Author: H.G. Wells
Recently my father-in-law loaned me a novel called The Time Ships, knowing that we shared an interest in science-fiction. Written by Stephen Baxter, the story is a sequel to the classic H.G. Wells sci-fi pioneer The Time Machine, written exactly 100 years earlier. Well, I had read the original novel at some point in junior high, but couldn't remember much about it other than a 'Wishbone' episode featuring a Jack Russell Terrier attempting to escape from ape-like Morlocks. I decided a re-read was in order.
The Time Machine takes place in London, both during the late 1800's and in the year 802,701 A.D. This massive leap in time is conducted by the Time Traveler, as the main character is referred to. While hosting a dinner party, the adventurer emerges from his office disheveled, exhausted, and bursting with a need to tell his story; an unbelievable tale of time, space, evolution, and the future of mankind. The dinner guests, as well as we the readers, can only listen in awe as the incredible journey is retold.
It is amazing how much detail and suspense can be packed into 100 pages. Though short, the story is exciting, intriguing, creepy, and even philosophical. Wells paints a picture of a very possible future, one in which evolution has worked perfectly, but not in ways that are as Utopian as we would like to believe. A great and quick read, The Time Machine is a novel that should be a required text, both for its impact on the sci-fi genre and its statement on humanity.
My rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Reading authors such as Wells and Verne reminds me how engaging and thought provoking shorter can be verses elaborate in detail and words. The followup digs deeper into the thoughts and developments of the insights of the characters and personalities as they are faced with the premise of time travel and its implications. In the simpler times of Sci Fi, one was left more on their own to ponder such things. Looking forward to your thoughts on the followup by a modern author.ReplyDelete
I agree, a short story can make one point very clearly, while a long novel can muddle too many points.Delete
I just read this book for the first time, because of your review and also because it was a free download on my kindle. I enjoyed it very much and finished it in only a day and a half which felt weird after reading A Song of Ice and Fire series which usually take me at least a month to finish. I look forward to reading the sequel next before diving back in to A Feast for Crows.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Time Ships is similar, but it goes deeper. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series, though I feel like he's starting to phone it in a little. The first book was just so amazing.Delete