9 Books Like 'Travelers' For Readers Looking For More Time-Travel & Sci-Fi Adventures
We all know the drill: you finish binging an incredible Netflix show, and then you immediately want more. And with all the intense action in Travelers, I finished the show wanting to read as many science fiction books — specifically, time-travel books — as I could get my hands on.
For the uninitiated, Travelers is a Netflix series about people from a dystopian future who travel backwards in time in order to take over the bodies of 21st century people and enact a secret plan to change the future of humanity.
I'm a time-travel junkie. Whether it's on TV or in books, I love it when the fabric of spacetime is messed around with, from the danger it creates to the philosophical questions it stirs up. You'll find a plethora of time travel books on this list, covering a wide range of ideas about how the universe is structured.
But Travelers is about more than just time travel. As the travelers attempt to settle into the lives of their hosts and start playing around with the known future, they have to confront questions about moral responsibility, the nature of identity, and where the line is drawn while "playing God" with people's lives. Many of the books you'll see on this list ask similar questions, and raise some important ones of their own.
So, grab your library card and buckle up. These books are about to take you on that wild ride you've been longing for:
1. 'All Our Wrong Todays' by Elan Mastai
The similarities between this book and Travelers are simply uncanny. Tom Barren lives in a 2016 that resembles a '50s version of the future, complete with flying cars. But a time-travel mishap sends Tom to our real-life version of 2016, which, to Tom, looks like a dystopian wasteland. Now he's faced with a decision: should he try to fix the flow of time so that his version of 2016 comes to be, or should he try to build a new life in our messy reality?
2. 'Blowback' by Valerie Plame and Sarah Lovett
If you loved all the special agent, undercover, action-adventure vibes of Travelers, then the Vanessa Pierson series is definitely for you. Co-written by Valerie Plame, a real-life former CIA ops officer, these books follows the high-action, high-stakes mission of Vaness Pierson, a kickass CIA ops officer determined to capture the world's most dangerous nuclear arms dealer.
3. 'Slaughterhouse-Five' by Kurt Vonnegut
If you haven't read this classic yet, you need to get on it. Billy Pilgrim has become "unstuck" in time after being abducted by aliens, causing him to spin back and forth between all the phases of his life — including his time as a prisoner of war in World War II Dresden.
4. 'Kindred' by Octavia E. Butler
One of legendary author Octavia E. Butler's most famous works, Kindred is about a black woman who is suddenly wrenched from her life in 1976 and sent to antebellum Maryland. In a series of death-defying time-travel episodes, she comes to realize that she has been tasked with protecting the young slaveholder who would one day father her own great-grandmother.
5. 'Doomsday Book' by Connie Willis
If you appreciated how basically nothing goes as planned in Travelers, buckle up for the ride that is Doomsday Book. When Oxford student Kivrin is sent back to the Middle Ages for a research project, she's accidentally sent to 1348 — the year of the Black Death.
6. 'More Happy Than Not' by Adam Silvera
This book hits on Travelers' themes of identity and memory. As depressed teen Aaron confronts his father's suicide and his own newly discovered queerness, he considers a revolutionary new memory-alteration procedure that promises to change who he is... forever.
7. 'Uglies' by Scott Westerfeld
This entire dystopian trilogy is perfect for readers who loved the advanced tech and heart-pumping adventure of Travelers. In Tally's society, teenagers get an operation that turns transforms them from 'uglies' into 'pretties' when they turn 16. But before her operation, Tally's friend, Shay, runs away, and Tally discovers the dark truth about pretties.
8. 'How to Live Safely In a Science Fictional Universe' by Charles Yu
In this universe, time travel is part of the daily grind, and Charles Yu is a time-travel technician, tasked with saving people from themselves. But he's also on a quest to find his father — a search that takes him into the far reaches of time.
9. 'The Lathe of Heaven' by Ursula K. Le Guin
One of Ursula K. Le Guin's most lauded works, The Lathe of Heaven asks questions about morality and responsibility that every character on Travelers also faces. When George Orr discovers he has the ability to dream things into reality, he's forced to question what his duty is and confront the ultimate power he holds in his hands.