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Best time travel books

jordon

Looking for any good time travel books where they go to the caveman age or up. I am not talking about do-overs.

So what are your favourites ?

Capt. Zapp

@jordon

Just about any story by cmsix.

REP

Time Spike by Eric Flint

LonelyDad
Updated:

The Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein.

Guns of the South by I think Harry Harrison. It's a reverse time travel where the protagonist goes back in time to the Civil War.

http://storiesonline.net/s/13079/dont-sleep-in-the-subway by RWMoranUSMCRet.

http://storiesonline.net/s/50644/gunslinger ny The Scot

Time Enough For Love also by Heinlein. The last section of the book is about traveling into the past.

richardshagrin

@LonelyDad

The Guns of the South is an alternate history novel set during the American Civil War by Harry Turtledove. It was released in the United States on September 22, 1992.

The story deals with a group of time-travelling white supremacist members of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging from an imagined 21st-century South Africa, who supply Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia with AK-47s and small amounts of other supplies (including nitroglycerine tablets for treating Lee's heart condition). Their intervention and technologies results in a Confederate victory in the war. Afterwards, however, Lee and the racists from the future have a violent falling out with each other.


Turtledove specializes in alternate history (science) fiction. On the basis that having time travel makes it science fiction. Sometimes there is no time travel, then its just alternate history.

Ernest Bywater

I'll do a little self publicizing here for you:

Cave man type - Times of Old

http://storiesonline.net/s/74132/times-of-old

westerns - Stand in Time - Will to Survive

http://storiesonline.net/s/13358/stand-in-time

http://storiesonline.net/s/13144/will-to-survive

Another time travel western is The Scots - Gunslinger

http://storiesonline.net/s/50644/gunslinger

The Damsels in Distress isn't exactly time travel, but it's set in a medieval time period for much of the stories.

http://storiesonline.net/universe/65/damsels-in-distress

awnlee jawking

@jordon

I rather like Fury by Radley Black, although it's incomplete.

AJ

jordon

Thanks guys I appreciate it. I'd also take Amazon stories and the like, if youve read some that are interesting. One I read on Amazon that is good is Cross-time engineer

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@jordon

Amazon that is good is Cross-time engineer

Leo Frankowski has a whole series of the Cross-time Engineer books. Good series!

LonelyDad

Okay, it wasn't Guns of the South I was thinking of. The one I meant had American white supremacists shipping guns and ammo to the Confederacy. Another group uptime discovered this and sent a team back to counter the first group and maintain the time line. Also, I think it was released in the 80s or so as well.

Replies:   smaranto45
LonelyDad

Did some more research [Google is your friend!] and the book I was thinking of was 'Rebel In Time', which was by Harry Harrison. Good book, as I remember it.

rkimmelerre

My favorite time travel book is probably Them Bones by Howard Waldrop. A team of soldiers is being sent back in time to the 1930s or so in order to do something to stop World War III. Something goes wrong, and we end up with three storylines:

1) The scout for the soldiers is sent to an alternate timeline where Europe was virtually wiped out by the Black Death and thus never populated North America. He falls in with a native tribe and makes a life with them, through good times and bad. This is the main storyline, and it's a damned good one. It's not really time travel, but it's got the same feel since the natives he ends up with are still very low tech.

2) The majority of the soldiers are sent back to their own timeline, near the Mississippi River, before the Europeans have arrived in North America. Their contact with the local tribes does not go well.

3) An archaeological team in 1930s Louisiana is excavating a burial mound and find evidence of horses and bullets. Problem is, they would've been buried long before either was present in the area. To make matters worse, the Mississippi is flooding and they have to scramble like hell to figure out what's going on before the whole site is washed away.

Another fantastic book is Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp. An American archaelogist is visiting Rome in 1938, is hit by lightning and finds himself transported to the year 535 AD. He does what anyone in his position would do - he decides to use his knowledge of future history and technology to stave off the fall of the Roman Empire and stop the Dark Ages before they can begin, thus rewriting the future of the entire human race. Everyone needs a hobby.

BlinkReader

You can add S.M.Stirling "Island in the sea of time" and sequels...

P.S.
Why didn't anybody mentioned H.G.Wells and his "Time Machine"?
It's probably the first in this genre...

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@BlinkReader

Why didn't anybody mentioned H.G.Wells and his "Time Machine"?
It's probably the first in this genre...


Nope. It may be the first science fiction man made machine based time travel story, but

Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" was published in 1889, six year before "The Time Machine"

BlinkReader

Ooopppsss!

Under every stone lies something from our beloved Mark Twain :)

I totally forgot this gem - maybe because I was reading this at age of 8-9...

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@BlinkReader

Ooopppsss!


No big deal, your comment made me think of the Twain story, I knew they were from the same general time period, I thought Twain's was first, but I wasn't really sure.

I actually had to go look them up to verify which was published first.

JohnPalko

@jordon

Here's a link to a not-so-bad starter list:

http://do-over.wikifoundry.com/page/Far+Past+Time+Travel

"Achilles and Hephaestus" by El Sol is a damn fine effort in the sub-genre despite not actually being about time travel. It was written quick and dirty, so there's a lot you can quibble with about it from a strictly literary basis, but it's miles ahead of "John and Argent" in that there is actual conflict (in the dramatic sense), character development, and consequences from the protaganist's decisions and actions.

IIRC "I was a Modren Caveman" by A. Acer Custos (on SOL)is pretty okay and it's not on the list above.

"Journey to the Past" by Alistair Acorn (on SOL) was good, a straight time portal story.

Katzmarek (on SOL) has a good series about some nuclear submarines that get transported across time/dimensions to interact with primitive peoples in the Americas.

In dead tree, H. Beam Piper's Paratime series from the sixties holds up pretty well as do Gina Marie Wylie's dips into the Paratime universe "Tangent" and "The Cost of Time" (both on SOL).

Julian May's "Saga of the Pliocene Exiles" series from the eighties is interesting and ties in with her later "Jack the Bodiless" storyline.

I think someone mentioned S. M. Stirling's Nantucket series, that tie in as kind-of-prequels to his more recent Emberverse series which started in "Dies the Fire" (and was pretty good for the first six or eight books.)

Hope these are of some interest.

MaxDel

I was a modern caveman is probably my favorite on the site. Nothing over powered.

Bondi Beach

@LonelyDad

Time Enough For Love also by Heinlein. The last section of the book is about traveling into the past.


And which establishes that a man will go to very great lengths to have the opportunity to fuck his mother.

bb

Replies:   aubie56  StarFleet Carl
aubie56

@Bondi Beach

I read the whole book because I had paid for it way back when, but I think that it was the worst book Heinlein ever wrote. I cringe every time I even look at the title!

Replies:   Wheezer  tphile2
Wheezer

@aubie56

I read the whole book because I had paid for it way back when, but I think that it was the worst book Heinlein ever wrote. I cringe every time I even look at the title!

:D Each to his own. That's one of my favorites. ;)

StarFleet Carl

@Bondi Beach

which establishes that a man will go to very great lengths to have the opportunity to fuck his mother.


I sort of figure he set the standard, which all other writers fail to reach. I mean, we have stories on here where it takes maybe five sentences for us to find out the 16 year old kid has sex with his mommy.

How many stories have the main character over 2,000 years old engage in what's basically masturbation with himself (the female clones made with his own DNA) before traveling back in time to boink his mommy? Granted, unlike many of the stories here, that was NOT his original purpose in traveling in time, it was just 'lucky' happenstance.

Hey, incest is best. Or as they say in Arkansas, if she's not good enough for her brothers, then she's not good enough for you! :)

tphile2

@aubie56


However Heinleins worst book is still better than many other authors best. GROK that and opinions may vary. I have seen many complain about FRIDAY, but it is a personal favorite LOL

gmontgomery

Eric Flint's 1632 series is a mighty forest from what was supposed to be a one off. It's now well over a million words dead tree and digital.

smaranto45

@LonelyDad

That's right it was gots. They were south Africans who stole the time tech. Because of the science they were to far away in time to go back before Gettysburg.

moredrowsy
Updated:

@JohnPalko

Thanks for the list.
Quick question. Is "I Was a Modern Caveman" a harem? I see both Ma/Fa and Fa/Fa tags. The likelihood when those two tags are there is pretty high for harem stories but I'm just making sure by asking since I'm beyond bored reading harem stories.

Replies:   JohnPalko
JohnPalko

@moredrowsy

It's been a decade or so since I read IWaMC, but IIRC there is a primary wife, but some other women are added later, which is kind of de rigueur for the caveman era. It seems to be part of the established trope that when you kill a man, his wife, possesions and kids are your responsibility, unless you reject them. In that case they are ejected from the tribe, which means they are likely dead in a few days.

sejintenej

http://storiesonline.net/s/14638/gateway-what-lies-beyond by The Blind Man.

PC is sent back to the stone age and followed by those intent upon his demise as well as making a fortune.
I haven't finished it yet so I don't know if he actually gets back to the current era

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@sejintenej

PC is sent back

PC?

Dominions Son

@Grant

PC?


Political character?

Purple character?

Premium character?

Replies:   Grant
Grant
Updated:

@Dominions Son

PC?


Political character?

Purple character?

Premium character?

My first thought was Personal Computer.
Then Police Constable.
Then I thought it might have been MC, but M is a long way from P on my keyboard.
So then I decided to ask.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Capt. Zapp

@Grant

My first thought was Personal Computer.
Then Police Constable.
Then I thought it might have been MC, but M is a long way from P on my keyboard.
So then I decided to ask.


My brain must work differently from most of the other people in the forum. When I read the statement 'PC is sent back' , I didn't think of a computer or an officer. I figured it meant 'Primary Character'. I know most refer to this person as the MC, but an MC could be 'Master of Ceremonies' or 'Master Chief'.

No wonder some of the posters on here have problems with acronyms and initialisms - they don't seem to look at the context and overthink what the one 'problem word' is.

Ernest Bywater

@Capt. Zapp

No wonder some of the posters on here have problems with acronyms and initialisms - they don't seem to look at the context and overthink what the one 'problem word' is.


I think it's more of a case of thinking it's what they're most used to.

Crumbly Writer

@Grant

PC?

Yes, the PC is sent back, followed shortly by the MAC and Linux, who attempt to prevent him from screwing up the timeline (where M$ screws up their dominance of the industry by refusing to develop software that anyone wants).

richardshagrin

I thought PC was "politically correct" for example, only rugs are Orientals now, people are Asians. And redskins are not Indians but use Native American or in Canada, First Peoples (or is that what used to be Eskimos?)

I think it is ok to get Oriented when you are lost, but I haven't checked with the PC people.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@richardshagrin

I thought PC was "politically correct" for example, only rugs are Orientals now, people are Asians. And redskins are not Indians but use Native American or in Canada, First Peoples (or is that what used to be Eskimos?)


If those who were American Indians originally crossed the Bering Straight** why are Hawaiians not Native Americans?

**just reading Chateaubriand's account of the North American tribes that he came across, their customs and even their languages. Very interesting even if he was writing in 1790's French

Replies:   REP  Wheezer
REP

@sejintenej

why are Hawaiians not Native Americans?


If I recall, Polynesians originated somewhere in Asia and then migrated through the South Pacific eventually reaching Hawaii.

Wheezer

@sejintenej

If those who were American Indians originally crossed the Bering Straight** why are Hawaiians not Native Americans?


Because they did not live on the North American continent for 12-15,000 years?

Grant

@Capt. Zapp

When I read the statement 'PC is sent back' , I didn't think of a computer or an officer. I figured it meant 'Primary Character'
No wonder some of the posters on here have problems with acronyms and initialisms - they don't seem to look at the context and overthink what the one 'problem word' is.

Now that I've see that term used, it will be possible to use it the next time I need to think in context.

Thinking in context is all well and good, if you have past experience to go by.
Since i'm pretty sure that's the first time I've seen the term Primary Character used here (it's usually Main Character) how the hell am I supposed to come up with something I've never seen before?
Hence after the first few things that did come to mind didn't match the context, I asked the question.

I know most refer to this person as the MC, but an MC could be 'Master of Ceremonies' or 'Master Chief'.

You acknowledged that MC is the generally used term, yet you considered Master of Ceremonies of Master Chief as possibilities?

Replies:   Capt. Zapp  REP
Capt. Zapp

@Grant

Thinking in context is all well and good, if you have past experience to go by.


As long as there is additional material surrounding the unusual term, the meaning of the term can usually be ascertained by the context in which it is used. Most readers are able to do this.

You acknowledged that MC is the generally used term, yet you considered Master of Ceremonies of Master Chief as possibilities?


No, I didn't say I considered it. I said "MC could be 'Master of Ceremonies' or 'Master Chief'." meaning that those are other titles referred to as 'MC'. Having a background in hosting events as well as having a military background, I have encountered MC used for both of the alternatives I mentioned. Again, it is a matter of reading it in context.

The MC was a MC who volunteered to MC the show. :)

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Capt. Zapp

As long as there is additional material surrounding the unusual term, the meaning of the term can usually be ascertained by the context in which it is used. Most readers are able to do this.

Yep.
But when all you can come up with doesn't make any sense in the context you're trying to place it, you ask the question.

REP

@Grant

Since i'm pretty sure that's the first time I've seen the term Primary Character used here (it's usually Main Character)


I haven't seen the term used before either. When I saw it in the post, I thought it must be the initials of the MC.

Replies:   sejintenej
awnlee jawking

@Capt. Zapp

When I read the statement 'PC is sent back' , I didn't think of a computer or an officer. I figured it meant 'Primary Character'.


I assumed 'Principal Character'. The uncertainty is why it's not widely used in writing circles. Neither is MC for that matter, although it seems to be gaining ground here as the lesser of two evils.

AJ

sejintenej
Updated:

@REP


Grant

Since i'm pretty sure that's the first time I've seen the term Primary Character used here (it's usually Main Character)

I haven't seen the term used before either. When I saw it in the post, I thought it must be the initials of the MC.


I was actually thinking of Principal Character (a parallel to Principal Ballerina etc) though Primary is a sensible and understandable alternative.

As for MC that has to be a Master of Ceremonies or, at a stretch Master Chef but what the **** is a Master Chief? Master Chef is an honorary culinary title but how can anyone be above the Chief? DT wouldn't like looking up to his Master Chief of the Armed Forces! (I do hope he changes his name - not nice to have DTs)

Edit: since posting I have just seen Awnlee's posting; good to see I am not alone - thanks.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@sejintenej


but what the **** is a Master Chief?


It's a short form for a naval enlisted rank. In the US navy, you have seamen, then petty officers, chief petty officers, senior chief petty officers and master chief petty officers.

Master chief petty officer is a mouthful, so it usually gets shortened to master chief.

http://www.militaryfactory.com/ranks/navy_ranks.asp

Replies:   tphile2
tphile2

@Dominions Son

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_Chief_(Halo)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@tphile2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_Chief_(Halo)


He is commonly referred to by his naval rank


Master chief is used in real life US navy lingo and predates the Halo video games by a wide margin.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Master chief is used in real life US navy lingo and predates the Halo video games by a wide margin.


I think the USN usage predates the birth of the people who wrote HALO.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I think the USN usage predates the birth of the people who wrote HALO.


I would not be at all surprised by that.

sejintenej

Surely HALO is a Special Forces technique of hidden parachute insertion into an enemy position: High Altitude Low Opening
I suspect that it the international understanding and the only one shown by Google

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sejintenej

I suspect that it the international understanding and the only one shown by Google


You suspect incorrectly. I did a search on Google for "HALO"

not a single mention of the high altitude parachute technique in the first four pages of results.

Replies:   madnige
paliden

High-altitude military parachuting (or military free fall (MFF)) is a method of delivering military personnel, military equipment, and other military supplies from a transport aircraft at a high altitude via free-fall parachute insertion. Two techniques are used: HALO (high altitude – low opening) and HAHO (high altitude – high opening).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_military_parachuting

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@paliden

High-altitude military parachuting (or military free fall (MFF)) is a method of delivering military personnel, military equipment, and other military supplies from a transport aircraft at a high altitude via free-fall parachute insertion. Two techniques are used: HALO (high altitude – low opening) and HAHO (high altitude – high opening).


You missed the point. A search on "HALO" returns lots of results for the game, and none for High Altitude Low Opening parachuting.

Replies:   tphile2  paliden
tphile2

@Dominions Son

the game HALO refers to the Niven Ringworlds the game is based on. and is another name to call them since they resemble angelic Halos in the heavens. duh
btw Master Chief refers to the character and has nothing to do with what came first in naval history

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@tphile2

Master Chief refers to the character and has nothing to do with what came first in naval history


Except for the fact that the character is called Master Chief, because per the story of the game, he holds the rank of master chief petty officer of the navy.

Do you imagine that the games creators pulled the rank structure for their fictional space navy out of thin air yet somehow managed to duplicate the rank structure of the US navy?

paliden

@Dominions Son

You missed the point. A search on "HALO" returns lots of results for the game, and none for High Altitude Low Opening parachuting.

You are correct, I wasn't thinking of the game.

madnige

@Dominions Son

I did a search on Google for "HALO"


...and, to avoid the bucketloads of game matches, optical effects, religious symbolism etc I added 'acronym' because it was very clear that it was an acronym; the top result is then for the parachute technique, coming even before acronym sites.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@madnige

I added 'acronym' because it was very clear that it was an acronym; the top result is then for the parachute technique, coming even before acronym sites.


That works because 'HALO' in parachuting is an acronym, while 'HALO' in gaming is the name of the game, even thought it's derived from the acronym.

red61544

@jordon

I just noticed that nobody has recommended mu favorite time travel story. Scotland the Brave's "Surviving", in my opinion, is the best time travel story on SOL. And, unlike most others, it is complete! No yellow line whatsoever.

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