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The Time Machine (1895)

by H. G. Wells

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,994324285 (3.73)794
"I've had a most amazing time..." So begins the Time Traveler's astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era--and the story that launched H. G. Wells's successful career and earned him the reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes...and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine's lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth. There he discovers two bizarre races--the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks--who not only symbolize the duality of human nature but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well. First published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells's expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.… (more)
  1. 103
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson (chrisharpe)
  2. 40
    The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter (sturlington)
    sturlington: The Time Ships is a sequel to The Time Machine.
  3. 62
    The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov (codeeater)
  4. 41
    The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (chrisharpe)
  5. 41
    Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (ladybug74)
  6. 30
    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (Tanya-dogearedcopy)
  7. 30
    Morlock Night by K. W. Jeter (Michael.Rimmer)
  8. 31
    Rocannon's World by Ursula K. Le Guin (quigui)
    quigui: I found the aliens on Rocannon's world reminiscent of the future species in the Time Machine. And although there is not actual time travel involved in Rocannon's World, there is a time lapse difference due to space travel at near light speed.
  9. 10
    Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Each novel speculates on the far future by means of a time-travelling scientist.
  10. 10
    The Dechronization of Sam Magruder: A Novel by George Gaylord Simpson (bertilak)
  11. 32
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (JGolomb)
  12. 10
    Rivers of Time by L. Sprague de Camp (dukeallen)
  13. 00
    The Swarm by Frank Schätzing (Anonymous user)
  14. 00
    The Anacronopete, or, The Time Ship: A Chrononautical Journey by Enrique Gaspar (Anonymous user)
  15. 00
    Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut (DeusXMachina)
    DeusXMachina: Human evolution
  16. 00
    The Wine of Violence by James Morrow (themulhern)
    themulhern: The two books have great similarities and remarkable differences. But in both, humanity has evolved into two distinct species.
  17. 33
    Stranger in a Strange Land (Uncut Edition) by Robert A. Heinlein (ladybug74)
  18. 00
    The Diamond Lens by Fitz James O'Brien (Anonymous user)
  19. 11
    Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott (BrynDahlquis)
  20. 02
    Watership Down by Richard Adams (themulhern)
    themulhern: A bunch of intelligent beings who pretend that nothing is wrong, while they get regularly killed and eaten. The rabbits are smarter and more into poetry; some narrative license there.

(see all 20 recommendations)

1890s (4)
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» See also 794 mentions

English (305)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (2)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  All languages (319)
Showing 1-5 of 305 (next | show all)
How will the Earth look like 800,000 years in the future? That's a question everyone can only attempt to find an answer to, while H.G. Wells was one of the first writers who tackled the topic of time-travelling and painted a rather convincing picture of the future.

Published in 1895, the book introduces a scientist who uses a Time Machine to be transferred into the age of a slowly dying earth. Humans have been separated by time, genetics, wars and change of their habitats into two different races, the Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks. At only about 100 pages, Wells manages to delve into a lot of different topics, among which can be found the ambiguity of human natures, the mutual effects of humans on our planet and our planet on humans, as well as a profound look into what defines humanity itself.

As a dystopian story, this tale has probably been rather ground-breaking back when it was published, and some might even consider it to be the father of all time-travel romance stories. Unlike more recent publications, however, Wells doesn't lose the point of his story in describing romantic affairs and dramatic love stories, but rather delivers a fast-paced narration coated with a prose not unlike most other writing styles from the Victorian era. Since the author builds up his story from some scientific background (the inclusion of which I highly appreciated because Wells didn't leave things unexplained), it is not easy to get into it, but once the narrative gains speed, you will digest this book in the course of a few hours.

For me, the engaging writing and the adventurous atmosphere contributed a huge part to my enjoyment of the novella. His descriptions of the dying earth were fascinating and very memorable, as was the ending which surprised and depressed me simultaneously. Much has already been said about Wells' book and its contents, so I will conclude my review by saying that readers who are not afraid to read important dystopian classics should give this one a try. ( )
  Councillor3004 | Sep 1, 2022 |
i read war of the worlds a couple of years ago, for the very first time, and was shocked at how good it was, but also at how intense the story is when entirely lacking in any sort of modern conveniences. i had grown up with the story, and all of its permutations and adaptations, so the original surprised me with its simplicity and effectiveness.

this surprised me in a different way, as i realized that i am more familiar with other stories that were spawned from this book, or the general ideas herein -- ray bradbury and malcom macdowell pop to mind -- so when i started reading i was startled to discover that i had no idea what would happen next.
( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
The Time Machine seems very anti-climatic when viewed from the perspective of current-day science fiction, but one must realize how innovative and unusual a story it was in 1895. Without Wells, science fiction might not even exist, since he was the inspiration for so many of the early contributors, such as Ray Bradbury.

The story is very Victorian in nature and moves at a slower pace with less action than we have become accustomed; however, it is a good story that does pull you in and make you want to know the outcome. Of course, it is also a story about the fate of mankind. “We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. Without them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence."

I cannot say this is a favorite read for me, but I do think it is an important one. Another that I am glad to have ticked off the TBR list. From morlocks to wookies might be a very short jump. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
After finishing the text of The Time Machine (1895) (or in its alternative original title “The Chronic Argonauts”, which I like a lot), I've noticed how my mind was highly influenced during its reading by David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus (1920) and the Miller brothers' Myst. On the one hand, I welcome the attempt by Wells to give the story a semi-scientific background in The Time Machine as opposed to space travel by magical/paranormal means in David Lindsay's text but, on the other hand, I find it quite difficult to empathize with the characterization of the varities of future humans, the Eloi and the Morlocks, which suffers from its hyperbolic message of class critique. In this aspect I prefer the characterization of Tormance's humanoid inhabitants, Joiwind and Panawe, and their balanced relationship with the rest of the planet's living beings (even though their prevailing notion of "purity" sounds very murky). I am also of the opinion that it would have been better as a series of novels with backward and forward time travel rather than as a single text with the account of only one journey to a future constructed to subtly introduce the reader to the socio-economic debate. Nevertheless, since the text is fairly short, I will reread it before closing its review. ( )
  c12marin | May 6, 2022 |
Marvellous. If only modern novels were able to pack as much wonder and intelligence into so few pages. ( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 305 (next | show all)
Without question The Time Machine... will take its place among the great stories of our language. Like all excellent works it has meanings within its meaning and no one who has read the story will forget the dramatic effect of the change of scene in the middle of the book, when the story alters its key, and the Time Traveller reveals the foundation of slime and horror on which the pretty life of his Arcadians is precariously and fearfully resting...

The Arcadians had become as pretty as flowers in their pursuit of personal happiness. They had dwindled and would be devoured because of that. Their happiness itself was haunted. Here Wells’s images of horror are curious. The slimy, the viscous, the foetal reappear; one sees the sticky, shapeless messes of pond life, preposterous in instinct and frighteningly without mind. One would like to hear a psychologist on these shapes which recall certain surrealist paintings; but perhaps the biologist fishing among the algas, and not the unconscious, is responsible for them.
added by SnootyBaronet | editNew Statesman, V.S. Pritchett
 

» Add other authors (242 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wells, H. G.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian W.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arvan, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Auer, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Banks, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bear Canyon CreativeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bonneville, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, EricNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cox, BrianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crofts, ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Michele, RossanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grammer, KelseyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hardy, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobi, DerekReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janusz K. PalczewskiForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, GwynethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, Paul E.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, RogerNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayes, BernardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McLean, StevenNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mugnaini, JosephIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munro, AlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munro, AlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Naujack, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nelson, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oliva , RenatoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Otto, GötzNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pagetti, CarloIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parrinder, PatrickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Priestley, J. B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reney, AnnieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teti, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagland, GregNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, MarinaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wells, SimonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wollheim, Donald A.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zebrowski, GeorgeForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimmerman, WalterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us.
Quotations
It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble.
Strength is the outcome of need; security sets a premium on feebleness.
Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no change and no need of change. Only those animals partake of intelligence that have to meet a huge variety of needs and dangers.
I grieved to think how brief the dream of the human intellect had been. It had committed suicide. It had set itself steadfastly towards comfort and ease, a balanced society with security and permanency as its watchword, it had attained its hopes—to come to this at last. Once, life and property must have reached almost absolute safety. The rich had been assured of his wealth and comfort, the toiler assured of his life and work. No doubt in that perfect world there had been no unemployed problem, no social question left unsolved. And a great quiet had followed.
He, I know—for the question had been discussed among us long before the Time Machine was made—thought but cheerlessly of the Advancement of Mankind, and saw in the growing pile of civilisation only a foolish heaping that must inevitably fall back upon and destroy its makers in the end. If that is so, it remains for us to live as though it were not so.
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"I've had a most amazing time..." So begins the Time Traveler's astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era--and the story that launched H. G. Wells's successful career and earned him the reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes...and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine's lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth. There he discovers two bizarre races--the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks--who not only symbolize the duality of human nature but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well. First published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells's expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.

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When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year a.d. 802,701, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment, and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realizes that these beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture—now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. They have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity—the sinister Morlocks. And when the scientist’s time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels if he is ever to return to his own era.
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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439971, 0141028955, 0143566431, 0141199342

Coffeetown Press

An edition of this book was published by Coffeetown Press.

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100771, 1400109094

Recorded Books

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