Review: The Time Machine
Jesus Christ … where to begin.
Initially, the Time Traveler doesn’t understand the natives’ language or behavior; calls them ignorant and debased. Then he attributes their indolence and ignorance to a lack of violence and need in their day to day existence. When he finally admits ignorance, he takes a swipe “Central Africans”. Throughout he casually refers to everyone and everything in the future as “his”. Clearly this book was written before the world wars and the end of the British Empire.
Oh, I almost forgot that the only “female” character is constantly described as a child. And our “hero” “misplaces” her during a life or death struggle and doesn’t realize it until later that night. At least she gets a name. Which is noteworthy, since no one else in the FUTURE is special enough to get a name.
The plot is pretty light, and the science is… of its time. And I’m not talking about time the time machine. The Time Traveler explains the future’s warmer climate by positing that a planet fell into the sun and rekindled it. lol.
Something positive. The time machine itself has a cool description. Reading this gave me a keen insight into the perspective of people that treated the world as their birthright. Also, this novella is super short, 130 pages with regular type size. The brevity and simplicity made this post really easy to right.
My favorite passage:
“Once the flames crept forward so swiftly on my right…”
Maybe the use of crept has changed in the last 120 years. Maybe things use to creep faster than they do today. Maybe the lack of violence and need in our day to day life has made our creepers indolent. Maybe this novel is more ‘important’ than good.
So, I mean….. I don’t think there is much to read here unless you really want to go through early sci-fi and you want some extra context. I’ve got this vintage H.G. Wells box set, so I guess I’m going to plow through them, maybe I’ll latch onto something in one of those.