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The Time Machine

The Time Machine: HG Wells

The Time Machine is an 1895 novel by HG Wells. This novel is credited as popularising time travel in science fiction.

Centring around an English scientist and gentleman ambiguously referred to in the text as ‘the time traveller’, the novel explores what happens when a pioneer has to navigate his way through time in order to answer questions about his own past.

The time traveller has built a machine capable of travelling through time and decides to put it to the test. Over the course of his travels, he encounters a primitive race the Eloi who are descended from humans but who it is shown, are hugely devolved. During his adventure, his time machine becomes lost and he must find a way to salvage it from the Morlocks who have stolen it…

Although the science of time travel is something which is still under development, this novel started a conversation about the possibilities of science and human capabilities. Exploring feelings of displacement and the necessity of navigational skills to return home, The Time Machine has remained an enduring example of inspiration for science fiction across multiple media platforms.

Listen to a sample of the novel below: