Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Time Travel Archives

a publishing idea

Defining statement: the Time Travel Archives would be uniform editions of good time travel stories and novels covering the basic concept, the causality paradoxes and divergent timelines but excluding stories or novels whose internal logic of time travel was regarded by the Editor as unacceptably inconsistent.

However, works by Wells, Anderson and Finney that compensate for questionable logic in other ways would be included. A rigorous application of the defining statement would rule out The Time Machine, The Time Patrol and Time and Again.

The Basic Concept, Causality Violation and Divergent Timelines

"Missing One's Coach" Anonymous
A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
The Time Machine by HG Wells
Lest Darkness Fall by L Sprague de Camp
Bring The Jubilee by Ward Moore
Past Times (a revised edition) by Poul Anderson
The Time Patrol by Poul Anderson
The Shield of Time by Poul Anderson
Jack Finney's time travel short stories collected
Time And Again by Jack Finney
From Time To Time by Jack Finney

Circular Causality

"The Chronic Argonauts" by HG Wells
"A Stitch in Time" and "Chronoclasm" by John Wyndham
"By His Bootstraps" and "-All You Zombies" by Robert Heinlein
The Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein
The Technicolor Time Machine by Harry Harrison
Beyond The Barrier by Damon Knight
The Corridors Of Time by Poul Anderson
The Dancer From Atlantis by Poul Anderson
There Will Be Time by Poul Anderson
Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Curious Sub-Sub-Genre of Juvenile Historical Fantasy Time Travel Novels by English Women Writers
A Traveller In Time by Alison Uttley
The Moon Dial by Helen Cresswell
Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
The Story Of The Amulet by E Nesbit

Not to be included 

The End Of Eternity by Isaac Asimov
The Legion Of Time by Jack Williamson
The Big Time by Fritz Leiber
Up The Line by Robert Silverberg
The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold
11/22/63 by Stephen King

For discussion of some of these works, see here and here. An extra volume of the Archives would be an Editorial explanation of inclusions and exclusions. Apart from the circular causality paradox and the curious sub-sub-genre, I found it impossible to list the categories separately. Causality violation is possibly attempted in A Connecticut Yankee and subtly implied in The Time Machine before it occurs in Lest Darkness Fall, thus initiating a divergent timeline.

"Missing One's Coach" and the first five items in the "Circular Causality" list could form a collection.

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