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The Time Traveler's Almanac Hardcover – March 18, 2014

4 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Pandemic by Sonia Shah
"Beacon 23"
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The VanderMeers, claiming with a wink to have written their preface in 2150 under the watchful eye of the Preservationist Guild, offer these more than 70 stories as proof that fiction is one of the most effective time travel machines in the universe. Organized into four categories—Experiments, Reactionaries & Revolutionaries, Mazes & Traps, and Communiqués—this extensive survey traces literary time travel from its earliest published example, in 1881, to 2012. A collection of this size has something for ­every speculative-fiction reader, but this one is also carefully curated to show the depth and breadth of the field with stories that are humorous (Young Zaphod Plays It Safe, by Douglas Adams); chilling (Is There Anybody There?, by Kim Newman); or intriguingly odd (Hwang’s Billion Brilliant Daughters, by Alice Sola Kim). Characters move through time with the help of science, sure, but also magic, plants, and random mutation. Entertaining nonfiction essays bookend the sections. Authors include Connie Willis, Kage Baker, Elizabeth Bear, Charles Stross, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, George R. R. Martin, C. J. Cherryh, Charles Yu, and John Chu. --Krista Hutley


“No popular-fiction library should not have this treasure trove.” ―Booklist, starred review on The Weird

“This standard-setting compilation is a deeply affectionate and respectful history of speculative fiction’s blurry edges, and its stunning diversity, excellent quality, and extremely reasonable price point will entice a wide variety of readers―including those who think they don’t like ‘weird.’” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review on The Weird


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765374218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765374219
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 2.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,032,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Jason Heller an author and Hugo Award-winning editor who's appeared in many publications, including The A.V. Club (where he served as Denver City Editor and is currently a Senior Writer); Clarkesworld Magazine (where he served as nonfiction editor and won a Hugo as part of the 2012 editing team); Pitchfork, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Weird Tales, Tor.com, Alternative Press, Decibel, and others. He's a 2009 graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, and his science fiction/fantasy/horror short stories have appeared in Apex Magazine, Farrago's Wainscot, Sybil's Garage, and others. Quirk Books published his debut novel, the alt-history satire Taft 2012, as well as his Pirates of the Caribbean tie-in book, The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook. He also contributed a chapter to Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's The Time Traveler's Almanac (Tor). Scholastic will publish his official Goosebumps tie-in book, Slappy's Revenge, in 2015. He's a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and he's represented by Jennifer Jackson of Donald Maass Literary Agency. He's also played in many Denver bands, including Crestfallen, The Blue Ontario, Red Cloud West, and 25 Rifles. He lives in Denver with his wife and their groaning bookshelves.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of my favorite books from the past few years was The Weird. Originally, I was kind of hesitant to get this as I'm not a huge fan of scifi but the variety in this anthology convinced me to get it. I'm glad I did. I think it has something that'll appeal to pretty much everyone. Also, I really enjoyed the non-fiction pieces too including the intro by Rian Johnson.

There are too many gems in this collection to name them all here. One of my absolute favorite was "Traveler's Rest" about a soldier who fights a war in a place where time passes more slowly then when he travels back home. The story is a very interesting idea and the ending was fantastic.

Another one of my favorites though was a contemporary piece called "Hwang's Billion Brilliant Daughters" and it's about a man who is propelled into the future every time he sleeps where he meets his descendants. I also really enjoyed "Fire Watch", the story of a history student who is sent back to London during World War II where he serves on the fire watch for St Paul's Cathedral.

"Enoch Soames" was a dark yet humorous tale about a writer who makes a deal with the devil to go into the future to witness his notoriety. "Life Trap" was a short but dark tale about an occult that finds out what happens after death. Lastly, "The Threads of Time" was an interesting story about an agent for the qhal who are allowed to travel into the past to mend time.

I got both a hardcover copy and the kindle ebook. The dust jacket and artwork look great for the physical book. Also, the kindle version is well formatted. Sometimes anthologies on Amazon have formatting problems and problems in the ToC. This did not.

One downside is that the physical book is really big.
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Format: Paperback
"He...remembered the future with increasing melancholy." -- C.J. Cherryh

After their definitive international anthology of horror and dark fantasy, The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, I was wondering what the Vandermeers would do for an encore. That turns out to be a 960-page time travel fantasy anthology chock full of stories most of us won't have read before.

Note the word "fantasy." The editors have deliberately downplayed what they call the "decidedly science-fictional" time paradox story (epitomized by the absent "By His Bootstraps" and "-All You Zombies-") in favor of fantasy stories with time travel backgrounds: their preface namechecks 11/22/63: A Novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe: A Novel (Vintage) -- a thriller, a romance, and a comedy, all bestsellers, none of them marketed as science fiction -- as examples of where the time travel story has gone to find a popular audience these days. (That doesn't even include Hollywood, where time travel has never gone out of fashion.)

Only "A Sound of Thunder," "Vintage Season," a four-page excerpt from THE TIME MACHINE, and perhaps Ursula Le Guin's "Another Story, or A Fisherman of the Inland Sea" will be overfamiliar to SF readers.
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Format: Paperback
Time travel has always been one of my favorite science fiction themes (much more so than ray guns and rocket ships), and I've been reading this stuff a long time, so I wasn't really surprised to find that I had previously read about sixty of the seventy-two stories packed into this monster volume. They are, indeed, some of the best in the field, so I didn't at all mind re-reading them. The editors have grouped their selections into four somewhat artificial categories -- time travel experiments, changing the past or protecting it from change, paradoxes, and sending messages through time. ("Artificial" because most of these stories could equally well belong to two or three categories.)

They've also tried to provide a survey of the whole history of science fiction, so you'll find "Enoch Soames" Max Beerbohm (1916), and an excerpt from Wells's _The Time Machine_ (1895), and even Edward Page Mitchell's "The Clock That Went Backward" (1881), the first time travel story ever published.

I found some of my favorite pieces here: Ursula LeGuin's moving "Another Story," and Michael Swanwick's lyrical "Triceratops Summer," and Gene Wolfe's short but startling "Against the Lafayette Escadrille," and Harry Turtledove's linked pair of stories, "Forty, Counting Down" and "Twenty-One, Counting Up," which are some of his best short work. And then there's "Fire Watch" by Connie Willis -- to my mind the very best time travel story yet written, by one of the very best authors of the past thirty-odd years. And there are plenty of other good reads.

There are some questionable inclusions in the volume, though. The two Kage Baker stories about Preservator Mendoza and Facilitator Joseph, while enjoyable pieces in the "Dr.
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