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The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter
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The Time Ships (edition 1995)

by Stephen Baxter

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1,1072810,803 (3.64)33
Member:CSSF
Title:The Time Ships
Authors:Stephen Baxter
Info:Harper Voyager (1995), Mass Market Paperback, 544 pages
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The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter

  1. 10
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (JGolomb)
  2. 00
    The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (sturlington)
    sturlington: The Time Ships is a sequel to The Time Machine.
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English (26)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed how Stephen Baxter was able to carry HG Wells voice through this novel. Interestingly, however, my favorite character was Nebogipfel, the Moorlock from the second timeline. ( )
  CarmaSpence | Jul 26, 2018 |
This 'sequel' to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine was well done. Baxter starts off very much in Wells' style but while maintaining the fundamentals of the Time Traveler's character, he swiftly brings the story out of Wells' philosophical dystopian mode into the (equally philosophically tinged) modern idea of multiplicity resulting from quantum mechanics.

Some of the various histories were just as horrifying as the original world of the Eloi and Morlocks & some were Utopian though challenging to our ideas of what is important/right.

I particularly liked the fact that in the end, Baxter brings the main character back to Wells' version of the future. A wonderful centennial tribute to Wells! ( )
  leslie.98 | Apr 26, 2018 |
Holy snore-fest Batman! This 521 page book should have been around 200-300.
Baxter over-described nearly everything in this book more than DEAN KOONTZ does in his!
I'm too frustrated with just finishing this book to leave a better written review. ( )
  shorte | Feb 26, 2018 |
I really enjoyed the exploration and updating of The Time Machine with more modern science and some of the potential effects of the time travel. I found the concluding chapters a little Space Odyssey 2001 in that talk of deep-time was very confusing. ( )
  brakketh | Sep 21, 2016 |
The Time Ships is an interesting book. I honestly don’t know how many stars to give it. One could argue it’s an epic masterpiece and deserves five stars. One could argue it’s darn good, but drags a bit toward the end, thus bringing the rating down to four stars. One could say this is an ambitious novel but the last third drags so much, it only deserves an average three star rating. One could say the book is overly ambitious, the science is imperfect, the ending is disappointing and it deserves two stars. And one could say this book flat out bores the hell out of you, is far too long, drags incessantly in the second half, and the ending is so obscenely stupid and disappointing it only merits one star. What to do?

This book is indeed ambitious. It’s an officially approved sequel to H.G. Wells’ classic The Time Machine and starts up immediately where the previous one ended. However, even though it’s a classic and I’m showing my ignorance here, I’ve never read it, so I didn’t understand dozens and dozens of things in this book that were alluded to in the former. And then, from my understanding, Baxter starts taking liberties, using quantum physics as his scientific reason for doing so. We discover alternate histories and futures. We discover what becomes the future of the human race and of Earth itself, while the protagonist and his Morlock friend from the future also travel back 50 million years to the Paleocene age to see and help human life begin on Earth. In fact, this book is even more ambitious than that, and we travel even further back, though I won’t say any more, as I don’t want to give away an important section of the book. However, while being stuck in the Paleocene age was theoretically interesting, it soon became somewhat of a caricature, the lone man (or beings) stranded alone on an island, or in this case, on a world with nothing else there. After awhile, it’s like ho hum. So too, the White Earth. Good God, I thought those chapters would never end! Could those have been anything more boring? I don’t know what the author was thinking when he wrote this huge section (being paid by word count?), but it sure wasn’t anything to do with entertaining his readers. And then there’s the unnamed scientist who built the Time Machine in 1891 and discovered time travel. When he discovers Morlocks hundreds of thousands of years in the future, his traveling companion, one of them named Nebogipfel, turns out to be the godlike intelligent one of the pair, while the British scientist is reduced to having the intelligence of a pumpkin. It’s a little bizarre how every single time something happens to them no matter where it is or how many millions of years they’re away from their previous location, Nebogipfel always knows exactly what the situation is and has to explain everything to the brain dead human scientist. Just a bit odd. Finally, there’s the damned annoying issue of every single time the Time Machine stops, no matter how many decades or tens of millions of years in the future or past, it’s at the scientist’s house in the London area and he immediately recognizes the Thames, various roads and fields – even when the world is a giant ice ball with no identifiable features and even when the world has pretty much just been created and there’s nothing there but land and sea. He can see his place in London. WTF? Seriously??? We’re supposed to believe that? Why don’t they land in Hong Kong or Perth or Chicago or anywhere else? Why is it always at this nonexistent home by the Thames? That’s pretty stupid. But then, for all I know, it could be something that Wells did in his original and Baxter is simply assuming we all know that story by heart, so we’ll understand automatically. Maybe. But I doubt it.

This is one of the more ambitious books I have read, but it literally took me weeks to finish it, while it typically takes me two or three days to finish a 500 page book while I’m reading five or six at the same time. It took me so long because after awhile, I was no longer interested. I didn’t care. I just wanted it to be over. I just couldn’t give a shit about what happened to the characters. The last third of the book was tortuously boring. I’d pick it up and read a couple of chapters every few days. I often give up on books when I don’t like them, but I had read too many pages to feel like I could do that with this one, so I had to finish and I’m so happy to be done with this. This was one of the less enjoyable sci fi books I’ve read recently. Great concept and theory, yes, but in practice, flat out boring and stupid. I’d rather read a cookbook. Two stars instead of one for its ambition and originality. Not recommended. ( )
  scottcholstad | Jun 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Baxterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, LesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggleton, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, MartinÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To my wife Sandra, and the memory of H. G.
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On the Friday morning after my return from futurity, I awoke long after dawn, from the deepest of dreamless sleeps.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061056480, Mass Market Paperback)

What if the time machine from H.G. Wells' classic novel of the same name had fallen into government hands? That's the question that led Stephen Baxter to create this modern-day sequel, which combines a basic Wellsian premise with a Baxteresque universe-spanning epic. The Time Traveller, driven by his failure to save Weena from the Morlocks, sets off again for the future. But this time the future has changed, altered by the very tale of the Traveller's previous journey.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:32 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A sequel to H.G. Well's The time machine that continues the story of the conflict between the Eloi and the Morlocks.

(summary from another edition)

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