The Time Machine
H. G. Wells wrote The Time Machine in 1895; it was his first science fiction novel, and has remained one of his best. In The Time Machine, a Victorian scientist develops a time machine and travels 800,000 years into the future, to an age when mankind has split into two separate s... read full description below.
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||Science Fiction & Fantasy
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H. G. Wells wrote The Time Machine in 1895; it was his first science fiction novel, and has remained one of his best. In The Time Machine, a Victorian scientist develops a time machine and travels 800,000 years into the future, to an age when mankind has split into two separate species. One group, the spawn of capitalist ease and affluence, has been reduced to the mental and physical level of children; the other group has become feral after eons of industrial toil. Neither group is human any longer; culture and intelligence have died out forever. In fact, with the social tables turned, the lower orders now use their betters as a food source! Questions relating to human progress imbue The Time Machine, as do questions relating to whether or not a world infested with problems truly is worse than a world without any trouble. H. G. Wells vision of human decline was subversive and eloquent, and offered a wry counterpoint to the Victorian cult of progress. The penultimate chapter -- in which the time traveler voyages 30 million years into the future, to an era when the sun is dying, humanity is long-extinct, and lichens have inherited the earth -- is heartbreaking. No doubt The Time Machine will outlive many other classics, for generations to come!
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Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary. Together with Jules Verne, Wells has been referred to as The Father of Science Fiction. Wells was an outspoken socialist and sympathetic to pacifist views, although he supported the First World War once it was under way, and his later works became increasingly political and didactic. His middle period novels (1900-1920) were less science-fictional; they covered lower-middle class life (The History of Mr Polly) and the 'New Woman' and the Suffragettes (Ann Veronica).