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Time-Travel Fiction

Posted: by Emma on September 9, 2014

Time-Travel Fiction

Reading time-travel fiction involves a suspension of disbelief on the reader’s behalf. When you read a time-travel story, it is important to not dwell on how the character got to this other place in time. Too many paradoxes arise when you try to think about it rationally.  Once you start to question, it is easy to fall into a black hole of confusion...and there's no fun in that! 

Here is a short list of fiction that involves time-travel:

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This book is a time-travel love story, popular with book clubs, about a man named Henry DeTamble who travels through time involuntarily. Henry has a genetic disorder, which causes him to disappear and return to a time in his past. Henry has learned to deal with this strange life, and he does not go back to try and change anything because he knows that he cannot. 

Henry falls in love with Clare, who he first meets when she is a child, but eventually meets her again and again as a woman at various times in her life. They fall in love and try to form a relationship based around Henry's disappearances and reappearances.  Reading their complicated love story, and how they strive to make it work, makes the idea of time-travel almost seem romantic. Their bond was just so strong that it pulled them together, through time, over and over again.

Place a hold on the library's copy of The Time Traveler's Wife

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

This thriller features a time-traveling serial killer, which is such a unique idea that it grabs the reader's attention right from the start. The serial killer, Harper Curtis, has found a way to travel through time (I won’t ruin it for you, but it involves a location with a science-fictional element.)  He chooses his victims, all girls, because they "shine" and goes back in time to meet them when they are young.  He then waits for the right time in their lives to "extinguish" their light. This goes on until one of the victims survives, and manages to figure out what is happening. She then makes it her mission to track him down and stop the killings.

This book is engrossing, but at the same time a little disturbing as it is quite explicit in its murder descriptions.  But the reader gets to travel through time with the killer, with no real idea of what will happen next. It makes for a good read because it is just so hard to put down.

Place a hold on the library's copy of The Shining Girls

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

A historical fiction time-travel novel that features both WWII and eighteenth-century Scotland. The heroine, Claire, is a married WWII nurse who finds herself back in time in the turbulent 1700s Scotland. Claire is quickly able to grasp what has happened to her, and manages to connect with a handsome Scotsman who helps her navigate this brutal era. The book involves time travel, mystery, romance, war, and murder. The characters are exceedingly well-developed and the plot is engaging. Despite the book's considerable length, you will not want it to end.  Luckily, after you finish the first in the series, there are seven more to read...and a new mini-series on TV.

Place a hold on the library's copy of Outlander

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Jake Epping, a high school English teacher, is entrusted with a mission - to prevent the assassination of John. F. Kennedy.  To do this, he must step through a portal and go back in time to September 1959. When he returns, only two minutes in real time have elapsed. With each trip back, time resets and everything returns to how it was. This book was extremely well-researched, and is very fast-paced. The focus of this book, as with most time-travel novels, is the idea of the consequences of travelling back in time - what effects could your actions have on the future?  What changes could have been made by the small decisions you've made in the past? Part suspense, part romance, this book is all Stephen King. A must read for any history buffs.

Place a hold on the library's copy of 11/22/63




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