24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Worthy sequel to Wells's classic,
This review is from: The Time Ships (Paperback)
Time travel has always been my favorite genre of science fiction, yet it is probably one of the hardest to get right. Aside from the science of time travel, there's the eternal paradoxes that time travel poses - such as how one can travel to the past, effect change (after all, where's the fun in traveling through time if you can't muck about with it?), and not create an impossible conundrum in the process. Wells's The Time Machine (Penguin Classics) neatly stepped around the whole problem by having his unnamed Traveler voyage into the future rather than the past. By contrast, Stephen Baxter tackles these issues head-on in this follow-up to Wells's story, a worthy sequel to a landmark work of science fiction.
Picking up neatly where Wells left off, Baxter's tale ranges far into the future and back to the beginning of Time itself, encountering realities profoundly affected by the invention of time travel. Accompanying the Traveler is Nebogipfel, a Morlock unlike any invented by Wells. Nebogipfel is a sensitive character who supplies the modern scientific explanations to what the 19th century narrator encounters, and the friendship that emerges between the two of them is one of the highlights of this book,
Nebogipfel also serves to answer many of the traditional paradoxes of time travel that appear in the course of their travels in time. Though many will find the explanations unsatisfactory, Baxter should be commended for confronting them head-on and creating a much richer novel in the process. Fans of the original novel will also respect his homage to Wells and the respect that Baxter pays to many of the Wells's ideas, though in the end this is a must-read for any fan of brilliantly imagined, well-written science fiction.