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The Time Machine (Signet Classics) by H. G.…

The Time Machine (Signet Classics) (original 1895; edition 2002)

by H. G. Wells (Author), Greg Bear (Introduction)

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13,332267284 (3.72)728
Title:The Time Machine (Signet Classics)
Authors:H. G. Wells (Author)
Other authors:Greg Bear (Introduction)
Info:New American Library (2002), Edition: Reprint, 144 pages
Collections:Your library, Wishlist, Currently reading, To read, Read but unowned, Favorites

Work details

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (Author) (1895)

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    Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson (AlanPoulter)
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    Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (ladybug74)
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    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.
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    themulhern: The two books have great similarities and remarkable differences.
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English (256)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (267)
Showing 1-5 of 256 (next | show all)
I read this many years ago, and I recall being somewhat dissapointed with it, I think from an emotional perspective. The traveler seemed rather judgemental and narrow-minded, as I recall thinking, but I do not remember why I felt that way. I found the writing dry and I do not recall feeling moved much in any way by this work, except that it was a bit of an ostentatious or pompous work of pseudo-technological achievement, which also struck me as rather overweening due to the pretentious elites around whom this work was centered.
Maybe I should read it again?
Shira ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
I think this must have been one of the first novels to warn that the future might not be a Utopia. I found convincing because the unhappy future wasn’t caused by the establishment of an evil dictatorship or the destruction from a catastrophe. No, it came about as the logical climax of certain social trends, trends that are continuing in our time.What I have learned listening to audio versions of Wells’ classic science fiction novels, which I read when I was young, is that he not only an idea man but also a good novelist, with much skill at scene setting, world building, sharp characterizations, and sheer story telling.Scott Brick portrays the Time Traveler as an upper-class adventurer with a sneer in his voice that his terrible experiences do nothing to remove. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Apr 2, 2019 |
I read this many years ago, and I recall being somewhat dissapointed with it, I think from an emotional perspective. The traveler seemed rather judgemental and narrow-minded, as I recall thinking, but I do not remember why I felt that way. I found the writing dry and I do not recall feeling moved much in any way by this work, except that it was a bit of an ostentatious or pompous work of pseudo-technological achievement, which also struck me as rather overweening due to the pretentious elites around whom this work was centered.
Maybe I should read it again?
Shira ( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
It's an old story, so of course it uses old techniques. For example, when the Time Traveler returns to tell his friends about his "most amazing time," he says he learned to communicate with the Eloi to some degree, but he never shares these conversations in dialogue, only summarizes information gained from them, including from his companion Weena. In fact, the reader never gets to hear Weena's voice at all. The classic names are told with no impact (i.e. "the Morlocks, for that is what they were called..."). Almost the entire 100-page story is told in narrative summary. The one-dimensional narrator (one of the friends who hears the Time Traveler's tale) has no reason to exist until the last scene of the book.

At which point his existence, his telling of the tale told to him, is everything.

It's in that final paragraph (before the Epilogue) that this book rose from three to four stars for me. What a perfectly sad final note to a melancholy little story that has lived on with good reason. Inventive, bold, smart, deep, and sad. ( )
1 vote AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |

Regina Spektor was on NPR today speaking with Terry Gross. The NPR interviewer accomplished no favors. She asked woefully stupid questions about the Soviet Union and its relationship to WWII. this originated when Spektor noted that growing up in the USSR she always felt that the Great Patriotic War had happened recently, given its absorption into the collective consciousness. Emigrating to the Bronx, she was struck that such wasn't a universal condition. Such made me think of The Time Machine.

As with most archetypes of speculative fiction, the premise had been closeted in my brainpan before opening the book, yet, this one succeeded, especially as a treatise on species within or over time. I'm curious what Spengler thought of this? ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 256 (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 (139 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wells, H. G.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian W.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arvan, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Auer, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bear Canyon CreativeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crofts, ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Michele, RossanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, GwynethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, Paul E.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayes, BernardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McLean, StevenNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mugnaini, JosephIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oliva , RenatoContributorsecondary 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
Warner, MarinaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimmerman, WalterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

The Time Machine / The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine / The War of the Worlds / The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells

The War of the Worlds / The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

Complete Science Fiction Treasury of H. G. Wells by H. G. Wells

The treasury of science fiction classics by Harold W. Kuebler

The Time Machine and The Man Who Could Work Miracles by H. G. Wells

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First words
The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us.
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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Book description
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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451528557, Mass Market Paperback)

“I’ve had a most amazing time....”


So begins the Time Traveller’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.  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.


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:17 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

The first and greatest portrayal of time travel is printed with a newly established text, a full biographical essay on Wells, a list of further reading, and detailed notes.

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439971, 0141028955, 0143566431, 0141199342

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Editions: 1400100771, 1400109094

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