I'm trying to recall a book I read ages ago. It was probably a British novel, about a man who had an accident (perhaps car accident) and woke up ten year ahead in the future. In the novel, he stayed in each decade for a couple of days and travelled to the next decade without warning. The time travel happened quite a few times and the time probably covered from 1960s to 2000s.

  • 2
    Hello and welcome to SFF! Do you remember when you first read this novel? In what language did you read it?
    – Orlahm
    Dec 8, 2023 at 10:00
  • 1
    Sounds like the reverse of Life on Mars.
    – Spencer
    Dec 8, 2023 at 16:55
  • With so few details it can be "The Year of the Quiet Sun" by Wilson Tucker, as well.
    – AcePL
    Dec 8, 2023 at 22:16
  • I recall a story of a man who invented a device (more stasis than time travel) and ended up wiring it into his car. But it malfunctions. In testing the first time he uses it, he blips out for 1 minute?, next time its like 20 minutes?, then its 3 hours?, and his car has moved a few inches? Then for 2-3 days? The car reappears in the street and is hit by another car. Every time he is in stasis for a longer time exponentially. The police try to arrest him for the crash, he presses it to escape and is gone months? People realize what is happening and calculate where and when he will appear next.
    – NJohnny
    Dec 9, 2023 at 4:14
  • 2
    @NJohnny The Outer Limits episode is S2E21 Vanishing Act
    – Shawn
    Dec 13, 2023 at 3:17

2 Answers 2


Not sure how long ago you mean by ages. But possibly the 2007 Joe Haldeman novel The Accidental Time Machine? It is not a perfect match as the MC does start later than 1960 and eventually travels far beyond the year 2000. However, some other points that seem to match are:

  1. He did accidentally create a time machine

  2. MC does at one point end up in a busy street causing accidents which could be the traveling in his car you remember. "May 15, 2059: 465 days later. Appears on a busy highway."

  3. The next jump after the one above is 15 years, not 10 years. But is pretty close to that.

  4. He continues jumping staying for a short period at each timeline.

The MC is not British but does start in New England (Boston, Mass.)

  • This is the book I was describing in my comments in the OPs question. Good Find.
    – NJohnny
    Dec 9, 2023 at 20:59

When the Waker Sleeps?

The steps are of 50 years rather than 10 years, and starts in the 1970s, but otherwise Ron Goulart's When the Waker Sleeps (1975) fits the bill. from the back cover:

You've heard of the mad scientist's beautiful daughter? Well, Nat Kobean made the mistake of taking a pass at the mad scientist's beautiful wife ... and thereby became a guinea pig for Dr. Dumpus's Dose. The dose was a serum that would enable one to travel into the future by naps of fifty years duration. The unsolved part of the experiment was that the sleepers would only stay awake a limited time before falling asleep again for another half century. So when Nat woke up fifty years later he had to act fast to find an antidote. But an antidote in a world so changed was a problem that required too much time to locate. So it was back to sleep and up again and back to sleep and up again..... And what kept happening to the world while the Waker slept makes Ron Goulart's new novel, a mad, mad version of the Wellsian classic of when the Sleeper woke.

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  • Wow!! There is a name I have not hear in a long time... I remember reading quite a few Ron Goulart short stories and novels when I was growing up (70s & 80s) and they were always on store bookshelves. And while I still see mentions and reprints of other authors of the time, I cant remember when the last time was I saw Ron Goulart mentioned or one of his books. (looks like most of his stuff was not really republished. Maybe just too quirky to be popular.)
    – NJohnny
    Dec 12, 2023 at 7:00

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