Back in Time–New book tracks the events of Back to the Future

Back in Time BTTF cover

Review by C.J. Bunce

Back to the Future is a sci-fi classic that should be on the list of everyone’s favorite films.  It spawned two sequels that didn’t capture the magic of the original, but gave audiences an excuse to go to back to the theater to see what Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly, Christopher Lloyd’s Doc Brown, and the awesome DeLorean time machine had been up to.  Or will be up to.

Back to the Future, called BTTF for short by its fan followers, was not a franchise that provided all the extras for fans of bigger sci-fi and fantasy franchises like Star Wars or Star Trek or Lord of the Rings would produce–no endless list of action figures, tabletop games, video games, comic book series, or tie-in novels, although there have been the odd sample of each of these over the years.  With the modern age of retro as cool, it’s interesting even more BTTF ephemera is available now than ever before.

Check out this new ad that demonstrates the franchise is alive and well:

And go to for a taste of all that is out there related to the films.

The BTTF trilogy has a lot of heart, and that’s why we keep coming back for more.  And even though it didn’t need all the “extras” for fans, it netted an animated series, a card game, video games, novelizations of the films, and even a theme park ride.  And it’s these non-canon sources as well as a bevy of commercials and music videos and the movies themselves that were tapped for Greg Mitchell and Rich Handley’s Back in Time: The Unauthorized Back to the Future Chronology

The book itself uses a table of references to document the source of events that are key to the films, but it also includes events merely mentioned in the films and other events that only would be known to diehard fans familiar with the BTTF non-canon works.  From the Cenozoic Era to three quadrillion years into Earth’s future, you’ll find points in time where Marty and Doc flew this way and that across the moviescape and beyond.  Back in Time features a foreword by former BTTF fan club president Dan Madsen–the guy who was once the president of the Star Wars, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings fan clubs.

Carbajal sketch in new BTTF book

Readers not familiar with the non-canon works may be confused by references to McFly and Biff relatives never mentioned in the films.  In addition, being an “unauthorized” book it includes no photos from the movies–something that would really help the overall appeal of the book.  That said, the pencil drawings by Pat Carbajal of the characters and events that illustrate the book are very well done, and so the lack of photographs is significantly tempered.

Back in Time will first and foremost appeal to grade school readers new to the film series, but it’s also a fun read for movie watchers of all ages who can’t get enough of the clock tower and Marvin Berry and Huey Lewis, future skateboards, and Old West steampunk time travel trains.  As unauthorized works go, Back in Time is better than the average chronology book, on par with the Star Trek Captain’s Logs series of books.  It’s being released this month in bookstores and at

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