The Time Travellers Almanac

By Ann Vandermeer

The Time Travellers Almanac, a novel by Ann Vandermeer
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Back in November 2011 Jeff and Ann VanderMeer published "The Weird", the ultimate collection of weird tales of the last 100 years. This November they turn their attentions to Time Travel in another landmark Tome.

This is without a doubt the most definitive collection of stories featuring time travel that has ever been assembled and the contributors read like a who's who of Science Fiction - Wells, Adams, Asimov, Bradbury, Gibson, Le Guin, Moorcock, Baker, Bear, Egan, Chu, Cherryh - to name a few (full list below).

65 tales spanning over a million years all collected together in one extraordinarily large book that will leave your postman struggling for breath. Each one has been ever so carefully chosen from classics such as an extract from HG Well's "The Time Machine", Richard Matheson's "Death Ship" and Ray Bradbury's famous short "A Sound of Thunder" to contemporary tales such as John Chu's "Thirty seconds from now" and Adam Roberts "The Time telephone".

Each short story is grouped into one of four distinct categories: "Experiments", "Reactionaries and Revolutionaries", "Mazes and Traps" and "Communiqués" which works pretty well as an aid to choosing which story to read. Experiments deals with experimentation of time travel, be it person or organisation; test subject or experimenter. Reactionaries and Revolutionaries deals with those trying to protect the past from change or those who are time travel tourists. Mazes and Traps is all about time paradox and those who become trapped within while Communiqués collect the stories about those who try and get messages to someone in the past or the future.

The quality of the book is quite exceptional, a clever layout with some nice illustrations and a brief intro for each author. This quality extends to the content too, each story clearly very carefully considered and each a little gem in it's own right. A wonderful collection that deserves space on everyone's shelf.

The list of short stories in full:


  • Death Ship - Richard Matheson
  • Ripples in the Dirac Sea - Geoffrey Landis
  • Needle in a Timestack - Robert Silverberg
  • Another Story - Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Hwang’s Billion Brilliant Daughters - Alice Sola Kim
  • How the Future Got Better - Eric Schaller
  • Pale Rose - Michael Moorcock
  • The Gernsback Continuum - William Gibson
  • The Threads of Time - C.J. Cherryh
  • Triceratops Summer - Michael Swanwick
  • The Most Important Thing in the World - Steve Bein
  • Himself in Anachron - Cordwainer Smith
  • (excerpt from) The Time Machine - H.G. Wells
  • Young Zaphod Plays It Safe - Douglas Adams

Reactionaries and Revolutionaries

  • A Sound of Thunder - Ray Bradbury
  • Vintage Seasons - Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore
  • Thirty Seconds From Now - John Chu
  • Forty, Counting Down - Harry Turtledove
  • The Final Days - David Langford
  • Fire Watch - Connie Willis
  • Noble Mold - Kage Baker
  • Under Siege - George R.R. Martin
  • Where or When - Steve Utley
  • Time Gypsies - Ellen Klages
  • On the Watchtower at Plataea - Garry Kilworth
  • Alexia and Graham Bell - Rosaleen Love
  • A Night on the Barbary Coast - Kage Baker
  • This Tragic Glass - Elizabeth Bear
  • The Gulf of the Years - George-Olivier Châteaureynaud
  • Enoch Soames - Max Beerbohn

Mazes and Traps

  • The Clock That Went Backwards - Edward Page Mitchell
  • Yesterday Was Monday - Theodore Sturgeon
  • Is There Anybody There? - Kim Newman
  • Fish Night - Joe Lansdale
  • Against the Lafayette Escadrille - Gene Wolfe
  • Palindromic - Peter Crowther
  • Augusta Prima - Karin Tidbeck
  • Life Trap - Barrington J Bayley
  • The Lost Continent - Greg Egan
  • The Mouse Ran Down - Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • The Great Clock - Langdon Jones
  • Traveller’s Rest - David Masson
  • Delhi - Vandana Singh
  • Come-From-Always - Tony Pi
  • Terminós - Dean Francis Alfar
  • The Weed of Time - Norman Spinrad
  • The Waitabits - Eric Frank Russell


  • What If? - Issac Asimov
  • As Time Goes By - Tanith Lee
  • At Dorado - Geoffrey Landis
  • 3 RMS, Good View - Karen Haber
  • Twenty-One and Counting Up - Harry Turtledove
  • Loob - Bob Leman
  • The House that Made the Sixteen Loops of Time - Tamsyn Muir
  • The Lost Pilgrim - Gene Wolfe
  • Swing Time - Carrie Vaughn
  • The Mask of the Rex - Richard Bowes
  • Message in a Bottle - Nalo Hopkinson
  • The Time Telephone - Adam Roberts
  • Red Letter Day - Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Domine - Rjurik Davidson
  • In The Tube - E.F. Benson
  • Bad Timing - Molly Brown
  • If Ever I Should Leave You - Pamela Sargent
  • Palimpsest - Charlie Stross

Written on 29th November 2013 by .

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