Time Travel in the 18th and 19th Centuries

When you think of early time travel stories, you'll most likely think of H. G. Wells’ 1895 novel, The Time Machine. But did you know that there were many novels and short stories, written before 1895, with time travel as a central theme. Here's a list of stories you may be interested in checking out. I've added links where I could find them.
  • 1733: Memoirs of the Twentieth Century by Samuel Madden. A guardian angel travels to 1728 with missives from late 1990s.
  • 1781: Anno 7603 by Johan Herman Wessel. A good fairy sends people to 7603 AD where gender roles are reversed in society.
  • 1819: Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. Technically Rip Van Winkle slept for 20 years, but was effectively 'transported' into the future where his wife has died, his daughter is grown up and he is forgotten.
  • 1836: The Forebears of Kalimeros: Alexander, son of Philip of Macedon by Alexander Veltman . The protagonist travels to ancient Greece on a hippogriff. This is considered the first Russian SF work.
  • 1843: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Scrooge is shown his past and future by three ghosts. This story was one of the inspirations for Viola's Christmas adventure.
  • 1846: The World As It Will Be by Emile Souvestre. Involves a journey to 3000 on flying locomotive, showing a future with shades of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. (This appears to be first story to use a machine as means of transport.)
  • 1881: The Clock That Went Backward by Edward Page Mitchell Three men go back to the 16th century by way of a clock. (Wikipedia quotes this as first to use a time machine.)
  • 1861: Paris before Men by Pierre Boitard A deamon takes the protagonist back in time to find  apelike creatures and dinosaurs.
  • 1887: El anacronópete by Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau A group of adventurers travel back to 1492 Spain, Ancient China, Vesuviius and time of Noah. This story also features a machine as for of time transportation (the anacronópete of the title) -  a cast iron box powered by electricity.
  • 1887: Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy reminiscent of Rip Van Winkle. traveller wakes 113 years later from a hypnosis-induced sleep.
  • 1888: The Chronic Argonauts by HG wells This story is set in Welsh Village where a visitor proves to be a time traveller. The Chronic Argonauth was written six years before The Time Machine. The short story was mentioned in Tomorrow, When I Die, and was one of the inspirations for the story.
  • 1889: Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll involving a watch determining time.
  • 1889: A connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court by Mark Twain An American travels back in time to King Arthurs court, and uses his scientific knowledge to rise in the court.
  • 1892: Golf in the year 2000  by J McCullough Another sleep-travel story - 1892 to 2000, where golf and politics are the only activities not dominated by women.
  • 1895: Finally we get to the well-known classic - The Time Machine by HG Wells.
The initial idea of Viola's penultimate adventure, Tomorrow, When I Die, was sparked by two of the books on this list: A Christmas Carol and The Chronic Argonauts. The story is set over Christmas, 1889. Viola is given a copy of The Chronic Argonauts by her friend, Sir Archibald Huntington-Smythe. And here's some further reading about time travel in the 19th Century:

Photo Friday: Books, Tophats and Steampunk Festival

Tomorrow is the book launch for From the Depths and Tomorrow, When I Die at the Steampunk Festival at National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide - scheduled for after lunch on Saturday. Those attending will be able to buy copies of both ebooks at the special launch price of US$0.99 - just for the weekend of the Festival. If you're attending, come up to the table and mention this post to get the voucher code.

 

The third eBook is scheduled for September publication. I'll also be taking pre-orders for the third journal (paperback) The Illusioneer  & Other Tales - the compilation of all three eBooks. This should be arriving late September/early October.

PRE-ORDER your own copy of JOURNAL #3 at Steampunk Festival $20 - includes postage within Australia.

Come and see me at the table. The first 50 pre-orders get a signed postcard of the paperback cover (to be revealed over the weekend).

You can also purchase some of my newest craft projects - crocheted tophats (Green:$15/ octopuses:$20)

  

Here's my own tophat!

And if you are entering the costume competition, then don't forget to say hello. I've been asked to help judge the costume competitions on both days. Prizes will be awarded 2.00-2.30pm on both Saturday and Sunday. (Ask at the entry door for more details on how to enter).

Here's some costumes from previous events to inspire you:

Photos (c)2017 Karen Carlisle/ Catherine Curl. All rights resereved.

Where Ideas Come From

One of the first questions a writer is asked is: where do you get your ideas? 

For me, it can be a picture that inspires a quirky character who drives the narrative (as in The Department of Curiosities). For other stories it's a phrase that catches my imagination - as in 'An Eye for Detail' and Tomorrow, When I Die. 

Documentaries seem to trigger ideas for many of my stories, tickling my imagination with 'what if'? I begin to formulate alternative explanations, especially if they can provide a mystery to intrigue the ever-curious Viola. Doctor Jack was one such story. What if Jack the Ripper was being organised by a secret society in their nefarious plot to take over the Empire? It almost wrote itself.

From the Depths was one such story. This time it was a documentary on the Loch Ness monster I had seen a few years ago. A story had been bubbling in the back of my brain, and Viola demanded she get her shot at it. After all, she'd need a holiday after her recent shenanigans. A holiday at the sea was the perfect tonic.

But what would happen if there was something lurking in the waters off St Andrew's beach? And the story was born.

"Viola needs a holiday. But even while on holiday at the beach … there are things afoot."

A Cog is Dead song inspired the title: From the Depths. Perfect.

The eBook of the novelette, From the Depths, should be available as eBook, later this week (barring electronic hiccups). Tomorrow, When I Die (also novelette) should be available as eBook the following week - just in time for it's launch at the Steampunk Festival on 19th August.

  

The last novella in this current series, The Illusioneer, is planned for eBook publication in September, with the paperback compilation available in late September/early October.

Each will be priced at $1.99 - as they are longer stories.

And here's an excerpt from From the Depths:
A shriek pierced the air. Viola flinched. Brine filled her mouth and rushed up her nostrils. She spluttered, thrust her legs downward into the deep chilly water and kicked to keep her head above water.

Men shouted, their cries unintelligible through water-logged eardrums. The other bathing machine thundered into life. Chains rattled, the engine strained. Frenzied splashes of water accompanied its retreat.

The water trembled around her, pounding on her chest. Viola gasped for air. A new undercurrent tugged at her legs. She rubbed the salt from her eyes and searched the surrounding water. Nothing.v

Bubbles tickled her body and erupted on the surface. Something solid grazed her calf. Viola's heart jumped. The Lurker? Goosebumps crawled over her skin.

There's no such thing as monsters.

Water rumbled and churned. Waves sloshed against her torso. She jerked her knees up to her chest, struggling to untangle her limbs from the snarl of the heavy woollen skirt of her bathing costume.

There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters.

Viola shivered. She had drifted further from the bathing machine than she had thought; the candy-striped change box was nearly eighty yards away, the shore even more distant.

A crowd was gathering on the shoreline, waving their arms and shouting.

"Get out of the water!"

Two men swam toward her. Another bathing machine trundled in their wake. The sea hissed. Too close.

Spurts of water burst from the surface. A large shadow lurked beneath her.

Viola's heart raced, her breathing shallow. She wanted to run, to flee, to swim to the safety of the change box, but her arms refused to move.

There's no such thing as monsters.

The shadow turned and glided southward towards the headland. A trace of bubbles marked its course, fading as the shadow disappeared into deeper waters.

The two men splashed closer. Uncomfortably close. Their bare arms glowed white against the dark water.

"Get out of the water!"

***

Words and photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.