The Time Machine (1895) by H.G. Wells

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The Time Machine (1895) by H.G. Wells

Post  BoG on Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:55 am

Wikipedia wrote:The Time Machine is a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, published in 1895. Wells is generally credited with the popularisation of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The term "time machine", coined by Wells, is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle. The Time Machine has since been adapted into two feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations. It has also indirectly inspired many more works of fiction in many media.

Wikipedia wrote:The book's protagonist is an English scientist and gentleman inventor living in Richmond, Surrey in Victorian England, and identified by a narrator simply as the Time Traveller. The narrator recounts the Traveller's lecture to his weekly dinner guests that time is simply a fourth dimension, and his demonstration of a tabletop model machine for travelling through it. He reveals that he has built a machine capable of carrying a person through time, and returns at dinner the following week to recount a remarkable tale, becoming the new narrator.

In the new narrative, the Time Traveller tests his device with a journey that takes him to A.D. 802,701, where he meets the Eloi, a society of small, elegant, childlike adults. They live in small communities within large and futuristic yet slowly deteriorating buildings, doing no work and having a frugivorous diet. His efforts to communicate with them are hampered by their lack of curiosity or discipline, and he speculates that they are a peaceful, common society, the result of humanity conquering nature with technology, and subsequently evolving to adapt to an environment in which strength and intellect are no longer advantageous to survival.

Returning to the site where he arrived, the Time Traveller is shocked to find his time machine missing, and eventually concludes that it has been dragged by some unknown party into a nearby structure with heavy doors, locked from the inside, which resembles a Sphinx. Luckily, he had removed the machine's levers before leaving it. Later in the dark, he is approached menacingly by the Morlocks, ape-like troglodytes who live in darkness underground and surface only at night. Within their dwellings he discovers the machinery and industry that makes the above-ground paradise possible. He alters his theory, speculating that the human race has evolved into two species: the leisured classes have become the ineffectual Eloi, and the downtrodden working classes have become the brutish light-fearing Morlocks. Deducing that the Morlocks have taken his time machine, he explores the Morlock tunnels, learning that due to a lack of any other means of sustenance, they feed on the Eloi. His revised analysis is that their relationship is not one of lords and servants, but of livestock and ranchers. The Time Traveller theorizes that intelligence is the result of and response to danger; with no real challenges facing the Eloi, they have lost the spirit, intelligence, and physical fitness of humanity at its peak.
Time Trivia: rated #1 in 2007 on the site, the list of Top 15 Great Science Fiction Books by Jamie Frater - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Wikipedia wrote:Although the Time Traveller's real name is never given in the original novel, other sources have named him.
One popular theory, encouraged by movies like Time After Time and certain episodes of the television show Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, is that the Time Traveller is meant to be H. G. Wells himself. Indeed, in the George Pal movie adaptation of The Time Machine, his name is given as George, which was H. G. Wells's middle name. "Manufactured by H. George Wells" can be seen on the control panel of the time travel device as the character hurls into the future, letting the audience understand the character is Wells himself.
In Simon Wells's 2002 remake, the Time Traveller is named Alexander Hartdegen.
In The Time Ships, Stephen Baxter's sequel to The Time Machine, the Time Traveller encounters his younger self via time travel. His younger self reacts with embarrassment to his older self's knowledge of his real names.
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