© 2019

The Time Machine Hypothesis

Extreme Science Meets Science Fiction


  • An entertaining whirlwind tour of conceivable time travel scenarios?

  • Delivers solid science about the prospects for time machines

  • Explores familiar and more imaginative possibilities for travel in the 4th dimension

  • Calls upon some 50 significant science fiction texts


Part of the Science and Fiction book series (SCIFICT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Spacetime Time

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Damien Broderick
      Pages 3-14
    3. Damien Broderick
      Pages 15-24
    4. Damien Broderick
      Pages 25-36
    5. Damien Broderick
      Pages 37-48
  3. Time Machine Time

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 49-49
    2. Damien Broderick
      Pages 51-80
    3. Damien Broderick
      Pages 81-105
    4. Damien Broderick
      Pages 107-118
    5. Damien Broderick
      Pages 119-134
    6. Damien Broderick
      Pages 135-148
    7. Damien Broderick
      Pages 149-160
    8. Damien Broderick
      Pages 161-175
    9. Damien Broderick
      Pages 177-189
  4. A Thought Experiment Is Not a Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 191-191
    2. Damien Broderick
      Pages 193-216
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 223-243

About this book


Every age has characteristic inventions that change the world. In the 19th century it was the steam engine and the train. For the 20th, electric and gasoline power, aircraft, nuclear weapons, even ventures into space. Today, the planet is awash with electronic business, chatter and virtual-reality entertainment so brilliant that the division between real and simulated is hard to discern. But one new idea from the 19th century has failed, so far, to enter reality—time travel, using machines to turn the time dimension into a two-way highway. Will it come true, as foreseen in science fiction? Might we expect visits to and from the future, sooner than from space? That is the Time Machine Hypothesis, examined here by futurist Damien Broderick, an award-winning writer and theorist of the genre of the future. Broderick homes in on the topic through the lens of science as well as fiction, exploring some fifty different time-travel scenarios and conundrums found in the science fiction literature and film.


scifi for scientists time machines visiting past and future fiction for scientists warped spacetime parallel alternative alternative histories time patrols black holes and spacetime singularities

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.San AntonioUSA

About the authors

Damien Broderick is an award-winning novelist, critic and theorist who holds a doctorate in the comparative discourse analysis of the sciences and humanities. He has published 75 books, some of them collaboratively or as editor. An Australian, he currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. His latest book is Consciousness and Science Fiction, also from Springer. 

Bibliographic information


“If you have a fascination for the subject, then the book is for you. … He believes it would be favourable to a time traveller to remain detached and observe from a distance.” (John Silvester, Odyssey The e-Magazine of the British Interplanetary Society, Issue 66, 2020)

“The Time Machine Hypothesis captures the wonder that so many readers of sf feel when they first learn that scientists in the real world actually do study the possibility of time travel and that there may be something to these fantastic stories after all.” (James Hamby, Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 47, November, 2020)