Author: H.G. Wells
Recently my father-in-law loaned me a novel called The Time Ships, knowing that we shared an interest in science-fiction. Written by Stephen Baxter, the story is a sequel to the classic H.G. Wells sci-fi pioneer The Time Machine, written exactly 100 years earlier. Well, I had read the original novel at some point in junior high, but couldn’t remember much about it other than a ‘Wishbone’ episode featuring a Jack Russell Terrier attempting to escape from ape-like Morlocks. I decided a re-read was in order.
The Time Machine takes place in London, both during the late 1800’s and in the year 802,701 A.D. This massive leap in time is conducted by the Time Traveler, as the main character is referred to. While hosting a dinner party, the adventurer emerges from his office disheveled, exhausted, and bursting with a need to tell his story; an unbelievable tale of time, space, evolution, and the future of mankind. The dinner guests, as well as we the readers, can only listen in awe as the incredible journey is retold.
It is amazing how much detail and suspense can be packed into 100 pages. Though short, the story is exciting, intriguing, creepy, and even philosophical. Wells paints a picture of a very possible future, one in which evolution has worked perfectly, but not in ways that are as Utopian as we would like to believe. A great and quick read, The Time Machine is a novel that should be a required text, both for its impact on the sci-fi genre and its statement on humanity.
My rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰