Killing Hitler – Changing history and time travel

Making HistoryIf you were a time traveller, what would you do? Besides making a killing on Google shares, maybe go to Austria and kill a soon to be famous resident? The idea of killing Adolf Hitler is one of those things time travellers grapple with.

In the new graphic novel I Killed Adolf Hitler by Jason, a Norwegian cartoonist who mixes “outre fantasy with deadpan romanticism”, the protagonist is hired to go back in time to kill Adolf Hitler via a time machine that takes 50 years to fully charge. He only has one chance, but messes up, allowing Hitler to come to the present day.

Making history by the wonderfully funny Stephen Fry has a similar plotline … what if you could put some contraceptive in the water in an Austrian village and ensure Hitler is never even a glint in his mother’s eye.

I recently read Joe Haldeman’s The Accidental Time Machine. It is a quick, compulsively readable story about Matt, a MIT student who is working on a calibrator that somehow becomes a time machine. But Matt can only plow forward through history … at an alarming exponential rate. Each time he uses the machine, he leaps ahead 12 times further into the future. It is a clever version of the old time machine malarkey.

See our books on time travel and an earlier posting on Alternate History for more permutations of the old “What if” formula.