The Time Machine

Sequels by other authors

Wells's novella has become one of the cornerstones of science-fiction literature. As a result, it has spawned many offspring. Works expanding on Wells's story include:

  • La Belle Valence by Théo Varlet and André Blandin (1923) in which a squadron of World War I soldiers find the Time Machine and are transported back to the Spanish town of Valencia in the 14th century. Translated by Brian Stableford as Timeslip Troopers (2012).
  • Die Rückkehr der Zeitmaschine (1946) by Egon Friedell was the first direct sequel. It dwells heavily on the technical details of the machine and the time-paradoxes it might cause when the time machine was used to visit the past.This culminates in Westminster Abbey being used as a butcher shop of human beings by the Morlocks in the 20th century, and a total disruption and collapse of the time stream. There the hero and Merlin must find -and destroy-the Time Machine, to restore the time stream -and history itself. The 24,000-word German original was translated into English by Eddy C. Bertin in the 1940s and eventually published as a paperback as The Return of the Time Machine (1972, DAW).
  • The Hertford Manuscript by Richard Cowper, first published in 1976. It features a "manuscript" which reports the Time Traveller's activities after the end of the original story. According to this manuscript, the Time Traveller disappeared because his Time Machine had been damaged by the Morlocks without him knowing it. He only found out when it stopped operating during his next attempted time travel. He found himself on 27 August 1665, in London during the outbreak of the Great Plague of London. The rest of the novel is devoted to his efforts to repair the Time Machine and leave this time period before getting infected with the disease. He also has an encounter with Robert Hooke. He eventually dies of the disease on 20 September 1665. The story gives a list of subsequent owners of the manuscript until 1976. It also gives the name of the Time Traveller as Robert James Pensley, born to James and Martha Pensley in 1850 and disappearing without trace on 18 June 1894.
  • The Space Machine by Christopher Priest, first published in 1976. Because of the movement of planets, stars and galaxies, for a time machine to stay in one spot on Earth as it travels through time, it must also follow the Earth's trajectory through space. In Priest's book, a travelling salesman damages a Time Machine similar to the original, and arrives on Mars, just before the start of the invasion described in The War of the Worlds. H.G. Wells himself appears as a minor character.
  • Morlock Night by K.W. Jeter, first published in 1979. A steampunk fantasy novel in which the Morlocks, having studied the Traveller's machine, duplicate it and invade Victorian London.
  • Time Machine II by George Pal and Joe Morhaim, published in 1981. The Time Traveller, named George, and the pregnant Weena try to return to his time, but instead land in the London Blitz, dying during a bombing raid. Their newborn son is rescued by an American ambulance driver, and grows up in the United States under the name Christopher Jones. Sought out by the lookalike son of James Filby, Jones goes to England to collect his inheritance, leading ultimately to George's journals, and the Time Machine's original plans. He builds his own machine with 1970s upgrades, and seeks his parents in the future. Pal also worked on a detailed synopsis for a third sequel, which was partly filmed for a 1980s U.S. TV special on the making of Pal's film version of The Time Machine, using the original actors. This third sequel - the plot of which does not seem to fit with Pal's second - opens with the Time Traveller enjoying a happy life with Weena, in a future world in which the Morlocks have died out. He and his son return to save Filby in World War I. This act changes the future, causing the nuclear war not to happen. He and his son are thus cut off from Weena in the far future. The Time Traveller thus has to solve a dilemma - allow his friend to die, and cause the later death of millions, or give up Weena forever.
  • The Man Who Loved Morlocks (1981) and The Truth about Weena (1998) are two different sequels, the former a novel and the latter a short story, by David J. Lake. Each of them concerns the Time Traveller's return to the future. In the former, he discovers that he cannot enter any period in time he has already visited, forcing him to travel into the further future, where he finds love with a woman whose race evolved from Morlock stock. In the latter, he is accompanied by Wells, and succeeds in rescuing Weena and bringing her back to the 1890s, where her political ideas cause a peaceful revolution.
  • The Time Ships, by Stephen Baxter, first published in 1995. This sequel was officially authorised by the Wells estate to mark the centenary of the original's publication. In its wide-ranging narrative, the Traveller's desire to return and rescue Weena is thwarted by the fact that he has changed history (by telling his tale to his friends, one of whom published the account). With a Morlock (in the new history, the Morlocks are intelligent and cultured), he travels through the multiverse as increasingly complicated timelines unravel around him, eventually meeting mankind's far future descendants, whose ambition is to travel back to the birth of the universe, and modify the way the multiverse will unfold. This sequel includes many nods to the prehistory of Wells's story in the names of characters and chapters.
  • The 2003 short story "On the Surface" by Robert J. Sawyer begins with this quote from the Wells original: "I have suspected since that the Morlocks had even partially taken it [the time machine] to pieces while trying in their dim way to grasp its purpose." In the Sawyer story, the Morlocks develop a fleet of time machines and use them to conquer the same far future Wells depicted at the end of the original, by which time, because the sun has grown red and dim and thus no longer blinds them, they can reclaim the surface of the world.
  • Burt Libe wrote two sequels: Beyond the Time Machine (2005) and Tangles in Time (2005), telling of the Time Traveller finally settling down with Weena in the 33rd century. They have a few children, the youngest of whom is the main character in the second book.
  • In 2006, Monsterwax Trading Cards combined The Time Machine with two of Wells's other stories, The Island of Dr. Moreau and The War of the Worlds. The resulting 102 card trilogy, by Ricardo Garijo, was entitled The Art of H. G. Wells.[9] The continuing narrative links all three stories by way of an unnamed writer mentioned in Wells's first story, to the nephew of Ed Prendick (the narrator of Dr. Moreau), and another unnamed writer (narrator) in The War of the Worlds.
  • The Time Traveller and his machine appear in the story Allan and the Sundered Veil by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, which acts as a prequel to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1. The Time Traveller shares an adventure with fellow literary icons Allan Quatermain, John Carter and Randolph Carter.
  • David Haden's novelette The Time Machine: A Sequel (2010) is a direct sequel, picking up where the original finished. The Time Traveller goes back to rescue Weena, but finds the Eloi less simple than he first imagined, and time travel far more complicated.
  • Simon Baxter's novel The British Empire: Psychic Battalions Against The Morlocks (2010) imagines a steampunk/cyberpunk future in which the British Empire has remained the dominant world force, until the Morlocks arrive from the future.
  • Hal Colebatch's Time-Machine Troopers (2011) (Acashic Publishers) is twice the length of the original. In it the time-traveller returns to the future world about 18 years after the time he escaped from the Morlocks, taking with him Robert Baden-Powell, the real-world founder of the Boy Scout movement. They set out to teach the Eloi self-reliance and self-defence against the Morlocks, but the morlocks capture them. H. G. Wells himself and Winston Churchill also feature as characters.
  • Paul Schullery's The Time Traveler's Tale: Chronicle of a Morlock Captivity (2012) continues the story in the voice and manner of the original Wells book. After many years' absence, the Time Traveler returns and describes his further adventures. His attempts to mobilize the Eloi in their own defense against the Morlocks failed when he was captured by the Morlocks. Much of the book is occupied with his deeply unsettling discoveries about the Morlock/Eloi symbiosis, his gradual assimilation into Morlock society, and his ultimately successful attempt to discover the true cause of humanity's catastrophic transformation into two such tragic races.
  • Pablo Gómez's Año 802701 (2014) continues the George Pal film with the manner of the original Wells book. The time traveler will help to create a new Eloi world with many adventures but also with problems.
  • The Great Illustrated Classics adaptation of Wells' novel (published in 1992) faithfully abridges the original, but adds one additional destination to the Time Traveler's adventure. Before returning home to his own time, the Time Traveler stops the machine three hundred years in the future, or approximately the year 2200 AD. Upon his arrival, he is quickly drugged with a truth serum by a group of men who meet him and is ushered into an interrogation room. They are aware of the existence of time machines, which have long been outlawed. The Time Traveler finds a society that appears to be a technocracy. He learns that in the early 21st century, the world's natural resources had become completely squandered, and the air was poisoned with pollution. A group of four scientists formed the "World Science Governing Board" to save the planet from ecological devastation. Power was handed over to them by all world governments, and they ushered in an era of peace and longevity. Unfortunately, conflict broke out one generation later when the children of the Founding Four tried to seize power instead of holding elections. The world split into two opposing forces, constantly at war. Suddenly, an alarm is sounded in the interrogation room. The opposing army was launching an attack. In the panic, one of the future men tries to steal the time machine, but the Time Traveler is able to hit him over the head with an iron bar he had used to fend off the Morlocks. The Time Traveler then returns to his own time.

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