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Monday, May 18, 2015

Time-Travel Novels -- Who Hasn't Rocketed Back?

Because I've written a mainstream (not fantasy) novel involving time travel, I'm reading as many of them as I can find. Lo and behold, besides the obvious science fiction writers, it turns out that many literary and mainstream authors also have used the device of traveling through time, including: Marge Piercy, Stephen King, Erica Jong, Michael Crichton, Kurt Vonnegut, Anya Seton, Alan Lightman, and Chuck Palahniuk.

Time travel stories come in all shapes and sizes, from the predictable scifi to literary novels like The Time Traveller's Wife. Goodreads lists more than 1,000 under "Best Time Travel Fiction." Amazon has one for Time-Travel-Novels-Worth-Reading. They can be SciFi, literary, fantasy, magical realism, or unclassifiable. Kirkus Review has an intriguing list, Recent Novels that Use Time Travel to Great Effect. The Huffington Post's Top 10 Time-Travel Books is intriguing. And of course, the granddaddy of all contemporary time-travel novels, Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, which to me reads more like historical fiction that was simply kicked off by a time trip and sustained by the tension of wondering if the main character can return to her own time.

And now I'm irrelevantly wondering why the hyphen in time-travel. After all, Time is a place to travel through like any other. You don't write European-travel guides, or California-travel books. Google makes hyphens irrelevant too, I noticed.