The Time Machine - HG Wells

Connavar

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I wonder what people who have read this story think of it ?

I read it recently and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was even for a classic . Specially for a story mostly told in first person and almost no dialouges.

I liked how unromantic The Time Traveler looked on the two people of the future was. Not like recent movie exactly. For a romance noval of those days i also liked how social SF it was.

Also was his kind of stories in his famous SF stories truly the first of its kind ? Was Time Machine the first ever novel with time travel story ?
 

Connavar

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Interesting to see that.


What did you think of the story ? Have you read other Wells stories ?

I liked how timeless it was. For a book older than 100 years, it felt like reading much newer book.

Im grateful for the Barnes and Nobles classic edition. It explained in the notes what the references was to. Heh it was funny seeing him diss famous people of his time.
 

MG1962

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I wonder what people who have read this story think of it ?

Also was his kind of stories in his famous SF stories truly the first of its kind ? Was Time Machine the first ever novel with time travel story ?

Many of his storys were the first of their kind. However it must be remembered Wells didn't write in isolation. There were many great authors of the time such as Fred(?) White and co who are largely forgotten today

War Of The Worlds - First large scale invasion of Earth by an Alien force

Land Of The Ironclad - Written in 1905 - It reads like a press report from 1918 or even later.

War of the Air - Written in 1913 - Introduced the concept of
airpower in warfare. London suffers a blitz like attack and the US naval fleet in the North Atlantic is engaged and largely destroyed

I think the hyper space explanation at the end of Davidsons Eyes is purely co-incidental, because the story itself has nothing to do with curved or distorted space, and pre dates Einsteins discoveries by a few years
 

Connavar

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Many of his storys were the first of their kind. However it must be remembered Wells didn't write in isolation. There were many great authors of the time such as Fred(?) White and co who are largely forgotten today

That was what i wondered if his stories was the first famous of their kind.

I knew he wasnt the only one writing the kind of stories then cause of common sense. Its very understandable that he and few others have had fame to last over a century for many reasons. Not everyone is good enough or lucky enough to be famous for more than a century specially in a genre like SF.


I have more respect for him now that i know he is worth his legendary and pioneer status. Looking forward to read his other stories.

Which one is your favorite ?
 

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Conn, don't forget to check out the unofficial sequel to the Time Machine in Stephen Baxter's Time Ships. It's brilliantly written and captures Well's style really well. I would go as far as to say it's better than the orginial!!
 

ghost8772

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as I recall in Time machine the main character had a fondness for "weena" but no, the current Time machine movie was nothing like the book, the one from the 60's was closer, but still off. I think Wells largest selling point was he wrote people and their interactions instead of laying on a thick dose of technology and cramming people into it. thats what made his works so timeless, and likely so popular. a number of stories out there cram people into fantastical worlds and those people are forever adverstising the "technology of the future" which a. kills the suspension of disbelief, and b. bores the reader so they will likely not read the Author again. when Wells' characters are in their world, its easy to underwstand their reactions to events. Martians attack, some people head for the hills, some people go for a peek, others pick up their guns and work to repel invaders..... but nobody drops their guns or hides in a lab to perfect the "perfect weapon" against the invaders that they have no knowledge of weaknesses etc...

Liked Time Machine, and Invisible man about equally, liked War of the Worlds better.
 

MG1962

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The thing with Wells, he wrote about the technology and the impact of it on Man. Many of his shorts like Lord Of The Dynamo offer a blunter message than say War Of The Worlds or Time Machine.

As far as favorites go - In his longer works - War Of The Worlds, and Time Machine are stand outs. I never got into the Invisible Man or Island Of Dr Morrow, though its themes seem as current today as when written.

In his shorter works, as I think, it is his fantasies that catch me. Beautiful Suite, Door In The Wall. One, I just cant lay my tongue on was about a chap trapped on an island with a Gigantic Moa like creature. Finally his rare horrors, like The Cone. And the Observatory. Seriously, no one could scene and mood set as efficently as he did
 

Connavar

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as I recall in Time machine the main character had a fondness for "weena" but no, the current Time machine movie was nothing like the book, the one from the 60's was closer, but still off. I think Wells largest selling point was he wrote people and their interactions instead of laying on a thick dose of technology and cramming people into it. thats what made his works so timeless, and likely so popular. a number of stories out there cram people into fantastical worlds and those people are forever adverstising the "technology of the future" which a. kills the suspension of disbelief, and b. bores the reader so they will likely not read the Author again. when Wells' characters are in their world, its easy to underwstand their reactions to events. Martians attack, some people head for the hills, some people go for a peek, others pick up their guns and work to repel invaders..... but nobody drops their guns or hides in a lab to perfect the "perfect weapon" against the invaders that they have no knowledge of weaknesses etc...

Liked Time Machine, and Invisible man about equally, liked War of the Worlds better.

Thats exactly why i like Time Machine. The Time Traveler saw things from a scientist way, he had theories on the world of the future. It wasnt romantizied story like the movie. Poor beautiful little people getting eaten by monsters. He didnt become a big hero who had to save them and kill the horrible monsters. He was very human, to look down on Weena as like she was a pet. He was naive to expect a golden age, a better world than his, he was selfish in caring only about his time machine and his way home. That was very understanding and interesting to read.

It was a social SF and i like those over any story that is about techs.

Even better was the socialist views of the author and the time traveler that was everywhere in the book. The dream about how to make a better world and future. Made me smile and think how little Wells would like today's world. Not the balanced world that he would expect.
 

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Even better was the socialist views of the author and the time traveler that was everywhere in the book. The dream about how to make a better world and future. Made me smile and think how little Wells would like today's world. Not the balanced world that he would expect.
I've haven't read 'The Time Machine', just watched the film. (I have read 'War of the Worlds' and 'The Invisible Man') However, I have read 'The Sleeper Awakes'. In that book a man who sleeps for two hundred and three years, wakes up to a completely transformed London. Due to the interest on his bank accounts, he has become the richest man in the world. He is a socialist and the author of prophetic writings, but he awakes to see his worst dreams realised; a dystopian future. I don't think Wells would actually be as shocked as you might think.
 

Connavar

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I've haven't read 'The Time Machine', just watched the film. (I have read 'War of the Worlds' and 'The Invisible Man') However, I have read 'The Sleeper Awakes'. In that book a man who sleeps for two hundred and three years, wakes up to a completely transformed London. Due to the interest on his bank accounts, he has become the richest man in the world. He is a socialist and the author of prophetic writings, but he awakes to see his worst dreams realised; a dystopian future. I don't think Wells would actually be as shocked as you might think.

In my edition Time Machine there was alot personal info about him,political views etc. Going by that and he still had the same views all his life, i dont think he would like today. Alittle about his political views :



His most consistent political ideal was the World State. He stated in his autobiography that from 1900 onward he considered a world-state inevitable. The details of this state varied but in general it would be a planned society that would advance science, end nationalism, and allow people to advance solely by merit rather than birth. He also was consistent that it must not be a democracy. He stated that in the same period he came to realise a world-state was inevitable, he realised that parliamentary democracy as then practised was insufficient. Wells remained fairly consistent in rejection of a world-state being a parliamentary democracy and therefore during his work on the United Nations Charter he opposed any mention of democracy. He feared that the average citizen could never be educated or aware enough to decide the major issues of the world


The book you mention is his only dystopia. Most of his novels are utopians.

P.S wiki qoutes are stuff i read in my version of the book. Otherwise i wouldnt qoute wiki about this.
 

MG1962

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I have a 1947 edition of "War In The Air" It has an updated forward - Introduced from the 1943 version ( I believe) "I told you fools. I bloody told you"
 

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I quite liked it.Finished it in 2-3 days,like the island of Doctor Moreau-though not as good as my prefered field,stil worth a read for the imagination.
 

Omphalos

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Ive read a lot of Wells', including his social, non-fiction books, and I have a copy of his History of the World. I like this book a lot. Here is a link to some reviews of his works, including The Time Machine:

Omphalos' Book Reviews: Search Books

Ill review more of his books as time allows.
 

Connavar

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Personally i liked and think humanity deserves bleak future.
Sometimes i read science mags and see how many rare species we have killed,are killing and how the world is changing forever because of the wrong doings of our race. When i think like that its good to read good SF with really bleak futures.

I liked the fact the future people are food for others.
 

Connavar

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Personally having only read this book so far i already got The Invisble Man and First Men in the Moon. I liked about him that his kind of SF is what the genre is to me. Socially oriented stories that tell you something. Not looking for thrill,action,space adventure usually that is.
 

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You might be able to make a case for Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" being something of a time travel story... although it's hardly science fiction. Scrooge being taken into the past, present, and future to see how the arc of his life progresses...

To my knowledge, no one else has ever tried to create before, in fiction, a machine that would allow the protagonist to move freely throughout history. Of course, the machine itself is just the springboard to the real story. The real story behind "The Time Machine" centers on Wells' thoughts on how human evolution might turn out.
 

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The Time Machine is a great book and I appreciate H.G. Wells' view of the future of humanity. When you look at evolution as a whole, it stands to reason that we will continue to evolve to our environment. This may be for better or for worse, according to what we do to it and with ourselves. His descriptions of continuing forward in time to find the world as we know it unlivable, yet seeing different creatures evolve with various semblences of past humanity is really quite haunting. It really puts us into perspective regarding our place in evolution.

I also enjoyed the 1960 movie based on the book. Although the story is outdated now, it is well acted and well put together. I think it does the book justice and is a worthy film.
 

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