Brilliantly imaginative fiction or the shape of things to come? H.G. Wells's masterpiece still retains its power to provoke and enthral.
In the Time Traveller's miraculous new machine, we will be carried from a Victorian dinner table to 802,701 AD, when the Earth is divided between the gentle, ineffective Eloi, and the ape-like Morlocks; forward again by a million years or so to glimpse a dying world of blood-red beaches and menacing shapes; and on again to the last days of our planet, a remote twilight where nothing moves but darkness and a cold wind.
A seminal work of dystopian fiction, Wells's tale of the voyages of the Time Traveller in the distant future (AD 802,701) is also a cracking adventure story.
In its decency and commitment to the future, its dramatisation of its hero's moral and imaginative reach, The Time Machine is as good a testament as any to the values and achievement of one of our bravest and most stimulating writers, one whose best work comically or horrifically continues to feel as if it bodies forth the shape of things to come.
A master writer who led a lot of people out of superstition and hopelessness