This book, it vibrates
August 26, 2009 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Another forgotten book from childhood. Time travel/survival. Dinosaurs. And yes, it vibrates. Help?

A "young adult" book I read when I was ten or eleven, I think. At least I think it was a YA title. Maybe it was just cheesy. It was handed down from someone else, too, so it could have been published anywhere from the sixties through the mid-eighties, I guess.

Science fiction, pretty cliche setup: A scientist invents a time machine and his children (a boy and a girl, I think) become trapped in the prehistoric past, fighting dinosaurs and learning to find food/shelter and so on.

The main detail I can remember is that the machine itself was large and took up an entire room in the scientist's lab. It was some kind of large ?metal ring that vibrated until it became invisible/intangible, and then the travelers would step through it. Stepping "into the ring(s)" was the moment of no return. It may have turned into a circular rainbow. Or maybe I am imagining that part.

The only parts of the actual plot I remember is that there are multiple "trips", as someone (the father?) makes a second journey back to rescue someone else. The machine also becomes broken (explodes?) at some point, "stranding" people in the past.

It's definitely not "A Wrinkle in Time", but the infuriating thing for me is that whenever I hear the title of L'Engle's book, I think of this story instead. It would help me tell them apart if I could remember the name of this one. No clue on the author.

Are these wisps of half-memory enough for anyone to recognize?

I might recognize a title, and I'd almost certainly recognize a synopsis.
posted by rokusan to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
Tunnel Through Time? Someone mentions a "time ring" in a review.
posted by iconomy at 8:42 AM on August 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

On this page, someone asks about the same book, mentioning a rainbow ring (see, you didn't imagine that ;) and the book they're after is Tunnel Through Time, if that helps.
posted by iconomy at 8:46 AM on August 26, 2009

One of the Winston SF Series books, was Danger: Dinosaurs! by Richard Marsten (Evan Hunter), but it was out in 1953.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 8:49 AM on August 26, 2009

Response by poster: That must be it! I'm embarrassed I couldn't find that myself, but reading the Amazon reviews made me feel a lot better.
I have spent the last year researching the title of this book alone. It wasn't until my friend dug out a book report this evening that we were able to find the name.
And Lester Del Rey himself (!) gets the author credit, wow. You'd think I would have remembered that.

Thanks, Ico. Now to track down a copy. :)
posted by rokusan at 8:59 AM on August 26, 2009

Response by poster: (The dinosaur frying its leg on the machine, leading to sizzling dinosaur "meat" falling into the lab back in the future"... that's definitely the right book. How could I have forgotten THAT scene?)
posted by rokusan at 9:08 AM on August 26, 2009

Happy re-reading!
posted by iconomy at 9:12 AM on August 26, 2009

iconomy, you're amazing. I don't know how you do it, every single time!
posted by widdershins at 10:14 AM on August 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have a great memory, have read TONS of books (both to myself and others), and am also good at teh google ;)
posted by iconomy at 11:38 AM on August 26, 2009

Sounds a lot like the The Bungee Venture
posted by misterbrandt at 8:47 AM on August 28, 2009

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