H. G. Wells The Time Machine

ISBN 13: 9781463570644

The Time Machine

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The Time Machine is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 for the first time and later adapted into at least two feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations. It indirectly inspired many more works of fiction in many media. This 32,000 word story is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The term "time machine", coined by Wells, is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle. Wells also introduced the idea of time being the "fourth dimension", as well as an early example of the Dying Earth subgenre. Wells had considered the notion of time travel before, in an earlier work titled The Chronic Argonauts. He had thought of using some of this material in a series of articles in the Pall Mall Gazette, until the publisher asked him if he could instead write a serial novel on the same theme; Wells readily agreed, and was paid 100 (equal to about 9,000 today) on its publication by Heinemann in 1895. The story was first published in serial form in the January to May numbers of William Ernest Henley's new venture New Review. The story reflects Wells's own socialist political views, his view on life and abundance, and the contemporary angst about industrial relations. It is also influenced by Ray Lankester's theories about social degeneration. Other science fiction works of the period, including Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward and the later Metropolis, dealt with similar themes.

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Review:

HG Wells virtually defined modern science fiction with the two tales featured in this double volume, a welcome addition to the SF Masterworks series. The Time Machine is the classic tale of a time traveller's journey to the world of 802,701 AD where humanity is divided between the bad and the beautiful, a simplistic vision at first glance but a prophetic take on a future that may not be so far removed from a reality yet to take hold, simply lurking in the shadows and waiting for the human race to bring it about by its own hand.

The War of the Worlds is perhaps one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written, a chilling, brooding tale that has lost none of its power or punch as the soulless alien invaders blast their way across the English countryside, collecting hapless humans for fiendish experiments and scorching the land. Coming at a time of great technological leaps and bounds, it is not surprising that the War of the Worlds makes as much comment on the fragility of the human race and its dependence on technology, as it does the indestructible nature of the human spirit. Though constantly beaten back, the dwindling human armies throw all the might of their warships at the alien machines with little or no effect--in the end, it is the common cold which brings about the downfall of the extra-terrestrial killers. Their motivations are never explained, nor do they need to be, their chilling cries echoing across the deserted, burning countryside of Britain accting as both a chilling war cry and a blood-curdling wake-up call. Surely, one of the most essential science fiction publications you could ever buy. --Jonathan Weir.

Review:

"[Wells] contrives to give over humanity into the clutches of the Impossible and yet manages to keep it down (or up) to its humanity, to its flesh, blood, sorrow, folly." --Joseph Conrad

[Wells] contrives to give over humanity into the clutches of the Impossible and yet manages to keep it down (or up) to its humanity, to its flesh, blood, sorrow, folly. Joseph Conrad"

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Wells, H. G.
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