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Published in 1895, The Time Machine was the first novel to suggest the theme of time travel by machine, and along with other books by Wells, it was a forerunner of the contemporary science fiction genre, then known as "scientific romances."
Wells wrote mainly speculative fiction concerned with the contemporary problems of human society and its possible futures. While his works express a hope in human technology and progress, this is tempered by a realization of the possible extinction of humanity through the very same technology and the predilections of human nature.
There is a strong ethical component to his work and this relates to the ambivalence that he often expressed about the potentialities of human nature. One of the central issues that concerned him was the disparity between the elite and the masses. The Time Machine explores these concerns in a setting 800,000 years into the future.
Two of Wells's sf masterpieces get the red carpet treatment here. These "critical text" editions contain the full text plus annotations, indexes, appendixes, and bibliographies. Though these editions are pricey, Wells's works deserve serious consideration. Libraries should at least stock up on a few extra budget paperback copies of Doctor Moreau to meet demand generated by a forthcoming film remake starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer.