The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Short and sweet. Sometimes, that’s just what I need. Fresh off my latest Steampunk Month read, Boneshaker (2/5 stars), I wanted to read an older, classic steampunk book. After a browse through a list of steampunk books on Goodreads, I came upon The Time Machine and thought, why not?
The book, barely spanning over 100 pages, is about a man who builds a time machine, travels to the far, far, future (it’s the year 820701 or something) and meets what he believes will be the descendants of man. This all sounds very been there, done that, but the amazing thing of The Time Machine is that it was written in the 1800’s!
No, this isn’t a review about how the book was great for its time. It’s great even now. The Time Machine starts off with some gentlemen discussing ideas and theories in some guy’s parlor. There’s some basic exposition about fourth dimension mathematics, which will be easy to follow for anyone who’s taken basic geometry. That, I think is the brilliance of The Time Machine. It has vaguely scientific explanations of how time traveling works, but it’s not bogged down with the technical difficulties. Instead, it dives right into the mysterious world of the future.
The only disappointing thing I can say about The Time Machine, and this is entirely my fault, is that it’s not very steampunk. Other than the time traveling device, which I guess could be vaguely steampunk in that it has mechanical components, there’s not any steampunk at all. Luckily, that didn’t deter me from finishing the book. It would be a shame to not finish the story and hear what the Time Traveler had to say.
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