Time Travel Via One's Own Thread of Consciousness

This list includes stories about people who travel through time along their own thread of consciousness. Typically, this means their future self "possesses", if you will, their past self and relives a scene. One may or may not have the ability to act independently: typically not. (Or, even if the character can act independently, the point of the story turns out to be that nothing he does can make a difference anyway.) A close variant, examples of which are also included, is stories where the person experiences time out of order: the most famous story of this type might be the Busby. The column for TYPE tries to indicate in shorthand the general idea. I.e. "Backward" means reliving life backwards, "Revisit" means specifically visiting a past event, etc. (I include an asterisk in the COMMENT field if I've actually read the story.) For this latest update Andrew Breitenbach reminded me that stories about Merlin which emphasize his living his life backwards would also qualify. Frankly I don't want to open up a flood of Arthurian stories to this list -- and most of them have little to do with Merlin's backward living anyway -- so I'm just listing the story Andrew suggested, "Winter Solstice" by Mike Resnick. If I'm wrong, either about specific information, or even to include the story at all, or if you know of any other stories that might fit the category, please email me at richard.horton@sff.net.


AUTHOR TITLE DATE TYPE COMMENTS
Martin Amis Time's Arrow 1991 Backward *A Nazi Doctor relives his life backward, such that the people he kills are seen as coming to life. May not really fit here, because the entity living backwards might be independent of the original consciousness. It's a tour de force, though.
F. M. Busby "If This is Winnetka, You Must Be Judy" 1976 Out of Order *
David Brin and Daniel Brin "A Stage of Memory" 1986 . *
S. N. Dyer "The Nostalginauts" 1997 Revisit *
Sumner Locke Elliott The Man Who Got Away 1972 Backward *In some ways reminiscent of Amis' Time's Arrow, except that I would call the Amis book SF, and this one mainstream using the backward travel as a literary device.
Ken Grimwood Replay 1987 Do Over .
Charles Harness The Paradox Men 1953 Do Over *A complicated plot, as with much Harness, that may not precisely fit my definitions, but resembles the basic idea.
Ben Jeapes "Pages Out of Order" 1997 Out of Order *
James Patrick Kelly "Bierhorst, etc. 'Proof the Existence of God...'" 1998 Future *The full title is "Bierhorst, R.G., Seera, B.L., and Jannifer, R.P. 'Proof of the Existence of God and an Afterlife.' Journal of Experimental Psychology. Volume 95, Spring, 2007, Pages 32-36"
Ian MacLeod "Marnie" 1991 Revisit *
Fritz Leiber "The Man Who Never Grew Young" 1947 Backwards .
George R. R. Martin "... for a Single Yesterday" 1975 Revisit *
J. T. McIntosh "Playback" 1954 Revisit *
J. B. Priestley The Magicians 1954 Revisit .
Mike Resnick "Winter Solstice" 1991 Backward *
Lewis Shiner Deserted Cities of the Heart 1989 Revisit .
Robert Silverberg "Now + n, Now - n" 1972 Out of Order *
Norman Spinrad "The Weed of Time" 1970 All at Once *
James Tiptree, Jr. "Backward, Turn Backward" 1988 Do Over *
James Tiptree, Jr. "Forever to a Hudson Bay Blanket" 1972 Revisit *
Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse-5 1969 Out of Order *
Charles Williams Many Dimensions 1931 . .
Roger Zelazny "Divine Madness" 1966 . .
*I've personally read the stories with asterisks.