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We’re Waiting For Our Time Machine…

Love the idea of Space/Time Travel?

Check out these books and films that explore all of the ways it might happen.

But be careful – as J. Richard Gott III writes, “If you see an antimatter version of yourself running towards you, think twice before embracing.”


Time Travel and Warp Drives: A Scientific Guide to Shortcuts Through Time and Space
by Allen Everett and Thomas Roman

A clear, concise tour of our current understanding of the nature of time and space – and whether or not we might be able to bend them to our will. Using no math beyond high school algebra, the authors lay out an approachable explanation of Einstein’s special relativity, then move through the fundamental differences between traveling forward and backward in time and the surprising theoretical connection between going back in time and traveling faster than the speed of light.


The Shining Girls
by Lauren Beukes

Harper Curtis is a time-traveling, Depression-era serial killer. Kirby Mazrachi is the modern-day girl who was never meant to have a future – one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper was destined to snuff out. Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby and the ex-homicide reporter who covered her case team up to unravel a seemingly impossible mystery.



The Science of Doctor Who
by Paul Parsons

This plain-English account of the real science behind the fantastic universe portrayed in the Doctor Who television series provides answers to such burning questions as whether a sonic screwdriver is any use for putting up a shelf, how Cybermen make little Cybermen, where the toilets are in the Tardis, and much more.



Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe: the Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time
by J. Richard Gott III

Time travel to the future is possible within the laws of physics. But what of time travel to the past? Gott explores the physics of time travel and puts forward his own suggestions for ways in which time travel to the past might be achieved, and suggests a theory for how the Universe began — via a time loop that allowed it to create itself. He also reveals how the Copernican Principle can be used to predict the likelihood of events as diverse as the fall of the Berlin Wall to the demise of the human race.


The Time Warp Trio: Hey Kid, Want to Buy a Bridge?
by Jon Scieszka

Thanks to their magical book, Fred, Sam, and Joe inadvertently travel through time to 1877 New York City, where their granddaughters, who have also come from the future, help them find a way back to their own time.  Book 11 of the “Time Warp Trio” series.



The Time Machine
by H. G. Wells

A dreamer obsessed with traveling through time builds himself a time machine and, much to his surprise, travels over 800,000 years into the future. The world has been transformed with a society living in apparent harmony and bliss, but as the Traveler stays in this world of the future he discovers a hidden barbaric and depraved subterranean class. Wells’s translucent commentary on the capitalist society was an instant bestseller and launched the time-travel genre.


How to Build a Time Machine: the Real Science of Time Travel
by Brian Clegg

What is time, and how can it be manipulated? Clegg explores the fascinating world of physics and the remarkable possibilities of real time trave that emerge from quantum entanglement, superluminal speeds, neutron star cylinders and wormholes in space.



The River of No Return
by Bee Ridgeway

Waking up in a modern London hospital 200 years after meeting his death on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott is indoctrinated into a time-traveling society and returned to the side of a woman he loves to reclaim a vital talisman, a mission that places the fate of the future in his hands.



Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration Into the World of Phasers, Force fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel
by Michio Kaku

Kaku, a physics professor at CUNY Graduate Center and syndicated radio show host, explains the physics of all those crazy things (invisibility? mind reading? time travel?) that might one day come true – just like television. He ranks the impossible technologies by categories–Class I, II, and III, depending on when they might be achieved, within the next century, millennia, or perhaps never.


Some of our favorite recent Time/Space Travel Films

Showing October 2013 at the Columbia Pike Branch Library:

  • Source Code [ 2011] – When a decorated soldier wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. He re-lives the incident over and over again gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack.
  • Looper [2012] – In the futuristic world of “Looper,” time travel will exist but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper” — a hired gun, like Joe — is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good… until the day the mob decides to “close the loop.”
  • The Adjustment Bureau [2010] – Ambitious politician David is pursuing Elise – the only woman he has ever loved across, under and through the streets of modern day New York. David learns that he is up against the agents of Fate itself – the men of the Adjustment Bureau – who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he must either let her go and accept a predetermined path or risk everything to defy Fate and be with her.
  • Jumper [2008] – A teenager with teleportation abilities suddenly finds himself in the middle of an ancient war between those like him and their sworn annihilators.
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife [2009] – A Chicago librarian suffers from a rare genetic disorder that sends him hurtling through time whenever he is under extreme duress. Despite this complication, he attempts to build a stable future with the beautiful young heiress he loves.



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