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Beyond Time: Classic Tales of Time Unwound (British Library Science Fiction Classics)

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With an introduction and history of time travel in literature by Mike Ashley, the authors featured in the book range from science fiction giants such as H G Wells and Arthur C Clarke to lost gems from the science fiction magazines in the Library collection. Discover the influential short stories which inspired Doctor Who, Back to the Future and The Terminator! Time travel With an introduction and history of time travel in literature by Mike Ashley, the authors featured in the book range from science fiction giants such as H G Wells and Arthur C Clarke to lost gems from the science fiction magazines in the Library collection. Discover the influential short stories which inspired Doctor Who, Back to the Future and The Terminator! Time travel has long been a staple of science fiction. Removing the bonds of time on a story allows for many interesting possibilities, but it also presents complicated problems and paradoxes. In this collection, featuring stories from the 1880s to the 1960s, we are taken to the remote future and back to the distant past. We are trapped in an eternal loop and met with visitors and objects from the future. We come face to face with our past selves, and experience the chaos of living out of sync with everyone else in the universe. These are just some of the thrilling narratives to discover as we unwind the constraints of time.


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With an introduction and history of time travel in literature by Mike Ashley, the authors featured in the book range from science fiction giants such as H G Wells and Arthur C Clarke to lost gems from the science fiction magazines in the Library collection. Discover the influential short stories which inspired Doctor Who, Back to the Future and The Terminator! Time travel With an introduction and history of time travel in literature by Mike Ashley, the authors featured in the book range from science fiction giants such as H G Wells and Arthur C Clarke to lost gems from the science fiction magazines in the Library collection. Discover the influential short stories which inspired Doctor Who, Back to the Future and The Terminator! Time travel has long been a staple of science fiction. Removing the bonds of time on a story allows for many interesting possibilities, but it also presents complicated problems and paradoxes. In this collection, featuring stories from the 1880s to the 1960s, we are taken to the remote future and back to the distant past. We are trapped in an eternal loop and met with visitors and objects from the future. We come face to face with our past selves, and experience the chaos of living out of sync with everyone else in the universe. These are just some of the thrilling narratives to discover as we unwind the constraints of time.

30 review for Beyond Time: Classic Tales of Time Unwound (British Library Science Fiction Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jersy

    A truly great anthology. First, there is this wonderful introduction that shows how time travel fiction has developed over the years. It was not only really interesting but also puts you in the mood for these stories. The stories were written between the 19th century and 1959, mostly arranged by writing date, so reading them in order feels like progressing through time yourself. Even though the earlier ones clearly follow a pattern, there are so many varied and creative ideas. If you like classic S A truly great anthology. First, there is this wonderful introduction that shows how time travel fiction has developed over the years. It was not only really interesting but also puts you in the mood for these stories. The stories were written between the 19th century and 1959, mostly arranged by writing date, so reading them in order feels like progressing through time yourself. Even though the earlier ones clearly follow a pattern, there are so many varied and creative ideas. If you like classic SF (or classic short stories in general) and enjoy the topic of time travel, give this anthology a shot. The stories aren't too similar to each other and are a lot of fun. Even though you'll already know the "twist" is time travel, there is so much to offer and some stories really surprised me. Some were really gripping, some more atmospheric. There wasn't a story I disliked and a lot of them made me want to check out more by the authors.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    The past is the future... My heart sank a little when I started this collection of thirteen stories on the theme of time travel. Like Captain Janeway of the USS Voyager, time paradoxes tend to give me a headache, and the first couple of stories did nothing to relieve my anxiety, since both were rather mediocre. But they were followed by a little run of four star stories and then boom! The five star stories started coming thick and fast! These collections are always arranged more or less in chrono The past is the future... My heart sank a little when I started this collection of thirteen stories on the theme of time travel. Like Captain Janeway of the USS Voyager, time paradoxes tend to give me a headache, and the first couple of stories did nothing to relieve my anxiety, since both were rather mediocre. But they were followed by a little run of four star stories and then boom! The five star stories started coming thick and fast! These collections are always arranged more or less in chronological order and I suspect that when the early ones were written, the idea of time travel itself was so original that the writers didn’t feel the need to do much with it. By the time of the later stories, though, the writers were vying to give an original direction to a well-worn path, so there’s much more diversity in how they use the theme. There’s the usual mix of well-known and lesser known authors, although since I’m not well read in science fiction all but three of them – HG Wells, Elizabeth Sanxay Holding and JB Priestley - were unknown names to me. Some of the stories are mildly humorous, some tend more towards horror. There’s less variation in length than in some collections, with most of the stories coming in around twenty to thirty pages, which I always find to be a great length for pre-bedtime reading. Here’s a flavour of a few of the ones I enjoyed most: Friday the Nineteenth by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding – a story that is almost as much horror and almost as much psychological crime as it is science fiction. A husband wants to embark on an affair with his friend’s wife and she’s not unwilling. But somehow the day keeps repeating and only they are aware of it. Caught in a loop, they keep making the same assignation but never get to the point of keeping it, and we see how their guilt and selfishness begins to change how they feel. It’s very well told and manages to pack in a lot of suspense for such a short space. Look After the Strange Girl by JB Priestley – a man slips back in time to an evening in 1902 and finds himself at a big party in the house which, in the present, houses the school he runs. There he meets a woman who seems to have been caught in the same time slip. It has elements of the tragedy of war, as the man knows the future of some of the people of the house, some of whom will die in France. It also gives a little comparison of the attitudes and habits of Edwardian women to modern women. Very well done, strange and mildly thought-provoking – quite a literary story. Manna by Peter Phillips – this is a great story about two ghosts who were once monks and are doomed to haunt their old priory, which has now turned into a factory for making ‘Miracle Meal’ - a kind of food substance that is nutritionally perfect and tastes so wonderful it can be eaten for every meal. Remembering the hunger of their own time, they find a way to transport cans back to the 12th century, where this is seen as a real miracle. It’s well written, interesting and very amusing – the two mismatched ghosts themselves are a lot of fun. Dial “0” for Operator by Robert Presslie – the last story in the book and a great one to finish with. An operator in the telephone exchange takes a call from a woman in distress. She tells him she’s in a phone box and there’s something outside – a kind of dark blob – that’s trying to get in. He promptly sends the police but when they get there the box is empty. However, the woman is still on the line and begs the operator not to hang up. The tension is great in this as gradually the operator realises the woman is speaking from a different time and there’s nothing he can do to help her except talk... So from an uninspiring beginning this turned into a great collection, leaving me with a whole raft of new-to-me authors to investigate. Great stuff! NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, the British Library. www.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tony DeHaan

    A nice collection of science fiction stories, ranging from 1881 to 1959. The theme of this anthology is "Time" and "Time Travel". As with all collections, there are stories I like and stories I'm not particularly fond of. Still an entertaining read! A nice collection of science fiction stories, ranging from 1881 to 1959. The theme of this anthology is "Time" and "Time Travel". As with all collections, there are stories I like and stories I'm not particularly fond of. Still an entertaining read!

  4. 4 out of 5

    bfdez.nuria

    3.5

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    A nicely put together anthology. I was surprised how fresh and contemporary many of the stories felt in terms of writing style (if not attitudes). Particular standouts were: Arthur Selling’s The Shadow People- an interesting take on the effects of time travel, displacement out of time as well as space. Friday the Nineteenth by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding- could completely imagine it as a Twilight Zone episode. Poignant and dark, left questioning what had truly happened. Omega by Amelia Reynolds Long- A nicely put together anthology. I was surprised how fresh and contemporary many of the stories felt in terms of writing style (if not attitudes). Particular standouts were: Arthur Selling’s The Shadow People- an interesting take on the effects of time travel, displacement out of time as well as space. Friday the Nineteenth by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding- could completely imagine it as a Twilight Zone episode. Poignant and dark, left questioning what had truly happened. Omega by Amelia Reynolds Long- a great descriptive piece regarding the end of everything The Clock that Went Backwards by Edward Page Mitchell- for a narrator who amused me by being so put out with his circumstances and a fantastic opening feat. his mysterious great aunt Gertrude.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jsaa

    I found the first two stories plain and boring. The two after that were enticing/ entertaining, the one after that was respectable quality also. No doubt recommend for fans of sci fi. Particularly concerning time travel

  7. 4 out of 5

    Will Comrie

    Very hit and miss. Some poor, some decent a couple of good ones- it's worth a read but some of them just fill like placeholders. Very hit and miss. Some poor, some decent a couple of good ones- it's worth a read but some of them just fill like placeholders.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    Ashley has collated a grand collection of time travel stories from a selection of great writers. As ever with time travel tales, readers should prepare for their imaginations to be fired and spend some time contemplating the underlying concepts.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gianna

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tom Norford

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Williams

  13. 5 out of 5

    David O'malley

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elliot Thorpe

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  16. 4 out of 5

    J

  17. 4 out of 5

    David Wardrop

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rishabh Sinha

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mariam Sabri

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kim-madeleine Avakian

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul Sparrow-Clarke

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Thomas

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

  24. 5 out of 5

    johnvicarage

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dimi

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mer

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cath Russell

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vasiekaran Cumar Vasudeva

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Gray

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