Ultimate Time Travel
Books, Movies, TV Shows and Everything Time Travel


Classification: Alternate Reality

 

A Sound of Thunder is the movie version of Ray Bradbury’s famous short story. This short story is responsible for the term “the butterfly effect”… and now that I’ve told you that, you can probably guess the movie’s entire plot. The movie version is slightly different from the short story, though the basic idea is the same.

 

A couple of decades from now, in 2055, a company perfects a technology that enables sending people back in time. Primarily intending the technology to be used for money making, they offer a tourist package to wealthy people: pay a hefty fee, and go back with a tour guide on a great dinosaur hunting adventure.

 

As a side note, one can’t help but wonder why the inventors of this technology simply cannot go back a few days and – oh, I don’t know – buy lottery tickets that with the winning numbers (which are already known in the present). Nonetheless, this is generally a legitimate premise.

 

Back to the plot: there are two types of risks for the company. The first is that someone may get hurt: dinosaurs are exceptionally dangerous creatures, and even with a highly trained team, something can still go wrong. The second is subtler: during a trip to the past, there is a risk that something may be changed that will propagate through time and affect the present in catastrophic ways.

 

In order to ward off this dangerous possibility, the company has a very specific set of rules on how the tourists and personnel should act: they are only allowed to walk on a designated path, which is heavily monitored by the security personnel. Furthermore, they are only allowed to shoot a specific dinosaur that is already known to have died in the near future. Thus, they believe the timeline would be preserved.

 

But something goes wrong: when a tyrannosaurus rex fails to die, a client panics and leaves the approved path. Fortunately, the security team takes over and nothing bad happens. Everyone then quickly returns to the present, and are relieved to see all is as it should be. Phew!

 

But not long afterwards certain things begin to change… and not just once, but multiple times. A careful investigation finds that when the client went off the path, he accidentally stepped on a prehistoric butterfly-like creature, which is found, dead, on the tourist’s shoe. Apparently, this started a cascade of events that has enormous ramifications on the present. I won’t spoil the rest – you’ll have to see the movie to find out!

 

Bradbury’s short story is a classic, in particular since it illustrates a subtle point very well. In the story, someone accidentally steps on a butterfly, and when he returns everything is completely different – the entire society is transformed. In my opinion, this is really how the story should be told. However, since translating this story into film will only take 20-25 minutes, the movie drags the point much, much longer.

 

Even worse, the movie turns this rather imaginative premise to an action/horror movie… and not even a good one! Although the acting was not bad, the plot dragged way too long, the effects weren’t that good, and – well – it wasn’t that interesting! I don’t intend to spoil the movie, but the final scene was unintentionally comical (it was probably supposed to be horrific!). Really gave me a good laugh.

 

In summary, an okay action/sci-fi movie, if you have nothing else to do. Otherwise, skip it.

 


Link to the DVD on Amazon.com

 

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Classification: Historical Characters

 

Voyagers! begins with a Jeffrey Jones, a boy living in 1982 with his uncle after his parents died. One afternoon, a man suddenly appears before his eyes. Extremely surprised, the shock causes him to fall out of the window. But instead of dying, the man jumps after him and – miraculously – transports them both somewhere safe.

 

It seems Jeffrey was rescued by Phineas Bogg, a member of the society of time travelers who are responsible in maintaining the timelines in the event that they go wrong (something that happens all the time). Since Phineas doesn’t know much about history, and Jeffrey does (his father was a history professor), they both go together on various temporal journeys. This often brings them in contact with various historical characters.

 

As a kid, Voyagers! used to be my favorite show. I used to have dreams about the Omni, the watch-like device Phineas uses to transport himself in time. Although it looked a bit outdated when I recently watched a couple of episodes, I still really enjoyed it.

 

As a side note, Jon-Erik Hexum, the actor who played Phineas Bogg tragically died at the end of first season by a stunt prop. It’s a real shame.

 

A second side note, last I read, Meeno Peluce the kid who played Jeffrey, now works as a history teacher. I guess he really was the perfect casting!

 

In summary: highly recommended: Adventure, history and time travel – you can’t go wrong with this combination!

 


The show’s DVD on Amazon

 

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foop

Classification: Past Time Travel

 

In Foop! we meet Joe, a tour guide working for Dactyl, a time traveling tourism company. In the first chapter, Joe receives word he is being promoted to Chief of Probes. His first task: find out who’s traveling in time and repeatedly torturing younger versions of his boss in bizarre ways. Very quickly, Joe finds himself in a wacky adventure, meeting bizarre people – and inevitably (as is often the case in this category of book), attempting to prevent the fabric of space-time from unraveling.

 

Foop! is written in a strange way. The writing style has been characterized as disjointed but remarkably witty and funny. This is actually one of the reasons I got the book – I was eager to try something new and nontraditional. Nevertheless, although strange can be good, I didn’t find the manner in which Foop! was written to be conductive towards pleasurable reading. Who am I kidding – it was painful to read! The book was populated with insane characters doing strange actions. It felt a lot like watching a cartoon meant for 6 year olds; in fact, without any shred of sarcasm, I think this was the goal! It probably attempted to me modern and edgy, and based on other reviews I’ve read, many people believe that it was.

 

Although Foop! is meant to be funny, in my opinion it was not. Foop! was trying to be clever, and that may be the case (still not sure), but it’s also unbelievably irritating. I will admit that Foop! had some interesting ideas. Perhaps if it wasn’t trying so hard to be witty, and wasn’t doing it in such cartoonishly annoying way, it could have been half decent. I guess I’ll never know – halfway through the book I gave up on reading. Not something I often do when reading, and almost never when reading Time Travel novels.

 

To summarize: some people have enjoyed Foop!, and it is certainly unusual and original. That being said, I did not enjoy it at all. The reader is welcome to give it a shot at his own peril.

 


Link to the book’s details on Amazon.com

 

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timeshare3

 

Classification: Historical Characters

 

The adventures of John Surrey continue in Timeshare – A Time For War, the third installment of the Timeshare trilogy.

 

In this book, John Surrey – the head of security of the time travel agency – and his wife Althea Rowland, go back to London in the 1940s so they could participate in World War II. John is determined to assist in the war effort, hoping it’ll end even better than it did, and so, he decides to join a special unit headed by Ian Fleming (author of the James Bond series).

 

As before, John meets and befriends various historical characters. There’s not much new to say about the book, since it’s very very similar to the other two entries in the series, and as with the other books, the plot feels is virtually secondary.

 

After reading the third novel in the series, I felt the novelty completely wore off. I wasn’t interested in reading about historical celebrities anymore, and the plot was simply not strong enough to keep me from losing interest. To be honest, after I finished it, I felt as if I’d already read it before – and at times I have trouble remembering which plot belong to which novel.

 

But in all fairness, this is still not a bad book, and in fact would make a fun read for someone who absolutely enjoyed the other two novels, and wants more. I’d even make a wager and say that if one hasn’t read any books in the series, he’d probably really like this one. It’s the repetitiveness of the three books which turns one off.

 

To summarize: If you can’t get enough of this style of book, go for it. Otherwise, you may want to skip this one. I probably wouldn’t be getting book 4 if it ever comes out.

 


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timeshare2

 

Classification: Historical Characters

 

Timeshare – Second Time Around is book two of the Timeshare trilogy.

 

John Surrey, the ex-cop who works for the time agency, travels back in time to 1926 together with his wife and movie star, Althea Rowland. This time they must rescue a client who managed to escape from Timeshare. The hunt for the client provides lots of encounters with – strangely enough (yes, I’m being sarcastic) – numerous past celebrities! Including Bugsy Siegel, Ronald Reagen, Charles Lindbergh, Al Capone, Harpo Marx and more.

 

Indeed, just like in the previous novel, the plot very quickly becomes secondary, and celebrity hunt becomes the primary focus. Since this is the second book in the series, the novelty of the premise is starting to wear off; usually at this point the plot is suppose to hook us in, alas, the plot is not strong enough to maintain the reader’s interest. That being said, despite these obvious weaknesses, the book is generally still a fast-paced, fun read. It could be the perfect novel for lying on the beach or during long plane flights.

 

In summary, All in all, it’s a fun read, but don’t expect too much.

 


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timeshare

 

Classification: Historical Characters

 

Timeshare is the ultimate in the ‘Historical Characters’ sub-genre, and is the first book in the Timeshare series.

 

In Timeshare we are introduced to John Surrey, an ex-cop, who works as the head of security for a travel agency that sells trips to the past. In particular, John’s responsibility is bringing back those clients that do not wish to return. But before this could be done, John is sent back to test the equipment. His first mission: get a small part in “The Maltese Falcon”.

 

During John’s travels he gets to meet and hobnob with a lot of famous past celebrities. In fact, this is such a major aspect of the novel that at some point it becomes obvious this is the entire point of the book – the book’s plot is secondary, describing encounters with famous historical celebrities is the primary goal. A partial list of the people John gets to rub shoulders would consist of Jim Morrison, Clark Gable, John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart among others.

 

Although the premise is decent, and utilizing many historical characters can be quite fun, the result obtained here is an extremely shallow read. Worse, the fact that celebrity hunt is the point of the book makes the entire plot feel pointless, almost unnecessary. The book generally feels like a series of loosely connected anecdotes that relate to historical characters. That being said, Timeshare is still quite a fun and enjoyable novel.

 

In summary: Extremely light, but quite well written, Timeshare is a fun read. Just don’t expect too much.

 


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Time Travel Movies