Stephen King is one of the most commonly adapted authors of all time. The newest example is premiering on Hulu this month: the adaptation of King's 2011 time-travel thriller 11/23/63. In this eight-part miniseries, James Franco stars as an English teacher who travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Like many good stories, things do not necessarily go as planned. In this case, history may have something to say about changing the timeline.
Time-travel stories are a fairly common trope in genre fiction, and one of my favorites. If you liked 11/23/63 or its adaptation, here are some other recent time travel adventures that are worth checking out....
The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray
The Lost Time Accidents gives readers a look at time travel from a very personal point of view: that of its tortured narrator Waldemar "Waldy" Tolliver, who wakes up one day in his apartment to find that he has been removed from the normal flow of time. Wally is haunted by a failed relationship and writes a book to his lost love as he tries to find his way back. Through this pop culture–laden narrative, readers witness his family's preoccupation with the concept of time and their darkest secrets.
Every Anxious Wave by Mo Daviau
As is popular in many science-fiction books, Mo Daviau's Every Anxious Wave asks a "What if?" question: what if you could go back in time to see any band play? Which one would you choose? Karl Bender, an unfulfilled 30-something bar owner, turns that very premise into a business when he finds a wormhole that allows for time travel in his closet. Karl, an ex-musician, and his friend Wayne set up a business where they send people back in time to watch their favorite bands play. But then Karl inadvertently sends Wayne to the wrong time and can't bring him back, so he enlists the help of a physicist who has her own ideas about using time travel to erase her traumatic past.
Destroyer by Brett Battles
In Rewinder, protagonist Denny Younger, hired by a corporation to travel to the past and verify historical events, witnesses the alteration of history. Now, in Destroyer, Denny is out to save the future. That'll prove to be a difficult task. He's stuck in the past with the last known rewinder device. The trouble is, it's just been stolen by the same shadowy figures who kidnapped his girlfriend.
Time and Time Again by Ben Elton
The ultimate dream of anyone possessing the ability to travel through time is to go back and change the course of history for the better. That's certainly the intention of ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer Hugh Stanton. He hails from the year 2024 where war has resulted in a collective suicidal madness that destroys European civilization and brings misery to millions of people. So now Stanton's back in 1914 and out to prevent World War I, which has been commonly identified as the beginning of society's decline.
Weighing Shadows by Lisa Goldstein
Ann Decker is a computer repairwoman by day and a hacker by night. Her life changes when she is recruited by a mysterious organization called Transformations Incorporated, inventor of a time machine. Ann is whisked away on one mission after another all over history, from ancient Crete to the Library of Alexandria. But what, exactly, is Transformations Incorporated up to? Suspicions are raised even higher when a co-worker is found dead and Ann's superiors warn her of a covert group called Core whose mission seems to be a deadly game of corporate espionage.
The Rewind Files by Claire Willett
In the future setting of the well-crafted adventure The Rewind Files, time travel is not only possible, it's regulated and policed by the U.S. Time Travel Bureau. Regina "Reggie" Bellows is a junior agent living in the shadow of hew Bureau-legend parents. As a Chronologist, Reggie is assigned to search the time stream for so-called Chronomalies—things that aren't supposed to happen. But Reggie is thrust into the role of field agent when she discovers a massive Chronomaly revolving around 1972's Watergate scandal that ultimately led to World War III, which, in this alternate history, occurred in the 1980s.
Time Salvager by Wesley Chu
While most of humanity has abandoned a toxic future-Earth, those that remain behind believe that salvation lies in the past. Convicted criminal James Griffin-Mars is thus sent on a mission back in time to retrieve valuable resources—all without changing history, or else he’ll be terminated. However, against all his training and in violation of highest law, James rescues a woman in the past, putting both of them at mortal risk. When they return to the future, both become fugitives. Fast-moving and fun, read this one before it's adapted to film.