"An explosive discovery ignites a cosmic countdown to destruction!"
— Tag-line, from front cover

Time Bomb is the first book in A Hardy Boys and Tom Swift Ultra Thriller series. It was first published by Archway Paperbacks (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in August 1992. Produced by Byron Preis Visual Publications, Inc. the same company that produced the then current Tom Swift IV series.

Plot summary

Back cover summary:[1]

A Twist in Time...A Twisted Mind...A Terrifying Twist of Fate for Frank and Joe and Tom!

A dream that has long fired the human imagination has become a reality: time travel. But as Tom Swift and the Hardy Boys are about to discover, the dream can become a nightmare in the blink of an eye. An attack force of techno-thugs, under the command of the evil genius the Black Dragon, have seized control of a top-secret time-warp-trigger!

Frank and Joe and Tom leap into battle---shock troops in a war that stretches across the eons to the edge of time. But whether chasing asteroids or dodging dinosaurs, they know they haven't a moment to lose. They must stop the Dragon before he carries out his final threat: turning the time machine into the ultimate doomsday device!


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Dalton Barnes
Black Dragon
Fenton Hardy
Frank Hardy
Joe Hardy
Ernst Reisenbach
Mary Nestor Swift
Tom Swift
Mr. Swift
Sandra Swift
Howard Zeeman
Sandy Koufax (mention only)
Professor Lord (mention only)
S. T. Charteris (father, mention only)
S. T. Charteris (son, mention only)
Stan Charteris (grandson and son of above mentioned S. T. Charteris's)


Central Hills
New York City (1932)
Prehistorical North America
43 Sir Adam Beck Road
Niagra Falls

Businesses and organizations

Dragon Enterprises
Dumont, Crank & Clarkson
Niagra Falls Public Library (Ontario, Canada)
Swift Enterprises
Charteris, Caldecott and Pagliarusso


Unlikely Times (magazine)
November 9, 1965 Northeast Blackout

Alternate Realities

In this book there are two realities presented to us, and due to the fact that the timeline of one reality comes to an end in this book, when Frank and Joe and Tom meet again in The Alien Factor they only have the memories of the events that occurred in the last chapter.

Major Clues

May 1932 issue of Unlikely Times
Fenton Hardy gets lost in time in Time Bomb and this is the first major clue that Frank and Joe receive about his whereabouts and what is going on with the entire plot of the story after Dalton Barnes delivers a message that had been in the vault of the banking firm Dumont, Crank & Clarkson since Fenton Hardy had placed it there in 1932.

Book References within Text

Time Bomb contains references to the following stories within its text, most of these are referenced on pages 55-57.

Operation Phoenix Trilogy[2] - reference is made shortly after The Hardy's and Tom Swift meet up
Tom Swift #1 The Black Dragon
Tom Swift #2 The Negative Zone
Tom Swift #3 Cyborg Kickboxer (page 68)
Tom Swift #4 The DNA Disaster
Tom Swift #6 Aquatech Warriors
Tom Swift #7 Moonstalker
Hardy Boys Casefiles #5 Edge of Destruction (page 163)


  1. A Hardy Boys and Tom Swift Ultra Thriller: Time Bomb
  2. Hardy Boys Casefiles #64 Endangered Species, #65 No Mercy, #66 The Phoenix Equation
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