Time slip

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the plot device in fiction. For other uses, see timeslip (disambiguation).

A time slip is a plot device used in fantasy and science fiction in which a person, or group of people, seem to travel through time by unknown means for a period of time.[1][2]

The idea of a time slip has been utilized by a number of science fiction and fantasy writers popularized at the end of the 19th century by Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, having considerable influence on later writers.[3] This is one of the main plot devices of time travel stories, the other being a time machine. The difference is that in time slip stories, the protagonist typically has no control and no understanding of the process (which is often never explained at all) and is either left marooned in a past time and must make the best of it, or is eventually returned by a process as unpredictable and uncontrolled.[4] The plot device is also popular in children's literature.[5][6]

The event has also been alleged as a paranormal phenomena, the most widely investigated of which is the Moberly–Jourdain incident.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charlie Jane Anders (2009-06-12). "Timeslip romance". io9. Retrieved 2015-08-27. 
  2. ^ Palmer, Christopher (2007). Philip K. Dick: Exhilaration and Terror of the Postmodern (Repr. ed.). Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-85323-618-4. 
  3. ^ James, Edward; Mendlesohn, Farah (2002). The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 106. ISBN 9781107493735. 
  4. ^ Schweitzer, Darrell (2009). The Fantastic Horizon: Essays and Reviews (1st ed.). [Rockville, Md.?]: Borgo Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-4344-0320-9. 
  5. ^ Lucas, Ann Lawson (2003). The Presence of the Past in Children's Literature. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. p. 113. ISBN 9780313324833. 
  6. ^ Tess Cosslett (2002-04-01). "Project MUSE - "History from Below": Time-Slip Narratives and National Identity" (PDF). muse.jhu.edu. Retrieved 2015-09-15. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Forman, Joan (1978). Mask of Time: The Mystery Factor in Timeslips, Precognition and Hindsight. UK: MacDonald. ISBN 978-0-354-04271-0. 
  • Mackenzie, Andrew (1997). Adventures in Time:Encounters with the Past. UK: Athlone. ISBN 978-0-485-82001-0.