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The Time Machine is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895. It is generally credited with the popularisation of the concept of time travel by 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. This work is an early example of the Dying Earth subgenre. The Time Machine has since been adapted into two feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations. It has also indirectly inspired many more works of fiction in many media. History Wells had considered the notion of time travel before, in an earlier work titled The Chronic Argonauts. This short story was published in his college's newspaper and was the foundation for The Time Machine. Wells frequently stated that 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 10,000 today) on its publication by Heinemann in 1895. The story was first published in serial form in the January to May numbers of The New Review (newly under the nominal editorship of W. E. Henley). The first book edition (possibly prepared from a different manuscript) was published in New York by Henry Holt and Company on 7 May 1895; an English edition was published by Heinemann on 29 May. These two editions are different textually, and are commonly referred to as the "Holt text" and "Heinemann text" respectively. Nearly all modern reprints reproduce the Heinemann text. 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, and share many elements with Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel Vril. Other science fiction works of the period, including the Edward Bellamy novel Looking Backward and the later film Metropolis, dealt with similar themes.
About the Author
Herbert George "H. G." Wells (21 September 1866 - 13 August 1946) was an English writer, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing textbooks and rules for war games. Wells is sometimes called "The Father of Science Fiction," as are Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback. His most notable science fiction works include The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau. Wells's earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of "Journalist." Most of his later novels were not science fiction. Some described lower-middle class life (Kipps; The History of Mr Polly), leading him to be touted as a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole.