time travel n.

the activity of travelling into the past or future; hypothetical movement through time n.

SF Encyclopedia


Time Travel

  • 1914 W. B. Pitkin in Journal Philosophy Psychology & Scientific Methods 10 Sept. 524

    But now appears the hardship in time-travel. If real time is the course of natural events, then the tourist who traverses that time traverses history; and that means that he traverses a world of change, a world in which nations rise and fall, tempests leap up, destroy, and subside, houses are built with toil and burned in the frenzy of sudden war, and so on.

  • 1931 Wonder Stories Dec. 825/2 page image

    John Taine has probed deeply into the nature of time, and of time travel, and his ingenious mind has created a tremendous and thrilling story of the whole human race.

  • 1931 C. D. Simak World of the Red Sun in Wonder Stories Dec. 879/2 page image Clifford D. Simak bibliography

    They had thought of only one thing, time travel.

  • 1933 B. Veatch Letter in Astounding Stories of Super-Science Jan. 422/2 page image

    Time-travel, fourth-dimensional and intra-atomic stories are scientifically impossible; viz., infinitely improbable.

  • 1937 E. F. Russell & L. J. Johnson Seeker of To-Morrow in Astounding Stories July 138/1 page image Eric Frank Russell Leslie J. Johnson bibliography

    My time-travel room stands awaiting your inspection at a place that I can describe to you only as Farmer Wright’s field.

  • 1941 J. W. Campbell Letter 1 Oct. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 21 John W. Campbell, Jr.

    You've taken a…highly intriguing point in the whole theory of time-travel, and built it up to the proportions it deserved.

  • 1974 P. K. Dick Little Something for Us Tempunauts in We can Remember It for you Wholesale (1994) 339 Philip K. Dick bibliography

    The public believes that…the flight into time, the first American time-travel launch, was successful.

  • 1974 P. K. Dick Little Something for Us Tempunauts in We can Remember It for you Wholesale (1994) 344 Philip K. Dick bibliography

    An extraordinary moment in the history of the United States' involvement with time travel.

  • 1983 R. Silverberg Needle in a Timestack in Conglomeroid Cocktail Party (1984) 275 Robert Silverberg bibliography

    Time-travel as tourism held no interest for him… The purpose of Tommy Hambledon’s time-travel, it seemed, was to edit his past to make his life more perfect.

  • 1992 Books in Science Fiction Age Nov. 14/3 (review of Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book) page image

    Kivrin finds her survival dependent on the family…, short-circuiting her expectations and the common power fantasy of time travel stories whereby we imagine ourselves superior to the people of the past.

  • 2016 J. Gleick Time Travel i. 5 James Gleick bibliography

    Time travel is a fantasy of the modern era. When Wells in his lamp-lit room imagined a time machine, he also invented a new mode of thought.

Research requirements

antedating 1914

Earliest cite

W. Pitkin in 'The Journal of Philosophy and Scientific Methods'

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1941 cite.
Fred Galvin identified a reprint of a 1933 letter by Donald Allgeier, which Robert Woodward verified in the original magazine.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a reprint of Eric Frank Russell and Leslie Johnson's "Seeker of Tomorrow", which Mike Christie verified in the 1937 original magazine version.
Robert Woodward submitted a 1932 cite from a letter by Robert Feeney to Astounding.
Cory Panshin submitted a cite from a reprint of Clifford Simak's "The World of the Red Sun"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1931 magazine version.
Mike Christie submitted a 1931 cite from John Taine's "The Time Stream".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1914 cite from an article by Walter Pitkin in "The Journal of Philosophy Psychology and Scientific Methods".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1935 cite from the editorial introduction, presumably by Hugo Gernsback, to David Daniels story "The Branches of Time" in Wonder Stories.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from Paul Nahin's 1999 book "Time Machines", quoting the editorial introduction, presumably by Hugo Gernsback, to David B. Daniels' story "The Branches of Time" in the August 1935 Wonder Stories; Galvin subsequently verified the cite in the original magazine.
Robert Woodward submitted a cite from a letter by C. Connally in Astounding.

(Earliest cite in OED2: 1953; updated to 1914 in OED3.)

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.