Time Travel and Alternate Worlds

There's nothing like losing yourself in a book. For me, reading a novel can create an entire world where I can easily visualize the characters and their interactions. One of my favorite plot devices is the use of time travel or alternative worlds. A character goes back in time and makes a different decision, and then experiences the after effects of that decision. The world is multilayered and the possibilities are endless. In other works, the main character is immortal and passes through many cultures and life events throughout history. Again, the possibilities are endless. Here are some recent selections from San Jose Public Library's fiction shelves featuring time travel!

Psychology of Time Travel, book cover

Psychology of Time Travel

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world's first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project--and future of time travel--in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team--erasing her contributions from history. Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

 The Ten Thousand Doors of January, book cover

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut. In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place. Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own. Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow's spellbinding debut--step inside and discover its magic.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold, book cover

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

In a small back alley in Tokyo at a century-old coffee shop rumored to offer patrons the chance to travel back in time, four customers reevaluate their formative life choices.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, book cover

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

France, 1714. In a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-- and cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Addie LaRue's life will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art. After nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore. He remembers her name-- and everything changes. How far will she go to leave her mark on the world?

The Time Traveler's Wife, book cover

The Time Traveler's Wife

Passionately in love, Clare and Henry vow to hold onto each other and their marriage as they struggle with the effects of Chrono-Displacement Disorder, a condition that casts Henry involuntarily into the world of time travel.

More Time Travel Selections

11/22/63, book cover
Kindred, book cover
Outlander, book cover
Life After Life, book cover
The Time Machine, book cover
The Midnight Library, book cover
This Time Tomorrow, book cover

From the YA and Children's Collections

A Wrinkle in Time, book cover
Ruby Red, book cover
Timebound, book cover
The Ship Beyond Time, book cover
A Tale of Time City, book cover
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, book cover
Out of Time, book cover

Time Travel Onscreen

Last Night in Soho, book cover
Doctor Who. The Web of Fear, book cover
Timeless. Season One, book cover
Outlander. Season One. Volume One, book cover
Back to the Future, book cover
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, book cover