20 of the best Time Travel Short Stories with PDF
As a passionate science enthusiast (read as “amateur” like 99% of us out there) and a lover of any sci fi movies (read as nerd”.. ha ha… cry cry), I have always found myself absolutely captivated by time travel. The last article I wrote was on my favorite murder mystery short stories and then I jumped to my favorite stories about giants and giantesses. In 2019 there was a Netflix series called Dark which made the concept of time travel so confusing yet so well explained that millions across the world fell in love with it. Time travel explores and exposes infinite possibilities and that excites anyone and everyone, myself included.
There is something fantastic about time traversing which is basically travelling into the past and witnessing historical events firsthand and even being able to alter the course of history itself. So it is no wonder that time travel short stories excites me! These compact narratives offer an incredible blend of science fiction, adventure, and intellectual exploration, immersing readers in mind-bending concepts that challenge our perceptions of reality.
In this article, let us go on a thrilling journey into the world of time travel short stories. I have noted down some classics penned by the great literary giants of the past and even some contemporary works of the modern world that seeks to push the boundaries of time travel. Let us jump into a selection of twenty well-known time travel short stories.
If you are interested in changing to other stories, perhaps you can try 10 best Native American Short stories and Folk Tales or perhaps read about the 10 best necromancer stories.
Also You can download a free PDF copy of the 20 best time travel short stories right below.
“The Magician’s Apprentice” by Trudi Canavan
One my favorite short stories on time travel is of course “The Magician’s Apprentice” by Trudi Canavan. Simply put, it is one of the most captivating time travel novels out there and it is incredible. Straightway the story delves into the origins of a powerful magician. The story follows the young protagonist, Tessia, as she embarks on an extraordinary journey that shapes her destiny. In a world where magic exists, Tessia discovers her own latent abilities and becomes the apprentice of the skilled magician Lord Dakon. As she navigates the complexities of magic, politics, and her own inner struggles, Tessia uncovers secrets of the past and unravels the mysteries of time travel.
As Tessia grapples with her newfound powers and the responsibilities that come with them, she faces moral dilemmas and challenges the status quo. Canavan explores themes of power, destiny, and the consequences of one’s choices, as Tessia’s journey takes unexpected turns and forces her to confront her own limitations.
“The Magician’s Apprentice” is not only a thrilling tale of magic and adventure but also a coming-of-age story filled with personal growth and empowerment. Canavan’s imaginative world-building and compelling characters make this novel a must-read for fans of time travel and fantasy genres alike.
“The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells
“The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells is a captivating and visionary science fiction classic, the epitome of all time travel short stories, that swept me away on an extraordinary journey through time and the future of humanity. In this thought-provoking tale, we accompany the Time Traveller as he ventures into the unknown, exploring the far reaches of time and encountering the enigmatic Eloi and the terrifying Morlocks.
H.G. Wells’ writing is concise and evocative, painting a vivid picture of the Time Traveller’s adventures and the stark landscapes he encounters. The author’s imaginative descriptions and attention to detail bring the future world to life, leaving an indelible impression on the reader’s mind.
“The Time Machine” delves into themes of evolution, social commentary, and the consequences of human progress. Wells presents a thought-provoking examination of class divisions and the potential future of civilization. The Time Traveller’s observations and encounters challenge our perceptions of society and humanity’s place in the world.
I would give this groundbreaking novel a visionary 9 out of 10! It is a seminal work of science fiction that continues to inspire readers with its imaginative concepts and social commentary. If you’re seeking a thought-provoking and thrilling adventure through time, “The Time Machine” is an absolute must-read that will transport you to a world of wonder and contemplation.
“The Goblin Emperor” by Katherine Addison
“The Goblin Emperor” by Katherine Addison is a captivating and enchanting fantasy novel that swept me away to a world of courtly intrigue, political maneuvering, and personal growth. In this enthralling tale, we follow Maia, a young half-goblin who unexpectedly becomes the Emperor of the Elflands after the death of his father and older brothers.
Katherine Addison’s writing is elegant and immersive, transporting readers to a meticulously crafted world filled with intricate court rituals, vibrant characters, and a richly imagined society. The author’s attention to detail and skillful characterization breathe life into the Elflands, making it a world that feels both familiar and unique. “The Goblin Emperor” explores themes of identity, compassion, and the challenges of leadership. Maia’s journey from a misunderstood and overlooked figure to a confident and compassionate ruler is both inspiring and heartwarming. The novel offers a nuanced portrayal of political complexities and the importance of empathy and understanding.
I would give this enchanting novel a mesmerizing 9 out of 10! It is a beautifully written and thought-provoking story that will captivate readers who appreciate intricate world-building and character-driven narratives. Prepare to be swept away by the courtly intrigues and personal triumphs of “The Goblin Emperor” as you embark on a journey of self-discovery alongside Maia.
“Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot” by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
“Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot” by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer is a delightful and whimsical fantasy of manners that transported me to an enchanting world of magic and Regency-era intrigue. In this captivating novel, we follow the adventures of cousins Kate and Cecelia as they navigate the social intricacies of London society while uncovering a magical mystery.
Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer’s writing is witty, charming, and infused with a sense of playful banter. The story unfolds through a series of letters exchanged between Kate and Cecelia, providing unique insights into their individual experiences and the unfolding events. The authors’ seamless collaboration creates a narrative that is engaging, clever, and filled with unexpected twists.
“Sorcery & Cecelia” effortlessly blends elements of historical fiction, romance, and fantasy, creating a delightful fusion of genres. The characters are vibrant and endearing, with Kate and Cecelia’s distinct personalities shining through their correspondence. The magical elements, including the enchanted chocolate pot, add a whimsical touch to the story.
I would give this enchanting novel a delightful 8.5 out of 10! It is a charming and light-hearted read that combines the elegance of the Regency era with the wonder of magic. If you’re seeking a delightful escape into a world of manners and mischief, “Sorcery & Cecelia” is the perfect choice to satisfy your craving for both romance and enchantment.
“Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell” by Susanna Clarke
“Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell” by Susanna Clarke is a spellbinding and immersive historical fantasy that transported me to a world where magic is revived in 19th-century England. In this extraordinary novel, we follow the titular characters, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, as they navigate the intricate world of magic, facing personal and moral challenges along the way.
Susanna Clarke’s writing is exquisite, rich with historical detail and a deep understanding of folklore and mythology. The prose is dense and evocative, capturing the essence of the time period and immersing the reader in a world where magic and reality intertwine. Clarke’s meticulous world-building and extensive footnotes add depth and authenticity to the narrative.
“Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell” explores themes of power, obsession, and the consequences of playing with forces beyond one’s control. The characters are complex and multidimensional, with their own ambitions, flaws, and conflicts. The plot is a tapestry of intrigue, blending historical events with fantastical elements, and drawing the reader into a web of mystery and wonder.
I would give this remarkable novel a mesmerizing 9 out of 10! It is a true masterpiece of storytelling that seamlessly blends history and fantasy, inviting readers to explore the boundaries of imagination. Prepare to be enthralled by the world of “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell” and embark on a captivating journey through the realms of magic and the human psyche.
“Sorcerer to the Crown” by Zen Cho
“Sorcerer to the Crown“by Zen Cho is a delightful and enchanting fantasy of manners that transported me to a world of magic, political intrigue, and social challenges. In this captivating novel, we are introduced to Zacharias Wythe, the first African Sorcerer Royal of England, as he grapples with his responsibilities, societal prejudices, and a country on the brink of magical crisis.
Zen Cho’s writing is elegant and immersive, capturing the essence of Regency-era manners and seamlessly blending it with elements of fantasy. The prose is filled with wit, charm, and a touch of whimsy that kept me engaged from start to finish. Cho’s exploration of race, class, and gender dynamics adds depth and relevance to the story. “Sorcerer to the Crown” combines intricate world-building with a cast of compelling characters. Zacharias Wythe is a charismatic protagonist, struggling to assert his authority in a world that questions his worthiness. Prunella Gentleman, a young woman with her own magical abilities, challenges societal norms and brings a refreshing perspective to the narrative.
I would give this delightful novel a bewitching 8.5 out of 10! It is a captivating blend of fantasy, social commentary, and adventure that will appeal to fans of both historical fiction and magical storytelling. Prepare to be charmed by the enchantment of “Sorcerer to the Crown” as you delve into a world where magic and manners intertwine in delightful and unexpected ways.
“Shades of Milk and Honey” by Mary Robinette Kowal
“Shades of Milk and Honey” by Mary Robinette Kowal is a charming and elegant fantasy of manners that transported me to a world where artistry and magic intertwine. In this enchanting novel, we follow the talented Jane Ellsworth, a skilled illusionist, as she navigates a society filled with social expectations, romantic entanglements, and the discovery of a secret that could change everything.
Mary Robinette Kowal’s writing is graceful and evocative, capturing the essence of Regency-era England with a touch of magic. The prose is imbued with a sense of romance and subtlety, reflecting the societal norms and artistic pursuits of the time. Kowal’s attention to detail and seamless integration of magical elements create a world that feels both familiar and fantastical.
“Shades of Milk and Honey” explores themes of love, ambition, and the power of creativity. Jane Ellsworth is a captivating protagonist, balancing her desires for both artistic recognition and personal happiness. The interactions between the characters are filled with wit, charm, and a touch of whimsy, making for a delightful reading experience.
I would give this enchanting novel a delightful 8 out of 10! It is a delightful blend of Regency-era romance, artistry, and subtle magic that will transport readers to a world where elegance and enchantment coexist. If you’re seeking a book that combines Jane Austen-esque manners with a touch of fantasy, “Shades of Milk and Honey” is a delightful choice that will leave you longing for more of its captivating world.
“Tooth and Claw” by Jo Walton
“Tooth and Claw” by Jo Walton is a unique and enthralling fantasy of manners that transported me to a world populated by dragons and filled with family drama, social hierarchy, and the pursuit of power. In this captivating novel, dragons are the central characters, and we follow the lives of various dragon families as they navigate their complex society.
Jo Walton’s writing is imaginative and immersive, painting a vivid picture of a dragon society with its own rules, customs, and traditions. The prose is elegant and captures the essence of a Victorian-era novel, complete with its meticulous attention to societal norms and intricate social interactions.
“Tooth and Claw” explores themes of family, inheritance, and societal expectations. The dragon characters are engaging and multifaceted, each with their own motivations and desires. Walton expertly weaves together their individual stories, interweaving personal conflicts with broader societal changes.
I would give this intriguing novel a captivating 8 out of 10! It is a unique and refreshing take on the fantasy genre, offering a clever twist by featuring dragons in a world of manners and propriety. If you’re seeking a novel that combines fantasy with Victorian sensibilities and intricate family dynamics, “Tooth and Claw” is a captivating choice that will leave you eager to explore this dragon-filled world further.
“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern
“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern is a mesmerizing and enchanting tale that transported me to a world of magic, wonder, and the captivating allure of a mysterious circus. In this spellbinding novel, we are drawn into the rivalry between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, as they showcase their extraordinary abilities within the confines of the Night Circus.
Erin Morgenstern’s writing is lyrical and evocative, painting a vivid and atmospheric landscape that immerses the reader in the ethereal world of the circus. The prose is rich with sensory detail, creating a sensory feast for the imagination. Morgenstern’s ability to evoke emotions and capture the essence of wonder and mystery is truly remarkable.
“The Night Circus” explores themes of love, sacrifice, and the transformative power of art. The characters are beautifully drawn, each with their own intricate storylines and connections to the circus. The interplay between magic, illusion, and reality adds depth and intrigue to the narrative, leaving the reader questioning what is real and what is mere illusion.
I would give this enchanting novel a captivating 9.5 out of 10! It is a breathtaking work of imagination and storytelling that will leave you awe-struck and longing for more. “The Night Circus” is a testament to the power of imagination and the beauty that can be found in the most extraordinary places. Step into the world of the circus and prepare to be captivated by its mystique and magic.
“The House of Shattered Wings” by Aliette de Bodard
“The House of Shattered Wings” by Aliette de Bodard is a dark and immersive fantasy of manners that took me on a haunting journey through a decaying Paris ruled by fallen angels and the remnants of once-mighty houses. In this captivating novel, we delve into a world ravaged by war and filled with political intrigue, ancient secrets, and the struggle for power.
“Enchantress from the Stars” by Sylvia Engdahl
“Enchantress from the Stars” by Sylvia Engdahl is a captivating and thought-provoking science fiction novel that seamlessly blends elements of fantasy and space exploration. In this enthralling tale, we follow Elana, a young anthropologist from an advanced civilization, as she embarks on a mission to a primitive planet to observe and guide its inhabitants.
Sylvia Engdahl’s writing is engaging and immersive, transporting readers to a world of interstellar travel and cultural exchange. The prose is accessible and filled with a sense of wonder, making it suitable for readers of various ages. Engdahl’s exploration of different societies, their beliefs, and their clash of ideologies adds depth and relevance to the narrative.
“Enchantress from the Stars” explores themes of understanding, empathy, and the power of perspective. Elana’s journey as she becomes deeply involved with the people of the primitive planet challenges her own preconceived notions and forces her to question her role as an observer. The novel raises important questions about the impact of intervention and the dangers of imposing one’s own values on others.
I would give this thought-provoking novel an enchanting 8 out of 10! It is a compelling blend of science fiction and fantasy that explores complex themes in a relatable and accessible manner. “Enchantress from the Stars” will transport readers on a journey of discovery, urging them to contemplate the power of compassion and understanding in a universe filled with diverse cultures and perspectives.
“The Silvered” by Tanya Huff
“The Silvered” by Tanya Huff is an exhilarating and imaginative fantasy novel that combines elements of steampunk, magic, and political intrigue. In this captivating book, we are introduced to a world where magic-wielding shapeshifters known as the Silvered are pitted against a ruthless empire in a battle for survival.
Tanya Huff’s writing is fast-paced and action-packed, immersing readers in a richly developed world filled with captivating characters and high-stakes adventures. The prose is dynamic, propelling the story forward with a sense of urgency and excitement. Huff’s skillful blend of magic and technology creates a unique and compelling setting.
“The Silvered” explores themes of resistance, sacrifice, and the power of unity. The characters are vibrant and multi-dimensional, with their own strengths and vulnerabilities. The interactions between the Silvered and the empire’s forces are filled with tension and strategic maneuvering, keeping readers on the edge of their seats.
I would give this thrilling novel an adrenaline-fueled 8.5 out of 10! It is a fantastic blend of fantasy and steampunk, offering a fresh take on shape-shifting and political intrigue. “The Silvered” will sweep you into a world where magic and machinery collide, where loyalty is tested, and where unlikely alliances are forged. Prepare to be enthralled by Tanya Huff’s thrilling storytelling and embark on a high-stakes adventure that will leave you craving for more.
“The Glamourist Histories” series by Mary Robinette Kowal
“The Glamourist Histories” series by Mary Robinette Kowal is a delightful and enchanting collection of novels that seamlessly combines historical fiction with elements of fantasy and romance. Set in an alternate Regency era, these books follow the adventures of Jane Ellsworth and her husband, Vincent, as they navigate a world of glamour, artistry, and political intrigue.
Mary Robinette Kowal’s writing is elegant and immersive, capturing the manners and etiquette of the Regency period while infusing it with the magical art of glamour. The prose is laced with wit, charm, and a keen attention to detail, transporting readers to a world that feels both familiar and fantastical.
“The Glamourist Histories” explore themes of love, artistry, societal expectations, and the pursuit of personal happiness. Jane and Vincent’s relationship is a delight to follow, as they navigate the challenges of their artistic pursuits and the complexities of the world around them. Kowal’s meticulous research and seamless integration of glamour as a form of magic add depth and richness to the narrative.
I would give this enchanting series a sparkling 9 out of 10! It is a delightful blend of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance, showcasing Mary Robinette Kowal’s skill in crafting engaging and immersive stories. “The Glamourist Histories” will transport you to a world where art and magic intertwine, where love and ambition collide, and where the power of imagination knows no bounds. Prepare to be swept away by the elegance and enchantment of these remarkable novels.
“A Natural History of Dragons” by Marie Brennan
“A Natural History of Dragons” by Marie Brennan is a captivating and immersive novel that invites readers to embark on a thrilling adventure filled with scientific exploration, daring discoveries, and the allure of dragons. In this enchanting book, we follow the remarkable Lady Trent, a naturalist and scholar, as she recounts her early years and her passion for studying dragons.
Marie Brennan’s writing is evocative and richly descriptive, painting a vivid picture of a world where dragons exist alongside human society. The prose is imbued with a sense of wonder and intellectual curiosity, mirroring Lady Trent’s own insatiable thirst for knowledge. Brennan’s attention to detail and her ability to create a believable scientific framework for dragon research add depth and authenticity to the narrative.
“A Natural History of Dragons” explores themes of curiosity, resilience, and the pursuit of knowledge. Lady Trent is a compelling protagonist, defying societal norms and overcoming numerous obstacles in her quest to study dragons. The supporting characters are equally well-developed, each adding their own unique perspectives and dynamics to the story.
I would give this enthralling novel an adventurous 8.5 out of 10! It is a delightful blend of fantasy, science, and exploration, offering a fresh take on dragons and their place in a meticulously crafted world. “A Natural History of Dragons” will transport you to a realm of discovery and fascination, where the boundaries of scientific inquiry and the allure of mythical creatures merge. Prepare to be captivated by Marie Brennan’s vivid storytelling and embark on an extraordinary journey into the realm of dragons.
“The Glamour Thieves” by Don Allmon
“The Glamour Thieves” is an exhilarating cyberpunk fantasy novel written by Don Allmon. Set in a futuristic world where magic and technology coexist, this fast-paced adventure takes readers on a thrilling ride through a world of hackers, thieves, and dangerous secrets.
The story follows the unlikely duo of Douglas and Kit, two skilled thieves with a knack for trouble. When a heist gone wrong leads them to acquire a powerful magical artifact, they find themselves caught in a web of intrigue and betrayal. As they navigate the treacherous underworld, they encounter captivating characters and face life-threatening challenges.
Allmon’s writing is gritty and immersive, painting a vivid picture of the cyberpunk landscape with its neon-lit streets and high-tech gadgets. The blend of magic and technology adds a unique and compelling twist to the narrative, creating a sense of wonder and danger.
With its gripping plot, dynamic characters, and a healthy dose of wit and humor, “The Glamour Thieves” keeps readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. I would confidently give it a solid 9 out of 10, as it delivers a thrilling and captivating story that will leave fans of cyberpunk and fantasy craving for more.
“The Winter Witch” by Paula Brackston
“The Winter Witch” by Paula Brackston is an enchanting tale that effortlessly weaves together elements of fantasy, romance, and time travel. Set against the backdrop of a picturesque village, the story immerses readers in a world where magic lurks just beneath the surface.
As I delved into the pages of this captivating novel, I found myself irresistibly drawn to Morgana, the protagonist, a young woman with an extraordinary gift for manipulating the weather. Brackston’s vivid descriptions painted a vivid picture of Morgana’s struggles and triumphs, making her journey feel all the more real.
The introduction of time travel added an intriguing twist to the narrative, allowing for unexpected encounters and heart-wrenching choices. The author masterfully handled the complexities of time manipulation, seamlessly blending the past and present. Overall, I would give “The Winter Witch” a solid 8 out of 10. It’s a captivating and beautifully crafted tale that will transport you to a world where magic and love intertwine, leaving you yearning for more.
“The First Men in the Moon” by H.G. Wells
“The First Men in the Moon” by H.G. Wells takes readers on an exhilarating journey to the moon, where the incredible adventures of two explorers unfold. As a fan of science fiction, I was captivated by the masterful storytelling and imaginative concepts that Wells presents in this novel. The narrative follows the protagonist, Mr. Bedford, and the eccentric scientist, Mr. Cavor, as they embark on an unexpected lunar expedition.
Wells skillfully intertwines scientific exploration, social commentary, and elements of time travel to create a gripping tale. The book beautifully captures the awe-inspiring wonders of the moon, vividly describing its strange inhabitants and captivating landscapes. The scientific theories and technological innovations presented in the story add depth and credibility to the narrative.
“The First Men in the Moon” has stood the test of time and continues to be a beloved classic in the science fiction genre. With its thought-provoking themes and thrilling plot, it deserves the average score of 8 out of 10 given by readers on the internet. I highly recommend this novel to anyone seeking a compelling adventure into the realms of space and time.
20 best Time travel short stories – PDF
Time travel short stories have provided endless possibilities for authors to explore the complexities of temporal manipulation, causality, and the human experience. These twenty examples represent just a glimpse into the vast world of time travel short stories and fiction, each offering a unique perspective and captivating narrative. As readers delve into these time travel short stories, they are transported across time, embracing the wonder and dangers that lie within the temporal realm.
Please happily download the free PDF copy of the most famous Time travel short stories