Like 'Looper'? 6 Time-Travel Tales You Should Read

Did you, like us, leave the theater this weekend befuddled, bemused and slightly bewildered by "Looper"? Did you engaged in endless conversations about the logic of time travel...and how creepy that little kid was? If so, you might be jonesing for a fresh follow-up that scratches your sci-fi itch (that is what that unsightly rash is, right?). To wit, Hollywood Crush writer Kat Rosenfield and I are here to offer up our list of literary faves lending their own twist to the well-worn time-travel trope (no DeLorean necessary).

"Tempest," by Julie Cross

Probably the closest in theme and tone to Rian Johnson's time-travel thriller, "Tempest" tells the tale of teen Jackson Meyer, who following the murder of his girlfriend, Holly, involuntarily jumps back two years—unable to return to his present. Part action-adventure, part romance, Jackson must outrun shadowy agents known as "Enemies of Time" while ensuring Holly doesn't meet the same harrowing fate all over again. —AW

"Slaughterhouse Five," by Kurt Vonnegut

Whether you read it as an allegorical musing on fatalism and free will, or as one man's absurdist (and possibly hallucinogenic) time travelogue, Vonnegut's tale of a hapless soldier and alien abductee who experiences his life out of order is one of the few works of science fiction to appear on pretty much every literary best-of list ever written. Following a man named Billy as he travels back and forth through time, visiting himself in moments both mundane and pivotal, "Slaughterhouse Five" will leave you with a lot of questions and a headache—as every good time-travel story should. —KR

"The Time Traveler's Wife," by Audrey Niffenegger

Be sure to stock up on the Puffs Plus before delving into Niffenegger's 2003 debut—you're gonna need 'em. Dashing librarian Henry DeTamble was born with a genetic disorder (Chrono-Displacement) that causes him to involuntarily time travel, beginning at the tender age of five. In his late twenties, he meets artist Clare Abshire, but Clare met Henry long ago—he began visiting her as a child, revealing they would one day be together. Henry's affliction causes no shortage of problems for the couple, leaving readers to discover whether the couple's love truly can stand the test of time. —AW

"The House on the Strand," by Daphne du Maurier

Dick Young, a listless and unhappy man, seeks solace at the English country home of biophysicist friend Magnus Lane—and in the wild, mysterious lives of a couple who lived centuries ago. Experimenting with a psychotropic drug developed by Magnus, Dick finds his consciousness projected back to the 1400s, where he observes but cannot alter the tragic love affair between the sophisticated Lady Isolde and the steward who adores her. As his addiction to visiting the past grows, he risks his life and his sanity to see the story through to its end. —KR

"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children," by Ransom Riggs

To dive too deeply into the era-warping particulars of Riggs' eye-popping tome would be to spoil the narrative, methinks, but suffice it to say, a mysterious orphanage in which time seems to have stood still plays a big part in the tale of 16-year-old Jacob as he tries to solve the murder of his beloved grandfather. —AW

"11/22/63," by Stephen King

King's first foray into straight-up sci-fi, 11/22/63 is the story of a man who discovers that history can, in fact, be changed—and becomes obsessed with trying to do just that. Using a wormhole that transports its traveler back to the fall of 1958, he embarks on a mission to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy, in the hopes of making the future a better and more peaceful place. A change of pace for the prolific author, the book is an ambitious and inventive work that still contains plenty of King-issue scares and suspense. —KR