Synopses & Reviews
When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year a.d. 802,701, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment, and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realizes that these beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture—now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. They have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity—the sinister Morlocks. And when the scientist’s time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels if he is ever to return to his own era.
- Includes a newly established text, a full biographical essay on Wells, a list of further reading, and detailed notes
- Marina Warner’s introduction considers Wells’s development of the “scientific romance” and places the novel in the context of its time
Two classic science fiction novels in one handsome volume.
Here are two masterpieces of irony and imaginative vision from the father of science fiction. The Time Machine propels the Time Traveller into a distant, dismal, Darwinian future. The Invisible Man tells of a brash young scientist who becomes invisible, then insane.
With his face swaddled in bandages, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses, and his hands covered even indoors, Griffin—the new guest at the Coach and Horses—is at first assumed to be a shy accident victim. But the true reason for his disguise is far more chilling: he has developed a process that has made him invisible and is locked in a struggle to discover the antidote. Forced from the village and driven to murder, he seeks the aid of an old friend, Kemp. The horror of his fate has affected his mind, however, and when Kemp refuses to help, he resolves to wreak his revenge.
- First time in Penguin Classics
- Includes a newly established text, a full biographical essay on Wells, suggestions for further reading, and detailed notes
Together in one indispensable volume, The Time Machine
and The Invisible Man
are masterpieces of irony and imaginative vision from H. G. Wells, the father of science fiction.
The Time Machine conveys the Time Traveller into the distant future and an extraordinary world. There, stranded on a slowly dying Earth, he discovers two bizarre races: the effete Eloi and the subterranean Morlocksa haunting portrayal of Darwins evolutionary theory carried to a terrible conclusion.
The Invisible Man is the fascinating tale of a brash young scientist who, experimenting on himself, becomes invisible and then criminally insane, trapped in the terror of his own creation.
Convincing and unforgettably real, these two classics are consummate representations of the stories that defined science fictionand inspired generations of readers and writers.
With an Introduction by John Calvin Batchelor
and an Afterword by Paul Youngquist
About the Author
Herbert George Wells
(18661946) was born in Bromley, Kent, England. His father was a professional cricketer and sometime shopkeeper, his mother a former ladys maid. Although Bertie” left school at fourteen to become a drapers apprentice (a life he detested), he later won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, where he studied with the famous Thomas Henry Huxley. He began to sell articles and short stories regularly in 1893. In 1895, his immediately successful novel The Time Machine
rescued him from a life of penury on a schoolteachers salary. His other scientific romances”The Island of Dr. Moreau
(1896), The Invisible Man
(1897), The War of the Worlds
(1898), The First Men in the Moon
(1901), and The War in the Air
(1908)won him distinction as the father of science fiction. Henry James saw in Wells the most gifted writer of the age, but Wells, having coined the phrase the war that will end war” to describe World War I, became increasingly disillusioned and focused his attention on educating mankind with his bestselling Outline of History
(1920) and his later utopian works. Wells witnessed a world more terrible than any of his imaginative visions, and he bitterly observed: Reality has taken a leaf from my book and set itself to supercede me.”
John Calvin Batchelor is the acclaimed author of such imaginative novels as The American Falls, Peoples Republic of Antarctica, and Gordon Liddy Is My Muse.
Paul Youngquist is professor of English and associate chair of Graduate Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. Hes the author of three books: Race, Romanticism, and The Atlantic; Madness and Blakes Myth (1991); and Monstrosities: Bodies and British Romanticism (2003), as well as numerous articles on a variety of subjects.