Cyclopaedia 17: Time Travel

Welcome to Cyclopaedia 17: Time TravelCyclopaedia is a monthly article on the InnRoads Ministries website as part of the Resources series.

Having graduated with a degree in Physics, I have a love-hate relationship with the use of time travel in cinema, fiction, and games. When it is so outlandish and outside the realm of science, like in Time Bandits and Doctor Who (Tom Baker is my Doctor), then I can sit back and enjoy the chaos time travel causes. When creators come close to the science but then do it incorrectly (many stories with Faster-Than-Light travel) or if they use time travel as a deus ex machina (I am looking at you Star Trek), then I can get frustrated and sometimes fail to enjoy the story. Whatever the case, Time Travel is an intriguing debate of science and can be a unique story element. Time Travel also can lead to Alternate Histories, Paradoxes, Parallel Earths, and Out of Time experiences. So, let’s do the time warp again!

If you have questions about this article or topics you would like me to consider researching for future Cyclopaedia articles, please leave a comment below.


Time. Is it linear? Is it wibbly wobbly? Is it the fourth dimension? The concept of traveling through time and the impacts of time in science have been theorized by scientists and lead to such fields as quantum mechanics and spacetime physics. Writers have snagged onto these theories and extrapolated even further the impacts of traveling through time or near instantaneous travel over great distances, thus ignoring the time required to do so.

So, how do we get from one moment in time to another? Scientists and writers have been postulating for centuries ideas such as Faster-than-light (FTL) travel, Many-Worlds interpretation, Quantum teleportation, Time Dilation, and Wormholes (also known as Einstein-Rosen bridges).

The first novel to use time travel was written in 1836 Alexander Veltman, titled Predki Kalimerosa: Aleksandr Filippovich Makedonskii (The Forebears of Kalimeros: Alexander, son of Philip of Macedon). Not only was it the first time travel novel, it has been called the first original Russian science fiction novel. But, it is H. G. Wells’ 1895 novel The Time Machine which truly brought the idea of time travel to public imagination.

Whether you view time as rigid or fluid, you have to admit the possibility of altering time or viewing times other than our current moment grabs your imagination. The stories these bouts of imagination produce can fascinate you with the possibilities or frustrate you with the lack of scientific understanding.

Time Travel Paradoxes?

Time travel theories are riddled with paradoxes and causality questions. Fiction and cinema enjoy messing with these paradoxes as the focal point of their stories.

  • Butterfly Effect
  • Grandfather Paradox
  • Hitler’s Murder Paradox
  • Ontological/Bootstrap Paradox
  • Polchinski’s Paradox
  • Predestination Paradox

Following are sources of information pertaining to Time Travel to assist prospective game masters, game designers, writers, and storytellers in knowing where to start their research.



Back or to the future? Preferences of time travelers.
By Ettlin, Florence and Hertwig, Ralph
Source: Judgment & Decision Making. Jul2012, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p373-382

A Nonlinear History of Time Travel.
By Gleick, James
Source: Nautilus. Sep/Oct2016, Issue 16, p22-37

Physics: The time lord and fellow travelers.
By Jaffe, Andrew
Source: Nature. 10/31/2013, Vol. 502 Issue 7473, p620-622 

Time Travel, Parahistory and the Past Artefact Dilemma.
By Richmond, Alasdaur
Source: Philosophy. 2010, Vol. 85 Issue 3, p369-373

Time Travel: Why It May Not Pay to Work out All the Kinks.
By Manchak, John Byron
Source: Philosophy of Science. Dec2011, Vol. 78 Issue 5, p1037-1045



By King, Stephen

A Christmas Carol
By Dickens, Charles

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
By Twain, Mark

The Accidental Time Machine
By Haldeman, Joe

All You Need Is Kill – Manga
By Sakurazaka, Hiroshi

The Anubis Gates
By Powers, Tim

The Chronoliths
By Wilson, Robert

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
By Adams, Douglas

Doomsday Book
By Willis, Connie

The End of Eternity
By Asimov, Isaac

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
By North, Claire

The Forever War
By Haldeman, Joe

Ghost Country
By Lee, Patrick

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
By Rowling, J.K.

The House on the Strand
By du Maurier, Daphne

By Simmons, Dan

The Langoliers
By King, Stephen,

The Man Who Folded Himself
By Gerrold, David

By Varley, John

By Gabaldon, Diana

By Grimwood, Ken

By Vonnegut, Kurt

Somewhere in Time
By Matheson, Richard

A Sound of Thunder
By Bradbury, Ray

Tau Zero
By Anderson, Poul

Thief of Time
By Pratchet, Terry

Time and Again
By Finney, Jack

Time Enough for Love
By Heinlein, Robert A.

By Crichton, Michael

The Time Machine
By Wells, H.G.

The Time Ships
By Baxter, Stephen

The Time Traveler’s Wife
By Niffenegger, Audrey

By Banks, Iain

A Wrinkle in Time
By L’Engle, Madeleine



Achron – Computer Game
Anachrony – Tabletop Game
Back to the Future – Computer Game
Back to the Future – Tabletop Game
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – Computer Game
Bioshock: Infinite – Computer Game
Blinx – Computer Game
Chronomancer – RPG
Chrononauts – Tabletop Game
Chrono Trigger – Computer Game
Continuum – RPG
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped – Computer Game
Cthulhu by Gaslight – RPG
Day of the Tentacle – Computer Game
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space – RPG
Doctor Who: The Battle to Save the Universe – Tabletop Game
Doctor Who: The Card Game – Tabletop Game
Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks – Tabletop Game
Doctor Who: The Time Wars – Tabletop Game
Feng Shui: Action Movie Roleplaying – RPG
Final Fantasy – Computer Game
GURPS: Time Travel – RPG
Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time – Computer Game
Khronos – Tabletop Game
Legacy: Gears of Time – Tabletop Game
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – Computer Game
The Lost Vikings – Computer Game
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – Computer Game
Rolemaster: Time Riders – RPG
Singularity – Computer Game
Temporum – Tabletop Game
Time Agent – Tabletop Game
Time Lord – RPG
Time Masters – Tabletop Game
TimeSplitters 2 – Computer Game
T.I.M.E. Stories – Tabletop Game
Time Tripper – Tabletop Game
TimeWatch – RPG
TimeZero – RPG
TMNT IV: Turtles in Time – Computer Game
Tragedy Looper – Tabletop Game
Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – RPG



11.22.63 – TV
12 Monkeys – Movie & TV
Army of Darkness: The Medieval Dead
Back to the Future
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Continuum – TV
Déjà Vu
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – TV
Doctor Who – TV
Edge of Tomorrow
The Flash – TV
FlashForward – TV
Flight of the Navigator
Frequency – TV
Groundhog Day
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Hot Tub Time Machine
Journeyman – TV
Kate & Leopold
Legends of Tomorrow – TV
Life on Mars – TV
The Philadelphia Experiment
Planet of the Apes
Outlander – TV
Peggy Sue Got Married
Primeval – TV
Quantum Leap – TV
Somewhere in Time
Source Code
Star Trek
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek: First Contact
The Final Countdown
The Terminator
Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles – TV
Time After Time – Movie & TV
Time Bandits
Time Crimes
Timecop – Movie & TV
Timeless – TV
The Time Machine
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Time Tunnel – TV
Travelers – TV
Voyagers! – TV
A Wrinkle in Time – TV
X-Men: Days of Future Past



Somewhere in Time Weekend – Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island)

Who North America



Sergei Avdeyev
Alfred Bielek
Albert Einstein
Kurt Gödel
Dr. Stephen Hawking
Dr. Ronald Mallett
Igo Dmitriyevich Novikov
Jacques Vallee
Alexander Veltman
H.G. Wells
Doctor Who

I hope you find these resources informative and inspiring for your adventures, storytelling, or game design.

Stay Creative!

T.R. Knight

( If you would like to save this list of resources as a convenient PDF for later reference, you can find that HERE )


He is a freelance editor, proofreader, and writer in the game industry. He is also a Husband and Caregiver to his wife Angie, Father of Twins Emily and Rachel, Foodie and Hobby Chef, and Director of Academic Technology/Associate CIO at Taylor University. You can learn more about T.R. at his blog

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