Booklist: Time Travel
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Current Song: SVU score music
Time travel is one of my favorite topics. I'm fascinated by the concept, and I enjoy stories, movies, documentaries, and TV specials about it. Some rely heavily upon fantasy and imagination, while others discuss science and possibility.
The Boys are Back in Town by Christopher Golden is my favorite book which employs time travel. It is also one of my favorite books written by Golden, which is saying a lot, considering 1) how much I love his books and 2) how many books he's written.
What adult hasn't wondered what life would be like if things had been different in high school, and what teen hasn't wondered what they'd do when they grew up? Take those questions, those ideas, and darken them, then insert the twists of tragedy and forgotten (or altered) memories, and you've got The Boys are Back in Town.
When Will attends his ten-year reunion, he expects to catch up with old friends, not discover that one is dead. The victim is someone with whom he recently communicated, yet everyone else claims died in high school. In the blink of an eye, Will remembers the event, yet retains his 'regular' memories as well.
As the story continues, more memories are revealed. These aren't suppressed memories, but rather new-old memories. Altered memories. Someone or something is changing the minds of Will and his old friends. Finding the source - and the strength to stop it - will lead him on an imaginative journey readers will always remember.
If you know me - if you really know me - you might be able to figure out how this book connects to me. (Notice that I said "to," not "with.") Think you know? Leave a comment below!
Read the first three chapters of the book.
Additional Time Travel Picks
The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn
This fantastic story has stayed with me for nearly twenty years. (Time travel! A cat! Consumption! Mary Downing Hahn! Of course I love it!) This book was written for children ages 8 and up. When a young girl follows a white cat under a hedge, she befriends another girl - one who is not from her time.
The Withern Rise Trilogy aka the Aldous Lexicon Trilogy by Michael Lawrence
This trilogy is shelved in teen fiction. It's great for adults as well. I really enjoyed what the author did with alternate realities and family lines. It is vital that you read the trilogy in order:
- A Crack in the Line
- Small Eternities
- The Underwood See
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Not necessarily one of my favorite books about this subject nor in general, but something that's worth reading. One of my close friends absolutely loves this story and took her online name from it. Since a bunch of my customers are currently reading this in class, I won't say anything more about it, as I want them to read the book with an open mind and draw their own conclusions.
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
For his entire life, an "average" guy is afflicted with time travel. He doesn't get to choose when or where he goes, but instead of traveling back to a place and time like Ancient Egypt (where I'd like to go!), he ends up traveling to places and events which are always related to him or to his loved ones. Like The Boys are Back in Town, I can't tell you about a certain character without giving something important away, so go read the book, then leave a comment below. Like The Boys are Back in Town, this novel was written for adults, so it may be all right for older teens to read but has some language and scenes that may not be appropriate for younger readers.
Bonus books: Scott Westerfeld's Midnighters trilogy has a different take on time.
My favorite time travel films include Somewhere in Time, Donnie Darko, and Frequency.
Somewhere in Time is based on the book Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson. I like the film much, much more than the book. I love the music John Barry created for the picture. He also provided the score for the 1972 live-action British musical film adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, another of my favorite films based on one of my favorite books.
Also, while Sliding Doors may not be precisely time travel, if you liked it and like that kind of alternate reality story, you should definitely read The Boys are Back in Town and the Withern Rise trilogy. Now.
I enjoy Doctor Who. I haven't seen the original series, but I've seen many episodes of the new series with the Ninth and Tenth Doctors. Go, David Tennant! I haven't seen the Eleventh Doctor yet.
I also liked the TV show Time Trax. Go, Dale Midkiff!
If you like stories about time travel, you may also like stories dealing with dystopia or time loops.