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The Time Ships

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,950 ratings  ·  158 reviews
There is a secret passage through time ...and it leads all the way to the end of Eternity. But the journey has a terrible cost. It alters not only the future but the "present" in which we live.

A century after the publication of H. G. Wells' immortal The Time Machine, Stephen Baxter, today's most acclaimed new "hard SF" author, and the acknowledged heir to the visionary leg...more
Paperback, 520 pages
Published November 27th 1995 by Harper Voyager (first published January 1995)
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Community Reviews

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Rabindranauth
Wow.

The absolutely jaw dropping sequel to the book that spawned every tale of time travel you’ve ever read, The Time Machine. Baxter takes Wells’ masterpiece and makes it entirely his own in this epic, ambitious tale looks at the possibilities of time travel in ways no one has ever even contemplated.

After escaping the year 802,701 AD, the Traveller returns home to find himself restless, a man no longer bound to his time. It takes very little for him to plan another expedition into the future, to...more
Jean
In 1995, a hundred years after H.G. Wells's novel "The Time Machine", the Wells' estate authorised an official sequel by Stephen Baxter. The Time Ships went on to win several prestigious SF awards, including the British Science Fiction award for that year. It is an ambitious project and an exciting read in its own right.

The novel starts where the original left off, in 1891, with "the Time Traveller" preparing to return to the year 802,701 to save Weena, the young female Eloi who died in the fire...more
Ben
Baxter did a great job capturing the feel and style of The Time Machine. What he didn't capture of H.G.'s brevity. There are some truly fascinating ideas in this book. The problem is that there's too many ideas. The result of this was a longing for the book's satisfying but predictable conclusion.
Erik
Aug 05, 2011 Erik added it
Baxter takes the classic HG Wells novela and expands it in new and interesting ways, while still being faithful to the original piece. Here the Time Traveler is more thoughtful and more scientifically minded than he was in "The Time Machine," but the characterization is the same.



His journey starts where the first book ends and is split up into seven smaller "books" within the more than five-hundred page paperback. Each book takes the the Time Traveller from a child-like understanding of time, to...more
David
Don't be fooled by the doofy title; this book is a marvellously reimagined "sequel" to HG Wells' classic THE TIME MACHINE. As much as Wells' book was social allegory for the issues of his day, THE TIME SHIPS plumbs some of the questions of 21st century man through the lens of Wells' 19th century hero. I am so impressed with how Baxter uses those Victorian values and perceptions as a lens to grapple with very modern issues...the narrator comes off as remarkably cosmopolitan, open-minded and intel...more
Jordi Balcells
Continuación "apócrifa" de La máquina del tiempo, de H.G. Wells, me recuerda a las idas de olla metafísicas de Arthur C. Clarke con su saga Odisea.
El viajero, con cada nueva visita al pasado o al futuro, cambia su línea espacio-temporal y se desespera porque cree que con ello niega la existencia de todos aquellos atrapados en una realidad que ya no existe. Como buen autor hard, Baxter no se corta un pelo con la física, hasta tal punto que hacia el final del libro parece más bien metafísica, ya q...more
David Ramirer
hier ist stephen baxter ein meisterwerk gelungen, indem er den roman "die zeitmaschine" von h.g. wells als steilvorlage in einen direktpass ins gegenüberliegende tor verwandelt hat. spannend und fesselnd von der ersten seite an verbindet baxter gewohnt bizarre zukunftsvisionen mit vielen paradoxas, die die idee des zeitreisens mit sich bringt. am ende wird es sehr abgedreht, obgleich alles logisch im rahmen bleibt und immer noch ein wissenschaftliches fundament hat: ein kunststück, das nur steph...more
Maxwell Heath
While I felt as if The Time Machine was somewhat too short, this novel was almost certainly too long. Baxter did do a good job of presenting this as a sequel to The Time Machine. However, as a few other reviews note, the Time Traveler does not make for a compelling protagonist. The Dyson Sphere and Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics were interesting elements to include, although I've seen both elsewhere, and handled much better. Some of the histories were interesting, and the altern...more
Christopher
It's been a long time since I've read any hard sci-fi, but after reading The Time Machine by H.G. WellsThe Time Machine, I decided to swipe this from my brother's bookshelf and continue the story. I'm glad that I did because this is a fine sequel to H.G. Wells' classic tale of time travel. Mr. Baxter brings all of his knowledge of the theories of modern quantum physics to expand the story far beyond anything Wells' could have dreamed of. And yet, the language and characterizations of the main character feel so in tune with...more
Jason Golomb
Stephen Baxter's Time Ships is a sequel to HG Wells' classic The Time Machine. Where Wells was crisp, haunting and poignant, Baxter is deep and broad and offers his usual blend of hard core scifi philosophy and science.

Time Ships picks up where The Time Machine left off. The Time Traveler (TTT), after getting nothing more than a tepid response to his story of his first trip to the future, rushed headlong back into the future to find and rescue his Eloi friend Weena. Instead of returning to fix t...more
Chris
I would have to say that this is the best time travel book I have ever read. It is the 100 year anniversary sequel to the H. G. Wells classic "The Time machine." It is even written in the same style as Wells. If you are familiar with the story, Wells never reveals the name of the main character, he just calls him "the time traveller." Baxter does the same. Except that this book is about four times longer than the original Wells short novel, and includes a variety of adventures in the wildly dist...more
Sandra Petojevic
It starts exactly where the H. G. Wells's novel ends, but when the Time Traveller tries to return to the year 802701 to rescue Weena, he discovers that the future is altered! He must stop in year 657208 when the Earth is cloaked by an eternal night, because the Morlocks has built a giant Sphere around the Sun! And then he returns in time to July 1873 and confronts with - himself at the age of twenty six!

And then the novel becomes more and more intriguing. There is the Juggernaut Lord Raglan - a...more
Glen Robinson
Stephen Baxter is one of those science fiction writers with the background (mathematics) to back it up. He writes what some might call "hard" science fiction, putting a lot more emphasis on the science than on the fiction.

And that's OK. I only state that to give you a heads up for what to expect. The Time Ships is presented as a sequel to The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, using all of the same characters and storyline as in the original. That's probably what first intrigued me about the book. He...more
Paul Wandason
The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter is pretty poor as a sequel to the original "The Time Machine" by H. G. Wells. This is mostly because the the Time Traveller displayed very different characteristics in each book, and the underlying messages and meanings in the original were not followed through. Indeed, the only ties between the two books were contrived references at the start of the novel and the Time Traveller’s attempt to rescue Weena at the end.

BUT…

As a novel in its own right, this is brillia...more
Fuzzy Gerdes
I'm glad I read The Time Machine before The Time Ships, because it heightened my appreciation for what Stephen Baxter has achieved in the latter book -- writing an marvelous novel that manages to be both a faithful sequel to a hundred-year-old book and an epic journey through millions of years and several very different human (and post-human) civilizations.
Kenny
Oct 22, 2007 Kenny rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: hard sci-fi fans
Shelves: fiction-scifi
Anyone who read H.G. Wells' TIME MACHINE and enjoyed it wanted more. Now, over a century later, Stephen Baxter has done just that: picked up where Wells left off and then takes us for a ride equally as surprising and revelatory as Wells himself. Only this time, the traveler ventures forth millions and millions of years into the distant future, in the company of a Morlock!
David
Excellent. Great book. The only officially authorized sequel to H.G. Well's The Time Machine.
Hien
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gary
Writing any story about time-travel has to be incredibly hard--either one gets swamped in the paradoxes posed by living in a linear universe, or one gets around those paradoxes by positing multiverses. In The Time Ships, Stephan Baxter strives to have it both ways. Through most of the book he pursues the multiverse line, but at the end he tells a linear universe story. If you don't think too hard about it, you can probably still enjoy the story.

The greater objection I have is the same I have wit...more
Anthony
I had an urge to read some science fiction for a change and Stephen Baxter is one of my favorite scifi (THAT'S the way you spell it, SyFy Channel!) authors. His Manifold series is absolutely incredible!

So I came across this book, one of his earliest, which is a sequel to the Time Machine, by HG Welles. It sounded very interesting, and while it was, this wasn't one of Baxter's best works. Since this is one of his earliest books, I'll chalk it up to his then inexperience.

In this story, the Time Tr...more
Karen Langford
At the start you wonder if this is really going to be a genuine sequel. I seemed to have to slog through several chapters featuring Nebogipfel making the Dyson sphere around the sun, which frankly was all a bit tedious. This is a fault of some of Baxter's other novels - they often have a few slow chapters near the start that are real slogs to get through, as if he doesn't know where he's going with the story. But then the book starts to take off, channeling elements from a variety of Wells novel...more
DulleNL
Hoe rate je een boek? Doe je het (1) op gevoel en bekijk je wat voor indruk het heeft achter gelaten nadat je de laatste bladzijde omslaat? Of ga je (2) heel klinisch kijken of er ook stukken waren die je minder vond?

1. 5 sterren. De reis die de hoofdpersoon doormaakt was interessant, fascinerend en zet aan tot denken. Uiteindelijk een mooi einde aan gebreid, dus toen ik klaar was met een heel tevreden gevoel (min of meer...spoilers) het boek weggelegd.

2. 3,5 a 4 sterren. Het boek komt wat traag...more
Bob
Jul 02, 2012 Bob rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
This was a pretty imaginative, far-reaching book, and I considered it worth reading, but it didn't work on a couple levels, in my opinion:

1) It wasn't a good sequel to The Time Machine. Stephen Baxter wrote his own novel here, and doesn't tie it in to the classic H.G. Wells book very much. The character just doesn't seem like the same person at all: his motivations and reactions to things are entirely different. The new time traveller cares about (and is affected by) things that H.G. Wells' char...more
E. Newby
Several years ago I read H. G. Wells "The Time Machine", and this book felt like its sequel. Obviously, that was the intention. On par with the grandiose science fiction scope of this novel was Baxter's emulation of Wells' voice. Kudos on that.

This story presents the Morlocks as a different species, evolved down an alternate pathway due to the narrator/character's interference with the Morlock's original timeline. The Morlocks are no longer subterranean brutes manning the vast machines and pick...more
Raj
This is an authorised sequel to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, and follows the Time Traveller's journeys after he vanishes from his home in 1891 as witnessed by his friend. In this book, the Traveller is determined to return to the far future to try and rescue his companion Weena, who he left there after the attack by the Morlocks. But he never gets there. The very act of visiting the future and returning to the past to relate the fact has changed history!

I really like this book. Baxter has captu...more
Perrystroika
Baxter, the true heir of Clarke, Stapledon, Wells and Bear, has written a great science fiction novel that, while it begins as a pastiche of Wells, eventually evolves into a story taking place on a cosmic scale ala Starmaker. Along the way Baxter presents fascinating ideas about evolution, human nature, the many worlds interpretation of quantum physics, the metamathematical work of Kurt Godel on the inherent limitations of axiomatic reasoning, the physics of the early universe, thenature of life...more
Mark Desimone
This book is a modern sequel of a century-old science fiction classic, The Time Machine. Baxter takes Wells' original story and couches it within our modern understanding of time and space. Baxter puts Wells' narrator, the time traveler, to good use in exploring some of today's more heady ideas about spacetime and time travel. The traveler is both brilliant and impulsive - a combination that gives the story a tremendous momentum that seems to be absolutely necessary considering how many complex...more
John
Jan 24, 2012 John rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf, selling
I picked this up after reading Anno Dracula because I wanted something solidly futuristic. As it turns out, however, this is a sequel to H.G. Wells's The Time Machine. So that may have something to do with my reaction, but I don't really think so. In this book, the narrator is the Time Traveler himself. And although the story is engaging, and the physics is plausible enough to keep you going, the Traveler is not a great protagonist; he is prone to fits of temper, not very charming, frequently bo...more
Dan
This is a fantastic sequel to HG Wells' The Time Machine. Baxter takes the time traveller to a whole new level. Whilst Wells' original was less about the time travel and more about what the human race might become, this one is all about time travel and it's endless possibilities.

The book sees the time traveller attempt to travel back to the future to rescue his Eloi friend, Weena. Except the future seems very different and it soon becomes clear that due to the publication of the original book t...more
Clea
Okay make that 3 1/2 stars. Over all I liked it, I loved the way in which the idea of a sequel to H.G. Wells The Time Machine was presented, but at times this feels like something of a doughnut. It begins well enough, and I liked the last book and the epilogue, but the two books before that (five and six) were somewhat tedious, and they also felt somewhat out of place and out of character.

Now, I understand that the challenge of writing a sequel a hundred years after the fact is a daunting one, e...more
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Stephen Baxter is a trained engineer with degrees from Cambridge (mathematics) and Southampton Universities (doctorate in aeroengineering research). Baxter is the winner of the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award, as well as being a nominee for an Arthur C. Clarke Award, most recently for Manifold: Time. His novel Voyage won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History Novel of the...more
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