Author(s): H. G. Wells
The Time Machine is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 for the first time and later adapted into at least two feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations. It indirectly inspired many more works of fiction in many media. This 32,000 word story is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The term "time machine", coined by Wells, is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle. Wells also introduced the idea of time being the "fourth dimension", as well as an early example of the Dying Earth subgenre. Wells had considered the notion of time travel before, in an earlier work titled The Chronic Argonauts. He had thought of using some of this material in a series of articles in the Pall Mall Gazette, until the publisher asked him if he could instead write a serial novel on the same theme; Wells readily agreed, and was paid £100 (equal to about £9,000 today) on its publication by Heinemann in 1895. The story was first published in serial form in the January to May numbers of William Ernest Henley's new venture New Review. The story reflects Wells's own socialist political views, his view on life and abundance, and the contemporary angst about industrial relations. It is also influenced by Ray Lankester's theories about social degeneration. Other science fiction works of the period, including Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward and the later Metropolis, dealt with similar themes.
"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." Sunday Telegraph "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." Independent on Sunday "A master writer who led a lot of people out of superstition and hopelessness" Guardian
H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, in 1866. After an education repeatedly interrupted by his family's financial problems, he eventually found work as a teacher at a succession of schools, where he began to write his first stories. Wells became a prolific writer with a diverse output, of which the famous works are his science fiction novels. These are some of the earliest and most influential examples of the genre, and include classics such as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds. Most of his books very well-received, and had a huge influence on many younger writers, including George Orwell and Isaac Asimov. Wells also wrote many popular non-fiction books, and used his writing to support the wide range of political and social causes in which he had an interest, although these became increasingly eccentric towards the end of his life. Twice-married, Wells had many affairs, including a ten-year liaison with Rebecca West that produced a son. He died in London in 1946.