time-slip n.

a rift or flaw in the fabric of time that allows travel between two or more periods of time or timelines; any accidental or unexplained movement between periods of time; cf. timequake n., time storm n.

SF Encyclopedia


Time Travel

  • [1932 C. A. Brandt In the Realm of Books in Amazing Stories Aug. 471/1 page image C. A. Brandt bibliography

    Of course, this ‘slipping of the time’ system is the easiest way out for the author.]

  • [1939 L. S. de Camp Lest Darkness Fall in Unknown Dec. 13/1 L. Sprague de Camp bibliography

    He thought, I’m not asleep, so I must be crazy. What was Tancredi talking about? Something about slipping back in time? I’m imagining that I’ve done just that. I think I’m in the later Roman Empire.]

  • 1941 L. S. de Camp Lest Darkness Fall i. 13 L. Sprague de Camp bibliography

    No, the hypothesis of delirium might be a tough one, but it offered fewer difficulties than that of the time-slip.

  • 1949 ‘P. Wentworth’ Brading Collection (1950) 73

    Stacy had heard it all before. It brought a horrid feeling that there had been a kind of time-slip—that they had been caught back again, she and Charles, to where they were three years ago.

  • 1954 ‘˜C. H. Liddell™’ Where the World is Quiet in Fantastic Universe May 152/1 Henry Kuttner bibliography

    So even now I do not know all that lay behind the terror in that Peruvian valley. This much I learned: the Other, like Lhar and her robot, had been cast adrift by a time-slip, and thus marooned here. There was no way for it to return to its normal Time-sector. It had created the fog-wall to protect itself from the direct rays of the sun, which threatened its existence.

  • 1958 P. S. Miller Reference Library in Astounding Science Fiction Jan. 150/1 page image P. Schuyler Miller

    The scientist…has undergone a ‘time slip’ which has him answering questions before they're asked.

  • 1974 B. Aldiss Frankenstein Unbound in Fantastic Mar. 19/1 page image Brian W. Aldiss bibliography

    When I woke, it was without any idea of time. The timeslip had upset my circadian rhythms.

  • 1981 K. Roberts Kaeti’s Nights in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct. 57/1 page image Keith Roberts bibliography

    I said, ‘What’s happening?’ I don’t know quite what I meant by that. Some sort of a time-slip idea I think.

  • 2003 Interzone (#186) Feb. 64/3 page image

    A tale of a young woman’s timeslip to 15th-century England.

  • 2012 Guardian 13 Oct. (Review section) 12/5

    Labyrinth is a time-slip novel with parallel plots set in the 13th century, when members of the Cathar sect became the first targets of the campaign against heresy that later became the Spanish inquisition, and on an archaeological dig in 2005.

  • 2021 C. McQuiston One Last Stop vi. 133 Casey McQuiston bibliography

    Myla leans in. ‘Do you know anything about time slips?’ August blinks. ‘No.’ ‘Okay,’ Myla says. She seizes the ketchup, dumping it over the fries. August pulls a face, and Myla waves it off. ‘It’s this sci-fi trope where somebody gets lost in time. So, like, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Mark Twain book. Guy gets hit in the head and wakes up in Camelot. Maybe something happened to her on the train that threw her out of time.’ August frowns. ‘Like, she time traveled?’ ‘Sort of,’ Myla says thoughtfully.


Research requirements

antedating 1941

Earliest cite

L. Sprague de Camp, "Lest Darkness Fall"

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a 1954 cite from C. H. Liddell [Henry Kuttner]'s "Where the World is Quiet".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1958 cite for the form "time slip" from P. Schuyler Miller's "The Reference Library".
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1941 cite from the novel publication of L. Sprague de Camp's "Lest Darkness Fall"; the 1939 pulp version in "Unknown" only contains the expression "slipping back in time".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2021 cite from Casey McQuiston.

Last modified 2022-02-01 21:19:23
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.