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The best books on Time

Recommended by carlo rovelli.

The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli

The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli

Our experience of time is only weakly related to the fundamental realities of physics, says the physicist and best-selling author Carlo Rovelli . Here he selects five works for understanding the nature of time in its truer sense.

Interview by Caspar Henderson

The best books on Time - The Odes by Horace

The Odes by Horace

The best books on Time - In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

The best books on Time - The Direction of Time by Hans Reichenbach

The Direction of Time by Hans Reichenbach

The best books on Time - Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point by Huw Price

Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point by Huw Price

The best books on Time - The Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, or The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way by Nagarjuna

The Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, or The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way by Nagarjuna

books about time space

1 The Odes by Horace

2 in search of lost time by marcel proust, 3 the direction of time by hans reichenbach, 4 time's arrow and archimedes' point by huw price, 5 the mūlamadhyamakakārikā, or the fundamental wisdom of the middle way by nagarjuna.

Where is a good place to begin when thinking about the nature of time? In the Confessions , Augustine suggested that time — at least as we experience it — is nothing other than the tension of consciousness itself.

The richness of the problem of time is precisely that we can start addressing it from all sorts of places. ‘Time’ is the single most used noun in the English language. It has a multiplicity of meanings.

My interest in time didn’t start with Augustine. It grew from the surprise learning that physics shows that our common ideas about time do not work well for the real world, as soon as we study it with more precision. The precise time of the clocks is something different from the time of our experience.

After a long detour, however, I have indeed ended up thinking that Augustine is basically right: what we call ‘time’ in our everyday life, the time of our experience, has something to do with clocks, but much more to do with what happens in our brain and in our emotions.

Your new book, The Order of Time , describes that detour. It takes us through the insights of Aristotle, Newton and Einstein and others. What are some of crucial junctions and turning points?

The first are the big surprises from the physics of the last two centuries. I describe three of them: first, time passes at different speed depending where you are: you age faster up in the mountains than down by the sea; second, the notion of the ‘present’ only makes sense in a bubble around us, there is no ‘present’ objectively defined all over the universe; third, the distinction between past and future is only statistical and due to our incomplete knowledge of the world. These are facts that have been discovered and confirmed. Each of them demolishes one aspect of our common understanding of time. That common understanding, where time is unique, the same all over the universe and the future is fundamentally different from the past, is adequate for our daily life, but is inadequate for understanding the nature at large.

“Our common understanding, where the future is fundamentally different from the past is inadequate for understanding the nature at large”

The concept of time that Newton used in building mechanics is equally inadequate. It works well at our scale but fails when velocities are very high or when the gravitational field is strong. Einstein understood this a century ago, and over the last hundred years it has become increasingly clear that the world is precisely as he deduced. Aristotle gave a much more general definition of time, which is that it is simply a way of counting the changing of things. Time defined in this manner does not have all the features that we intuitively and conventionally attribute to time (and that are physically wrong in the vast universe!). For instance, time defined in this way does not need to be the same all over the universe. So, in a sense, we are going back to the Aristotelian definition of time.

Each chapter of The Order of Time opens with verses from your first book choice, the Odes of Horace. What do you value in this poet of ancient Rome ?

I have a passion for Horace. A dear friend of my youth, who is not with us anymore, gave me as a gift, long ago, a small book with a choice of Horace’s Odes [note: Rovelli is referring to In questo breve cerchio , which contains Italian translations by Giulio Galetto]. I have been carrying this with me since ever, and re-reading it often. Horace is probably the greatest poet in Latin, and has many sides. There is an aulic, or courtly, aspect of his poetry, which I dislike, and is related to his official role of poet of the empire. But then there is an intimate and lyrical side of him which is marvellous, because it merges the clarity and concreteness of his visual, colourful, classical style, with a subtle modulation of universal sentiments which are deeply human — above all the soft melancholy of the running away of time. Horace is the great cantor of time, of the effect of the flight of time upon our deepest emotions. There is nothing screaming in him, no romantic exaggeration, and yet there is an intensity of emotion that reaches deep inside us and seems to capture the essence of what is to be human, and mortal. Consider this:

Perhaps God has many more seasons in store for us or perhaps the last is to be this winter that guides back the waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea to break against the rough pumice cliffs. You must be wise. Pour the wine and enclose in this brief circle your long-cherished hope.

Your second choice is In Search of Lost Time . What does Marcel Proust bring to our understanding of time?

Proust’s reflection on the nature of time is deep and spread over his writing. Reflect for a moment: the three thousand pages of his magnificent novel, packed with people, emotions, parfums, reflections, are not presented as happening in reality, but as emerging from the memory of the protagonist. A vast universe hidden among the folds of his brain, in the few inches between his ears. Proust’s art thus brings to life a key intuition that we can find in thinkers ranging from St Augustine to Husserl, and which I think is crucial for understanding our experience: the fact that the time of our experience is only weakly related to the time of physics. Mostly, it is a space, a clearing, opened up by our memories and anticipations. What we call time in our daily life is these memories and anticipations.

In The Order of Time you write that “perhaps the emotion of time is precisely what time is for us.”

The main message of my book is that time is a multilayered notion. What we mean when commonly say ‘time’ is a rather stratified concept, most layers of which refer to aspects of reality that have more to do with the specific functioning of our brain than to the simple structure of physical reality. We often make the mistake of forgetting this, and attribute to the external world what is really the emotional coloring that the external world generates in us. So, yes, to some extent the emotion of time is precisely what time is for us.

Your third choice, The Direction of Time , is the final work of a philosopher of science of the mid-20th century. What is its enduring importance?

Hans Reichenbach analysed the implications of discoveries about time made by physicists with the clarity that characterises analytical philosophy at its best, and remains a master for most of the philosophy of space and time. But his book is not widely known today, and this is a pity because it contains fundamental ideas, which are correct and are often disregarded.

“ the growth of entropy is the only law of physics that distinguishes the past from the future”

For instance, he was the first, as far as I know, to fully grasp the implications of the fact that the growth of entropy is the only law of physics that distinguishes the past from the future. This means that the existence of traces, memories and causation are just byproducts of entropy growth. This is a shocking realisation, which I believe has not been fully digested yet. He writes lucidly, and the book remains a model of clarity about the nature of time.

Broadly speaking, entropy is a measure of the disorder in the system. Entropy growth is, therefore, increasing disorder. A cup of coffee left on a table cools down: the heat, instead of remaining concentrated in one place, and in that sense ordered, dissipates. Is that about right?

Yes! Entropy is a fancy name to indicate the amount of disorder. Things naturally tend to get out of order for the simple reason that there are many ways of being in disorder and only few of being in order. Therefore random motion disorders: if you shake a box full of numbered balls you do not expect then to find them in the right order given by their numbers. The big surprise of the physics of time direction is that this disordering appears to be the single and only source of the difference between past and future.

What makes your fourth choice Time’s Arrow and Archimedes’ Point by Huw Price worth our attention?

I consider Huw Price one of the best living philosophers and I have learned a lot from several of his books. His book about time teaches us an important lesson: we are so used to think time as naturally oriented that we instinctively think that the future is determined by the past even if we try not to. The Archimedes’ Point of the title is Huw’s metaphor for a correct external a-temporal perspective in thinking about time. Archimedes famously said that if had a point outside the world to place his lever, he could move the world. Huw asks us to do so conceptually about time.

Tell us about your final choice The Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, or The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way , a text by Nagarjuna with a commentary by Jay L. Garfield

This is a book from a very different cultural universe. I include it here because I stumbled upon it, without previously knowing anything about it, while writing my book, and it had a very strong impact on me. Nagarjuna was a Buddhist monk of the second century and this book is a major philosophical text in the Buddhist tradition. Garfield is a contemporary analytical philosopher and his commentary has been essential for me to open up the ideas in the book. Nagarjuna’s philosophy is centred on the idea of the interdependence of all things and the absence of autonomous essence of anything. This implies that, in a precise sense, there is no ultimate reality. Ultimate reality is neither matter, nor energy, nor mind, nor platonic ideas, nor language, nor phenomena, nor Kantian noumen… It is just not there. I have found this a tremendously attractive and useful perspective.

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Do you regard the riddle of time as essentially solved, at least in terms of the underlying physics?

No, I don’t. I do think that we are beginning to understand the complexity of time and that we have an overall picture that makes sense; but there are several aspects of this picture that are still unclear, including for the physics. Why, for instance, was entropy low in the past? Is this just a feature of the universe we happen to inhabit, or is it our peculiar perspective on the universe that gives us this impression, like the apparent rotation of the heavens? This is one of the questions I am working on now, and where I hope better understanding will come.

May 11, 2018

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Carlo Rovelli

©Jamie Stoker

Carlo Rovelli

Carlo Rovelli is an Italian theoretical physicist. He is director of the quantum gravity research group of the Centre de Physique Théorique in Marseille, and his books Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Reality is Not What It Seems were international bestsellers translated into forty-one languages. His most recent book published in English is Anaximander and the Nature of Science (2023). Like all of Rovelli's popular physics books, it's short (less than 200 pages).

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What makes us tick … a worker inside the clock face of St Stephen’s clock tower, housing the Big Ben bell in London.

Top 10 books about time

From St Augustine’s philosophy to HG Wells’s science fiction, these are some of the best books about a subject that is both very familiar and very strange

T ime is the most commonly used noun in the English language, yet we hardly understand what it is. The purer physical and mathematical aspects of time continue to be debated by the great minds of cosmology, and there are excellent books on that subject, from Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time to Richard Muller’s more recent Now: The Physics of Time . But I’ve always been drawn to the more tangible and human questions: how do our cells tell time, and how does that telling seep upward into the neurobiology, psychology, and consciousness of our species? How is it that our smartphones and wristwatches manage to consistently agree on what time it is? And the clocks inside us, how pliable are they? Can they be made to speed up, slow down, go backward? Why does time preoccupy us, and is there anything we can do about it?

The search for answers to these questions consumed me for several years as I wrestled them into my latest book, Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation . What began as an intellectual journey morphed into something between a pastime and an obsession, accompanying me through one job and another, the birth of my children, pre-school, grade school, beach vacations, and countless cancelled dinner dates and blown deadlines. It was meant to be a book about time that I finished on time; it became a meditation on living life and not wanting time to end. Along the way, I read a great many books by other authors that dealt with time in one way or another; these are some of my favourites.

1 . Confessions by St Augustine Departing from Zeno, Aristotle, and the other early Greek philosophers who struggled to understand the physics of time, Augustine, writing in the fourth century, was the first to talk about time as an internal experience – to ask what time is by exploring how it feels to inhabit it. He noted that what we call three tenses are really just shades of one: our present experience of the past (otherwise known as memory); our present experience of the future (anticipation), and our present experience of the present (attention). “In you, my mind, I measure time,” he wrote – the credo for any modern scientist studying the perception of time.

2. The Time Machine by HG Wells Still great after all these years! Unlike other time-travelling characters of late 19th-century literature, Wells’s hero isn’t a passive agent: he has a device with which he aims himself at the moment, past or future, of his choice. Wells was steeped in the latest scientific literature on memory, consciousness, visual perception, suggestion and illusion, and the opening chapter of this novel is effectively a short course on then-current notions of time perception. When the moment arrives to send a model of the time machine on its maiden voyage, it’s the psychologist who flicks the switch.

3. Time Travel by James Gleick The Time Machine is just the starting point for Gleick’s joyous and engrossing survey of our species’ preoccupation with the (entirely impossible) possibility of time travel. Cyberspace, time capsules, predestination; Dr. Who, Parmenides, Nabokov – Gleick is at home in every intellectual territory. Essential reading for those wanting to understand why the present is no longer enough for us.

Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timless classic directed by Ava DuVernay.

4. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle A high-school girl and her gifted brother, aided by three otherworldly women — the Mesdames Who, Which and Whatsit – exploit a wrinkle in space-time to battle a giant disembodied brain. One of my best-loved books as a kid and now a favourite of my own children.

5. Your Brain Is a Time Machine by Dean Buonomano Buonomano, a neuroscientist at the University of California Los Angeles, is one of the leading scientists trying to understand how the brain tells and navigates time. Here, he takes the reader on a tour of the latest research, from the workings of our neurons to the notion of “mental time travel” – how we project ourselves into the past and future. Why does time seem to flow? Do we have one clock in us or many? It’s a fun and fascinating exploration and very accessible.

6. A Tenth of a Second by Jimena Canales Seconds have been around since ancient Egypt as a quantifiable subunit of time. But the 10th of a second is fairly new, made accessible in the mid-19th century by advances in clock technology. Candles, a historian at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, recounts the emergence of this tiny yet vital window of time and its profound impact on the sciences, from astronomy to experimental psychology, and on society. Studies of reaction times, for instance, reveal that the speed of thought is not infinite: the impulse to lift a finger doesn’t translate instantaneously into action, and the time lag (yes, about a 10th of a second) enabled scientists for the first time to put consciousness under the proverbial microscope.

7. Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline by Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton An entertaining and lush history of humankind’s efforts to visually represent time, from 1450 to the present. There’s a lavish diagram from 1862 showing the differences in time around the world – and the clear need for time zones. (Noon in Washington, DC, was 5:08 pm in London, 5:17 pm in Paris, and 6:14 pm in Vienna.) There’s the April 1912 Marconi North Atlantic Communication chart, which tracked ships, including the Titanic, at points in time rather than by their location; there’s even a chronological board game developed by Mark Twain. Timeless.

Vladimir (David Dawson) and Verloc (Toby Jones) in the BBC’s adaptation of The Secret Agent.

8. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad On 15 February 1894, a bomb exploded prematurely near the Greenwich Royal Observatory in London, killing the young French anarchist who carried it. Was it meant to destroy the observatory? Conrad thought so. The building housed a clock that defined Greenwich Mean Time, the standard time for the nation and, since 1884, the baseline for the entire world – as a symbol of industrialisation and government reach it would have been a tempting target. The evidence is circumstantial, but it was strong enough to fuel his 1907 novel, in which a porn-shop owner and secret government agent named Adolf Verloc is caught up in an anarchist terror plot.

9. The Clockwork Muse by Eviatar Zerubavel An essential guide for any anxiety-prone writer, this book makes the highly useful point that, in terms of actually getting anything done on a day-to-day basis, organising one’s schedule is more important than inspiration. Zerubavel, a sociologist, has also written eloquent books on the social history and meaning of calendars and the week.

10. Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps by Peter Galison Galison, a historian of science at Harvard, explains relativity better than any other writer out there, but this book does far more, painting a rich portrait of the technological and cultural landscape in which the science arose. With improvements in time-keeping, map-making, and communication, and the invention of time zones and railroad schedules, accurate time became a commodity to be bought, sold and distributed. How do we come to agree on what time it is right now ? That question began as very practical one, Galison argues, but quickly consumed philosophy and physics – and it required Einstein and Poincaré to answer.

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10 mind-bending books on the nature of time

books about time space

Carl Sagan once said that “Books break the shackles of time.” He was talking about how books allow you to peer into the past, but books can also offer us a better, more accurate understanding of the nature of time, no matter how bizarre that nature really is. This list offers 10 books on time ranging from the simple to the complex, the entertaining to the academic, and everything in between.

1. A Brief History of Time

Predictably, this list must begin with Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time . Some may have held off on reading it due to the daunting subject matter — his book may have sold 10 million copies, but Hawking was well aware of its reputation as “ the most popular book never read “

Rest assured, A Brief History of Time was written specifically for those of us who don’t know our quarks from our gluons. It briefly covers the origin, development, and future of the universe but in a comprehensive, digestible, and — most importantly — enthusiastic way. Here’s an excerpt:

Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?

2. The Order of Time

Carlo Rovelli is a theoretical physicist at Axis-Marseille University best known for his Seven Brief Lessons on Physics . Like A Brief History of Time , The Order of Time is designed for the layman, but Rovelli’s style differs significantly Hawking’s. Rovelli writes in a lyrical, almost poetic style, supplementing the heady physics of time with quotes from figures such as Shakespeare and the Greek philosopher Anaximander. It’s a pleasant read, but the combination of hard science and philosophy particularly lends itself to the audio book version narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch . You can listen to a sample of the audio book in the video below.

3. Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps: Empires of Time

There are few concepts more crucial to our modern understanding of time than the theory of relativity, most famously elaborated by Albert Einstein. However, Einstein’s theory didn’t emerge from a vacuum; his contemporaries were hard at work on relativity, including his rival, Jules Henri Poincaré.

In essence, the theory of relativity showed that there was no such thing as a universal time; time flows differently for different systems. In Einstein’s Clocks, Poincar é’s Maps: Empires of Time , author Peter Galiso n explores the extraordinary period of history when this theory was discovered. Rather than serving as a solely scientific exploration of time, Galison’s book has been described as “part history, part science, part adventure, part biography.”

4. Your Brain is a Time Machine

Part of what makes learning about the physics of time so fascinating is how wildly it differs from our intuitive understanding of time. Though we can conduct experiments and analyses to develop an objective conceptualization of time, we’re still stuck with the way our squishy brains like to perceive time. But thinking that our “natural” view of time is less interesting would be wrong.

Physicists and philosophers espouse the idea of eternalism — that there is no fundamental difference between the past, present, and future. “There is absolutely nothing particularly special about the present: under eternalism now is to time as here is to space,” writes neuroscientist Dean Buonomano in Your Brain is a Time Machine . But in our perception, “now” is the most important aspect of time, the only accessible portion of it.

In his book, Buonomano explores the myriad ways our brains and bodies keep track of time, how we travel through time in our own way, and how this biological sense of time clashes or connects with the physics of time.

5. Slaughterhouse Five

You don’t have to stick to hard science to build an understanding of time. In fact, doing so would provide a lopsided picture of time, leaving out the crucial fact that we are subjective individuals with unique points of view.

To learn more about this aspect of time, we have to turn to literature: Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five traces the contours of how time affects us, our memory, and most of all how trauma distorts our sense of it.

Billy Pilgrim, the book’s antagonist, survives the firebombing of Dresden by hiding out in a slaughterhouse — an event that Vonnegut lived through himself — only later to become unstuck in time, forced to witness the events of his life randomly, without any control, over and over again:

Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.

Billy has gone to sleep a senile widower and awakened on his wedding day. He has walked through a door in 1955 and come out another one in 1941. He has gone back through that door to find himself in 1963. He has seen his birth and death many times, he says, and pays random visits to all events in between.

6. The Dialogues

One of the intractable problems with physics is how darn abstract it is. Getting a good understanding of science sometimes requires the use of visual aids. That’s why The Dialogues made this list; though it doesn’t focus specifically on time, it does cover the nature of time, along with numerous other subjects in the sciences as portrayed through illustrated conversations.

7. From Eternity to Here

Sean Carroll’s From Eternity to Here focuses on a specific characteristic of time and offers a theory on how time operates. Carroll’s book examines what physicists refer to as the arrow of time, or the idea that time always seems to be moving in one direction — into the future, forward, and not backward.

There’s no real reason for this to be the case, however. Why doesn’t time flow backward? In his book, Carroll posits that it could be because the Big Bang wasn’t the start of the universe, that conditions from before the Big Bang have determined that the arrow of time flows forward. Carroll explains this possibility in his TED Talk in the video below:

8. A World without Time

Einstein’s theory of relativity set the scene for our modern understanding of time, but for logician Kurt Gödel — a lifelong friend of Einstein’s — it also revealed a bizarre conclusion. Gödel argued that in any universe where the theory of relativity was true, time could not exist at all.

In A World Without Time , Palle Yougrau covers Einstein’s and Gödel’s friendship, the underpinnings of Gödel’s time-less philosophy, and how modern cosmologists and philosophers seem to have forgotten all about Gödel.

9. The Fabric of the Cosmos

Physicist Brian Greene lays out the fundamental nature of the universe in this book, dedicating one out of its five parts to time and experience. In it, he explores the flow of time, how the laws of physics apply equally as well when time flows backwards as it does when it flows forwards, and the nature of time in the quantum realm.

Greene also explores many other aspects of the universe, including some ideas that are controversial amongst scientists, making this a valuable read for those interested in more than just time. “Cosmology,” writes Greene, “is among the oldest subjects to captivate our species. And it’s no wonder. We’re storytellers, and what could be more grand than the story of creation?”

10. The Direction of Time

Hans Reichenbach was a philosopher of science from the 20 th century, and as such, his perspective is a little different than that of career physicists. In his work, The Direction of Time , Reichenbach analyzed the philosophical implications of the many exciting findings of the theorists of his day. In fact, Rovelli, author of The Order of Time , cited it as one of his favorite books on time. In a review of The Direction of Time , Rovelli writes ,

He was the first, as far as I know, to fully grasp the implications of the fact that the growth of entropy is the only law of physics that distinguishes the past from the future. This means that the existence of traces, memories and causation are just byproducts of entropy growth. This is a shocking realisation, which I believe has not been fully digested yet.

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Books about time travel artfully challenge our perceptions. Skillfully bending our minds and flexing the limitations of time, these great works change our perspective on what’s possible.

And the best books about time travel go even further. For a time travel tale to become a classic book in its own genre, it mustn’t be defined by the party trick of the time jump. In fact, that’s often just the starting point of a deeper, layered story, as time travel books can be any genre, or even cross genres!

For instance, time travel can be historical fiction, where characters visit the past and the book is firmly grounded by facts and recorded events. In the other direction, time travel stories can be futuristic, like these books that predicted the future . They often go into science fiction territory, complete with alternative worlds and intergalactic strife. Post-apocalyptic settings are also popular, and parallel universes too. Some time travel tales even end up on lists of banned books , like Madeleine L’Engle’s  A Wrinkle in Time.

But in an ideal work, the concept of time travel is held together by stories of universal—and timeless—shared experiences: A quest for love, a need to save. A yearning for redemption, forgiveness, even power. Joy and humor, or a sense of poignancy, regret, fear and loss.

The time travel books on this list differ in genre and type—award winners, classics, new releases, diverse authors and characters—but all have one thing in common: the humanity that shines through and transcends time to make a time travel book truly transportive.

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1. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Arguably the classic time travel book, published all the way back in 1895, The Time Machine is one of the oldest time travel stories and is largely credited with the popularization of the genre. In it, the Time Traveller, a Victorian English scientist and inventor, explains why he’s starting his weekly dinner party late: He lost his time machine and had to find it in the future—in 802,701 A.D. In this future, there are two human species: the innocent and childlike Eloi, and the savage, frightening Morlocks, who have his machine. Wells tears down capitalism, satirizes the decadence of his own time and speculates on evolution and the fourth dimension. It’s no wonder the novel has inspired two feature films, two TV series and several comic book adaptations .

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2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander is the first in an ongoing series that’s now a hugely popular TV series as well. It was initially (and for the author, begrudgingly) classified as a romance novel when it was published in 1991, but it’s so much more than that. Through its now nine novels, it’s become a story of enduring love and relationships forged and held through space, time and historical events.

British combat nurse Claire Randall is on a second honeymoon in Scotland with her husband, Frank, after they’ve been reunited at the close of WWII. Claire’s having a lovely time reconnecting when a solo outing puts her in proximity to pagan-era standing stones, which jarringly transport her 200 years into the past, to the start of the doomed Jacobite rebellion. Mishaps and tense circumstances lead her into the orbit and later protection of one Jamie Fraser, who becomes a force more powerful than the stones of Craigh na Dun … And that’s just the start of a sweeping historical tale that crosses oceans, offers intrigue and mystery, and takes us to the middle of another war, closer to home.

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3. What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

To Outlander fans who bemoan the “Droughtlander” between TV seasons and wait years between new book releases, the satellite stories and novellas by Diana Gabaldon are sometimes not quite enough. For them, 2019 Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal  and Washington Post bestseller What the Wind Knows might be just the salve they need.

In this love story, Anne Gallagher journeys to her beloved grandfather Eoin’s childhood home in Ireland to scatter his ashes, only to find herself traveling much farther than intended—to 1921, in fact, as the rebellion ripens. She comes under the care of a Dr. Thomas Smith and his ward, who shares her grandfather’s name, and she’s mistaken for the boy’s long-lost mother . Anne goes along with the mistaken identity … but for how long?

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4. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Prisons banning this book, citing “racial antagonism,” is the first clue that it’s a time travel book that goes far beyond predictable tropes. Published in 1979, this first-person account of Black novelist Edana (Dana) Franklin begins quickly, shockingly, with an arm amputation. It barely slows down as readers are transported as suddenly as the main character between 1976 Los Angeles and a pre-Civil War Maryland plantation, where Edana meets her ancestors and experiences their horrors through a modern-day lens.

This is particularly jarring as she becomes enmeshed in the lives of the white planter and Black freewoman- cum -enslaved person and concubine from her family tree, a stark contrast from her loving interracial marriage. In what the author has called a “grim fantasy,” this powerful book shines a bright light into our history’s darker corners, making Kindred a must-read book about racism in many academic circles.

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5. This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

This short book proves that depth doesn’t necessarily require length. This Is How You Lose the Time War has been called “a story about a feeling” rather than a plot, but that doesn’t mean the latter isn’t there. In a creative telling between two gifted authors—each writing only as their characters, Red and Blue, in a back-and-forth exchange—the novella follows the rival time-traveling military agents from a warring future as they first taunt each other then fall in love over the course of correspondence … all while engaging in various missions to change events from the past and ensure the survival of their faction in the present/future.

It’s cleverly written and hugely emotive, so it’s no surprise this pair of sci-fi writers won BFSA, Nebula and Hugo Awards and the book was optioned for television in 2019, the year it was published, with the caveat that the Sapphic element was “not up for negotiation.”

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6. The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz

While it’s disturbing that misogyny and control of women is often a theme in futuristic science fiction or dystopian feminist books , when it’s done well, it’s incredible fodder. This contemporary work of speculative fiction released in 2019 does it masterfully, taking us to an existence that includes geologic wormhole generators and archeological features known as the “Machines.” Using the Machines are the Daughters of Harriet (Tubman), whose work revolves around changing key moments in history to make the future better for women. Tess is one of these underground Daughters fighting their misogynistic nemesis, the Comstockers. But when her path crosses with punky 17-year-old Beth, things get even messier as characters start to question who they really are and who they want to be.

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7. Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

In this highly acclaimed debut novel by Asian American author Mike Chen, time travel is normal … and so is Kin Stewart, a suburban San Francisco dad working in IT and trying to stay connected with his wife and daughter. But this “reality” isn’t real reality, as Kin is actually a secret agent of the Temporal Corruption Bureau, an agency formed by the U.N. in 2098 to chase down “temporal criminals”—time travelers seeking to change the past to ensure their own lucrative futures.

On a mission gone awry 18 years ago, Kin found himself stranded in the 1990s. Making the most of the situation, made easier by love, he begins to forget his future as he builds a life in the present. That is, until an extraction team arrives to force him back to a life he no longer remembers, and he learns what lengths he’ll go to for the love of a daughter who was never supposed to exist.

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8. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler’s Wife is one of the best books made into movies, having earned the Exclusive Books Boeke Prize and British Book Award. A debut novel, this tragic and epic romance published in 1991 centers around librarian Henry DeTamble and his artist wife, Clare Anne Abshire. Henry has a genetic disorder that causes spontaneous time travel, which he’s suffered from since he was 5 years old. When he finally meets his future wife, it’s in 1991, but she’s actually known him for most of her life. As their paths cross through the years, they share a deep love, a child, a life … all with the shadow of missing chapters and lengthy disappearances hovering over them. This emotional story is over all too soon, making its fans that much more excited about the upcoming HBO Max  adaptation.

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9. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

Time travel books don’t have to be heavy tearjerkers—they can (and should!) also elicit tears of laughter, as this hilarious and conversational romp does. In a very meta move, author Charles Yu writes a self-help book for Charles Yu, the time machine repairman living in Minor Universe 31, that can be used to solve the mystery of where his father vanished after he invented the first time machine. He’s handed this book by his future self—the author—as he lays dying from a technically self-inflicted gunshot wound, since the trigger was pulled by his present self. And that’s just the beginning of this sci-fi loop with his sidekicks, a sad time machine called TAMMY and a nonexistent dog named Ed.

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10. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

Mark Twain’s 1889 story begins when a conk on the head mysteriously transports engineer Hank Morgan to medieval times … and not the re-creation kind you’d find in modern-day Connecticut. With his “modern” foresight and sensibilities, he convinces the court that he’s a magician and tries to use his “powers” for good, which then turns into a masterful satirical take on feudalism, monarchy and the Industrial Revolution. How masterful? Critics in Great Britain were offended at this “direct attack on … aristocratic institutions,” as Twain himself gleefully reported the feedback, while modern critics consider this a foundational work in books about time travel, even inspiring movies like A Kid in King Arthur’s Court .

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11. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Named one of Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels, this 1969 novel by sci-fi powerhouse Kurt Vonnegut is wrenching, engrossing, jarring and fantastical, as well as incredibly honest. Considered one of the greatest anti-war books of all time, it follows main character Billy Pilgrim’s trek through the horrifying firebombing of Dresden, capture by the German army and time as a prisoner of war—a mirroring of the author’s own firsthand experience as an American serviceman. However, via an unreliable narrator and a jumping, nonlinear structure “in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner of tales of the planet Tralfamadore, where the flying saucers come from,” we’re also transported there as past, present and future occur simultaneously. Sound confusing? Better read the book!

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12. Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Who doesn’t like a good heist? A clever rapscallion and spirited thief? Enter Invictus main character Farway McCarthy, the product of a time traveler from the year 2354 … and a gladiator from ancient Rome. Farway’s longtime dream was to explore history firsthand, but his test scores led to a rejection from the official government program. Instead, he became a time-traveling, treasure-hunting pirate of sorts, captaining a crew through time to steal priceless objects to sell on the black market. Then he meets mysterious Eliot, who strong-arms her way into his diverse crew (which includes a pet red panda named Saffron) and twists up his life as they continue on madcap adventures with plenty of funny banter to ease things along.

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13. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

This Newbery Medal , Dequoya Book and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award winner is one of the best children’s books ever written . Since 1962, A Wrinkle in Time has served as a gateway to time travel books, a captivating entry into sci-fi and the world of other worlds. But what has given it such incredible longevity is that it’s also a coming-of-age story. Ugly duckling pre-teen Meg Murray, accompanied by her mild but highly gifted little brother Charles Wallace and well-liked classmate Calvin O’Keefe, jumps through space and time to save her father, a brilliant physicist who went missing attempting to tesseract—that is, to create a fifth-dimensional bridge between time and space. This first book in the Time Quintet series introduces self-reflection, acceptance, spirituality, purpose and science in ways that resonate through generations.

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14. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

This Newbery Medal Award winner for children and young adults is part sci-fi, part mystery and very much an ode to another era—one where kids on Manhattan’s Upper West Side were self sufficient, single mothers aspired to compete on game shows and kids got punched in the face with minimal adult blowback. Our first-person narrator is Miranda Sinclair, a sixth-grader in the late 1970s who starts getting mysterious notes asking her to write “letters” about things that haven’t happened yet in order to eventually save the life of a friend. Like A Wrinkle in Time , which also makes important cameos in this book, this is just as much a coming-of-age story about friendship , love, forgiveness, redemption and independence as it is about time travel.

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15. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Another amazing book for teens , this 2009 young adult novel opens up a trilogy about Gwendolyn (Gwyneth in some translations) Shepherd, a 16-year-old contemporary time traveler from London who was never supposed to be a time traveler. It runs in her blood, but it was always supposed to be her cousin who had the gene; it was her cousin who was prepared for this responsibility given to the females in her family. Ill-prepared and untrained, she takes on the mantle of the final time traveler of the family, learning how to control her time jumps via supplying her blood to the chronograph time machine that helps smooth out these leaps of faith. How she navigates getting plunged into romance, history and young adult politics is why you keep reading.

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16. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Coming of age isn’t a one-time event limited to pre-teens, and especially not in modern times, as economics oftentimes extend the transition into adulthood. This present-day romance , one of Bookpage’s top ten for 2021, is as timely as it is time travel-y as it “investigates” the relationship formed between bisexual former amateur detective August and Chinese lesbian Jane … who just so happens to be from the 1970s. This enormously representative, inclusive romp is a fun take on time travel and dating in today’s New York City, with a lot of heart to go along with the heart-eyes entertainment. This one’s a perfect summer beach read .

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17. Replay by Ken Grimwood

What if life after death was life before your death? That’s the premise of Replay , a 1988 World Fantasy Award–winning novel about Jeff Winston, who suffers a heart attack at age 43 only to wake up in 1963, 18 years old and back in Emory University. He does this on repeat, able to change the events before his death but not circumvent it. However, each new “replay” restarts him several hours after the last round, and he learns he’s not the only one when he meets another replayer named Pamela Phillips. In his replays, he makes amends, falls in love, searches for other replayers, attempts to go public and, most important, works toward surviving beyond the countdown to his final replay with the love of his many lives.

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18. This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

One of the most anticipated books of 2022, This Time Tomorrow is another take on waking up as your younger self. This humorous tale celebrates love, but not romantic love— familial love. The main character, Alice, is turning 40; because 50 is the new 30, she’s fine with aging, and she feels her life is in a decent place, except for her father’s declining health. She wakes up the next day in 1996, though, newly 16 years old instead of 40, with all the baggage that comes along with it. But what strikes her most is seeing her 40-something dad through the eyes of her four decades of lived experience, learning that her past is more than she remembered.

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19. The Paradox Hotel  by Rob Hart

CrimeReads called this time-warping, darkly funny murder mystery “one of the most anticipated books of 2022,” and true to its genre, that claim passes the polygraph test. This fascinating book has time travel at its core. January Cole runs security at a hotel that well-heeled guests stay at between “flights” to the past, but soon enough, things start going awry beyond even dinosaur egg smuggling attempts, and the hotel is up for grabs as time travel technology faces privatization. While this is happening, a corpse appears that only January can see, a ghost child starts tagging along with her and she starts slipping more often into the past and future, forced to confront grief and memory as she does.

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20. Time and Again by Jack Finney

This 1970 novel  has gotten a fresh 50th anniversary makeover, where what’s old is new again in a book that Stephen King himself has called “ the great time travel story.” However, we prefer the 1995 edition, which features rich illustrations to go along with the story of advertising artist Si Morley, who’s recruited to join a covert government operation exploring time travel. Curious about a half-burned letter from 1882, he accepts the mission to return to New York City in that year, and the action moves quickly from there as he falls in love and is confronted with the classic conundrum faced by those caught between times.

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21. 11/22/63 by Stephen King

While this legendary writer has raved about Jack Finney’s time travel novel, his own is no less remarkable. Released in 2011, this suspenseful thousand-page thriller about a 35-year-old English teacher in Maine won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and takes us back to the events leading to the titular one—the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Jack Epping is the hero here, and porting back to 1958 via his friend Al, the keeper of the portal, he attempts to prevent the historic crime as each trip back costs him only two minutes in present time. But because it’s Stephen King, of course there’s more to the story: a man in his adult GED program with a tragic family history, an unexpected falling in love and a lot of consequences to a lot of action. We’ll see how much makes it into the Hulu TV show !

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22. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Disappointed that Stephen King’s contribution sounds light on horror ? This 2013 book takes readers for a dark, gory and violent turn as it examines what would happen if time travel became a power abused by evil. Harper Curtis is his name, a perverted and deranged serial killer who comes across a portal in an abandoned house during Depression-era Chicago. He uses the portal to return to the past to first visit “the shining girls” at multiple points in their lives before finally killing them. However, things get complicated when one of his victims, Kirby, survives and recruits a former homicide reporter to break the cycle. Do they? Read it or let the suspense build watching the new Apple Original thriller series, soon to release eight episodes in the first chilling season.

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The Marginalian

7 Must-Read Books on Time

What the second law of thermodynamics has to do with saint augustine, landscape art, and graphic novels., by maria popova.

books about time space


books about time space

With a foreword by none other than Carl Sagan , the book remains a fundamental sensemaking mechanism for understanding the cosmos, our place in it, how we got there, and where we might be going.

Perhaps most powerful of all is the human hope and scientific vision of Hawking’s ending:

If we find [a unified theory], it would be the ultimate triumph — for then we would know the mind of God.”


books about time space

This book is about the nature of time, the beginning of the universe, and the underlying structure of physical reality. We’re not thinking small here. The questions we’re tackling are ancient and honorable ones: Where did time and space come from? Is the universe we see all there is, or are there other ‘universes’ beyond what we can observe? How is the future different from the past?” ~ Sean Carroll

Sample Carroll’s entertaining and enlightening storytelling with his excellent talk from TEDxCaltech .

Full review here .

books about time space

Movement, change, light growth and decay are the lifeblood of nature, the energies that I try to tap through my work. I need the shock of touch, the resistance of place, materials and weather, the earth as my source. I want to get under the surface. When I work with a leaf, rock, stick, it is not just that material itself, it is an opening into the processes of life within and around it. When I leave it, these processes continue. […] My approach to the photograph is kept simple, almost routine. All work, good and bad, is documented. I use standard film, a standard lens and no filters. Each work grows, strays, decays—integral parts of a cycle which the photograph shows at its height, marking the moment when the work is most alive. There is an intensity about a work at its peak that I hope is expressed in the image. Process and decay are implicit.” ~ Andy Goldsworthy

Goldsworthy was the subject of the excellent 2001 Scottish-German documentary Rivers & Tides: Working with Time — here’s a short excerpt for a taste:


books about time space

Cartographies of Time is easily one of the most beautiful books to come by in the past year, both a treasure trove of antique artwork and a priceless cultural timecapsule containing humanity’s understanding of time and place in the larger context of existence.


books about time space


books about time space

Sample the book with this charmingly so-bad-it’s-good trailer:

Our ability to reconstruct the past, to interpret the present, and to construct the future gives us the power to be happy.” ~ Philip Zimbardo


books about time space

Procrastination is familiar and interesting but also puzzling. Although it is generally perceived as harmful and irrational, recent studies suggest that most of us procrastinate occasionally and many of us procrastinate persistently. Not even saints are immune. Saint Augustine records in his Confessions how, after years of sexual hedonism, he vowed to return to Christianity and prayed for chastity and continence — ‘only not yet.’ Although he ‘abhorred’ his current way of living and ‘earnestly’ wanted to change his course, he kept deferring any change until ‘tomorrow.'” ~ Chrisoula Andreou & Mark D. White

From the morality of it (is procrastination a vice?) to its possible antidotes (what are the best coping strategies?), the book is an essential piece of psychosocial insight. That is, if you get around to reading it.

— Published October 17, 2011 — —




Email article, filed under, art books carl sagan culture graphic nonfiction omnibus philosophy photography psychology science video, view full site.

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books about time space

15 of the best space and astronomy books 2023

From an astronaut's memoir to understanding the physics of the Universe, here are great books that each open up a new window into space.

Many of us have heard of space celebrities such as Tim Peake and Brian Cox writing about this topic, but – while books of that kind are included on this list – there are a wide range of great titles to be read in your search for an understanding of the Universe. Some of these will help amateur astronomers get to grips with the night sky, while others will bring heart-warming tales of the collaboration and community within the space industry.

We think it's a great collection of space and astronomy books, but if you think we've forgotten any please do let us know over on the Science Focus book club Facebook group . Or, take a look at our list of big, coffee table photography books about space .

For more reading recommendations and free samples of new and popular books, sign up to our book club newsletter below.

Looking for gift ideas? Check out our list of the best science and tech gifts .

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The best books about space, astronomy and the Universe

Night sky almanac 2023: a stargazer’s guide.

Royal Observatory Greenwich, Storm Dunlop, Wil Tirion and Collins Astronomy

Night Sky Almanac 2022: A stargazer’s guide

What better gift for an amateur astronomer than an answer to all of their queries in one, pocket-sized companion?

Detailed with facts, advice and key dates to look out and up for throughout the year, plus monthly calendars to reveal the delights of the night sky wherever you are. For fans of The Almanac series or subscribers of Sky at Night magazine , this is an essential piece of kit.

Stories in the Stars: An Atlas of Constellations

Susanna Hislop and Hannah Waldron

books about time space

This book lists all 88 constellations by size, from Andromeda (the chained maiden) to Vulpecula (the little fox), each beautifully illustrated by artist Hannah Waldron, while Susanna Hislop’s accompanying text goes beyond the usual creation myths to include facts about legendary astronomers and more.

Stories in the Stars is both an imaginative and in-depth collection of human's encounters with the night sky.

Ask An Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space

books about time space

Who better to describe life in space than someone who’s walked the (space)walk? Peake pens answers to the public’s burning questions, revealing what space smells like, how he enjoyed a cosmic cuppa, and what it felt like to return to Earth.

Of course, his other books are all well worth a read, too. Try Limitless if you're a fan of autobiographies, or The Astronaut Selection Test Book for a series of puzzles and quizzes to see if you've got what it takes to go into space. Try your hand at a test for the ISS on .

The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)

Cover of The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) by Katie Mack

The end of the Universe may be a common feature in science fiction, but this one isn’t a crisis that can be averted by a team of superheroes. The Universe really will come to an end one way or another, and we have an idea how – five ideas, actually.

More like this

In The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) , astrophysicist Dr Katie Mack dives into these five possible apocalypses, from the Universe gradually fading out to the ‘quantum bubble of death’.

A History of the Universe in 21 Stars (and 3 imposters)

Giles sparrow.

books about time space

This accessible, illustrated guide to the cosmos is for both the new and the experienced stargazer.

Writer Giles Sparrow tells the stories of well-known 'celebrity' stars such as Proxima Centauri, Betelgeuse and our very own Sun, but also of those holding the sky's secrets; supernovae, quasars and dark matter. Through these 21 stars (and 3 imposters) he reveals the impact that astronomy has played on science's understanding of the past, present and future.

Spacefarers: How Humans Will Settle the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

Christopher Wanjek

books about time space

If the end of the world really is imminent, perhaps we should start looking for another one. The obvious choices are the Moon or Mars, but there are lots of other places in the Solar System we could try, each with their own problems and opportunities. We could try floating above Venus in balloon cities , or living in caves inside our very own asteroid.

Wanjek discusses the practicalities of moving away from the planet where we evolved. How might we cope with microgravity, or the lack of air pressure? And if we could terraform another planet… why not just stay on Earth?

Is There Anybody Out There?

Dara Ó Briain

Book cover of Is Anybody Out There?

Looking for space books for kids? This illustrated and informative book is aimed at 9+ years.

The hilarious Dara Ó Briain offers scientific answers to questions such as: how did life begin? How was the Earth created? Do aliens exist?

The Art of Urban Astronomy: A Guide to Stargazing Wherever You Are

Abigail Beall

books about time space

Stargazing does not have to be complicated, reveals Abigail Beall in this beautifully compact guide. It's not a hobby reserved for those who can afford a telescope, nor is it completely inaccessible to city-goers who spend most of their time under a light-polluted sky.

There are a few tricks and techniques that Beall shares, but ultimately, she advocates for the simple power – and wonder – in looking up.

The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy’s Vanishing Explorers

Emily levesque.

Cover of The Last Stargazers by Emily Levesque

Astronomer Emily Levesque charts the history of the profession, following her colleagues across the globe and back in time. But now, we sit at the precipice of a new way of observing the stars – through robots, instead of our own eyes – and that has consequences across the sciences.

Levesque's writing is witty and honest, and asks us all to reconsider our relationship with the Universe.

They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers

Sarah Scoles

books about time space

Why do so many people believe that aliens have visited Earth? Where does our depiction of 'flying saucers' come from? And what does UFO culture reveal about our psychology?

Science writer Sarah Scoles digs into the deep, sometimes dark, world of UFO conspiracies and stories for this fascinating book, mixing serious anecdotes from the community (told sceptically but sensitively) with real scientific research from across a range of disciplines.

Black Hole Survival Guide

Janna Levin

Cover of Black Hole Survival Guide

What would happen if you fell into a black hole? Janna Levin, a professor of physics and astronomy, reveals what her research has told us about these mysterious objects, and what we do and don't know about falling into one.

For fans of Jim Al-Khalili's The World According to Physics , this book is an accessible and engaging introduction to one of the Universe's most extraordinary phenomena.

I am a book. I am a portal to the Universe.

Stefanie posavec and miriam quick.

books about time space

This book has 112 pages. It is a square, 20cm high and wide. It weighs 450g. It knows the secrets of the Universe. Open it up, dive into the data, and be prepared to want to share everything you learn with everyone around you.

The Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy: What animals on Earth reveal about aliens and ourselves

Dr arik kershenbaum.

books about time space

Scientists are increasingly confident that there is life elsewhere in the Universe. But what would that life look like?

Taking the growing body of information about other planets, applying the laws of biology, principles of chemistry, and his knowledge of Earth's history, Kershenbaum presents the possibilities for alien creatures with confidence.

Not Necessarily Rocket Science: A Beginner's Guide to Life in the Space Age

Kellie Gerardi

Cover of Not Necessarily Rocket Science

Straight from the pen of a scientist working with commercial spaceflight comes a memoir of getting into the air. Kellie Gerardi has worked with NASA, tested technology that would be sent to the International Space Station, and helped develop programmes for future space exploration.

But, it hasn't always been glamorous, says Gerardi. "Working my way up as young woman in a predominantly male industry often meant that I was the only woman in the meeting, at the dinner, on the stage, or in one case, at the entire company," she says on her website . That's why this book aims to make the space industry accessible to all, and it lands perfectly.

The Human Cosmos: A Secret History of the Stars

Jo Marchant

books about time space

Humans have always been fascinated by the stars. But why are we so drawn to these celestial objects? Jo Marchant reveals this historical relationship through beautifully told stories, of gods and spirits, mathematicians and physicists.

Praised by great authors, including award-winning science journalist Gaia Vince , The Human Cosmos is not just a pleasure to read, it's one you'll want to share with everyone you know who is interested in astronomy.

The best books of all time

We reckon this is a fine selection of space and astronomy books, but if nothing here takes your fancy, take a look at a few more of our book recommendations:

Looking for stargazing tips? Check out our complete astronomy for beginners UK guide.

books about time space

Amy is the Editorial Assistant at BBC Science Focus. Her BA degree specialised in science publishing and she has been working as a journalist since graduating in 2018. In 2020, Amy was named Editorial Assistant of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors. She looks after all things books, culture and media. Her interests range from natural history and wildlife, to women in STEM and accessibility tech.

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Best space books for 2023

Space Books Recommended Reading

There are plenty of great books out there about space — so many, in fact, that it can feel a little overwhelming to figure out where to start, whether searching for a perfect gift or your next engrossing read. So the editors and writers at have put together a list of their favorite books about the universe. These are the books that we love — the ones that informed us, entertained us and inspired us. We hope they'll do the same for you!

We've divided the books into five categories, which each have their own dedicated pages. On this page, we feature books we're reading now and books we've recently read, which we will update regularly. Click to see the best of:

We hope there's something on our lists for every reader of every age. We're also eager to hear about your favorite space books, so please leave your suggestions in the comments, and let us know why you love them. You can see our ongoing Space Books coverage here (opens in new tab) .

What we're reading:

Why you can trust Space Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .

"The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy"

by Moiya McTier


The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy | $27 now $23.28 from Amazon (opens in new tab)

Astronomers have written the Milky Way's story many times over; scientists have traced violent collisions in its past and future and peered into the supermassive black hole lurking at its heart. But if our galaxy could tell us its story, what would it say? Astrophysicist and folklorist Moiya McTier tells that story in her delightful new book, "The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy." McTier's Milky Way makes for a prickly narrator as the book zips through everything from the formation of the universe through the ways scientists think it might come to an end. ~ Meghan Bartels

Read an interview with Moiya McTier Read an excerpt from "The Milky Way"

Buy "The Milky Way" on Amazon (opens in new tab)

"A Portrait of the Scientist as a Young Woman"

by Lindy Elkins-Tanton


A Portrait of the Scientist as a Young Woman | $29.99 now $22.49 from Amazon (opens in new tab)

Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University is the principal investigator of NASA's Psyche mission, a spacecraft designed to explore the asteroid of the same name, which appears to be primarily made of metal. But the path she followed to get to that position is full of intriguing side trips she shares in her new memoir, "A Portrait of the Scientist as a Young Woman." The book covers everything from her experience conducting field research in Siberia to her work supporting healthy culture in the ivory tower. ~ Meghan Bartels

Read an interview with Lindy Elkins-Tanton

Buy "A Portrait of the Scientist as a Young Woman" on Amazon (opens in new tab)

"Horizons: The Global Origins of Modern Science"

by James Poskett


Horizons: The Global Origins of Modern Science," James Poskett | $30 now 20.99 from Amazon (opens in new tab)

What if everything we're taught about the history of astronomy and physics is wrong? In his new book, "Horizons: The Global Origins of Modern Science," James Poskett, a historian of science and technology, focuses on how science has always been a global endeavor and how that story was overshadowed by a biased Westernized version. Astronomy and physics play key roles in the story he tells, with cameos from key figures such as Ptolemy and Isaac Newton, although the book spans several scientific fields, including natural history and evolution as well. ~ Meghan Bartels

Read an interview with James Poskett

Buy "Horizons" on Amazon (opens in new tab)

"Space Forces: A Critical History of Life in Outer Space"

by Fred Scharmen

Space Forces: A Critical History of Life in Outer Space | $26.95

Space Forces: A Critical History of Life in Outer Space | $26.95 now $21.91 from Amazon (opens in new tab)

Like plenty of kids, Fred Scharmen was fascinated by the depictions he saw of what life in space might look like. But Scharmen grew up to be an architect and urban designer, which taught him to see all the silent assumptions, fears and hopes that were hidden in those images. In "Space Forces," Scharmen examines seven different visions of life in space, exploring the cultural beliefs they betray and asking us to think more critically about why we want to go to space and how to translate our values into exploration. ~ Meghan Bartels

Read an interview with Fred Scharmen Read an excerpt from "Space Forces"

Buy "Space Forces" on Amazon (opens in new tab)

"Back to Earth: What Life in Space Taught Me About Our Home Planet ― And Our Mission to Protect It"

by Nicole Stott

Back To Earth $30

Back To Earth $30 now $20.41 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

Retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott is one of the fewer than 600 people to have reached space, and she hopes the stories of that experience will inspire readers to take a planetary perspective on their daily lives. She offers new philosophies for living on Earth informed by her experience in orbit and melds her experiences in space with stories of people on Earth who act on the same value she sees as so crucial to spaceflight. ~ Meghan Bartels

Read an interview with Nicole Stott Read an excerpt from "Back to Earth"

Buy "Back to Earth" on Amazon (opens in new tab)

"The Apollo Murders" (Mulholland Books, 2021) 

By Col. Chris Hadfield

The Apollo Murders $28

The Apollo Murders $28 now $14.63 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

New York Times bestselling author, YouTube star, international speaker, and popular Twitter personality, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, has a creative eye on the moon in his first dive into fiction, "The Apollo Murders." It's a rousing adventure placed amid the tense days of the U.S.-Soviet Union space race in the 1970s following America's lunar landings. The alternative history is set in 1973 when NASA launches a final top-secret mission to investigate a crewed Soviet space station called Almaz. The clandestine flight continues to the moon as both Russian and American crews target a huge bounty hidden on the lunar surface.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield talks about writing the book Read an excerpt from "The Apollo Murders"

Buy "The Apollo Murders" on Amazon (opens in new tab)

"Beyond: The Astonishing Story of the First Human to Leave Our Planet and Journey into Space" (Harper, 2021) 

By Stephen Walker 

Beyond $29.99

Beyond $29.99 now $16.49 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to leave Earth's orbit and travel into space, marking a significant milestone in the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. In "Beyond: The Astonishing Story of the First Human to Leave Our Planet and Journey into Space" (Harper, 2021), author and documentary filmmaker Stephen Walker recounts intimate details of the months, and years, leading up to Gagarin’s historic flight, revealing the true stories of the Soviet space program as the agency prepared to launch the first human into space — only weeks before American astronaut Alan Shepard's suborbital flight on May 5, 1961. Walker also discusses the historical impact of Gagarin's flight and how it set the stage for NASA's Apollo program. ~ Samantha Mathewson

Buy "Beyond" on (opens in new tab) .

"The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, & Dreams Deferred" (Bold Type Books, 2021)

By Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

The Disordered Cosmos $28

The Disordered Cosmos $28 now $14.74 on Amazon (opens in new tab) .  

Theoretical physics is supposed to be about pure, crisp ideas. But physics is done by humans, and human society brings messiness to any endeavor. That reality means every aspect of physics is marked by the social constraints of who is allowed to do physics in harmony with their identity and who is not. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a theoretical physicist at the University of New Hampshire, tackles the implications of that reality in her thought-provoking new book. ~ Meghan Bartels

Read's interview with the author here .

Buy "The Disordered Cosmos" on (opens in new tab)

"The Relentless Moon" (Tor, 2020)

By Mary Robinette Kowal

Relentless Moon now $17.60 on Amazon

Relentless Moon now $17.60 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

Mary Robinette Kowal's Lady Astronaut series imagines what would have happened if Apollo-era spaceflight had continued at the same pace, pushed forward by the existential threat of meteor-caused climate change. This third book follows astronaut Nicole Wargin on an investigation of threats to a lunar base, exploring how life on the ground continues amid ambitious space exploration. ~ Meghan Bartels

Buy "The Relentless Moon" on (opens in new tab)

"The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World" (Crown, 2020)

By Sarah Stewart Johnson

The Sirens of Mars $28.99

The Sirens of Mars $28.99 now $21.16 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

Planetary scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson shares the human story of the search for life on Mars in this compelling book. A host of hidden moments about scientists' views of the Red Planet decorate the book's pages, and Johnson explores how scientists have found and lost hope in the process of studying our nearest neighbor. ~ Meghan Bartels

Buy "The Sirens of Mars" on (opens in new tab)

"See You in Orbit?: Our Dream of Spaceflight" (To Orbit Productions, 2019)

By Alan Ladwig

See You In Orbit?: Our Dream Of Spaceflight now $18 on Amazon

See You In Orbit?: Our Dream Of Spaceflight now $18 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

Alan Ladwig, a former NASA manager, dives into the promise of public spaceflight in this new book, which comes as Blue Origin, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and more take aim at private and commercial space travel.

Read's interview with the author  here . 

Buy "See You In Orbit?: Our Dream of Spaceflight" on (opens in new tab)

"Identified Flying Objects" (Masters Creative LLC, 2019)

By Michael Masters

Identified flying objects now $22.95 on Amazon

Identified flying objects now $22.95 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) have captured the public's attention over the decades. Rather than aliens, could those piloting UFOs be us — our future progeny that have mastered the landscape of time and space? Perhaps those reports of people coming into contact with strange beings represent our distant human descendants, returning from the future to study us in their own evolutionary past. The idea of us being them has been advanced before, but this new book takes a fresh look at this prospect, offering some thought-provoking proposals. ~Leonard David

Read's review  here . 

Buy "Identified Flying Objects: A Multidisciplinary Scientific Approach to the UFO Phenomenon" on (opens in new tab)

"They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers" (Pegasus Books, 2020)

By Sarah Scoles

They Are Already Here $27.95

They Are Already Here $27.95 now $17.30 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

Do you remember reading a New York Times story in 2017 that claimed to unveil a Pentagon program dedicated to investigating UFOs? Did you hear rumors about why the FBI closed a solar observatory the next year for then-undisclosed reasons? Are you confused about why there seem to be so many documentaries about alien sightings? "They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers" by freelance journalist Sarah Scoles, tackles these questions and many more. Read an excerpt from "They Are Already Here," and read's interview with the author  here . 

Buy "They Are Already Here" on (opens in new tab)

"The Andromeda Evolution" (Harper, 2019)

By Daniel H. Wilson

The Andromeda Evolution now $7.50 on Amazon

The Andromeda Evolution now $7.50 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

There's finally a sequel to Michael Crichton's 1969 classic about extraterrestrial life trying to take over humanity from, of all places, Arizona. In "The Andromeda Evolution," author Daniel H. Wilson continues Crichton's work and brings the terrifying tale into outer space. ~Elizabeth Howell

Read's review here . 

Buy "The Andromeda Evolution" on (opens in new tab)

"For Small Creatures Such As We" (G.P Putnam's Sons, 2019)

By Sasha Sagan

For Small Creatures Such As We $26

For Small Creatures Such As We $26 now $14.45 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

In her new book "For Small Creatures Such as We," Sasha Sagan, daughter of "Cosmos" co-writer Ann Druyan and famed astronomer Carl Sagan, dives into the secular side of spirituality. Upon starting a family of her own, Sagan wanted to have rituals and traditions that would bond them together. But being non-religious, she reevaluated what these traditions could be and this book explores how rituals like holidays can be inspired by the "magic" of nature, space and science rather than religion. ~Chelsea Gohd

Buy "For Small Creatures Such as We" on (opens in new tab) . 

"Dr. Space Junk Vs. the Universe" (MIT Press, 2019)

By Alice Gorman

Dr. Space Junk Vs The Universe $27.95

Dr. Space Junk Vs The Universe $27.95 now $20.69 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

What happens to satellites when they die, and come to think of it, when do they die? Alice Gorman is an Australian archaeologist who studies objects related to spaceflight, and what we can learn by thinking about space through the lens of archaeology. Her book is an engaging story of the ways being human shapes how we go to space. From Aboriginal songs tucked on the Voyagers' Golden Records to the importance of the size of a spacecraft, Gorman offers a new perspective on the history — and future — of space. ~ Meghan Bartels

Read a Q&A with Gorman about the new book and the archaeology of space here .

Buy "Dr. Space Junk Vs. the Universe" on (opens in new tab)

"Einstein's Unfinished Revolution" (Penguin Press, 2019)

By Lee Smolin

Einstein's Unfinished Revolution $28

Einstein's Unfinished Revolution $28 now $23.55 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

Although many believe that the quantum-mechanics revolution of the 1920s is settled science, Lee Smolin wants to disrupt that assumption. Smolin, a theoretical physicist based at the Perimeter Institute in Toronto, argues that quantum mechanics is incomplete. The standard quantum model only allows us to know the position or trajectory of a subatomic particle — not both at the same time. Smolin has spent his career looking to "complete" quantum physics in a way that allows us to know both pieces of information. Smolin's very engaging new book, "Einstein's Unfinished Revolution," offers this unique perspective honed through four decades at the forefront of theoretical physics. ~Marcus Banks

Read a Q&A with Smolin about the new book and the state of quantum physics here .

Buy "Einstein's Unfinished Revolution" on (opens in new tab) . 

"Apollo's Legacy" (Smithsonian Books, 2019)

By Roger Launius

Apollo's Legacy now $27.95 on Amazon

Apollo's Legacy now $27.95 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

How do we understand a transformative event like the Apollo missions to the moon? Many present it as proof of American ingenuity and success, but there's much more to the story. In "Apollo's Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings," space historian Roger Launius probes the impacts Apollo had technologically, scientifically and politically, as well as analyzing what we can draw from it to understand the country's modern space program. The slim volume is written as a scholarly text, but it's accessible to anybody with an interest in space history and the circumstances that spawned Apollo. ~Sarah Lewin

Read a Q&A with the author here . 

Buy "Apollo's Legacy" on (opens in new tab)

"Finding Our Place in the Universe" (MIT Press, 2019)

By Hélène Courtois

Finding Our Place In The Universe now $24.95 on Amazon

Finding Our Place In The Universe now $24.95 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

In "Finding Our Place in the Universe," French astrophysicist Helene Courtois describes the invigorating quest to discover the Milky Way's home. In 2014 Courtois was part of a research team that discovered the galactic supercluster which contains the Milky Way, which they named Laniakea. This means "immeasurable heaven" in Hawaiian. 

In this engaging and fast paced book, Courtois describes her own journey in astrophysics and highlights the key contributions of numerous female astrophysicists. The reader is right there with her as Courtois travels to the world's leading observatories in pursuit of Laniakea, and it's easy to see why the challenge of discovering our galaxy's home became so seductive. Readers who want them will learn all the scientific and technical details needed to understand the discovery of Laniakea, but it's also possible to enjoy this book as a pure tale of adventure. ~Marcus Banks

Read a Q&A with Courtois about her book and the hunt for Laniakea here .

Buy "Finding Our Place in the Universe" on (opens in new tab)

"The Girl Who Named Pluto" (Schwartz & Wade, 2019)

By Alice B. McGinty, Illustrated by Elizabeth Haidle

The Girl Who Named Pluto $18.99

The Girl Who Named Pluto $18.99 now $17.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

How did an 11-year-old English schoolgirl come to name Pluto? In "The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney," Alice B. McGinty recounts one child's history-making turn on a fateful morning in 1930. Although the book is aimed at kids ages 4 to 8, there's plenty for older children to connect with as well. And the vintage-flavored illustrations by Elizabeth Haidle make the experience a visual delight. 

Venetia had connected her love of mythology with her knowledge of science to christen the new planet after the Roman god of the underworld, refusing to let her age or gender to hold her back. 

McGinley says she hopes Venetia's tale inspires her readers — girls, in particular. "I hope girls read it and feel empowered to be part of the scientific process," she said. "I hope boys read it and feel empowered, too, and understand how important girls are to science." ~Jasmin Malik Chua

Read's interview with the author here . 

Buy "The Girl Who Named Pluto" on (opens in new tab)

"Delta-v" (Dutton, 2019)

By Daniel Suarez

Delta-V now $28 on Amazon

Delta-V now $28 on Amazon (opens in new tab) . 

In "Delta-v," an unpredictable billionaire recruits an adventurous cave diver to join the first-ever effort to mine an asteroid. The crew's target is asteroid Ryugu, which in real life Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft has been exploring since June 2018. From the use of actual trajectories in space and scientific accuracy, to the title itself, Delta-v — the engineering term for exactly how much energy is expended performing a maneuver or reaching a target — Suarez pulls true-to-life details into describing the exciting and perilous mission. The reward for successful asteroid mining is incredible, but the cost could be devastating. ~Sarah Lewin

Read a Q&A with the author  here .

Buy "Delta-v" on (opens in new tab)

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56 New Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy Books Coming Your Way in March

Spring is coming, and there are tons of exciting new books releasing soon..

This month, we’ve got new releases from M.R. Carey ( The Girl With All the Gifts ) and Victor LaValle ( The Ballad of Black Tom , The Changeling) , as well as a whole bunch of others, featuring rebellious royals, time-travelers, time-loop travelers, space adventurers, monsters, witches, and so much more.

Hospital by Han Song, translated by Michael Berry

This novel by the acclaimed Chinese sci-fi writer follows a man who falls mysteriously ill, then must negotiate his way through a surreal and dystopian hospital system. (March 1)

The 2023 Complete Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle

Comes with twelve different courses comprised of a huge number of lessons, and each one will help you learn more about Python itself, and can be accessed when you want and as often as you want forever, making it ideal for learning a new skill.

Quantum Radio by A.G. Riddle

A scientist working at CERN makes an incredible and alarming discovery: a message that could be from the future or outer space... or somewhere else entirely. Read an excerpt here . (March 2)

Arca by G.R. Macallister

The sequel to Scorpica returns to the Five Queendoms, a matriarchal society pushed to the brink of war when there’s a 10-year gap between girls being born. Will the realm’s first-ever king ascend in the chaos? (March 7)

Backpacking Through Bedlam by Seanan McGuire

The long-running InCryptid series continues as Alice Price-Healy, who’s spent decades searching the universe for her missing husband, must figure out what to with her life now that he’s been found—especially once she realizes Earth has changed a lot since she left on her quest. (March 7)

Clytemnestra by Constanza Casati

The legendary Greek villainess gets her due in this origin story exploring her point of view and motivations. (March 7)

Conquer the Kingdom by Jennifer Estep

The Gargoyle Queen epic fantasy trilogy concludes as crown princess Gemma tries to track down her kingdom’s most dreaded enemy against the backdrop of a gladiator tournament. (March 7)

The Curator by Owen King

“A Dickensian fantasy of illusion and charm where cats are revered as religious figures, thieves are noble, scholars are revolutionaries, and conjurers are the most wonderful criminals you can imagine.” (March 7)

Dead Country by Max Gladstone

The Craft Wars series begins in this standalone novel serving as an entry point to the author’s Craft Sequence world, following warrior in exile Tara Abernathy as she heads to her hometown to bury her father. (March 7)

Death Watch by Stona Fitch

An advertising creative and his team take on a tricky new client: a watch said to kill whoever wears it. Their clever ad campaign turns the timepiece into a must-have accessory—but what if its inventor’s wild claims are actually real and not a publicity stunt? (March 7)

The Faithless by C.L. Clark

The Magic of the Lost trilogy continues as “soldier Touraine and princess Luca return to Balladaire to reclaim Luca’s throne and face the consequences of dismantling an empire.”   Read an excerpt here . (March 7)

The Foxglove King by Hannah Whitten

When a young woman’s power of “death magic”—the ability to raise the dead—is accidentally exposed, she’s pressed into service at the command of the Sainted King, and finds court a far more treacherous place than she’d ever imagined. (March 7)

The God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland

A woman who was made immortal in 1834 endures through the years until 1984, when her quiet life as a fine-arts teacher is thrown into turmoil by a mysterious new student, as well as her uncomfortable new longing for blood. (March 7)

The Immeasurable Depth of You by Maria Ingrande Mora

A troubled teen is sent to live with her father on an isolated houseboat, where she meets an alluring girl whose connection to the bayou is worrisomely supernatural. (March 7)

Lies We Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood

This Greek mythology-inspired tale follows a girl doomed as a human sacrifice to appease Poseidon—but ends up meeting a mysterious woman with ties to the sea who helps her chart a new future for her people. (March 7)

Maybe Next Time by Cesca Major

Billed as “One Day meets Groundhog Day ,” this novel follows a workaholic woman who lives the same frantic day over and over, trying to prevent her husband’s untimely death. (March 7)

The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older

In this sci-fi mystery, a detective and her ex-girlfriend reunite on Jupiter to unravel a disturbing missing-person case. Read an excerpt here . (March 7)

Monstrilio by Gerardo Sámano Córdova

A grieving mother saves a piece of her deceased young son’s lung, using her motherly magic to secretly grow a new version of him that’s part boy and part monster. (March 7)

Mr. and Mrs. Witch by Gwenda Bond

This novel riffs on Mr. and Mrs. Smith , except the secrets the spouses are keeping from each other aren’t of the secret-agent variety, they’re of the “she’s a witch, he’s a witch-hunter” variety instead. (March 7)

Old Babes in the Wood by Margaret Atwood

A collection of 15 short stories from the author of The Handmaid’s Tale . (March 7)

The Queen’s Price by Anne Bishop

The Black Jewels series continues with this story of a vulnerable young queen-in-training, a witch preparing for an important ritual, and the High Lord of Hell’s daughter, who’s on a quest of self-discovery. (March 7)

Star Wars Jedi: Battle Scars by Sam Maggs

“Cal Kestis leads the Stinger Mantis crew on an adventure set between Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and the highly anticipated Star Wars Jedi: Survivor .” (March 7)

The Transcendent by Nadia Afifi

In this follow-up to The Sentient , a woman pregnant with her own clone goes on the run in a dystopian world where people are controlled by mind-controlling drugs. (March 7)

A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon by Sarah Hawley

When a witch accidentally summons a demon, he declares he won’t leave her side until she hands over her soul, which she refuses to do. So they fake a relationship while figuring out how to proceed... and things get complicated when they start to fall for each other. (March 7)

Antimatter Blues by Edward Ashton

In this sequel to Mickey7 , an “expendable” clone being kept alive to protect his colony is sent on a dangerous mission to retrieve a bomb... or else. (March 14)

Assassin of Reality by Marina Dyachenko and Sergey Dyachenko

The sequel to Vita Nostra picks back up with Institute of Special Technologies student Sasha Samokhina as she aces her final exam and prepares to embrace her future—only to discover certain old-world forces are intent on exploiting her powers for their own use. (March 14)

Feed Them Silence by Lee Mandelo

In this novella, a scientist who studies wolves uses a neurological interface to “see” through the eyes of a wolf—an obsession that threatens her human relationships, wreaks havoc on her body, and brings unwanted attention to the very creatures she’s trying to understand. (March 14)

Midnight Strikes by Zeba Shahnaz

On the night of the kingdom’s big ball, a village girl and a roguish prince realize they’re caught in the same deadly time loop—and are forced to work together to try and break the curse. (March 14)

Nothing But the Rain by Naomi Salman

This novella takes place in a small town where a constant rain washes away memories from any residents who become caught in its drops. (March 14)

Piñata by Leopoldo Gout

A New Yorker connecting with her roots in Mexico comes into contact with ancient artifacts possessed by evil forces—and soon realizes that same evil is targeting her and her young daughters. (March 14)

Walking Practice by Dolki Min, translated by Victoria Caudle

“ Squid Game meets The Left Hand of Darkness meets Under the Skin in this radical literary sensation from South Korea about an alien’s hunt for food that transforms into an existential crisis about what it means to be human.” (March 14)

Can Your Heart Stand the Shocking Facts? A Deep Dive Into an American Masterpiece Edward D. Wood, Jr’s Plan 9 From Outer Space by Dr. Brentwood Masterling, MFA, DVM, PhD by Daniel M. Kimmel

Winner of “creative title of the month” goes to this parody offering a deep dive into legendary director Ed Wood’s most famous (and most maligned) film.(March 15)

The Donut Legion by Joe R. Lansdale

In a small Texas town, a man begins to believe that an evangelical, UFO-obsessed cult known as “the Saucer People” is behind the sudden disappearance of his ex-wife. (March 21)

Flux by Jinwoo Chong

After a man loses his job, he suspects his former employers are using time-travel to cover up a series of crimes; along the way, his quest becomes entangled with a young boy who’s just lost his mother, a man set to testify in a high-profile case against a failed tech startup, and the washed-up star of an ‘80s detective series. (March 21)

The Future King by Robyn Schneider

In this sequel to The Other Merlin , a wizard’s apprentice in Camelot struggles to control both her magic and her growing feelings for Prince Arthur. (March 21)

The Lies of the Ajungo by Moses Ose Utomi

In this novella, a boy sets out across the Forever Desert in search of water that will save both his mother and his entire city. (March 21)

Lone Women by Victor LaValle

In 1915 Montana, a young woman sets up a homestead she hopes is isolated enough to hide her terrible secret: whenever she opens the mysterious trunk she carries with her at all times, people begin to disappear. (March 21)

Lost Places: Stories by Sarah Pinsker

A selection of short stories from the Nebula, Hugo, and Philip K. Dick-award winning author. (March 21)

The Shadow Regent by Chad Corrie

“Continuing in the aftermath of events of The Wizard King Trilogy, this standalone story delves deeper into the Tralodren cosmos and the gods who call it home, revealing the formation of a new era for both god and mortal alike.” (March 21)

The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix

The sequel to The Left-Handed Booksellers of London tells another tale of enchanted booksellers who must battle sinister magic to protect the mortal world. (March 21)

Smolder by Laurell K. Hamilton

Vampire hunter and Preternatural U.S. Marshal Anita Blake returns for a new mystery involving her husband-to-be, who happens to be America’s vampire king—a pairing that befuddles both humans and vampires, but will prove to be their biggest asset when they face both a serial killer and an ancient evil. (March 21)

The Strange by Nathan Ballingrud

The acclaimed short-story author’s first novel is a frontier tale set on Mars, circa 1931, with a 14-year-old heroine seeking revenge on behalf of her shattered family. (March 21)

The Witch and the Vampire by Francesca Flores

“A queer Rapunzel retelling where a witch and a vampire who trust no one but themselves must journey together through a cursed forest with danger at every turn.” (March 21)

And Put Away Childish Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky

A failed children’s television host has trouble pulling himself from the shadow of his grandfather, a famous children’s fantasy author—a situation that gets worse when he’s yanked into Underhill, the not-so-whimsical world where the books are set. (March 28)

A Brief History of Living Forever by Jaroslav Kalfar

“Two long-lost siblings risk everything to save their mother from oblivion in an authoritarian near-future America obsessed with digital consciousness and eternal life.” (March 28)

Chaos & Flame by Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton

A new YA fantasy duology begins in this tale of a woman who vows revenge on House Dragon for killing her family—and the prince of House Dragon, who realizes she may be the key to taking on his brother, the kingdom’s erratic ruler. (March 28)

Chlorine by Jade Song

In this horror tale, a champion swimmer dreams of being a mermaid—and will do anything it takes to become one. (March 28)

A Door in the Dark by Scott Reintgen

“Dark academia meets survival novel in this fantasy thriller that follows six teenage wizards as they fight to make it home alive after a malfunctioning spell leaves them stranded in the wilderness.” (March 28)

A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher

A woman visits her aging mother and realizes something is quite wrong: the house has been redecorated in sterile white, there’s a jar of teeth hidden in the garden, and her mom seems very frightened of something . (March 28)

Infinity Gate by M.R. Carey

The latest from the author of The Girl With All the Gifts follows “the story of humanity’s expansion across millions of dimensions—and the AI technology that might see it all come to an end.”   (March 28)

Into the Light by Mark Oshiro

Two young men—one who’s been disowned by his family, and one who lives in an insular community with no memory of his past—become drawn into a troubling mystery that seems to be tied to their true identities. (March 28)

Loki’s Ring by Stina Leicht

Racing to save the AI she considers to be her daughter, an intergalactic captain and her crew become trapped in an artificial alien solar system that’s been ravaged by a mysterious virus. (March 28)

Made of Stars by Jenna Voris

An outlaw couple is torn apart when one of them gets locked up on a prison moon—then escapes, intent on reuniting with his beloved and stopping a sinister military plot that’s targeting their home world. (March 28)

The New One by Evie Green

After their troubled daughter falls into a seemingly permanent coma, parents agree to a deal that lands them lifelong medical care for her, plus a new apartment and all the cash they need. The catch: they’ll have to “adopt” an artificial copy of the girl, whose personality turns out to be much more agreeable than their real daughter’s. What could possibly go wrong? (March 28)

Rubicon by J.S. Dewes

In this space opera, a sergeant with a death wish who’s been resurrected 96 times heads to the front lines in a battle against intelligent machines hellbent on exterminating humankind—an assignment that becomes even more dangerous when the virtual intelligence she’s outfitted with becomes self-aware. (March 28)

White Cat, Black Dog by Kelly Link

This collection of stories reinvents seven fairy tales for the modern world, taking inspiration from the Brothers Grimm, Scottish ballads, and more. (March 28)

Wolfwood by Marianna Baer

Trying to help her mother finish a series of paintings she’s refused to revisit, even with the promise of a gallery show, a teenage girl takes up a brush and realizes the art is enchanted: it literally draws her into the monstrous jungle world seen in the images. (March 28)

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel , Star Wars , and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV , and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who .

The Uncorked Librarian

30 Best Time Travel Books

Posted on Last updated: February 14, 2023

Travel back in time with the best time travel books. Find engrossing thrillers, time travel romance, and mind-bending sci-fi.

The Uncorked Librarian craves armchair travel via books that, like magic carpets, fly readers across time and space.

What could be better than showcasing some of the best books about time travel?

Plus, we know that our readers crave historical fiction, and books with time travel tend to go back into the past.

Most already know about The Time Traveler’s Wife , A Christmas Carol , and The Time Machine . In recent years, though, we’ve seen more and more time travel novels hitting the shelves.

For holiday and romance time travel, grab In A Holidaze . Haig’s The Midnight Library was one of the best books we read in 2020 (note there are trigger warnings, though).

Recursion re-kindled our love for science fiction, and Ruby Red transported us to 18th-century London. Displacement offers a poignant commentary about generational trauma and racism.

Below, find time travel in books of all genres and for adults and teens – history, romance, classics, sci-fi, YA, and thrilling fiction.

Choose from bestselling titles that will not only transport you across time periods Doctor Who-style but also some of the best time travel novels that will tesser you into new dimensions and around the world.

What are your favorite novels about time travel? Let us know in the comments, and get ready to travel in the blink of an eye. Let’s get started!

If you love to travel, head over to all of our books across the world reading lists .

Best Time Travel Books with sky, man walking on numbered clock, and open door

Grab the best books about time travel here:

1. Book of the Month : Get the month’s hottest new and upcoming titles from Book of the Month. You might snag an early release or debut author. Along with selecting a book a month, find terrific add-ons, both trendy and lesser-known titles. 2. Audible Plus : From Amazon, listen to Amazon Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks. They add new titles every week. 3. Amazon Prime : Don’t miss Amazon First Reads – early access to Kindle books. Get fast delivery as well as movies, music, Originals, shows, and more. 4. Or, start your trial of Amazon Video for movies and tv series on demand.

Best Time Travel Books

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle book cover with sketched city of New York City

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Would your life change if you had one seemingly real dream or premonition? What if some key facts were missing but you had no idea? Can we change the future?

One of the best books about time travel and friendship, don’t miss In Five Years . In fact, we read this New York City-based novel in half a day. Have the tissue box ready, though.

The premise: Dannie nails an important job interview and is hoping to get engaged. Of course, this is all a part of her perfect 5-year plan.

Dannie has arranged every minute of her life ever since her brother died in a drunk driving accident.

On the night of Dannie’s scheduled engagement, she falls asleep only to ‘see’ herself 5 years into the future in the arms of another man. Did she just time travel or could this be a dream?

When Dannie arrives back in 2020, her life goes back to normal. …That is until she meets the man from her “dream…”

You are expecting In Five Years to be a time travel romance but it turns out to be a different type of love…

Explore more of the best books with strong friendships .

Recursion by Blake Crouch book cover with infinity symbol and yellow lettering for title on gray cover

Recursion by Blake Crouch

Recursion is one of our all-time favorite time travel books to gift to dads who love sci-fi. Can you tell what we gave our dad for Christmas one year?

In Recursion, no one actually physically time travels – well, sort of. Instead, memories become the time-traveling reality.

Detective Barry Sutton is investigating False Memory Syndrome. Neuroscientist Helena Smith might have the answers he needs.

The disease drives people crazy – and to their deaths – by causing them to remember entire lives that aren’t theirs. Or are they!?

All goes to heck when the government gets its hands on this mind-blowing technology. Can Barry and Helena stop this endless loop?

Recursion is also a 2019 Goodreads Best Book for science fiction.

Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi book cover with two chairs, blue wallpaper, and cat on the ground

Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi | Translated by Geoffrey Trousselot

One of the most debated time travel books among our readers and favorite bookstagrammers, Before the coffee gets cold takes place at a cafe in Tokyo, Japan.

You’ll either love this translated time travel novel or will find it a bit too repetitive. We think the story has a drop of humor with a beautiful message. We most definitely shed a tear or two.

Along with coffee, this 140-year-old, back-alley cafe lets visitors travel back in time. Four visitors at the cafe are hoping to time travel to see someone for the last (or first) time.

The way each patron views the cafe says a lot about them. The details are everything in Before the coffee gets cold .

True to the title, their trip can only last as long as it takes for the coffee to grow cold. If they don’t finish their coffee before this point, there are ghostly consequences.

The novel questions who you would see one last time and what issues you would confront. Along with the many rules of time travel, these visitors are warned that the present will not change.

Would you still travel back knowing this? Can something, anything, still change – even within you?

If you enjoy translated literature and wish to travel to Asia with a good book, head over to our books set in Japan reading list .

Or, if you wish to time travel with a great Japanese movie , be sure to watch The Girl Who Lept Through Time.

Read even more Japanese fantasy novels here .

In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren green book cover with holiday lights

In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren

If you are looking for a sweet and sexy holiday rom-com set in Utah, don’t miss In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren .

For novels about time travel, this one is sure to put you in the holiday spirit if you enjoy movies like Holidates  or  Groundhog’s Day .

We also recommend In A Holidaze if you are looking for Christmas family gathering books – a big request we see here at TUL.

Mae leaves her family and friend’s Christmas vacation home after drunkenly making out with an old childhood friend. Blame the spiked eggnog. 

Unfortunately, Mae’s secretly in love with her best friend’s brother, Andrew. On the ride to the airport, Mae wishes for happiness just as a truck hits her parent’s car. 

Mae lands in a time-travel loop where her dreams start coming true.  Is it too good to last?   What happens when she isn’t happy once again? Is she trapped?

This time travel novel is also perfect if you are looking for something light to read and prefer happy endings.

P.S. Did you know that Christina Lauren is a pen name for a writing duo, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings?

Christina Lauren also wrote The Unhoneymooners , which was also hilariously enjoyable and set on an island .

Best Time Travel Books, This Is How You Lose The War Max Gladstone book cover with red cardinal and blue jay

This Is How You Lose The War by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar 

A Goodreads runner-up for one of the best science fiction novels of 2019 – and one of the shortest time travel books on this list – This Is How You Lose The Time War follows two warring time-traveling agents falling in love through a letter exchange.

Red and Blue have nothing in common except that they travel across time and space and are alone. Their growing and forbidden love is punishable by death and their agencies might be onto them.

In a somewhat beautiful yet bizarre story, we watch as Red and Blue slowly fall for each other and confess their love.

They engage in playful banter and nicknames. Every shade of red and blue remind them of each other.

The first half of the novel is a bit abstract. You might even wonder what the heck you’ve gotten yourself into.

However, once you get your feet planted firmly on the ground of the plot, the story picks up and starts making more sense.

We can’t promise you’ll love or even understand This Is How You Lose The Time War – we aren’t sure what to think either.

However, this is truly one of the most unique sci-fi and LGBTQ+ time travel romances on this reading list – written by two authors.

Also, maybe crack out the dictionary…

Explore even more of the best LGBTQ+ fantasy books .

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig deep blue book cover with large library structure

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

If you are looking for the most thought-provoking and mind-blowingly inspiring take on time travel in books, Haig’s The Midnight Library is it.

This is one of the best books on this list that will make you think more deeply .

This story will be triggering for some with both a pet death (early on) and suicide ideation. We almost put down the novel at the beginning because of the heaviness, but we promise, it’s worth it.

Imagine if you could see your other possible lives and fix your regrets. Would that path be better? Would these changes make you happier?

Set in Bedford, England and at a library , Nora answers these questions as she intentionally overdoses on pills.

Caught in the Midnight Library – between life and death – Nora explores books filled with the ways her life could have turned out.

Nora tries on her alternative lives, pursuing different dreams, marrying different people, and realizing that some parts of her root life were not as they seemed on the surface.

Find hope and simplicity in an authentic time travel novel. Haig addresses mental health through a new lens that is both beautiful and poignant.

We also named The Midnight Library one of the best books of 2020 . Read even more books about unique books .

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston book cover with one woman on a pink train and another walking by

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

From bestselling author, Casey McQuiston of Red, White, & Royal Blue – one of our favorite LGBTQ+ books for new adults – don’t miss the most-talked-about book of 2021, One Last Stop.

Twenty-three-year-old August is quite the cynic and living in New York City. Up until now, August has jumped schools and towns as often as you change a pair of socks.

August has also never been in a serious relationship and wants to find “her person.” August’s life suddenly changes, though, when she meets a beautiful and mysterious woman on the train.

Jane looks a little …out of date… and for good reason; she’s from the 1970s and trapped in the train’s energy. August wants nothing more than to help Jane leave the train, but does that mean leaving her too?

A feel-good, older coming-of-age story, laugh out loud and be utterly dazzled as you follow love across time and space. You’ll cozy (and drink) up in the parties and community surrounding August.

One Last Stop was named one of the best LGBTQ+ time travel books of 2021 (and romances); put your name on the library holds list ASAP…

Read even more books set on trains .

Displacement by Kiku Hughes book cover with illustrated two people walking away from each other but both looking back and fire tower along fence in the background

Displacement by Kiku Hughes

For historical YA graphic novels , Displacement is one of the must-read books about time travel that will teach young readers about generational trauma, racism, politics, and war.

Follow Kiku, who is displaced in time, back to the period of U.S. Japanese incarceration [internment] camps – essentially glorified prisons – during WW2.

Kiku begins learning more about her deceased grandmother’s history, which is beginning to mirror present-day times under the “leadership” of President Donald Trump.

How can Kiku help stop the past from repeating itself, and more so, how can we?

In a simplistic but poignant style of storytelling, Hughes’s powerful YA WW2 book is accessible for young readers and is one of the shorter and quicker books with time travel on this list.

Find even more LGBT+ graphic novels to read .

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird Jose Silver book cover with two people in a pink booth talking

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird Jose Silver

Some of the best time travel books are those with alternate realities. While not all of us here at TUL loved The Two Lives of Lydia Bird , many of our readers did. Maybe the hype did us in.

There are content warnings, including prescription pill addiction.

Set in England, Lydia and Freddie are planning their marriage when the unthinkable happens. Freddie dies in a car accident on the way to Lydia’s birthday dinner.

In a matter of seconds, Lydia’s world falls apart, and she isn’t sure how she will survive. When Lydia starts taking magical pink sleeping pills, though, she enters an alternate universe where Freddie is alive and well.

Caught between her dream world and real life, Lydia must decide if she will give in to her addiction – living in a temporary fantasy world – or give it up completely.

We will admit that the repetitive and predictable plot drags on; the pacing feels off.

However, The Two Lives Of Lydia Bird offers emotional growth and poignant commentary about healing after loss.

Lydia’s pill addiction is a relevant topic, and as Lydia soon learns via her dreams, no love is perfect.

Maybe her future was destined to be different anyway, which is reminiscent of Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library .

Here And Now And Then by Mike Chen book cover with person in gold running on infinity ribbon with city

Here And Now And Then by Mike Chen

One of the bestselling novels about time travel, Here And Now And Then follows the everyday life of IT worker, Kin Stewart.

Stewart has two lives since he is a displaced time-traveling agent stuck in San Francisco in the 1990s. He has a family that knows nothing about his past.

When a rescue team arrives to take him back, Stewart has to decide what he is willing to risk for his new family.

Read even more books set in San Francisco, California (and more!).

The End of Eternity by Issac Asimov book cover with turquoise strip

The End of Eternity by Issac Asimov

The End of Eternity is said to be one of Asimov’s science fiction masterpieces.

Harlan is a member of the elite future known as an Eternal. He lives and works in Eternity, which like any good time travel novel, is located separately from time and space.

Harlan makes small changes in the timeline in order to better history.

Of course, altering the course of the world is dangerous and comes with repercussions, especially when Harlan falls in love.

This is one of the most spellbinding books about time travel – although some criticize the story for its loopholes.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton book cover with black background and gold writing

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

We have a plethora of Agatha Christie fans amongst our Uncorked Readers, and Turton’s The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evenlyn Hardcastle is inspired by Christie.

This is also one of the best time travel books and mysteries if you enjoy Downton Abbey and Groundhog’s Day .

An award-winning historical thriller, Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until Aiden Bishop can name the killer.

Similar to Levithan’s Every Day , each day, Aiden wakes up in a different body from the guests of the Blackheath Manor. Can he identify the killer and break the cycle?

Join The Uncorked Reading Challenge Today

Travel around the world with the Uncorked Reading Challenge. Get the best book and movie recs straight to your inbox. Sign Up Now .

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes book cover with person in skirt and stripped leggings glowing gold

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Known for being one of the best books with time travel for thriller lovers, The Shining Girls is also one of the spookiest novels on this reading list.

Kirby Mazrachi is the last shining girl – a girl with a future and so much potential.

Harper Curtis is a killer from the past meant to kill Mazrachi. However, Kirby is not about to easily go out without a fight.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North book cover with young boy holding a series of rectangular mirrors that grow progressively smaller

The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August by Claire North

If you are looking for funny time travel books and like Groundhog’s Day , check out The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.

No matter what August does or says, when he lands on his deathbed, he always returns back to his childhood, again and again.

On the verge of his 11th death, though, a girl changes the course of his life.

Funny Time Travel Fiction All Our Wrongs Today By Elan Mastai

All Our Wrongs Today by Elan Mastai

A debut novel, All Our Wrongs Today is both a humorous and entertaining book about time travel that speaks to how we become who we are.

In 2016, technology has basically perfected the world for Tom Barren. However, we all know that perfection doesn’t equate to happiness.

Barren has lost his girlfriend, and he just happens to own a time machine…

Now, Barren has to decide if he wants to keep his new, manipulated future or if he just wants to go back home to his depressing but normal life.

Outlander Series Diane Gabaldon book cover with old building on blue background

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

If you follow TUL elsewhere, you know that we haven’t really gotten into the Outlander or GOT craze. Blasphemy, we know.

However, many of our book list contributors love the Outlander series. It’s definitely considered one of the best time travel books, series, and TV shows of all time in pop culture.

A New York Times bestseller and one of the top 10 most loved books according to The Great America Read, get ready to enter Scotland in 1743.

Claire, a former British combat nurse, walks through an ancient circle standing stone and is transported into a world of love, death, and war.

Outlander also appears on our North Carolina reading list .

Read even more cult-classic books from the ’90s like A Game Of Thrones , which is perfect for fantasy map lovers .

Time Travel Romance A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux book cover with pretty beige stucco house with yard and flowering bushes

A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

For time travel romance lovers and a feminist tale set abroad, try A Knight In Shining Armor .

A Knight In Shining Armor is a classic and more retro time travel novel: Dougless Montgomery is weeping on top of a tombstone when Nicholas Stafford, the Earl Thornwyck, appears.

Although this armor-clad hunk allegedly died in 1564, he stands before her about to embark on a journey to clear his name.

Convicted of treason, Montgomery vows to help her soon-to-be lover find his accuser and set the record straight.

The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz book cover with lighthouse

The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

Set in South Carolina, if you love lighthouses and beach vibes, you’ll enjoy this time travel romance, The Night Mark .

After Faye’s husband dies, she cannot move on and recover. Accepting a photographer job in SC, Faye becomes obsessed with the local lighthouse’s myth, The Lady of the Light.

Back in 1921, the lighthouse keeper’s daughter mysteriously drown. Faye is drawn into a love story that isn’t hers.

Best Time Travel Books 11/22/63: A Novel book cover with newspaper clipping of JFK being slain in Dallas

11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King

Written by bestselling author, Stephen King, 11/22/63 is one of the best award-winning time travel books for historical fiction lovers.

Set in 1963 when President Kennedy is shot, 11/22/63 begs the question: what if you could go back in time and change history?

Enter Jake Epping in Lisbon Falls, Maine.  Epping asks his students to write about a time that altered the course of their lives.

Inspired by one of those haunting essays, Epping enlists to prevent Kennedy’s assassination.  How is this time travel possible? With the discovery of a time portal in a local diner’s storeroom…

11/22/63 is one of the most thrilling and realistic books about time travel, according to critics and readers.

Kindred by Octavia E Butler book cover with young black woman's face and wooden houses that she is looking down upon

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

If you are looking for historical fiction novels about time travel that address slavery and racism, be sure to check out Butler’s Kindred.

This is also one of the best books published in the 1970s .

One minute Dana is celebrating her birthday in modern-day California, and the next, she finds herself in the antebellum south. Dana is expected to save the plantation owner’s son from drowning.

Each time Dana finds herself back in this time period and the slave quarters, her stays grow longer and longer as well as more dangerous.

P.S. If you love Dana in Kindred , don’t miss our leading ladies in historical fiction reading list .

Best Historical Fiction Time Travel Books What The Wind Knows by Amy Harmon book cover with white woman's face with reddish brown hair and waves

What The Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

A bestseller and Goodreads top choice book, if you love historical Irish fiction, What The Wind Knows will transport you to Ireland in the 1920s.

Anne Gallagher heads to Ireland to spread her grandfather’s ashes. Devastated, her grief pulls her into another time.

Ireland is on the verge of entering a war, and Anne embraces a case of mistaken identity. She finds herself pulled into Ireland’s fight for Independence at the risk of losing her future life.

What The Wind Knows is one of the best books with time travel according to our Uncorked Readers , too.

Travel to Ireland with this reading list too !

Best Time Travel Books Fiction The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger book cover with young girl's legs with long white socks and black shoes next to men's pair of brown shoes

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler’s Wife is one the best time travel books for romance seekers – and not just because the story features a librarian . We are so biased.

Henry and Clare have loved each other for pretty much forever. Unfortunately, Henry has Chrono-Displacement Disorder, sporadically misplacing him in time.

Of course, this time-traveling dilemma makes Clare’s and Henry’s marriage and future together pretty darn interesting.

Grab some Kleenex as they attempt to live normal lives and survive impending devastation.

The Time Traveler’s Wife has also been made into a romantic movie classic .

Classic Books With Time Travel

Classic Time Travel books, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with man carrying a young boy with cane on his back

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

It goes without saying that Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is one of the most famous and best time travel books for classic lovers – and a literary canon-worthy Christmas novel .

Ebenezer Scrooge is a greedy, lonely, and cruel man who truly has no Christmas spirit.

Haunted by the ghosts of the past, present, and future, Scrooge must find the ultimate redemption before it’s too late. Does he have a heart?

Read even more classic and contemporary ghost books .

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut book cover with yellow skull on red background

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Similar to The Time Traveler’s Wife, Billy Pilgrim is “unstuck” in time in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.

Drafted into World War II, Pilgrim serves as a Chaplain’s assistant until he is captured by the Germans. He survives the bombing at Dresden and ultimately becomes a married optometrist.

Things get a little wild…

Suffering from PTSD, Billy claims that he is kidnapped by aliens in a different dimension. Like most time travel novels, the story is out of order and Billy travels to different parts of his life.

Slaughterhouse-Five is a somewhat bizarre time travel book about finding meaning in our sometimes fractured and broken lives.

It’s also one of the most popular books published in the ’60s .

A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain book cover with young man in suit looking at knights on horses

A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

First published in 1889, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is one of the classic and satirical books about time travel set near our hometown.

Having grown up in CT close to the old Colt factory, this story makes us smile.

Hank Morgan supervises the gun factory and is knocked unconscious. Upon waking, he finds himself in Britain about to be executed by the Knights of King Arthur’s Round Table in Camelot.

Morgan uses his future knowledge to his advantage, making him a powerful and revered wizard, which unfortunately doesn’t quite save him as he hopes.

Not to mention that Morgan tries to introduce modern-day conveniences and luxuries to a time period that isn’t quite ready for them.

Classic Time Travel novels The Time Machine by H.G. Wells book cover with shapes

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The Time Machine is said to be one of the greatest frontrunner novels about time travel.

Published in 1895, the Time Traveler recalls his exhausting time travel adventures to incredulous believers. He even disappears in front of them.

Blended with fantasy and science fiction over the course of 800,000 years, the Time Traveler battles “bad guys,” loses his time machine, debatably falls in love, and meets the underground dwelling Morlocks.

YA Books About Time Travel

YA Time Travel Books The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig with red sailed shop on water and woman looking through a crack

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Changing the past can be pretty tempting. We’ve even seen that The Flash cannot resist. However, altering the course of history can be dangerous…

The first of two YA time travel books, Nix is the daughter of a time traveler. Her dad can sail anywhere on his ship, The Temptation.

Her dad has his own temptation, though: to travel back to Honolulu in 1868, the year before her mom dies in childbirth.

Nix’s father threatens to possibly erase her life and destroy a relationship with her only friend.

Discover even more great books about maps . Or, travel via armchair with these ship books .

YA Time Travel Books Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier book cover with jewels and portrait of a woman from the 18 century England on red background

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier | Translated by Anthea Bell

If you are looking for time travel in books and love YA historical fiction, try Ruby Red , which is the first in the Ruby Red Trilogy.

Gwyneth Shepherd quickly learns that she can easily time travel, unlike her cousin who has been preparing her entire life for the feat.

Gwyneth wants to know why such a secret was kept from her. There are so many lies.

Gwyneth time travels with the handsome Gideon back and forth between modern-day and 18th century London to uncover secrets from the past.

Back in our MLIS and library days, Ruby Red was one of our favorite YA time travel books to recommend since so few knew about the series. Just a small warning that this enemies-to-lovers trope felt a tad sexist.

Read a more in-depth summary of Ruby Red on our books with red in the title reading list .

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs book cover with levitating young girl on black and white cover

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

A little creepier for young adult time travel books, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is all about time loops.

We’ve only read the first in this eerie series that mixes manipulated vintage photography with a suspenseful and chilling story.

Jacob discovers a decaying orphanage on a mysterious island off the coast of Wales. Known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the building isn’t exactly abandoned…

Jacob runs into peculiar children who might be more than just ghosts. If you are looking for Kurt Vonnegut-esque time travel books for teenagers, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is for you.

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle book cover with space

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

One of the most well-known books about time travel for families – made even more popular by Oprah and Mindy Kaling, A Wrinkle In Time , is the first book in The Time Quintet .

Although a time travel series for elementary and middle-grade students – and also a 1963 Newbery Medal winner – adults will love the lessons and whimsical sci-fi quality of A Wrinkle In Time.

Meg Murray and her brother, Charles Wallace, go on an adventure in time to find and rescue their father. Their dad disappeared while working for the government on a mysterious tesseract project.

Watch this thrilling time travel adventure mixed with a coming of age story and a little girl power, too.

Grab the best time travel books here:

Save The Best Time Travel Novels For Later

Best Books With Time Travel Pinterest pin with book covers for One Last Stop, Kindred, What The Wind Knows, Recursion, In A Holidaze, Before the coffee gets cold, The Midnight Library, and In Five Years

What are your favorite books with time travel?

What are the best books about time travel that you’ve read? Which time travel books do you want to read?

Let’s face it: there are so many novels about time travel, we couldn’t possibly capture them all.

Are we missing any of your favorite time travel series or books? Are there any here that you didn’t love? Let us know in the comments.

Travel Back In Time:

Best ’90s Books Iconic ’80s Books

You May Also Enjoy These Reading Lists:

Top World War 2 Novels Across The World Historical Fiction Featuring Inspiring Women Best WWII Historical Fiction

“Time travel books” is also our January 2022 Uncorked Reading Challenge theme.

Tuesday 13th of December 2022

Great list, thanks. I also love seeing all the recommendations in the comments. I would add the Chronos Files series to your list. And, of course, the film ABOUT TIME, which is fantastic!

Thursday 15th of December 2022

Thanks so much for the recommendations. We appreciate it!

Judy Lovett

Sunday 28th of August 2022

You missed Jack FINNEY’s book, Time and Again. Best time travel book ever!

Monday 29th of August 2022

Thanks for sharing your favorite time travel book. We appreciate it.

Sunday 27th of March 2022

Dinosaur Beach by Keith Laumer The Big Time by Fritz Leiber The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers The Jesus Incident by Frank Herbert Timeline by Michael Crichton

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

Thank you for the great time travel book suggestions!

Caleb Deupree

Wednesday 19th of January 2022

The Other Me, by Sarah Zachrich Jeng. I didn't know this was going to be a time travel book when I started, as it was listed in an intriguing review of "Thrillers about Women Breaking Free, Losing Control, and Taking Charge". Very imaginative and well done story about a woman who walks into a bathroom at an art opening in Chicago and suddenly finds herself at a birthday party in an Italian restaurant in central Michigan.

This sounds like an awesome time travel book -- it wasn't on our radar. Thanks so much for the suggestion.

Friday 31st of December 2021

On my time travel TBR is a middle grade called Saving Lucas Biggs, a YA called Time Travel for Love and Profit, and either time Travelers wife or here and now and then.

Time Travel For Love and Profit sounds really sweet. If I have extra time this month, I want to read it! Thanks so much for the recommendation.

books about time space

20 Must-Read Time Travel Books

books about time space

Hear me out, there’s a sub-genre of sci-fi that that has a touch of anything you could ever want: time travel books. The best time travel books come in all packages: adventure, historical fiction, romance, social commentary, mystery, humor, poetry. It really has it all. So, if you can still recite the opening credits of Quantum Leap from memory, this list is for you. Enjoy these must-read time travel books.

Here and Now and Then  by Mike Chen

Kin is a time-traveling agent from the year 2142 who gets stuck in 1990s San Francisco after a botched mission, and his rescue team shows up 18 years too late after he’s already built a life for himself. Here and Now and Then has all those warm and fuzzy sci-fi feels with just the right amount of Doctor Who level angst . Kin dealing with the circumstances of time travel and the consequences it brings about is super compelling and emotional and so, so worthy of a Murray Gold score.

The Future of Another Timeline  by Annalee Newitz

In the world of Another Timeline , time travel has been around since forever in the form of a geologic phenomena known as the “Machines.” Tess belongs to a group called the Daughters of Harriett, determined to make the future better for women by editing the timeline at key moments in history. They run up against the misogynistic group called the Comstockers working towards the opposite goal. There’s time travel, murder, punk rock concerts, nerd references, and an edit war. As Newitz recently said in an extra of their podcast, Our Opinions Are Correct , history is a  “synthesis of good fuckery” and I can’t think of a better phrase to describe this book than that.

An Ocean of Minutes  by Thea Lim

There is a deadly flu pandemic in America. Polly’s boyfriend Frank gets sick and she signs up for a one-way ticket to the future to work off the cost of Frank’s cure. They agree to meet up in the future, but Polly is rerouted to a later time where America is divided and she has no connections and no money. This is a really gorgeously written and heart-wrenching story about time travel, dystopian society, the brutality of survival in an unfamiliar world, and a character study of a normal person dealing with it all.

Kindred  by Octavia Butler

Dana is an African American woman celebrating her birthday in 1976 California when she is pulled through time to Antebellum Maryland. She saves a young white boy named Rufus from drowning and finds herself staring down the barrel of his father’s rifle. She is pulled back to her present just in time to save her life, appearing back in her living room soaked and muddy. She is repeatedly pulled back to the past encountering the same young man.  Over the course of these harrowing episodes, Dana realizes her connection to Rufus and the challenge she is faced with. This is a brilliant, thought-provoking, and intense book that is required reading for so many reasons least of which is time travel.

Alice Payne Arrives  by Kate Heartfield

Alice Payne Arrives is a quick romp through time with some truly amazing female characters. Alice Payne is a half-black queer woman in 1788 England living in her father’s deteriorating mansion. She’s also a notorious masked highway robber and her partner is an inventor. Prudence is a professional time traveler from the 22nd century working fruitlessly to try and change one small event in 1884. The two women cross paths and work together to put Prudence’s plan to end time travel in motion. This novella packs a lot of action and time travel goodness and there’s a sequel called Alice Payne Rides . It also contains one of the realest lines of any of the time travel books I’ve read: “2016’s completely fucked.”

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe  by Charles Yu

Charles Yu is a time machine repairman searching for his missing father, “accompanied by TAMMY, an operating system with low self-esteem, and Ed, a nonexistent but ontologically valid dog.” He receives a book from his future self that could help him locate his father. The book is called How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe and he wrote it. Hi, this book is super cool, fun, clever, and weird in the best ways. It has the highest distinction I can give a sci-fi book and that is warm and fuzzy.

The Psychology of Time Travel  by Kate Mascarenhas

Four female scientists invent time travel in 1967. One of the scientists, Bee,  suffers a mental breakdown just before they’re about to go public with their findings. The other three exile Bee from the project to save face. Fifty years later time travel is a normal part of life and a huge business. It’s regulated by the Conclave, founded by three of the original scientists, which seeks to self govern all aspects of time travel. The Psychology of Time Travel  serves up time travel with a locked-door mystery and the payoff of alternating perspectives and timelines slowly coming together.

The River of No Return  by Bee Ridgeway

At the moment of his death on a Napoleonic battlefield, Lord Nicholas Falcott wakes up in the 21st century. He’s recruited by a time travel agency known as The Guild for training. Julia Percy lives in 1815 England and after the death of her grandfather seeks to find her place in a world where meddling with time is commonplace. There’s a whole lot going on here: romance, betrayal, double-agents, and drawing on emotion to facilitate time jumps, leading to my favorite line: “Though really they were probably both insane. Two grown men dressed up like Mr. Darcy, holding hands behind a tree, trying to pull themselves by the heart strings back to the long ago.”

This is How You Lose the Time War  by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Blue and Red are fighting on opposite sides of an endless time war. They begin to exchange letters on the battlefield, first as a boast, then as an exploration of friendship across enemy lines, and finally as a romance. I have previously described this as “poetic sci-fi realness.” I could be more professional and say that this is an epistolary work of rival agents forming a bond despite their opposition, but like I can’t okay. This book is so intricate and beautiful and the letters are not on paper, they could be in the dregs of a teacup or the rings of a tree, and I’m not crying you’re crying.

All Our Wrong Todays  by Elan Mastai

Tom is a misfit in a utopian world, and he goes back in time and accidentally screws up the future. This mishap leaves him stranded in our 2016, but what we think of as the real world is a dystopian wasteland to Tom. He eventually finds different versions of everything he knows and maybe even his soulmate. Tom has to decide whether to fix the timeline and bring back utopia or live in this new version of the world he’s created. Probably me as a time traveler, tbh.

The Fire Opal Mechanism by Fran Wilde

The Fire Opal Mechanism  is technically a sequel to The Jewel and Her Lapidary , but it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. Ania is a librarian at the last university desperately trying to save as many books as she can. All the other universities have fallen to the Pressman, an extremist group bent on destroying all the world’s books and replacing them with a generic, self-updating compendium available to everyone regardless of economic class. Jorit, branded a thief, is on the run just trying to survive long enough to afford passage on a ship away from all these problems. They team up and inadvertently discover time travel, but will it help them fix the present? This is really beautifully written, especially the passages about books: “Touching a book, for Ania, was like touching a person’s fingertips across the years. She could feel a pulse, a passion for the knowledge the book contained.”

The Silver Wind  by Nina Allan

The Silver Wind  is a series of stories linked by the character Martin Newland. Each story is like an alternate universe brought about by time machines and time travel. As Allan describes on her website : “While the overarching theme of this book might properly be found in Martin’s struggle with infinity, its individual chapters deal with those small acts of creative defiance that determine our transcendence of ordinary mortality.” A thoroughly thought-provoking déjà vu experience.

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

Anne Gallagher travels to Ireland to scatter the ashes of her beloved grandfather. She is pulled back in time to the Ireland of 1921 and is mistaken as the long-lost mother of a young boy. She assumes this identity and is drawn into the lives of those around her and the political unrest of the time. It’s a historical romance perfect for fans of Outlander.

The Shining Girls  by Lauren Beukes

What if time travel fell into the hands of a criminal?  The Shining Girls  is the story of serial killer named Harper Curtis who stumbles upon an abandoned house in Depression-era Chicago that allows him to travel in time. He chooses his victims and visits them at different times of their lives before returning for the kill. Kirby survives Harper’s attack and, along with a former homicide reporter, tries to unravel the mystery before anyone else dies. This book is wild, W-I-L-D. There’s a lot of violence, so it might not be for everyone, but it’s such an interesting take on the time travel story.

Version Control  by Dexter Palmer

Set in the near-future, Rebecca works in the customer support department of the dating site where she met her husband Phillip. He is a scientist building a causality violation device (definitely not a time machine!). But Rebecca can’t help but feel that there’s something wrong with the present. So, this is kind of about living with technology and kind of about relationships and overcoming tragedy and also time travel. Intelligent and poignant but make it sci-fi.

How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler  by Ryan North

Starting out with an FAQ guide to your rented time machine, How to Invent Everything humorously goes through the history of well, everything. From how to determine what time period you have landed and are now stuck in to inventing language and electricity it’s a very Hitchhiker’s Guide -ish look at history presented as a guide for creating the things you’ll miss when you’re stranded in an earlier timeline than your own.

Time After Time  by Lisa Grunwald

It’s 1937 and Joe Reynolds is a hard-working railroad man at Grand Central Station. Nora Lansing is an aspiring artist and the last thing she remembers is her train crashing in 1925. They meet at the big clock and Joe walks Nora home, but she disappears in the street. She reappears one year later and meets Joe again. Realizing she’s jumping in time and trapped in Grand Central for mysterious reasons that might have something to do with Manhattanhenge, Nora and Joe try to unravel the mystery before she disappears again. For me this was a time travel books mashup of The Clock meets Kate & Leopold meets Gentleman in Moscow and I was very about it.

TimeKeeper  by Tara Sim

TimeKeeper takes place in an alternate Victorian world where time is controlled by clock towers. Danny is a young clock mechanic enamored with his new apprentice, who turns out to be the Enfield clock spirit, Colton. Bombings at other towers start to occur and broken clocks mean the towns they oversee will be frozen in time. The romance between Danny and Colton is very adorable and the race against literal time is an exciting backdrop. It’s the first in a trilogy.

Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick

If you’re a time travel fan then this sentence from the publisher’s summary is sure to get you excited, “World-renowned paleontologist Richard Leyster’s universe changed forever the day a stranger named Griffin walked into his office with a remarkable job offer…and an ice cooler containing the head of a freshly killed Stegosaurus.” Time travel allows a group of scientists to go back and study dinosaurs up close in their natural environment. If you are now humming the Jurassic Park theme, please know, So. Am. I.

Just One Damned Thing After Another (Chronicles of St. Mary’s) by Jodi Taylor

There is so much going on in this whirlwind adventure that if you blink you’ll miss a major plot point.  Just One Damned Thing After Another  is just the first book in a series of the adventures of St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they rattle around through time trying to answer history’s unanswered questions. There are currently 11 books published and forthcoming and a ton of short stories that fill in the blanks between adventures. Taylor also has a spinoff time travel series, The Time Police, with the first book just out called Doing Time .  It follows three hapless new time police recruits as they try to keep the timeline straight.

Looking for more of the best time travel books? Check out these timey-wimey posts:

Time Travel Romances

7 of the Best Alternate Timeline Books

The Lack of Black Characters in Time Travel Romance

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by Yen Cabag | 0 comments

Time Travel Books Header Image

Despite all our advancements in technology, time travel is one fantasy that remains unmet. The good thing is, we have no shortage of books about the subject, so we can still satisfy our curiosity about how time travel might feel!

In this list, we have compiled the best books about time travel, beginning from the classics and continuing through contemporary hits.

14 Mind-Blowing Books About Time Travel

Check out these books to get your time-travel fix!

1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 

Madeleine L’Engle is an expert at creating believable fantasy worlds, and this book is no exception. Meg Murry is a 13-year-old daughter of a scientist.

When her father suddenly disappears, she and her friends hurtle through time and space by a tesseract—the exact thing that her father was studying when he suddenly went missing!

2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 

This is an epic historical fantasy series that skyrocketed to popularity thanks to its TV series adaptation.

The story follows Claire Randal, a nurse in 1946 who is thrown back to 1743 in the Scottish Highlands in the midst of clan wars, where she encounters the passionate Scotsman Jamie Fraser. 

3. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 

Although readers continue to debate about whether Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist, actually travels through time, this story tells about how he is destined to relive the Dresden firebombing during World War II over and over again. 

4. Kindred by Octavia Butler 

This book tells about Dana, an African American woman who, on her birthday in 1976, gets transported to a different time and place, where she saves Rufus, a white boy in danger of drowning.

But she ends up threatened with death by the boy’s father, and saves her own life by getting back into the present in the nick of time. But what if this is destined to happen over and over? 

5. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger 

This well-loved book follows Henry, whose genetic clock has a strange disorder of resetting at random.

When that happens, he can be hurled forward or backward in his own life timeline, but he has absolutely no control over which period he will land in, nor how long he’ll remain there. Doesn’t that spell a complicated love story? 

6. All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai 

Instead of the typical time travel adventure, this book looks at one of the greatest “laws” in time travel, that of not changing anything or else it will affect the future.

In this book, the author explores that theory, with Tom making a foolish choice that has ripple effects into his future. What if he could change some decisions he made in the past? 

7. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams 

In this second book in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, Arthur, Ford, and Trillian ask to be taken to the nearest restaurant, and they are—but not in the same time in history. What if they find themselves at the same restaurant, but millions of years into the future? 

8. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells 

One of the oldest and most famous time travel books, The Time Machine tells the story of a Victorian scientist known by his code name, “Time Traveler,” who throws himself all the way into 802701 AD.

But when the future proves to be less peaceful than he imagined and his time machine suddenly disappears, he must make quick decisions to survive. 

9. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson 

Offering another strange look at time travel, this book tells the story of Ursula Todd, who is born in 1910 over and over again.

What things would she change, and which ones would she want to retain? This is a melancholic, but ultimately beautiful and hopeful book. 

10. Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving 

Rip Van Winkle, the title of a short story Washington Irving first published in 1819, is a Dutch-American villager who, after a drinking spree, falls asleep and wakes up 20 years into the future. The interesting thing is that the time travel isn’t obvious until much deeper into the story. 

11. The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen 

This children’s book tells the story of Hannah, a young Jewish girl who’s sick and tired of her family’s Jewish feasts and traditions. But what happens when, during a typical celebration, she gets transported to the Holocaust era?

12. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain 

Master storyteller Mark Twain will have you in stitches with this parody of the medieval period through the eyes of a modern-day, ordinary guy.

Despite the comedy, though, Twain throws in interesting insight into some of the traditions and beliefs during that time, particularly in defense of the poor. 

13. Bedknob and Broomstick by Mary Norton 

In this magical tale, the three Wilson children force the witch-wannabe Miss Price to use her magic to transport them to different places, using the knobs of a bed.

But instead of just traveling to different places, they find themselves going back in time, and even bringing someone back, to boot! 

14. Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis 

This classic series includes so many magical and fantastical elements that it’s difficult to call it only a book about time travel.

But throughout the series, the characters move seamlessly in and out of different time periods. It’s a great introduction to the question of the time-space continuum! 

Reading Stories About Time Travel 

Reading novels about time travel can not only stir up your imagination, but also give you a glimpse of life different time periods.

If the book transports your characters back into the past, you get the added bonus of seeing history unfold before your eyes. If they fly right into the future, you get a clue into how the author imagines the future could be. 

In any case, reading a book is just like traveling, and thankfully, by doing so, we don’t have to worry about accidentally changing something in the past that may have repercussions in our present! 

Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this post, then you might also like:

Yen Cabag

Yen Cabag is the Blog Writer of TCK Publishing. She is also a homeschooling mom, family coach, and speaker for the Charlotte Mason method, an educational philosophy that places great emphasis on classic literature and the masterpieces in art and music. She has also written several books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her passion is to see the next generation of children become lovers of reading and learning in the midst of short attention spans.

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Science-fiction books for sale on wooden shelf at a bookstore.

100 of the best science fiction novels of all time

Madison Troyer

In 2018, while making an appearance on the " Geek's Guide to the Galaxy " podcast, Yuval Noah Harari, author of "Sapiens" and "Homo Deus," said that he believes science fiction to be the most important artistic genre in today's world. He went on to argue that sci-fi writing, which has long been seen as nothing more than a little bit of lighthearted fun, will shape society's understanding of things like artificial intelligence and biotechnology more than any other sort of writing. Reading science fiction, and grappling with issues like AI replacing entire classes of workers, is an excellent way to help us determine how we really feel before we deal with the same issues in real life.

Fiction can be a powerful tool for helping individuals navigate the real world. Sci-fi is no different. In light of that, Stacker  has rounded up 100 of the best science fiction novels of all time.

Using sources like Goodreads, Amazon, and The New York Times Best Seller list, we've identified 100 books that had a powerful impact on readers. We've included books that fall under the hard sci-fi, cyberpunk, space opera, aliens, and utopia/dystopia categories while steering clear of books that are strictly fantasy (think "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter"). We've also made sure to highlight books from authors of color, female authors, LGBTQIA+ authors, and authors from various countries and backgrounds, dispelling the myth that science fiction is only written for and by cis white males.

From comical takes on the genre like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" to controversial titles like "Starship Troopers" to classics like H.G. Wells "War of the Worlds," dark tales like "Who Fears Death," and new titles like "How Long 'til Black Future Month?" there's sure to be something on this list for every taste.

Read on for 100 of the best science fiction novels of all time.

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books about time space

- Author: Frank Herbert - Date published: 1965

One of the most beloved sci-fi epics of all time, Frank Herbert's " Dune " is set to receive a theatrical release in the final months of 2020. It won't be the first time the coming-of-age story about a young man named Paul Atreides who must fight for his own life as well as the existence of his planet, Arrakis, after his family is betrayed, hits the big screen. But with a star-studded cast, this adaptation is almost guaranteed to be a box office hit.

books about time space

The Martian

- Author: Andy Weir - Date published: 2014

Andy Weir first began publishing chapters of his novel " The Martian " on his personal blog in 2009. In 2011, he self-published his story , about an astronaut who gets separated from his crew during a major dust storm and ends up stranded on Mars, on Amazon. Then, in 2014, Random House reached out to Weir offering to give the book a wide release, and Hollywood optioned the rights to the tale, all within the same week. The book eventually made its debut at #12 on The New York Times Best Seller List.

books about time space


- Author: William Gibson - Date published: 1984

A multi-award winner, " Neuromancer " is a cyberpunk classic. It follows Henry Dorsett Case, a damaged computer hacker, as he undertakes one last job in the matrix, encountering some incredibly powerful artificial intelligence and shady characters along the way.

books about time space

The War of the Worlds

- Author: H.G. Wells - Date published: 1898

The father of science fiction, H.G. Wells, wrote a host of early sci-fi novels including " The War of the Worlds ." In this alien novel, a group of Martians invades Earth, decimating everything in their path and terrorizing humans who are forced to reckon with the fact that the world may truly be ending. When the novel was first turned into a radio broadcast in 1938, it was so thrilling and realistic; it actually caused public panic as many listeners didn't realize it was fiction.

books about time space

Ancillary Justice

- Author: Ann Leckie - Date published: 2013

The first installation in a space opera trilogy, " Ancillary Justice ," is told from the perspective of the artificial consciousness of a starship, the only survivor of a treacherous attack, who has set out in search of vengeance. Ann Leckie's work is groundbreaking both in its content and in the fact that every single character in her trilogy is given female pronouns or is genderless—there's not a single male in the book's more than 400 pages.

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books about time space

- Author: Lois Lowry - Date published: 1993

Arguably the most widely read science fiction novel on this list, Lois Lowry's " The Giver ," has become assigned reading in many schools across the country. Set in a seemingly utopian society, the story follows a young man named Jonas, who is set to become the Receiver of Memory within his society. As his training gets underway, he begins to realize that the utopia he's been handed may not be all that perfect or desirable after all.

books about time space

The Fifth Season

- Author: N.K. Jemisin - Date published: 2015

One of sci-fi's most beloved modern writers, N.K. Jemisin has turned out some of the most enthralling, original work in the genre. In " The Fifth Season ," the world begins to end on the same day Essun's life falls apart. In the midst of a war for survival, Essun sets out to find her daughter, and her plight, along with Jemisin's masterful world-building and beautiful prose, will keep you drawn in for all 450-plus pages.

books about time space

Ender's Game

- Author: Orson Scott Card - Date published: 1985

Set an unidentified period of time in the future, " Ender's Game " is a military science fiction novel about humanity's fight against an alien race that's determined to annihilate Earth. The book, whose protagonist is a 10-year-old prodigy, is the first in a series, with four direct sequels that tell the rest of Andrew "Ender" Wiggins' story.

books about time space

The Three-Body Problem

- Author: Liu Cixin - Date published: 2006

Liu Cixin is one of China's most beloved science fiction authors, and his 2006 book " The Three-Body Problem " marks English-speaking readers' first opportunity to engage with his work. In the book, which is set during China's Cultural Revolution, the government has established contact with a group of aliens who plan to take advantage of the chaos and invade Earth. Back on Earth, humans are splitting into various groups, some who plan to side with the aliens and others who plan to resist invasion.

books about time space

The Martian Chronicles

- Author: Ray Bradbury - Date published: 1984

An episodic novel, " The Martian Chronicles " is often considered some of Ray Bradbury's best work. The short work tells the story of the colonization of Mars by humans who are fleeing an Earth that is headed for destruction.

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books about time space

Starship Troopers

- Author: Robert A. Heinlein - Date published: 1959

A military sci-fi novel, and one of Heinlein's most controversial works, " Starship Troopers " was written in response to the United States' decision to halt their nuclear tests . Overtly glorifying the military, the book follows a group of men as they endure the most difficult training in the universe before setting off to fight a species of aliens in the Bug War. While readers may not agree with all of the viewpoints presented in the novel's 300 pages, it's still an important read in the science fiction canon.

books about time space

The Blazing World

- Author: Margaret Cavendish - Date published: 1666

Considered by some to be the first science fiction book ever written, Margaret Cavendish published " The Blazing World " in 1666. The bizarre tale follows a young woman who falls into another world populated with talking animals, half-men, half-fish, and other strange creatures. After becoming their empress, she leads them on an invasion of her homeworld in an effort to create a more utopian society.

books about time space

The Simoqin Prophecies

- Author: Samit Basu - Date published: 2004

" The Simoqin Prophecies " is a blend of classic science fiction and sci-fi spoof, described as Monty Python meets "The Lord of the Rings" meets "Ramayana." In this world, created by Samit Basu, two world-changing prophecies were made centuries ago. As the day of their fulfillment draws closer, two young men begin journeys that will change them just as much as they will change the world around them.

books about time space

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

- Author: Haruki Murakami - Date published: 1994

A bizarre tome of a novel, HM's " The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle " is, in short, about a Japanese man who treks into the netherworld to save his wife and her cat. In turns comic and dramatic, this acclaimed story bridges the gap between true sci-fi and urban fantasy, dabbling in historical criticism along the way.

books about time space

- Author: Blake Crouch - Date published: 2019

In Blake Crouch's " Recursion ," an epidemic is sweeping the nation, one that replaces people's real memories with memories of things that never happened. A detective and a neuroscientist must team up to uncover the dark force behind the epidemic, traveling through time to do so, in this dark sci-fi thriller mystery.

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- Author: Dan Simmons - Date published: 1989

In 1990, Dan Simmons' " Hyperion " won the Hugo Award for best novel. The book, which is similar in structure to Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," follows a group of pilgrims on their journey to the Shrike, a legendary creature who guards time and can answer the riddles of each of their lives. Set in the midst of an intergalactic war and on the eve of Armageddon, each of the pilgrims has their own motive for making the journey, including, possibly, saving all of humanity.

books about time space

The Fall of Hyperion

- Author: Dan Simmons - Date published: 1990

It's not often that a sequel can hold up as well as the original, but that's certainly the case for Dan Simmons' " The Fall of Hyperion ." In this second book, the time caves the Shrike had been tasked with guarding begin to open up, releasing secrets that will alter the world forever. Simmons' outstanding sequel won and was nominated for several of the genre's most prestigious awards.

books about time space

Out of the Silent Planet

- Author: C.S. Lewis - Date published: 1938

C.S. Lewis is best known for his fantasy and Christian writing, but his foray into science fiction in " Out of the Silent Planet " is also notable. In the book, the first in a trilogy, a Cambridge academic, Dr. Ransom, is kidnapped by aliens and taken to Mars, where he learns he is to be offered as a sacrifice. As with most of Lewis' other writings, the novel is allegorical and, at times, satirical.

books about time space

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

- Author: H.P. Lovecraft - Date published: 1943

While it may not be considered strictly science fiction today, there's no denying that the genre itself wouldn't exist without the pioneering work of H.P. Lovecraft. His novella " The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath " is a prime example of Lovecraft's alien and alternate reality-heavy writing. In this particular work, Lovecraft's main character Randolph Carter has had repeated dreams about a mysterious city he's dying to visit—the problem is, gods from another planet are determined to keep him from it.

books about time space

- Author: Isaac Asimov - Date published: 1950

This collection of nine interrelated short stories, " I, Robot ," crafts a fictional history of robots. The stories dive into the morality of creating and including robots in our universe, and it looks closely at the tension between humanity and technology. Readers have called the short book stunning, addictive, and easily accessible for even the most casual sci-fi readers.

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books about time space

Leviathan Wakes

- Author: James S.A. Corey - Date published: 2011

In " Leviathan Wakes ," Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, the authors behind the pen name James S.A. Corey, have spun a tale about two men, Jim Holden and Detective Miller, who stumble upon a derelict spaceship floating in outer space. Each man seeks to solve his own mystery in regards to the ship, but as they begin to pull at the threads, they realize they must team up to unravel the whole story before someone else beats them to it.

books about time space

Lord of Light

- Author: Roger Zelazny - Date published: 1967

In " Lord of Light ," Earth has vanished. A small group of survivors has colonized another planet where they've managed to upload their consciousnesses into technology, essentially turning themselves into gods. These "gods" adhere to the Hindu pantheon and practices, except for one, Sam, who prefers a Buddhist approach to life and religion. What follows is a battle for control over the planet and a revolution against the powers that be.

books about time space

Ready Player One

- Author: Ernest Cline - Date published: 2011

Part ode to the '80s, part dystopian sci-fi story, " Ready Player One " follows Wade Watts, a teenager who lives in the slums, as he attempts to solve a puzzle buried inside the world's biggest video game, OASIS, by its creator. The action-driven tale is a super fun read, especially for pop-culture aficionados and those who prefer the lighter side of science fiction.

books about time space

How Long 'til Black Future Month?

- Author: N.K. Jemisin - Date published: 2018

Another offering from N.K. Jemisin, " How Long 'til Black Future Month? " is a collection of short stories, including the Hugo-nominated "The City Born Great." As is usual in Jemisin's writing, the individual stories are beautifully written, containing fleshed-out worlds and characters, and tackling difficult topics like racism and gender.

books about time space

The Stars My Destination

- Author: Alfred Bester - Date published: 1955

A revenge tale based on "The Count of Monte Cristo," " The Stars My Destination ," is about a teleporter named Gully, who is hell-bent on revenge. It all begins when Gully is marooned in space and ignored by a passing ship after signaling for help. The next decades of his life are all shaped by his desire for vengeance against this clan who ignored him, but eventually, Gully comes to learn that revenge isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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books about time space


- Author: Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Date published: 1969

" Slaughterhouse-Five " is a unique sci-fi book, in that it's equal parts anti-war manifesto and time travel tale. Perhaps Kurt Vonnegut's best-known work, the book has been banned and burned, all the while selling more than 800,000 copies in the U.S.

books about time space

- Author: Frederik Pohl - Date published: 1977

Winning almost every science fiction award out there, " Gateway " is truly the best of what the genre has to offer. The title alludes to a space station left behind by a long-vanished alien race. Only the most daring humans, including Rob Broadhead, dare to experiment with the technology that was left behind, but when they get it right, it can lead to unimaginable riches.

books about time space

- Author: Carl Sagan - Date published: 1985

" Contact " is science fiction written by a real-life scientist. Carl Sagan's 1985 novel is about what happens when humanity makes contact with an extraterrestrial race that's far more advanced. After receiving a radio signal that tells them how to build a spacecraft that can travel through wormholes, a group of explorers sets out to meet those who sent the message in hopes of understanding more of the universe than we ever could otherwise.

books about time space

Strange Bodies

- Author: Marcel Theroux - Date published: 2013

When Nicky Slopen comes back from the dead, it becomes clear very quickly that something's not right. As he tells his story from a secure unit of a mental hospital, Nicky begins to unveil a metaphysical conspiracy that goes far beyond the hold of death. " Strange Bodies " is a sci-fi explanation of what makes a person a person, and allows us all to be individuals.

books about time space

The Tomorrow People

- Author: Judith Merril - Date published: 1960

Judith Merril's " The Tomorrow People " is light, campy fun, and one of the first examples of a sci-fi mystery story. In the book, Merril spins a story about Johnny Wendt, the only person to have ever been to Mars and lived to tell the tale. The only problem is, he remembers very little of what happened there, including what, exactly, killed all the other members of his crew.

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books about time space

Re: Colonised Planet 5, Shikasta

- Author: Doris Lessing - Date published: 1979

Unique in its composition, " Re: Colonised Planet 5, Shikasta " is a collection of documents, reports, speeches, letters, and journal entries that together make up a study of the planet Shikasta (a thinly veiled Earth). Complied by a higher race, the Canopeans, the book demonstrates how they've been traveling to Shikasta for millennia, warning its inhabitants against evil, predicting World War III, or the Apocalypse.

books about time space

2001: A Space Odyssey

- Author: Arthur C. Clarke - Date published: 1968

The " 2001: A Space Odyssey " novel was written concurrently with the 1968 film version directed by Stanley Kubrick. A bizarre tale, the book follows an astronaut who embarks on a mysterious, dangerous mission that takes him far into outer space, and eventually brings him into contact with an alien race. Written before man ever set foot on the Moon, the book explores what this kind of advancement could mean for humankind and the implications it could have on our future.

books about time space

Childhood's End

- Author: Arthur C. Clarke - Date published: 1953

Another novel by Arthur C. Clarke, " Childhood's End " was actually the author's first popular release. In this tale, an apparently benevolent alien race has taken over the universe, turning it into a utopia, but as things progress, it becomes clear that this new arrangement may not be that utopic after all. Dealing with the themes of identity, culture, and freedom, the work is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.

books about time space

All Systems Red

- Author: Martha Wells - Date published: 2017

The first in the "Murderbot Diaries" series, " All Systems Red " by Martha Wells, is about an artificial construct that has figured out how to disable its governor unit, thereby becoming completely independent. The titular Murderbot works as a security unit on exploratory missions, and when a job it's assigned goes wrong, Murderbot finds itself empathizing with the humans it's supposed to be protecting.

books about time space


- Author: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - Date published: 1818

A true classic, " Frankenstein " tells the story of a young scientist who creates a sapient being that turns into a monster after being rejected by society. Told from alternating perspectives, the novel laid the groundwork for many science fiction tropes still used today.

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books about time space

- Author: Robert A. Heinlein - Date published: 1963

Robert A. Heinlein's one attempt at science fantasy, " Glory Road ," instantly became a classic of the genre. The story follows E.C. Gordon, who answers a classified ad that leads him to Star, the Empress of Twenty Universes, who sends him on a quest for the Egg of the Phoenix. Romantic, fun, and adventure-filled, the novel is a great antidote to many of the heavier works on this list.

books about time space

A Wrinkle in Time

- Author: Madeleine L'Engle - Date published: 1962

In the first installation in Madeleine L'Engle's "Time Quintet," " A Wrinkle in Time ," three children set out to find a missing father, reckon with evil, and save the world. A Newbery Medal winner, the book is often considered a classic in children's sci-fi literature.

books about time space

A Canticle for Leibowitz

- Author: Walter M. Miller Jr. - Date published: 1959

A post-apocalyptic novel set in a Catholic monastery in the United States, " A Canticle for Leibowitz " covers centuries of history as humanity rebuilds itself following a nuclear war. In this world, it's the church, rather than the state, that's ultimately in control– and a group of monks is tasked with protecting what remains of man's scientific knowledge, deciding if, or when, civilization is ready for it.

books about time space

A Journey to the Center of the Earth

- Author: Jules Verne - Date published: 1864

At one point in time, science fiction centered more around what lies under our feet than what could possibly be above our heads. Jules Verne's " A Journey to the Center of the Earth " is just one classic example of this subterranean science fiction. The story follows professor Otto Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans, as they travel down through an Icelandic volcano, encountering several strange creatures along the way.

books about time space


- Author: Jeff VanderMeer - Date published: 2014

The first novel in Jeff VanderMeer's "Southern Reach" trilogy, " Annihilation ," follows the four women who make up the 12th expedition into Area X, a region of the world that has been closed off for decades for unspecified reasons. Strange things have happened to the previous teams who've explored the region, and when the women arrive, they quickly learn that the stories they've heard are just the tip of the iceberg.

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books about time space

Stranger in a Strange Land

- Author: Robert A. Heinlein - Date published: 1961

There is some dispute over which version of " Stranger in a Strange Land " is better: the one published in 1961 or the original, unedited manuscript published in 1991 after author Robert A. Heinlein's death. Both books tell the same story, one of a human born on Mars and raised by Martians, who returns to Earth as an adult and must readjust to life on this planet. Science fiction purists should seek out the 1991 version, which was the author's favorite, as he thought the overall style of the original was more " graceful and readable ."

books about time space

Downbelow Station

- Author: C.J. Cherryh - Date published: 1981

Although it was written as a part of C.J. Cherryh's "Company Wars" stories, the epic space opera " Downbelow Station " works as a standalone novel as well. Set on a space station orbiting a universe nicknamed Downbelow, the story follows a cast of characters tasked with exploring new star systems and creating new colonies. A long read, the book feels like a historical epic from a time that has yet to pass.

books about time space

- Author: Stanislaw Lem - Date published: 1961

Translated from its original Polish, Stanislaw Lem's " Solaris " opens with scientist Kris Kelvin arriving on the titular planet to study its expansive ocean. He and his team quickly realize they aren't dealing with a body of water but a sentient being, one who is determined to bring out the worst in them without revealing anything of itself.

books about time space

Gideon the Ninth

- Author: Tamsyn Muir - Date published: 2019

" Gideon the Ninth " is New Zealand author Tamsyn Muir's debut novel. Set in a galactic empire composed of nine planets, the Y.A. novel is about lesbian necromancers, a deadly trial of wits and skill, and a culture locked in political turmoil. Dubbed one of the best books of 2019, this certainly isn't one to miss.

books about time space

A Fire Upon the Deep

- Author: Vernor Vinge - Date published: 1992

Vernor Vinge's space opera " A Fire Upon the Deep " takes place in a world where one's location in space determines their intelligence. When a dangerous power is unleashed during an intergalactic war, two children are kidnapped, and a group of beings of all types and levels of intelligence sets out to save them and restore order to their collective world.

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books about time space

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

- Author: Douglas Adams - Date published: 1979

" The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy " is a comedy sci-fi novel that was adapted from a BBC radio broadcast. It follows a human named Arthur Dent, who is rescued from Earth by his travel-writer, alien-in-disguise buddy, Ford Prefect, moments before the planet is destroyed. Truly an international phenomenon, the book, the first in a series, has sold millions of copies around the world.

books about time space

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

- Author: Douglas Adams - Date published: 1987

While none of Douglas Adams' other works quite measure up to "Hitchhiker's Guide," " Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency " comes awfully close. In this comic sci-fi mystery tale, Dirk Gently, a self-styled private investigator, who knows more about eating pizza than solving crimes, sets out to prove the interconnectedness of all things by unraveling a murder.

books about time space

The Handmaid's Tale

- Author: Margaret Atwood - Date published: 1985

In a near-future version of New England, a totalitarian state called Gilead has overthrown the government, and women have become second-class citizens. Offred, a Handmaid in Gilead whose sole job is to get pregnant and provide offspring to a strange man, loathes her current life, mourns her old one, and serves as a dire warning to readers about the dangers of total government control. Margaret Atwood's " The Handmaid's Tale " became a cultural phenomenon all over again in 2017 when Hulu released a TV show based on the novel.

books about time space

The Caves of Steel

- Author: Isaac Asimov - Date published: 1954

A science fiction version of a hardboiled detective story, " The Caves of Steel " is about a human detective, Elijah Baley, and his robot assistant, R. Daneel Olivaw, who are tasked with solving the murder of a prominent spacer, aka a wealthy individual who has fled an overcrowded Earth for a new planet. Following the success of this first book, Isaac Asimov wrote a series of other stories for these two detectives where they solved all sorts of futuristic crimes.

books about time space

The Hunger Games

- Author: Suzanne Collins - Date published: 2008

In the early '00s, " The Hunger Games " trilogy sold 100 million copies and spent 260 consecutive weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list. In the first Y.A. dystopian novel in the series, a young woman named Katniss Everdeen steps up to take her sister's place in a government-sponsored death game, accidentally becoming the face of a revolution along the way.

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books about time space

Never Let Me Go

- Author: Kazuo Ishiguro - Date published: 2005

A shining example of a dystopian, sci-fi, literary novel, " Never Let Me Go " follows a trio of school friends through their education at a boarding school, Hailsham, and into adulthood, where they uncover their real purpose in society. A love story, a mystery, and a sharp reminder that we are only as good as the way we treat others, the book is an emotional, horrific ride.

books about time space

Double Star

- Author: Robert A. Heinlein - Date published: 1956

In " Double Star ," a down-on-his-luck actor agrees to impersonate a kidnapped politician in an effort to avoid interplanetary war. When things go amiss, he realizes he may be stuck in the role for life. A commentary on politics and doing what's right, the book is among Robert A. Heinlein's first and another Hugo award winner.

books about time space

Roadside Picnic

- Author: Arkady and Boris Strugatsky - Date published: 1972

When " Roadside Picnic ," written by brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, was first published in their native Soviet Union, it was heavily censored and significantly different from the serialized version that had been published in magazines in the '70s. The novel follows a "stalker" who illegally ventures into a former alien zone to collect items left behind by the extraterrestrial beings. When one of these missions goes awry, the stalker commits to continuing these expeditions until everything is righted, even if it costs him his life.

books about time space

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

- Author: Philip K. Dick - Date published: 1968

This classic sci-fi novel, written by Philip K. Dick, served as the basis for the 1982 blockbuster "Blade Runner." Set in San Francisco, after a global nuclear war has essentially ended life as we know it, a bounty hunter named Rick Deckard is tasked with finding and eliminating six escaped androids who have no interest in being found. " Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? " set the stage for many of the cyberpunk novels that have been published in the last 50 years.

books about time space

This Is How You Lose the Time War

- Author: Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone - Date published: 2019

Told in an epistolary fashion, " This Is How You Lose the Time War " is about two agents from warring factions who travel back and forth through time, altering history for their own group's purposes. Throughout their travels, the men begin leaving notes for each other, and gradually fall in love along the way. The winner of multiple awards, including a Nebula and Hugo, this certainly qualifies as one of the best sci-fi books of the past decade.

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books about time space

China Mountain Zhang

- Author: Maureen F. McHugh - Date published: 1992

A selection of loosely interconnected stories, " China Mountain Zhang " is set in a 22nd-century world where China is the leading global power, everything is socialist, Mars is being colonized, and the Cleansing Winds Campaign has just been completed. The folks in these stories are coping with everyday issues in a world that's almost, but not quite, like our own. It's a tale of ordinary people in an extraordinary setting, just trying to get by the same way we are in the here and now.

books about time space

- Author: Samuel R. Delany - Date published: 1975

When Bellona, a city in the American Midwest, is hit by an unknown catastrophe, things begin changing, and everything seems off-kilter: there are suddenly two moons in the sky, landmarks keep disappearing all over town, buildings burn for days with no signs of damage, etc. Many former residents leave, but some, like the Kid, are drawn to the city looking for answers they can't find anywhere else. More than 1 million copies of " Dhalgren " have sold, marking this book as a true sci-fi classic.

books about time space

Who Fears Death

- Author: Nnedi Okorafor - Date published: 2010

A brutal read, Nnedi Okorafor's " Who Fears Death " should come with a host of content warnings, and will not be a good fit for the faint of heart. Set in post-apocalyptic Africa, the books follow a young woman named Onyesonwu, who is destined to end the genocide of her people and unlock the secrets of the universe. An exploration of power in all its forms, this novel is well on its way to becoming a modern classic.

books about time space

The Forever War

- Author: Joe Haldeman - Date published: 1974

After being conscripted by an elite military unit, physicist William Mandella is drawn into a war against an alien race. On top of fighting an almost unbeatable enemy, Mandella finds himself fighting against time, as this new galaxy causes him to grow older much slower than those he left behind. The first in a series, " The Forever War ," has won several awards and inspired a host of time dilation stories.

books about time space

The Outside

- Author: Ada Hoffman - Date published: 2019

While " The Outside " by Ada Hoffman is a new release, it's well on its way to becoming one of the best science fiction novels of all time. When an autistic scientist's new invention malfunctions, warping time and destroying everyone on her spaceship, the AI gods of her universe give her a choice: be sentenced to death or track down her vanished mentor who poses a huge threat to the existence of their world. Readers have described the book as being "Lovecraftian."

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books about time space

Altered Carbon

- Author: Richard K. Morgan - Date published: 2002

The events of " Altered Carbon " take place 400 years into the future, when mankind is spread out all over the galaxy, and interstellar travel happens through the transfer of consciousness between bodies. When an ex-envoy wakes up in the body of an ex-convict, he finds himself contracted to hunt down a billionaire's killer and uncovers a massive, interstellar conspiracy along the way.

books about time space

- Author: Alastair Reynolds - Date published: 2001

In " Chasm City ," the titular society, once the most advanced in all the galaxy, has been hit with an alien plague that's corrupted the once utopian world. When Tanner Mirabel, a security expert, arrives on the planet to avenge the death of his client's wife, he also sets out to unwind the mystery behind the virus, aided by his own illness-induced symptoms.

books about time space

The Glass Bead Game

- Author: Hermann Hesse - Date published: 1943

Hermann Hesse's final novel, " The Glass Bead Game ," is a unique work of science fiction in that there's very little technology involved. Instead, the book is set in a monastery-like village in a post-apocalyptic future, where scholars devote all their time and energy to mastering the mysterious glass bead game. The book serves up a deeper message about the difference between scholarship and wisdom, but even a light reading is sure to be entertaining and absorbing.

books about time space

- Author: George Orwell - Date published: 1949

Regarded as one of the most defining works of the 20th century, it's eerie how prophetic George Orwell's sci-fi novel " 1984 " has proven to be. Satiric in tone, the book is about life under a totalitarian government. In the weeks after Donald Trump was elected president, the 70-year-old book saw a 9,500% increase in sales .

books about time space

A Memory Called Empire

- Author: Arkady Martine - Date published: 2019

Arkady Martine's debut novel, " A Memory Called Empire ," follows an ambassador from a small space station as she sets out for the center of the empire to investigate the murder of her predecessor. Swept up in the empire's mysterious alien culture, the ambassador is also hiding secrets of her own, more than one of which could lead to the destruction of her space station and the end of life as she knows it. The book won the 2020 Hugo Award for best novel.

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books about time space

The Road to Mars

- Author: Eric Idle - Date published: 1990

Written by a former member of the comedy group Monty Python, " The Road to Mars " is a bizarre, side-splittingly hilarious book about a comedy team who's taking their act on the interplanetary road. When the duo and their robot assistant unwittingly land themselves in the middle of a terrorist plot, they must act fast in order to get out alive and find their way back to the stage.

books about time space

Doomsday Book

- Author: Connie Willis - Date published: 1992

The first in a series about time-traveling historians, " Doomsday Book ," follows a young woman named Kirvin Engle as she travels back to 14th-century Oxford. Although she gets stranded some 700 years in the past, scared and alone, she becomes a beacon of hope to a community ravaged by disease.

books about time space

The Left Hand of Darkness

- Author: Ursula K. Le Guin - Date published: 1969

Regarded as one of the most famous science fiction books ever written, " The Left Hand of Darkness " follows a human emissary, Genly Ai, who's sent to negotiate a planet's entry into a confederation. Things get complicated when Ai fails to grasp the culture on this planet, beginning with the fact that all individuals are ambisexual. An intellectual read, this book will have you thinking long after you turn the last page.

books about time space

Flowers for Algernon

- Author: Daniel Keyes - Date published: 1966

In " Flowers for Algernon ," a mentally disabled man, Charlie Gordon, undergoes a procedure that is supposed to increase his IQ. Things go swimmingly at first, until a mouse, who underwent the procedure first begins to unexpectedly deteriorate. As Charlie journals the changes in his mental and emotional state, he makes sobering points about the way our society treats the disabled and those we perceive to be different from us.

books about time space

- Author: Tade Thompson - Date published: 2018

Set in Nigeria, " Rosewater " is about a community that has sprung up around the perimeter of an alien biodome. When a mysterious force begins killing people in the community, Kaaro, a government agent who has insider knowledge of the dome, begins to seek answers, even as everything in him is telling him to stay away.

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books about time space

The Time Machine

- Author: H.G. Wells - Date published: 1895

The first novel to popularize the concept of time travel, H. G. Wells' " The Time Machine " celebrated its 125th birthday this year. Set in Victorian England, the novel follows a scientist who develops a machine that can move him forwards and backward in time. Traveling to 802,701 A.D., the scientist encounters two bizarre races, the Eloi and the Morlocks, who represent the future of humanity, and embarks on a host of adventures.

books about time space

Old Man's War

- Author: John Scalzi - Date published: 2005

In "Old Man's War," humanity has finally made it into space, but, late to the game, they are forced to fight for any new holds they wish to claim. As a result, they've created the Colonial Defense Force, an army of retirement-aged people who can use the knowledge they've earned through decades of living to win and colonize new outposts. On his 75th birthday, John Perry joins the CDP and finds, in good ways and bad, that it's more than he ever imagined it would be.

books about time space

The Dispossessed

- Author: Ursula K. Le Guin - Date published: 1974

Set in the same universe as "The Left Hand of Darkness," " The Dispossessed " is about a physicist named Shevek who sets out to shake up life on the utopian mother planet, Urras, in hopes that these actions will tear down the walls of hate surrounding his own planet. Although the book is first in the chronology of Ursula K. Le Guin's "Hainish Cycle," it was the fifth one published.

books about time space

- Author: Kim Stanley Robinson - Date published: 1992

In " Red Mars ," the first in an epic saga trilogy, the year is 2026, and the first group of humans is set to begin colonizing Mars. Featuring incredible world-building and legitimate science, this chunker of a book (it closes in on 600 pages) is certainly worth the time investment.

books about time space

- Author: Octavia E. Butler - Date published: 1987

Lilith Iyapo, the main character in " Dawn ," opens her eyes after centuries asleep to find herself trapped in the bowls of an alien spaceship. Many moons ago, these aliens managed to save Lilith and a few other humans before Earth was uninhabitable. Now that they've managed to restore the planet, they want to bring humans home, with one condition: they must agree to interbreed, and Lilith must convince her fellow man to allow this plan to happen.

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books about time space

Rendezvous with Rama

- Author: Arthur C. Clarke - Date published: 1973

" Rendezvous with Rama " is about mankind's first encounter with alien life. When an object scientists have dubbed Rama is revealed to be an interstellar spacecraft, a group of explorers is sent to intercept the ship and determine whether or not it's friendly before it touches down on Earth. The traditional sci-fi book would make a great starting place for those who are new to the genre.

books about time space

Time Enough for Love

- Author: Robert A. Heinlein - Date published: 1973

Lazarus Long, the oldest living human, has been alive for more than 2,000 years. With so much life under his belt, he's beginning to tire of this planet and begins to tell some of his best stories in hopes of falling in love with life all over again. A series of interconnected novellas, " Time Enough for Love ," is one of Robert A. Heinlein's most acclaimed works.

books about time space

The Intuitionist

- Author: Colson Whitehead - Date published: 1999

Teetering on the edge of science fiction and speculative fiction, Colson Whitehead's " The Intuitionist " earned itself a place on this list thanks to its fresh, and often funny, take on politics and race. Set in an alternate universe where two parties of elevator inspectors, the Empiricists & the Intuitionists, are at war, the book begins with an elevator crash. A young woman named Lila Mae sets out to clear her and her party's name and uncovers some wild, futuristic secrets along the way.

books about time space

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

- Author: Becky Chambers - Date published: 2014

A lighthearted space opera, Becky Chambers' " The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet ," sees Rosemary Harper join the motley, multi-species crew of a dated spaceship called the Wayfarer. As the group travels through galaxies completing missions, encountering aliens, and occasionally risking life and limb, readers get to watch them grow and develop a close kinship with each other.

books about time space

Fahrenheit 451

- Author: Ray Bradbury - Date published: 1953

In the dystopian world presented in Ray Bradbury's " Fahrenheit 451 " books are outlawed, censorship runs wild, and Guy Montag, the protagonist, is a fireman tasked with burning books and destroying knowledge. Modern-day readers will find that the book's commentary on the control and distillation of knowledge, as well as our duty to protect it, still rings true some 65 years later.

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books about time space


- Author: Malka Ann Older - Date published: 2016

The first installation in a cyberpunk political thriller series, " Infomocracy ," is set in a world where a global democracy is run by corporations. With an election on the horizon, three separate political figures have to reckon with their places in this political experiment, all while the stakes get increasingly higher. "Infomocracy" would make a great election year read and leave you thinking deeply about our own democracy's paradoxes.

books about time space

The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer

- Author: Neal Stephenson - Date published: 1995

" The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer " is a coming of age story that follows a young girl named Nell, who lives in a futuristic world where nanotechnology controls all aspects of life. Nell receives an illegal interactive book that is supposed to teach her how to adhere to the status quo but instead leads her down another path, one that might change the future of humanity.

books about time space

The Man in the High Castle

- Author: Philip K. Dick - Date published: 1962

Philip K. Dick's alternate history novel " The Man in the High Castle " takes place in a world where the Axis powers beat the Allies, and the world now lives under totalitarian rule. A Hugo Award winner, the book was turned into a TV series produced by Amazon.

books about time space

The Sparrow

- Author: Mary Doria Russell - Date published: 1996

Set in 2019, " The Sparrow " is about a Jesuit priest who is the lone survivor of a mission meant to establish contact with the first extraterrestrial race humans have ever made contact with. The meeting nearly destroys him physically and spiritually, highlighting the fact that humans are far too arrogant in our assumption that we can ever really understand others—extraterrestrial or not.

books about time space

- Author: Larry Niven - Date published: 1970

A classic of sci-fi literature, " Ringworld " follows a ragtag group of explorers, headed by 200-year-old human Louis Wu, who set out to explore a 600 million miles long alien spaceship floating in outer space and end up crash landing. The first in a series, the book is lighthearted, imaginative, and truly mind-blowing.

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books about time space

- Author: Nicola Griffith - Date published: 1992

" Ammonite " is a novel that pushes the reader's understanding of gender, and does it well. The winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the James Tiptree Jr. Award, the book takes place on a planet called Jeep, which is inhabited only by women after a pandemic wiped out all the men. In the book, an anthropologist travels to Jeep to study the women and to bring a vaccine that may allow men to once again flourish on the planet but finds she's adapting to their way of life and may not want to complete her mission after all.

books about time space

- Author: Prayaag Akbar - Date published: 2017

A dystopian novel set in India in the 2040s, " Leila " follows a mother, Shalini, who's desperately searching for her disappeared daughter, Leila, as the world crumbles under a totalitarian regime. A story of love and loss, the book was turned into a Netflix series that premiered in 2019.

books about time space

Station Eleven

- Author: Emily St. John Mandel - Date published: 2014

In " Station Eleven ," a pandemic essentially causes the end of the world, and the few survivors must come together to save the best parts of humanity. Things get even more complicated when a strange prophet and his creepy cult of followers begin to stage a takeover. Told through the alternating perspectives of a few loosely connected characters, this book was a bestseller upon its release in 2014.

books about time space

The Stars are Legion

- Author: Kameron Hurley - Date published: 2017

Kameron Hurley's " The Stars are Legion " reimagines women's roles in science fiction. While men are often the stars of these adventure stories, in this 2017 tale, a woman, in a world filled only with women, is the hero. When Zan awakes on a spaceship with no memories of her own, she must determine if what she's being told about herself is true before her actions lead to the genocide of an entire group of people.

books about time space

The City & The City

- Author: - Date published:

While " The City & The City " has all the regular elements of a police procedural and murder mystery, it's far from the standard offerings of either genre. When a young woman is murdered in Borlu, a hardened police inspector sets out to solve the case, soliciting the help of the police force in the Borlu's "twin city" Ul Qoma. Along the way, he finds that something sinister might be at work, hiding in the gaps between these two cities.

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books about time space

Broken Stars

- Author: Ken Liu (editor) - Date published: 2019

An anthology of Chinese science fiction short stories and novellas, " Broken Stars " is thrilling, absorbing, and imaginative. Including work from authors like Xia Jia and Liu Cixin, almost every story in the book, from the cyberpunk to the space operas to the hard sci-fi, has been published in the last decade. No science fiction reader can consider themselves truly well-read until they've read at least a selection of stories from this collection.

books about time space

Every Heart a Doorway

- Author: Seanan McGuire - Date published: 2016

" Every Heart a Doorway " is set in a home for children who, at one time or another, managed to slip into a magical world, and have now returned to our ordinary land, changed and unsatisfied with all this place has to offer. After a newcomer named Nancy arrives at the home and a string of murders begins, the children must unravel the mystery of who or what wants them dead. A mix of fantasy and sci-fi, this book is a fun read for both Y.A. fans and adults alike.

books about time space

Parable of the Sower

- Author: Octavia E. Butler - Date published: 1993

One of the most legendary science fiction writers of all time, Octavia E. Butler made The New York Times Best Seller list for the first time in September 2020 , with her 1993 book " Parable of the Sower ." Many readers liken the events in the story, which take place in 2025 on an Earth that has been ravaged by war, disease, a lack of clean water, and drugs, to our current circumstances. The young, orphaned protagonist, Lauren Oya Olamina, struggles with a condition called hyperempathy but comes to find that this sensitivity may be the key to saving humanity.

books about time space

- Author: Isaac Asimov - Date published: 1951

A collection of five interrelated stories, Isaac Asimov's " Foundation " is about a psychohistorian's attempt to save the best parts of humanity when his galaxy is faced with total destruction. Described as ambitious and highly imaginative, the book certainly appeals to a specific sort of reader, but those who are able to get into the story always rank it among their favorite sci-fi books of all time.

books about time space

An Unkindness of Ghosts

- Author: Rivers Solomon - Date published: 2017

In " An Unkindness of Ghosts ," Rivers Solomon explores what systematic racism could look like on a generational starship, centuries in the future. The story follows Aster, a young woman whose dark skin has kept her relegated to the bottom decks of the starship Matilda for her entire life. As she unwittingly begins to uncover family secrets, Aster finds that there may be a way to put an end to the legacy of racism she's trapped under once and for all.

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books about time space

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

- Author: Robert A. Heinlein - Date published: 1966

" The Moon is a Harsh Mistress " is one part political treatise (it heavily discusses libertarian ideals), one part sci-fi tale of a human colony on the moon revolting against their absentee earthly rulers. Originally serialized in "If," a science fiction magazine, the book got a full release in 1966 and won the Hugo Award in 1967.

books about time space

Jurassic Park

- Author: Michael Crichton - Date published: 1990

Most folks are familiar with " Jurassic Park ," the bio sci-fi story about an island amusement park filled with manufactured dinosaurs. However, far fewer people have actually read the Michael Crichton book, as most just opt to watch the Steven Spielberg movie instead. We're here to tell you that the book is well worth a read, especially for die-hard sci-fi fans.

books about time space

- Author: Neal Stephenson - Date published: 1992

The main character in " Snow Crash ," Hiro Protagonist, is a delivery man by day and a computer hacker by night. When a terrifying computer virus begins knocking out tech wizards all over the world, Hiro Protagonist embarks on a race against time to unmask the mastermind behind the virus and put an end to the whole thing before this futuristic version of America finds itself in an info apocalypse.

books about time space

The Female Man

- Author: Joanna Russ - Date published: 1975

This classic feminist sci-fi novel follows four women who cross over into each other's realities. After crossing over, each of them finds their existing notions of gender challenged and must reevaluate their lives upon returning to their own worlds. " The Female Man " is a must-read for all science fiction lovers.

books about time space

Brave New World

- Author: Aldous Huxley - Date published: 1932

Written almost 100 years ago, Aldous Huxley's " Brave New World " is set in a dystopian universe, where a World State rules, determining every aspect of its citizens' lives. In similar fashion to George Orwell's "1984," only one man challenges this sort of totalitarian rule and attempts to bring humanity back to the individuality that makes it so special.

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The Nature of Space and Time

Stephen hawking , roger penrose.

152 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1996

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"Io non chiedo che una teoria corrisponda alla realtà perchè non so quale sia questa realtà." Stephen Hawking

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8 Incredible Nonfiction Books About Space

person looking up at space

Astronomy, physics, space, oh my! Ever since I was a kid, I've been obsessed with outer space , reveling in information about our solar system and galaxy. I tend to keep track of meteor showers better than I do of my own everyday tasks, and I definitely have accurately measured and placed constellations made of glow-in-the-dark stickers on my ceiling. If you didn't think I was a space nerd yet, I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a member at my local planetarium, and I go there so often I know the museum like the back of my favorite book .

Speaking of books, there are about as many incredible books on space as there are stars in the sky — well, OK, not quite as many, but there are a ton to choose from! From the iconic authors and scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, to astronauts like Chris Hadfield, each one has something new to reveal about the universe.

Whether you're into hard facts, impossible theories, or funny space jokes, I've got a great list of books for you. Space exploration may make you feel small at times, but it also reminds you that you're a part of something so massive it's almost incomprehensible. Dive into these eight incredible books on space, time, and the impossible possibilities it brings:

1. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

books about time space

While this masterpiece was published back in the '80s, many of Hawking's theories and predictions still hold up today. Hawking explores the ways humanity has attempted to understand the stars, and how that curiosity will never fade from mankind.Stephen Hawking writes massive and complex ideas in a comprehendible fashion. It's guaranteed to satisfy all of your spacey questions.

Click here to buy.

2. Death by Black Hole by Neil DeGras Tyson

books about time space

Neil deGrasse Tyson is easily one of today's most well-known astrophysicists. He's the host of one of my favorite documentaries, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey , best friends with Bill Nye the Science Guy , and he hosts a podcast called StarTalk — can this guy get any better? I first picked up this book when I needed to do some research on astronomy for a story I was working on, but it soon became one of my favorite books on space.

3. Cosmos by Carl Sagan

books about time space

Carl Sagan, the mentor to the beloved Neil deGrasse Tyson, captured the big ideas of space and time and made them neatly comprehensible in his book Cosmos . Covering topics on anthropological, cosmological, biological, historical, and astronomical matters, Sagan shares his views on everything from extraterrestrial life to his views on the future of science.

4. Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

books about time space

You'll become a lifelong fan of Mary Roach after reading the first page of this book. Packing for Mars is her hilarious, science-driven book on how living in space reflects what it means to be human. Answering questions like: What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year, have sex, or even smell flowers? What's living in space really like? Could we survive on another planet given what we're accustomed to? Roach finds a way to experience life in outer space without ever leaving Earth.

5. An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

books about time space

Chris Hadfield is known for the David Bowie music video he made while aboard the International Space Station. In this book, the Canadian astronaut documents his sometimes fearful, sometimes exhilarating, and overall crazy preparations for living in space. This fantastic book will teach you how to think like an astronaut, a useful skill for living everyday life.

6. Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku

books about time space

If you're a sci-fi fan or interested in inventions and innovations, this is the book for you. Kaku takes impossible ideas like invisibility cloaks, force fields, death rays and explains them using real facts. He wonderfully explains how these imaginary inventions could one day be reality. After all, decades ago, scientists and inventors thought lasers and atomic bombs were impossible!

7. Women in Space by Karen Bush Gibson

books about time space

This book is a collection of stories of 23 brave, intelligent, and freaking awesome women who've done work surrounding space research. Each story focuses on their triumphs and tragedies, their past, and their future hopes. You'll learn a lot about space — and you'll be inspired by these trailblazing women.

8. How It Ends by Chris Impey

books about time space

Full of fun facts, illustrations, and unfortunate reminders, this book is Impey's humorous take on what the universe looks like without us. How It Ends will bring you up to speed on the science behind the end — the end of individuals and the end of all existence. Despite the less-than-pleasant subject matter, How It Ends is a cheery read you'll want to pick up again and again.

Images: Josh Wallace / 500px/500px/Getty Images ; Giphy

books about time space

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit

‘Leon Russell:’ Review: Ringmaster of Rock ’n’ Roll’s Circus

As a songwriter, pianist and bandleader, leon russell was devoted both to his music and to the carnival that accompanied it..


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Most rock bios begin with 30 or 40 pages on their subjects’ early years and end with a look at what is often a retirement marked by neglect and what-ifs. Not this one. With “Leon Russell: The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History,” Bill Janovitz gets right down to business, as did his subject: one of the most electrifying stage performers of his day, a chart-topping recording artist, and a singer/songwriter/keyboardist/guitarist/producer who worked with a pantheon that included many of the rock, pop, and country stars of our time. Leon Russell went to work early and never stopped.

The book’s first sentence reads, “One night in the dead of winter in Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1960, Russell Bridges stood on the side of the stage watching a riot unfold.” People fought and broke bottles and, when they tired of attacking each other, started throwing things at a band of teenaged musicians led by the most notorious rocker of the day, Jerry Lee Lewis, who at that moment was standing on the piano bench with a gun in his hand. The band was the Starlighters, a group from Tulsa, Okla., who backed Lewis as he made his way from one crummy dive to another, trying to climb out of the musical grave he had dug for himself three years earlier when he married his 13-year-old cousin and his soaring career plummeted. Never one to let his Brylcreemed good looks be marred by a piece of flying glass, Lewis told the frightened teens behind him to keep chooglin’ while he slipped out the back way and tore off into the night in his Caddy.

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