolds – a 20th century souvenir hunter visits the 30th century.
- The Third Level by Jack Finney – Somewhere in the bowels of Grand Central Station there is another level which will take you to 1894 New York.
- A Touch of Petulance by Ray Bradbury – what happens when you meet your future self and he tells you you will murder your wife.
- The History of Temporal Express by Wayne Freeze – what if you could go back in time to meet a deadline you previously missed?
- Star, Bright by Mark Clifton – a widower’s child, abnormally bright, learns how to transport herself through time but her father isn’t as smart. Interestingly enough, someone drew a Mobius slip in the book possibly to illustrate the phenomenon of a one-sided plane.
- The Last Two Days of Larry Joseph’s Life – In This Time, Anyway by Bill Adler, Jr. – Two roommates watch as their third roommate quietly disappears.
- Three Sundays in a Week by Edgar Allan Poe – Two lovers get around the stipulation they can only marry when there are three Sundays in the same week.
- Bad Timing by Molly Brown – an archivist in the 24th century falls in love with a woman from the 20th century but he’s a bumbling idiot when it comes to time travel. As an aside, this story reminded me of the movie, “Lake House.”
- Night by John W. Campbell – a pilot testing out an anti-gravity coil has an accident and he needs the help of aliens to get home.
- Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt – a crazy story about a man who has two deaths.
- Rotating Cylinders and the Possibility of Global Causality Violation by Larry Niven – what if time travel doesn’t work?
- What Goes Around by Derryl Murphy – a ghost from the future comes to help a washed up actor.
- You See, But You Do Not Observe by Robert Sawyer – Sherlock Holmes visits the future to find alien life.
- Ripples in the Dirac Sea by Geoffrey A. Landis – a man tries to flee his own destiny by using a time machine but keeps returning to the same moment when he is to die.
- The Odyssey of Flight 33 by Rod Serling – an airplane en route to New York curiously picks up speed and somehow lands 200 million years ahead of schedule.
- Fire Watch by Connie Willis – not read (on Challenge list elsewhere)
- What If by Isaac Asimov – not read
- There and Then by Steven Utley – not read
- Wireless by Rudyard Kipling – not read
- The Last Article by Harry Turtledove – a sad tale about the nonviolence moment being unsuccessful against the Nazis of World War II.
Author Editor fact: Adler has written a few books of his own (including a short story in Time Machines.
Nancy said: Time Machines was in a list of other books about time travel the reader might enjoy.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the obvious chapter called “Time Travel” (p 220).