The Time Machine

by H. G. Wells

Published: April 2009
Publisher: CreateSpace
Paperback
ISBN: 9781453606261

       

Synopsis of The Time Machine

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Published in 1895, The Time Machine was the first novel to suggest the theme of time travel by machine, and along with other books by Wells, it was a forerunner of the contemporary science fiction genre, then known as scientific romances.

Wells wrote mainly speculative fiction concerned with the contemporary problems of human society and its possible futures. While his works express a hope in human technology and progress, this is tempered by a realization of the possible extinction of humanity through the very same technology and the predilections of human nature.

There is a strong ethical component to his work and this relates to the ambivalence that he often expressed about the potentialities of human nature. One of the central issues that concerned him was the disparity between the elite and the masses. The Time Machine explores these concerns in a setting 800,000 years into the future.

Children's Literature

The "Classic Starts" series are hard bound, handsomely-illustrated, inexpensive abridgements of classic literature for younger readers. The concept is exemplary, but the execution is problematic. Yes, the bare bones of Wells' proto-science fiction story have been faithfully recounted in Chris Sasaki's smooth-reading, simplified adaptation, yet in the process its soul has gone missing. Abridging is one thing; bowdlerizing is another. What's lost is the late Victorian world of 1895 so marvelously conjured up by words and phrases such as "cadge," "chap," "I'd give a shilling-" and "What's the game?" Gone is the comfort of the returned Time Traveler's glass of champagne, mutton dinner, and pipe by the fire—all replaced by a quickly-chugged glass of water! As a child, I relished British editions of books precisely because of the exoticism of previously-unknown turns of phrases. They made the universe richer, fuller, more mysterious. It is a pity this edition of Wells' story will never leave its readers with that enchantment. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr

About the Author, H. G. Wells

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe," H. G. Wells once said. Widely revered as the father of science fiction, the English novelist, journalist, sociologist, and historian penned ominous -- and educated -- glimpses at humanity's possible future, including The Time Machine (1895), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898).

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