The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)


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Unlike album covers, which might be glimpsed only as a tiny thumbnail on an iPod screen, or magazine covers, which may be recycled in a month, a book jacket can have a very long life. Did I ever think that designing a book cover was easy? Not really. Twelve contestants. Twelve blank rectangular spaces.

Eleven disasters. One deal with Penguin Classics.

Here is the winner, coming soon to a bookstore near you:. I cannot show you the other eleven, both because the images belong to Bravo and because the Book Bench is, as ever, constrained by taste.

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This one I might concede isn't bad, except for the fact that H. The thing the Time Traveller held in his hand was a glittering metallic framework, scarcely larger than a small clock, and very delicately made. There was ivory in it, and some transparent crystalline substance. And now I must be explicit, for this that follows — unless his explanation is to be accepted — is an absolutely unaccountable thing.

He took one of the small octagonal tables that were scattered about the room, and set it in front of the fire, with two legs on the hearth rug. On this table he placed the mechanism. Then he drew up a chair, and sat down. The only other object on the table was a small shaded lamp, the bright light of which fell full upon the model. There were also perhaps a dozen candles about, two in brass candlesticks upon the mantel and several in sconces, so that the room was brilliantly illuminated. I sat in a low armchair nearest the fire, and I drew this forward so as to be almost between the Time Traveller and the fireplace.

Filby sat behind him, looking over his shoulder. The Medical Man and the Provincial Mayor watched him in profile from the right, the Psychologist from the left. The Very Young Man stood behind the Psychologist. We were all on the alert. It appears incredible to me that any kind of trick, however subtly conceived and however adroitly done, could have been played upon us under these conditions. The Time Traveller looked at us, and then at the mechanism.

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It is my plan for a machine to travel through time. You will notice that it looks singularly askew, and that there is an odd twinkling appearance about this bar, as though it was in some way unreal. This saddle represents the seat of a time traveller. Presently I am going to press the lever, and off the machine will go. It will vanish, pass into future Time and disappear. Have a good look at the thing. Look at the table too, and satisfy yourselves there is no trickery.

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The Psychologist seemed about to speak to me, but changed his mind. Then the Time Traveller put forth his finger towards the lever. So that it was the Psychologist himself who sent forth the model Time Machine on its interminable voyage. We all saw the lever turn. I am absolutely certain there was no trickery. There was a breath of wind, and the lamp flame jumped.

One of the candles on the mantel was blown out, and the little machine suddenly swung round, became indistinct, was seen as a ghost for a second perhaps, as an eddy of faintly glittering brass and ivory; and it was gone — vanished! Save for the lamp the table was bare. Everyone was silent for a minute. Then Filby said he was damned. The Psychologist recovered from his stupor, and suddenly looked under the table. At that the Time Traveller laughed cheerfully. Then, getting up, he went to the tobacco jar on the mantel, and with his back to us began to fill his pipe.

We stared at each other.

The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)

Do you seriously believe that that machine has travelled into time? The Psychologist, to show that he was not unhinged, helped himself to a cigar and tried to light it uncut.

You can explain that. I should have thought of it. We cannot see it, nor can we appreciate this machine, any more than we can the spoke of a wheel spinning, or a bullet flying through the air. If it is travelling through time fifty times or a hundred times faster than we are, if it gets through a minute while we get through a second, the impression it creates will of course be only one-fiftieth or one-hundredth of what it would make if it were not travelling in time.

We sat and stared at the vacant table for a minute or so. Then the Time Traveller asked us what we thought of it all. Wait for the common sense of the morning. I remember vividly the flickering light, his queer, broad head in silhouette, the dance of the shadows, how we all followed him, puzzled but incredulous, and how there in the laboratory we beheld a larger edition of the little mechanism which we had seen vanish from before our eyes. Parts were of nickel, parts of ivory, parts had certainly been filed or sawn out of rock crystal. The thing was generally complete, but the twisted crystalline bars lay unfinished upon the bench beside some sheets of drawings, and I took one up for a better look at it.

Quartz it seemed to be. Or is this a trick — like that ghost you showed us last Christmas? Is that plain? I was never more serious in my life. All rights reserved.

The Time Machine (Penguin Classics) (Reprint) [Paperback]

No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, in 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 Learn more about H. Additional formats. The Time Machine. Other books in this series.

Arthur Conan Doyle. A Passage to India. Little Women. Louisa May Alcott. Leaves of Grass. Walt Whitman. Whose Body?

The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)
The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)
The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)
The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)
The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)
The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)
The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)
The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)

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