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The Time Machine

Introd. by Greg Bear. With a new afterword by Simon J. James

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The revolutionary novel that catapulted readers into the future, from the father of science fiction, H.G. Wells.

"I've had a most amazing time...."

So begins the Time Traveller's astonishing firsthand account of his journey eight hundred thousand years beyond his own era-and the story that launched H. G. Wells's successful career. 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 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.

With an Introduction by Greg Bear
and an Afterword by Simon J. James
Portrait
Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, England, on September 21, 1866. His father was a professional cricketer and sometime shopkeeper, his mother a former lady’s maid. Although “Bertie” left school at fourteen to become a draper’s apprentice (a life he detested), he later won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, where he studied with the famous Thomas Henry Huxley. He began to sell articles and short stories regularly in 1893. In 1895, his immediately successful novel
The Time Machine rescued him from a life of penury on a schoolteacher’s salary. His other “scientific romances”—
The Island
of Dr. Moreau (1896),
The Invisible Man (1897),
The War of the Worlds (1898),
The First Men in the Moon (1901), and
The War in the Air (1908)—won him distinction as the father of science fiction. Henry James saw in Wells the most gifted writer of the age, but Wells, having coined the phrase “the war that will end war” to describe World War I, became increasingly disillusioned and focused his attention on educating mankind with his bestselling
Outline of History (1920) and his later utopian works. Living until 1946, Wells witnessed a world more terrible than any of his imaginative visions, and he bitterly observed: “Reality has taken a leaf from my book and set itself to supercede me.”

 

Greg Bear’s novels and stories have appeared in more than twenty languages worldwide and have won numerous prizes, including two Hugos, five Nebulas, and the Prix Apollo. His novels include
Darwin’s Radio (winner of the Nebula and Endeavor awards),
Darwin’s Children,
Vitals,
Blood Music,
Eon,
Queen of Angels, and
Moving Mars. He has served as a consultant and a lecturer on space and defense policy, biotechnology and bioterrorism, multimedia entertainment, and Internet issues.

Simon J. James is Professor of Victorian Literature at the Department of English Studies, Durham University. He is the editor of
The Wellsian, the peer-reviewed scholarly journal of the H.G. Wells Society. He has edited four H.G. Wells novels for the Penguin Classics, as well as George Gissing’s
Charles Dickens: A Critical Study. James is the author of
Maps of Utopia: H.G. Wells, Modernity and the End of Culture and
Unsettled Accounts: Money and Narrative Form in the Novels of George Gissing.
… weiterlesen
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  • Table of Contents

    About the Author

    Title Page

    Copyright Page

    Introduction

    Chapter 1

    Chapter 2

    Chapter 3

    Chapter 4

    Chapter 5

    Chapter 6

    Chapter 7

    Chapter 8

    Chapter 9

    Chapter 10

    Chapter 11

    Chapter 12

    Epilogue

    Appendix

    14

    Afterword

    Selected Bibliography

    Introduction

    BEFORE AIRPLANES, SPACE travel, and atomic energy, before freeways and traffic jams, poison gas and tanks, and just before the dawn of the twentieth century, a nameless inventor in London discovered a way to travel in time, using a mysterious machine assembled in a small private shop.

    And an unknown journalist named Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) leaped in a few short years to fame and fortune.

    If this is the first time you've read The Time Machine, then stop right here. Skip over this introduction, for now, and get right to the story. When you're done, if you wish, come back and join the discussion. It's bound to be heated.To this day, H. G. Wells is controversial, and I doubt he would have had it any other way!

    Welcome back. Now how do you feel about time travel? Perplexed, skeptical, excited, a little sad?

    By 1895, when The Time Machine was first published in book form, H. G. Wells had lived through years of ill health, married and parted, and tried on a career of teaching, then moved on to journalism and writing reviews. He did not seem very successful at anything, but he was enormously intelligent and ambitious. And he knew he had one story, one idea, one card up his sleeve that could possibly trump all of his disadvantages.

    A man, traveling in time, using a machine.

    A Time Traveller.

    Judging from many drafts and redrafts over at least seven years, Wells knew that he had something big-something that could launch his career very nicely indeed, if he only got it right.

    He finally got it right. After its serialization in William Ernest Henley's The New Review in early 1895, The Time Machine became a sensation. In an age intrigued by all the possibilities of science and mathematics, Wells's first work of fiction was like a brisk slap in the face. The future will be marvelous, the young Wells told his audience-and also tragic, even horrible. All things biological must end, or give way to new forms, he suggested, following the dour lead of his most influential teacher, Darwin's "Bulldog," T. H. Huxley.

    For Victorian England, the picture of humanity divided into the diminutive, weak, and sun-dwelling Eloi and those technological dwellers in underground darkness, the Morlocks, must have seemed particularly grotesque-mirroring as it did the tottering class system: quite literally, Upstairs and Downstairs.

    In this bleak picture of distant futurity, Wells gives us a final glimmer of human love, innocent and childlike, in the outstretched hand of the tiny Eloi Weena . . . love, however, too weak to withstand the brutal forces of evolution and necessity, and far too swiftly destroyed. As a final fillip, Wells shows us that eventually even the necessity of biological evolution will give way, as the sun swells and reddens, life reverts to the crustacean and then to the (possibly) molluscan or protozoan, and the Earth finally freezes over.

    It is an utterly chilling message, mixing as it does human sentiment, contemporary scientific knowledge, unwavering pessimism, and a sense of cosmic wonder and discovery, with the realization of the limited condition of the human race. As a novelistic tour de force, nothing like it had ever been published.

    Coming on the heels of decades of speculation about both evolution and geometry, and bringing together recent theories in astronomy and geology, The Time Machine hit the Victorian intellect squarely between the eyes. It was the first modern science fiction novel.

    Within nine years, H. G. Wells would write seven more novels-The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), When the Sleeper Wake
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Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 160
Altersempfehlung ab 18
Erscheinungsdatum 04.11.2014
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-451-47070-6
Verlag Penguin US
Maße (L/B/H) 17.2/10.3/1.5 cm
Gewicht 82 g
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
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