This page is for references to the Back to the Future trilogy in literature.


Listed below are fiction books which reference the Back to the Future trilogy.

Ready Player One

  • In the book, it is mentioned that James Halliday purchased and restored one of the DeLoreans used in the Back to the Future films.
  • In the OASIS, Parzival (the main character) owns a DeLorean time machine; he obtained the vehicle after completing a Back to the Future quest on Planet Zemeckis (an obvious nod to Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis). Parzival's DeLorean was also featured in the film adaptation of the novel. The vehicle owned by Parzival has a non-functioning flux capacitor. Parzival made several modifications to his DeLorean; he added the KITT AI & red scanner (both from the Knight Rider series) on the DeLorean's grill, added an oscillation overthruster (from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension), allowing the vehicle to travel through solid matter, slapped a Ghostbusters logo on both the DeLorean's gullwing doors, and personalised plates reading "Ecto-88" (a nod to the Ecto-1 and the speed required of the time machine to travel through time).
  • Ernest Cline (the author of Ready Player One) owns a DeLorean, which he customized so it would resemble Parzival's DeLorean.

Time Riders

"She [Maddy] looked both ways at the pedestrian crossing. A red double-decker bus rumbled past them. Across the street a giant billboard was showing a poster for the movie Back to the Future Part II. Maddy remembered seeing the movie, one of many they'd watched together in their Brooklyn field office. The film's depiction of 2015 had been laughably naive and upbeat: colourful, fun, optimistic. Hoverboards instead of skateboards, for God's sake. She wondered how much more fun life would be if God was a Hollywood movie director."
—From The Mayan Prophecy by Alex Scarrow (quote, page 60)
  • In the series' eight book The Mayan Prophecy, the characters time travel to 1989 London. Maddy sees a billboard promoting Back to the Future Part II and recalls when she saw the film with her friends. Maddy remarks how the film's depiction of the future was "laughably naive and upbeat: colouful, fun, optimistic." 


Listed below are non-fiction books referencing the Back to the Future trilogy.

101 Sci-Fi Movies You Must See Before You Die

  • Back to the Future is in this book, which lists 101 must-see science-fiction movies.

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

  • Back to the Future is listed in this book which lists 1001 must-see movies.

A Brief History of Time

  • In this bestselling cosmology book written by the late Stephen Hawking, Back to the Future is mentioned in the tenth chapter ("Wormholes and Time Travel"). A section in this chapter regarding alternate history mentions how Marty travelled back in time (in the first Back to the Future film), interfered with his parent's first meeting and returned to a better life.

A Briefer History of Time

"The other possible way to resolve the paradoxes of time travel might be called the alternative histories hypothesis. The idea here is that when time travellers go back into the past, they enter alternative histories that differ from recorded history. Thus they can act freely, without the constraint of consistency with their previous history. Steven Spielberg had fun with this notion in the Back to the Future films: Marty McFly was able to go back and change his parents' courtship to a more satisfactory history."
—From A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking (quote, page 115)
  • In this science book (an updated and more accessible rewrite of Hawking's A Brief History of Time), Back to the Future is mentioned in the tenth chapter ("Wormholes and Time Travel"). Hawking co-wrote A Briefer History of Time with American physicist Leonard Mlodinow, as he wanted to make sure that people would be able to understand the text from A Brief History of Time.

    The DeLorean time machine on the front cover of Adam Spencer's Time Machine.

About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution

  • In the eleventh chapter (Time Travel: Fact or Fantasy?) of this physics book, Back to the Future is mentioned as an example of travelling into the past.

Adam Spencer's Time Machine

  • The DeLorean time machine is featured on the front cover of this history book. On the front cover, Adam Spencer (the book's author) poses at the rear of the DeLorean (which has a Sydney Swans bumper sticker on the rear bumper).

Physics of the Future

"In the final scene in the movie Back to the Future, Doc Brown, the crazy scientist, is seen scrambling to get fuel for his DeLorean time machine. Instead of fueling up with gasoline, he searches garbage cans for banana peels and trash and then dumps everything into a small canister called Mr. Fusion. / Given a hundred years, it is possible that some breakout design may reduce huge football field-size machines to the size of a coffeemaker, like in the movie?"
—From Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku (quote, page 245).
  • In this book's fifth chapter ("Future of Energy", which discusses how energy would have advanced in the year 2100), the Mr. Fusion reactor is mentioned. Michio Kaku, the book's author, theorises that in 100 years time, technological advances could reduce "huge football field-size" fusion reactors "to the size of a coffeemaker", like the Mr. Fusion reactor seen in the Back to the Future trilogy.
  • In the same chapter, Marty riding the hoverboard in Back to the Future Part II is mentioned (the book incorrectly states that Marty rode the hoverboard in the third film). The paragraph also mentions how after the second film's release, kids visited stores asking for hoverboards. Kaku points out that though hoverboards don't exist, they may become reality with room temperature superconductors.

Physics of the Impossible

  • In the twelfth chapter ("Time Travel") of this book also written by Michio Kaku, the story of the first Back to the Future film is mentioned. Also mentioned in this chapter is Doc explaining the alternate timeline on the chalkboard, as seen in Back to the Future Part II.
  • Also mentioned in this book are the hoverboards from Back to the Future Part II.

Stars & Cars: Mythical Pairings

  • In this book about cars and the celebrities who made them famous, Michael J. Fox is mentioned as having made the DeLorean DMC-12 famous in Back to the Future.
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