This is one of those books that just seemed to appear on my bookshelf. I can’t remember where or when I bought it but looking at it I certainly know why. I love old books. The older the better really. Most of you will know of the unmistakable old book smell that just makes the experience of reading physical books irreplaceable.
Science fiction is something that goes hand in hand fantasy. You’ll see them together in most book shops, so it makes sense that it’s something I like to read.
The idea of time travel is one that has always captivated my interest – I’m a massive fan of Doctor Who. The idea has been developed so much that we have pretty much been provided with all we need to know about time travel, just not the means of actually doing it.
So many books, TV shows and movies are based on time travel nowadays. But what drew me to this book is that The Time Machine is perhaps one of the earliest books to bring the idea of time travel to the public. Published as a serial in The New Review in 1895, it even preceded such advances in science as the invention of television and the radio. I really liked the juxtaposition between Victorian England and the futuristic science of the time machine.
The story is about a Time Traveller who uses his machine to travel forward in time to the year 802,701. There he meets a race of human like creatures called the Eloi. His time machine is then stolen by a race of ape like creatures who live underground and are afraid of light called Morlocks.
What stuck out for me the most is that Wells didn’t take the Time Traveller to the near future, he went almost to the end of civilisation. Everyone can imagine what it might be like in the near future, and I bet most of those predictions involve flying cars. It takes real imagination to picture what it would be like in 800,000 years.
It was set out like the Time Traveller telling the story rather than us going through it as it happens. This isn’t something I normally like, but it makes sense for this story. There wouldn’t have been much need for dialogue as the Eloi or the Morlocks couldn’t speak English
The story was nice and short, I read it in little over a day. Much like the people at dinner with the Time Traveller, I’m left with many questions not just for the main antagonist, but for Wells himself.
If I had a time machine the first two places I would go would be the birth and death of our galaxy. I would want to be 100% certain of how we got here and how long we have left until the Earth explodes. But those are just two on a list that is so long that could probably go round the Earth at least once.
Let me know in the comments where or when you would go if you had a time machine!