Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fish out of water, or: What is it that draws us to a time travel story?

You're going to get two bloggers today. Two for the price of one: the Hart sisters!

Since my latest release (Heart of a Soldier) is a time travel story, I decided to blog today about the appeal of the time travel. Since reading Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Author's Court as a teen, I've loved the "fish out of water" element of a time travel story. If you're new to time travels, by all means read Twain's book. It's his best as far as I'm concerned.

H.G. Wells's The Time Machine, of course, was early science fiction. As entertaining as it was, it didn't compare to later variations of the theme. I loved the movies Final Countdown, Time Rider, Terminator, Somewhere in Time, Timeline, Back to the Future, and most recently, Kate and Leopold. With the exception of Twelve Monkeys, I've loved every cinematic variation on time-travel I've seen.

I'm even a fan of TV time travel (Time Tunnel, Voyagers, Quantum Leap).

Books that have entertained me with time travel romance include Legend by Jude Devereau and Timeless Passion by Constance O'Day Flannery. The strongest time travel romance I've read, however, was written by a man and remains my favorite time travel novel: Lightning by Dean Koontz.

So my blog question for you today is:

What is your favorite time travel story?
Everyone who comments (other than LSB personnel, who are ineligible) will be entered into a drawing for a free download of AQUARIUS, the latest in the Zodiac series from Liquid Silver Books! I'll be drawing at 9:00 PM EST.

Vanessa Hart


Anonymous Melissa said...

Time After Time has to be my favorite! It is an older movie but had everything you could want - HG Wells, romance, Jack the Ripper and a confused 19th century Englishman trying to order take out at McDonalds.

Most times time travel makes me wonder about paradoxes and time loops, but the notion (at least in romance) that a woman is appealing to a dashing man from the past or future shows a timeless beauty that speaks to the heart of what romance is.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Vanessa Hart said...

Oh, I remember that one! Wasn't that Malcolm McDowell? Good one, Melissa.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous annalisa said...


That's a really tough question to answer since I love all kinds of time-travel books - picking just one would be impossible! :) My favorites are Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series (especially The Immortal Highlander), Janet Chapman's Highlander series (can you tell I love Highlander books LOL!), and Sandra Hill's time-traveling Viking series (those books are a hoot!).

There is just something about time-travel books that really appeals to me and I'm always happy to find new ones!

11:01 PM  
Blogger LSB Author, Darragha Foster said...

Yup. Time After Time. Outstanding movie.

Malcolm McDowell looks pretty good when young and nekkid. I have the unrated DVD of "Caligula" and he prances around a bit in the buff in that movie.

Another good one is: Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. Lovely.

Nice banner!

11:13 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

One of my favorite time travel stories is actually a movie: Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. I love this story. I haven't read the book though. I also loved Kate and Leopold.

As far as books go, I haven't read that many time travels.

-Jennifer Y.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

My favorite is The Danger Quotient by Annabel and Edgar Johnson. It's a young adult novel but still my favorite.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Bec said...

Oh that's easy...Timeline by Michael Crichton. Being a science based person I find it difficult to read time-travel novels unless the science relating to the travel is actually pretty good...LOL...sad but true. Michael Crichton spent time writing Physics text books before he started writing fiction so the science in his books is always pretty 'spot on'.

Wound into a good science-fiction story...is a great romance. Not a bad effort for a science geek!

12:01 AM  
Blogger Mahaira said...

Great fun topic, Vanessa,

Time Travel is my 2nd most fav. genre to watch or read. I have a whole long list of favs.

* "Back to the Future"
Great fun. I've seen this movie many times. Over and over again

* "Tom's Midnight Garden" by Philippa Pearce - One of my all time favorite books centers around a wonderful clock that leads to secrets and discoveries.

* "A Knight in Shining Armor"
by Jude Deveraux - This is the most moving romance novel I have ever read. The ending was just perfect; I closed the book with a smile afterwards. This time travel romance is a must read.

I've always been fascinated by the possibility of time travel. This was especially true during many high school classes, when my mind wandered a bit too much, but it's also true now. What if -- what if we could travel through time. Such a feat would make every other invention and technology seem, well, old.


12:53 AM  
Blogger Cyndi Redding said...

Mine is the book that started my romance with, uh, romance. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon. Actually, it was 5 books.

At the time, I needed a healthy escape -- big time! Those books provided exactly what I needed.


6:55 AM  
Blogger Trista Ann Michaels said...

A Knight in Shining Armor or Legends, both by Jude.

I like time travel too. There used to be a series of time travel romances called Time Swept, but you don't see that anymore...:(


7:43 AM  
Blogger Vanessa Hart said...

Annalisa, you're right. How could I forget the Highlander series?!

Darragha and Jennifer, Somewhere in Time was a magical love story. I loved it, too. Remember the Lincoln penny in his pocket that ruined it all?

Tamara, I've not read that one. As far as young adult goes, I used to watch Voyagers (Remember the late Jon Eric Hexum? Not sure I spelled his name right) and it was designed to teach kids history.

Bec, I loved Timeline and read everything by Michael Crichton! He was a medical doctor originally, and his first book (under a pseudonym) was A CASE OF NEED (Later made into an early 70s movie called The Carey Treatment starring James Coburn and Jennifer O'Neil. Has that for trivia?

Mahaira, me, too. Love the concept of time travel.

Cyn and Trista, good choices. I didn't realize there were so many time travels for me yet to read!

Thanks for blogging, everyone! Good discussion.


8:25 AM  
Anonymous shellya said...

I think it's the way the author portrays the insecurities of the person who went back or came forward in time. Favorite authors would be Sandra Hill, Linda Howard, Jude Deveraux and the list goes on.... :)

8:58 AM  
Blogger Pink Pen said...

I always liked the show Sliders, even though they didn't travel back and forth in time, they traveled between dimensions and into new worlds. And you really can't go wrong with Jerry O'Connell for eye candy *Grin*

10:10 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Dee said...

I can't believe I missed this blog yesterday. I LOVE time travel stuff. The Back to the Future movies are a brilliant example of the genre. So many little details are there for repeated viewings. Eg. At the beginning it's Twin Pines mall and after Marty has gone into the past and mown down the pine farmer's trees in the front yard with the DeLorean it becomes Lone Pine mall at the end of the movie. Check it out. After watching this movie countless times, I only noticed this detail on a recent re-watch.
Every time I watch BttF I wish I had written it. How fulfilling to be a screenwriter and see your words come to life!
I liked 12 Monkeys, btw, sad ending and all.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Dee said...

Nessie, I also have a time travel book, Evolving Man, which I'm shopping around right now. Mine brings men from past and future to the present time with comic results as three female roommates learn that past, present or future, men don't change too much.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say one of my favorite time travel books is Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. Man...I love this book. It's gotta be one of the best romances...ever. Plus Linda Howard's Son of the Morning. That book was awesome. Didn't enjoy her latest time travel though. Bummer.

And I'll agree with Pink Pen on Sliders.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Meljprincess said...

I agree with Cyn about Diana Gabaldon. I also love TT books by Lynn Kurland.

As for movies, I love the Austin Powers trio. Especially GOLDMEMBER. LOL!

11:19 AM  
Blogger Dee said...

Do I get brownie points if I say my favorite time travel book is Heart of a Soldier? No? Well, I tried. It is a fabulous book!

I loved the Diana Gabaldon series that started with Outlander. Wow! It was so sexy and fun and sexy and adventurous and sexy. I've loved every other one in the series, lol. #2 and #4 didn't light me up all that much, but #1 and #3 did! I still haven't read the latest additions. One of the books I picked up in Scotland, in a little bookshop outside Culoden, which gave it special meaning.

Also, Crighton's Timeline was great! And Jude Deveraux's Knight in Shining Armour was funny and sweet.

For movies, Somewhere in Time. was hokey but I still watched it all the way (3 times) and cried at the end. I thought they did as good a job on Timeline on the screen as the book.

I'm sure there are more... I need to read Lightning on your recommendation.


11:30 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

In my opinion, the all-time greatest time travel TV show was Doctor Who. It ran on the BBC from 1963-1989, with a revival in 1996 and new episodes being made for BBC Wales even as I write this; plus the Sci-Fi Channel is going to show the new episodes starting in March (I recommend this show to everyone, even though I've only seen one of the new episodes; I'm a moderator on a Doctor Who newsgroup and, from what everyone has said, it's amazing!).
Also, I just heard an audio CD called The Tomorrow People: Lords of Forever. It's a full-cast audio recording about a man who kills someone in the past and, while his action appears to have created a utopia, underneath the perfection was something entirely evil.
The most twisted time-related show I've ever seen was another British Sci-Fi series called Saphhire and Steel, starring David McCallum. It's about two agents who go around correcting problems with time. It's really strange, but pretty cool too!

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Suz deMello said...

I know it's not a popular choice, but I loved Linda Howard's time travel, SON OF THE MORNING. (I think was the title.) I don't usually like the Scottish thing, bt she did a good job and her hero was sooooo sexy...she writes the best guys ever!

11:53 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Dee said...

Oh my gosh, how can we not mention Quantum Leap? When I see it now, it's so cheesy and dated and goofy, but I watched it faithfully back in the early 90s.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous chibi-hentai said...

*grins* Favorite time travel book... i don't read much time travel, i must admit. It either takes place in a certain time, or the present, or the future, or another planet, etc.

But one time travel book that sticks in my head is Time and Again by Nora Roberts. It was fantastic, and i just adored the characters.

Many blessings,

12:27 PM  
Blogger snowflake said...

A Man in A Kilt by Sandy Blair, A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Caffey said...

I love all types of Time Travels but I remember my first venture into one and that was Kathleen Kane (Maureen Child THIS TIME FOR KEEPS. Its a time travel that she travels back to the old west! Those are the best! It was funny at times, sad, and just worked so well in the story. Another western was by Kristin Hannah called ONCE IN EVERY LIFE and she's deaf and she time travels to the west too, but into a woman who was very mean to her husband who was dealing with Post Tramantic Stress Syndrome from the war and took him so much to believe that her being nice was that she was a new wife to him. I cried. Its beautiful. I could go on forever. I love all time travels and can't wait to read this one.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Cynthya said...

My favorite time travel book is Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. I also enjoyed many of the books already mentioned, especially A Knight in Shining Armor and Lynn Kurland's time travels. Two non-romance time travels I enjoyed are Replay by Ken Grimwood and To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

Oh my gosh, Lynn, Dr. Who was great!! I wish I'd seen Saphires and Steel. Because of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I had the biggest crush on David McCallum when I was a kid.

Since I adore Linda Howard, Suz, I'm going to have to look for her time travel.

Dee (who's sorry to butt in on Nessie's day)

1:10 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

i don't much go into time travel films. didn't really like the terminator. much more of a romantic comedy fan *grin*

i like time travel in my romances but haven't read many yet.touch of enchantment by teresa medeiros is really good. that might only be in print, though.

www.elizabethsreviews.blogspot.com (check out the contest!)

1:52 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...


Gotta agree with you about Sandra Hill's. The first of those i read was the very virile viking (completely out of order, i know!) loved it! got me out looking for the rest in the series! *grin*

www.elizabethsreviews.blogspot.com (check out the contest!)

1:55 PM  
Blogger Vanessa Hart said...

WOW! I can't keep up with the posts! I had no idea there were so many time travel novels out there.

Dee, you get extra bonus points for liking Heart of a Soldier, but you can't win the prize. Sorry. I really appreciate the plug, though.

We've not heard yet from my little sister, Vivian. I'm beginning to worry about her. Oh, Vivian, where art thou?

Vanessa, the older Hart**g**

2:04 PM  
Blogger Vanessa Hart said...

I found Vivian! Her comment was posted by the liaison so it didn't bear her name. Duh. This red-head can be so blond sometimes!

I owe my talented little sister for nudging me into the paranormal sub-genre. I had never written anything but contemporary until now. I figured she was the versatile writer in the Hart family. But she had faith in me and says I did a good job. If you read Heart of a Soldier and agree, please let me know. If you don't agree *Gulp!* let me know that as well.


2:23 PM  
Anonymous Rae Morgan said...

Well, since I got to critique Heart of a Soldier, I would have to say that is my favorite. Nessie, you know that I am not a big fan of time-travel novels, but yours made me a believer. It was so well done that I didn't even care it was a time-travel -- and I love the ending, so that made it even that much better.

Oh and the hot sex had something to do with it also.

Rae Morgan

4:04 PM  
Blogger Vivian Hart said...

I LOVED Time AFter Time! I know the whole movie by heart. Vivian

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Jazzercisin' Jo said...

Well NONE of the time travel stories can come close to Heart of a Soldier! The others leave you a bit unsatisfied or with some things unresolved.

But, like Rae, I'm not a big fan of the genre.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Vanessa Hart said...

I LOVED Time AFter Time! I know the whole movie by heart. Vivian

Hey, sis, what about Quantum Leap? Remember we both used to watch that program.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Pamk said...

oh my goodess such good shows. I loved Dr who, Back to the Future, and The terminator series. Time travel books I like the ones that go like from the present time to the future. Bonnie yours sounds interesting and I like Sanra Hill vikings at least the ones that come forward to our time. And did Johanna Lindsey do a timetravel one something about a god that came forward to the present it was very good too.

7:10 PM  

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