With so many great books to read and so many other demands on our time, chances are that most readers have wished they had access to a time machine at some point just to rewind back to a holiday or free weekend. Of course, the ability to travel through time would also have a lot of other uses, but the risk might not be worth the potential reward. It is for this reason that time travel is a topic that has fascinated authors of all kinds of genres, from science fiction to romance. Due to the complexity involved, it is a subject where authors have to tread carefully less they want their readers to, in the words of Austin Powers, “go cross-eyed.” Here are just a few books that deal with the topic in an interesting and engaging manner.
The Travis Chase Series by Patrick Lee
The Travis Chase series, by author Patrick Lee, comprises of three books starring an ex-convict who becomes embroiled in some world changing events after his release from prison. The series consists of The Breach, Ghost Country and Deep Sky, and the second book in particular will be appealing to readers who enjoy stories about time travel. The mixture of political tales and science fiction elements, such as an entity that can open a hole in time, makes this series an enjoyable read.
The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman
What would you do if you invented a time machine by accident? This is the conundrum facing Matt Fuller, the grad-school dropout protagonist of The Accidental Time Machine by author Joe Haldeman. Initially, Matt experiments with sending things through time, but eventually throws caution to the wind and takes a trip himself. Unfortunately, his trip has some unwanted consequences, which prompts Matt to continue traveling through time in a search for somewhere to stop where he will be safe.
The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold
In this 1973 science fiction novel by author David Gerrold the protagonist, a collage student named Daniel Eakins, inherits a “Timebelt” from his uncle. With the use of this timebelt, David is able to travel through time and one of his first stops is the future where he encounters himself, which sets off an interesting chain of events. Readers who are more interested in the personal impact that time travel might have on characters, instead of a plot involving saving or conquering the world, will enjoy this ingenious tale.
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer offers another unique look at the concept of time travel. The protagonist of this tale is the titular Greta Wells and she finds herself sinking into a deep depression after the death of her brother and betrayal by her significant other. In a last ditch attempt to ease her sadness, she follows the advice of her doctor and undergoes an unusual procedure that sees her experiencing her live in three different times. It is a thought provoking tale and Greer does a great job with taking a complex science fiction concept and turning it into a touching personal story.
In The Garden of Iden by Kage Baker
In The Garden of Iden, which is the first book in the Company series by author Kage Baker, offers a blend of history and science fiction. While the book takes place during the 16th century, the protagonist is an immortal cyborg named Mendoza. Time travel is a very expensive process in this series and is used by a 24th-century organization, along with the secrets of immortality, for their own gain. While the focus of the series is not so much about time travel, but the nefarious ways in which it is used, this book and those that follow it will definitely appeal to fans of the genre.
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
No list of books dealing with time travel would be complete without The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Not only did the author, who published this book way back in 1895, coin the term time machine, but he also inspired numerous works of fiction that deal with the topic. The Time Machine deals with a protagonist who travels into the future and discovers what fate awaits mankind.