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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Time Machine - A Review

H.G. Wells' The Time Machine is an interesting read.
It is quite different from the recent movie based on it.
One of the primary differences is that the book lacks a love story and includes only one trip in the machine.

I do appreciate the additional trips outlined in the movie and the exploration of the paradox possibility through the application of the love story that the movie generated but I find that the original story was compelling and strong without those elements.

The biggest issue that exists with the novel is that H.G. Wells' scientific knowledge is exemplary for the time that he lived. It is, however, lacking compared to the modern knowledge we have constructed.

The biggest examples of this lie in the time until the end of the world and the the ability for large crustaceans to live when the air is thinner than today.

The biggest scientific knowledge that is utilized in the story is that of Natural Selection and Evolution. It is obvious that H.G. Wells has a thorough grasp on this concept as well as many of the socio-economic issues that plagued his time (and plague ours still) for his outlining of the society of Morlocks and surface dwellers is, to him, the natural progression of how socio-economically altered environment would lead to changing what it "the fittest" in a way that alters our evolution.

Interestingly, the complaints that H.G. is hinting at are those that exist today and which drove the creation of the movie Idiocracy and which have been expressed in each age by the adults of that age against the youth of the age including Isaac Asimov through the window of Harry Seldon in the Prelude to Foundation series.

The one thing it fails to address, which ALL time-travel stories fail to address, is that temporal relocation without the corresponding spatial relocation would yield the destination being in the deep void of space.

All in all, this is a classic component of the foundation of modern science fiction and it should be read by all the fans of modern science fiction.

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