The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Genres: Science Fiction, Classics
Published: 7th May, 1895
Goodreads
Series: N/A
Rating: 3.5

“I’ve had a most amazing time….”
So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him his reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes…and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth. There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well. Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.


You know, what? This wasn’t bad. I generally don’t like time travel stories, because I find all the implications of messing with one’s past just too daunting and mind boggling. This book was different though. The Time Traveller (as he’s referred to throughout the story) has no great agenda to save the world, he just wants to explore, driven by his curiosity.

Just like so many books written in this era, the story is told by an unnamed guy, who witnessed first hand the scientific discussion that lead to the experiment, and the Time Traveller’s recollection of his eight-day adventure into the future. There’s no fluff, no fillers, just crisp, fast paced facts recounted over a dinner.

The future is bleak, society is split into two: the peaceful, innocent, almost childlike Eloi and the bloodthirsty, but technically advanced, ape-like Morlocks. According to the Time Traveller’s theory, society at one point must have reached balance and security, that lead to their degradation.

“But even on this supposition the balanced civilization that was at last attained must have long since passed its zenith, and was now far fallen into decay. The too-perfect security of the Upper-worlders had led them to a slow movement of degeneration, to a general dwindling in size, strength, and intelligence.”

The Eloi are constantly being hunted by the Morlocks, but they do nothing about it, just accept it as the norm. In a way this future seems even scarier than those depicted in dystopian books with the oppressive governments, because they at least still have the chance to revolt and claim back their freedom. The Eloi, who are proper bubbleheads, are way past this.

The conclusion? Humanity is its own worst enemy. No surprise there, unfortunately.