The Time Machine

By H.G. Wells,

Book cover of The Time Machine

Book description

A brilliant scientist constructs a machine, which, with the pull of a lever, propels him to the year AD 802,701.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for…


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Why read it?

11 authors picked The Time Machine as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The genius of HG Wells lies not only in his mastery of words, but in his uncanny way of predicting the future and future events. From submarines to flying machines to future societies, many of Wells’ predictions came to fruition over the course of the 20th century. An enjoyable, albeit cautionary read, The Time Machine takes readers on a white-knuckled ride into the past and far into the future, exploring and questioning man’s own humanity.

The Time Machine was part of a book study I did in grade seven. The complex time travel theories made my mind swirl and would eventually inspire me while I wrote my first novel. This is a time travel book that has no rival; the ideas and concepts are captivating.

H.G. Wells was way ahead of his time, and The Time Machine proves this. Although usually considered to be pure Science Fiction, I would argue that it has horror elements to it as well. Our hero, the Time Traveller, finds himself flung far into the future where mankind has evolved into two distinct species, the Eloi and their carnivorous masters, the cave-dwelling Morlocks. Some of the writing in this is pure horror, and Wells writes in such a ‘modern’ way that readers in the 21st Century can still relate to it.

From Richard's list on mixing horror with other genres.

This is actually not the first time travel novel – Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee and Bellamy’s Looking Backward preceded it by a few years – but it’s the first that can properly be called science fiction rather than fantasy, since Wells provides a machine to do the time travel. It respects the paradoxes in a straightforward way, by telling a story of travel to the future that doesn’t run into any mind-twisting paradoxes at all.

An oldie but goldie, I’m sending you even further back into history for this rec’ to the year 1895 and even as I’m writing that I can’t get my synapses around how ahead of his time ol’ Herbert was.

Sure, it’s got that time travel razzle dazzle surrounding the time machine itself, but what this book is really about is actually more a case of putting class systems under the microscope and proving that if we don’t learn from past mistakes humanity will end up in the same state as the dinosaurs from my last recommendation. That is to say,…

As an author, my genre is historical fiction and, presently, time travel, with a side-trip to steampunk. This classic novella is the quintessential time travel tale from the grandfather of science fiction itself and steampunk. As in my books, a young chrononaut (time traveller) travels through time. Unlike my books, this chrononaut travels into the future, not the past, and comes across a dwindling planet inhabited by two strange species, evolved from humanity. A quick read that leaves you wanting more trips on the steampunk time machine.

From Craig's list on to contemplate for a time.

The first time-travel book I read, which is kind of appropriate, since it’s widely regarded as the first one written, and inspired many later works. It showed me that a great science fiction story, at its heart, is simply a great story set in a world that is somehow “other.” As a budding writer, I loved the freedom that a far distant future gave the author to imagine what might happen to the human race over the course of several hundred thousand years, and present a picture of an apparent utopia that had a hidden, and much darker, side. 

The Time Machine was published in 1895 and served as the catalyst for future science fiction writers dealing with time travel. This novel warns of the eventual doom of the human race. Wells wrote this fictional story over a hundred years ago and the divisions in class and the calamity of war still exist today just as it did during his lifetime. Each war his time traveler encountered was more devastating than the previous one, reflecting the human tendency to never learn from the past and to continue to control and manipulate people they consider less than themselves. Sound familiar?…

From Tony's list on written by science fiction masters.

Wells’s utopia-turned-dystopia is the novel that most directly inspired my Our Dried Voices. A scientist invents a time machine and travels thousands of years into Earth’s future, where he meets a group of blissfully ignorant humanoids called the Eloi. These Eloi lack for nothing and live a life of apparent ease and comfort—until night falls. I was fascinated by the idea of humans losing the intellectual curiosity and creativity that have defined our species when I first read The Time Machine. And while I have a different vision of humanity’s future than what plays out in Wells’s social…

From Greg's list on utopia-turned-dystopia.

If evolution is not necessarily progressive, then might our children’s children be degenerates? In his much-loved science-fictional classic, H. G. Wells supposes that we evolve into two species, the above-ground Eloi, beautiful but aimless, and the below-ground Morlocks, hardworking cannibals. We have the power and the knowledge to prevent so awful a fate. The question is whether we have the will. Not to the exclusion of more immediate concerns. Our inability to tackle global warming for a start. And for a second, the frightening but very real possibility that some wayward state or group of fanatics might let off the…

From Michael's list on human evolution and the human story.

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