Time travel is a multifaceted topic that sparks many debates, theories and interpretations. If you’re anything like us, though, you know that a great book with a story that transports you to another time and place is the next best thing. Here are just a few of the books about time travel we reach for when we need something out of this world.

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

In a world where multiverse travel is possible as long as one’s counterparts are no longer alive in that universe, Cara thrives as the perfect candidate due to her parallel selves dying on 372 different worlds. This status takes her out of the impoverished wastelands that she once knew and puts her into a life of comfort on the dystopian Earth she is still alive in. Cara still has eight counterparts left, however, and when one of them dies mysteriously, she is forced to delve into a new world with a secret that threatens the entire multiverse. Join Cara on her exploration of identity in a multiverse of rich characters and powerful social commentary. 

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Dana is celebrating her 26th birthday in California when she is suddenly whisked back in time to the antebellum South, where she must save the white son of a plantation owner. As Dana must survive in her new life as a slave, her strengths are tested and danger befalls her and threatens her future existence. 

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

A classic science-fiction novel in a non-linear narration style, Slaughterhouse-Five encapsulates the essence of time travel. Billy Pilgrim, a chaplain’s assistant, survives the terrors of World War II and then retreats to a more quiet life as an optometrist. However, his life is catapulted back into chaos as he is kidnapped by aliens on his wedding night. The story is told in a travel through time and recounts Billy’s eclectic experiences. 

Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

Kin Stewart, once a time traveling secret agent, is now living a normal life working in IT and trying to understand his wife and teenage daughter. What his family doesn’t know is that he was stuck in 1990 after a time travel gone wrong. The past catches up to him when his rescue team comes back for him, eighteen years after the incident, and have been summoned to return him to his family– a different, unfamiliar one– in 2142. Now, Kin must protect the existence of his daughter, and he is willing to break the rules of time travel and the agency to do so.

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

Two time traveling agents, Blue and Red, are pitted against each other in the ongoing war across time and space. While the two are determined to win the battle, their plans are intervened when Blue and Red start a correspondence between one another and it turns a rivalry into a romance. 

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

A serial killer novel that defies the fabric of time, Kirby Mazrachi is the last of the shining girls, and the last of Harper Curtis’ targets. Using time travel to disappear without a trace, Harper’s perfect streak is disrupted when one of his victims, Kirby, survives. As a result, the two are on the hunt for one another and truths will be unveiled as Kirby works alongside a reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

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