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Morlock Night

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  482 ratings  ·  80 reviews
What happened when the time machine returned?

Morlock Night is a memorably different excursion in science fiction - a gripping classic adventure in past, present and future - with some startling surprising!
Paperback, 190 pages
Published 1989 by Grafton (first published 1979)
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Best Steampunk Novels
32nd out of 142 books — 206 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,435)
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The idea of a sequel to H. G. Wells' Time Machine is irresistible. Morlocks stealing the time machine and invading England of the 1890s? Fascinating. If only someone other than K. W. Jeter wrote this. Someone who actually had respect for the classic science fiction story. Instead we get a jumble in which the original plot of the Time Machine is jettisoned for a mishmash concerning King Arthur, Merlin and the lost city of Atlantis. Even then this could have been salvageable if not for Jeter's poo ...more
David Merrill
This was an odd sequel to H. G. Wells' book, The Time Machine. Jeter interweaves Wells' creation with Arthurian legend and Atlantean lore. On top of that, Morlock Night is one of the earliest examples of Steam Punk. The author of the afterword credits Jeter with not only the coining of the term but also the founding of the genre. He forgets James Blaylock's The Ape Box Affair predates this novel. It's hard to believe they along with Tim Powers started a sub-genre with their books that became so ...more
Ian Tregillis
Mar 03, 2012 Ian Tregillis rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in the roots of steampunk fiction
This book wasn't for me, unfortunately. I'm a little surprised, and more than a little disappointed, to have to say that.

As a reader I'm attracted to big, wild, crazy ideas. If the ideas are cool enough, I'm more than willing to look past the parts of a book that don't work quite as well. And this book -- one of the original steampunk novels, written by the man who originated the very term -- practically boils over with wonderful ideas. A direct sequel to H. G. Wells's The Time Machine? Sign me
Elizabeth K.
Dec 27, 2013 Elizabeth K. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Elizabeth by: SDMB thread
Shelves: 2013-new-reads
I'm not sure how to rate this, because this book was hilariously hack. It was a quick, fun read in a high camp sense. I wonder if anyone has ever done a graphic novel version of this (the fact that I'm not even interested enough to look this up probably says something), because it seems like the kind of thing that would work even better with visuals, the Edwardian guy gaping at the Morlocks swarming all over London with an "OMFG!" look.

So yeah, it's a sequel to The Time Machine in which the Mor
Ummm...I guess it's a "fun" idea, but this book is crap. Poorly written. Underdeveloped/boring characters. Basic, uninteresting dialogue. VERY predictable. Some of the major plot points are completely unbelievable or unimaginative. I had really hoped for better.

Apparently, this is the first modern-era steampunk novel. The author is also credited with coining the term "steam-punk". This is the only reason I gave it a second star. It's a cool idea to write adventure/sci-fi stories in Victorian Eng
Tim Pendry
This is a jolly old romp, written in 1979, but it doesn’t deserve the praise heaped on it by Tim Powers in his introduction and implicitly in the intelligent backgrounder by Adam Roberts at the end.

Powers’ own ‘Anubis Gates’ (1983) is vastly superior as one of the originating texts of ‘steampunk’

‘Morlock Night’ quite simply does not stand up to scrutiny as the equivalent of, say, ‘Neuromancer’, the genuinely well written founding novel of Cyberpunk.

Roberts does, however, usefully point out th
Sean O'Hara
What a mess this book is. It reads like a comic book written by two or three different people, none of whom ever spoke to each other about what the plot's supposed to be. I mean, okay, a sequel to The Time Machine's a cool idea, but then Jeter throws in King Arthur and Atlantis for no good reason. He disregards the whole point of the original novel to introduce intelligent Morlocks who capture the time machine and use it to invade the 19th Century. Why? Shits and giggles, I guess. We're never gi ...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Having read "The Time Machine" and Stephen Baxter's brilliant and amusing "The Time Ships", I just HAD to read this. What a shame. The story has much potential but unfortunately it's padded out with an element of fantasy, King Arthur and the search for Excalibur, that really does not belong and, in my opinion, ruins it.
It turns out that K.W. Jeter wrote the story as part of a project relating to the Arthurian legend, and NOT as a hommage to, and development of, H.G.Wells' story. To claim it as o
⊱ Irena ⊰
How could I possibly resist The Time Machine sequel? If I were to label this in comparison to the present and popular steampunk books, it would hardly pass as one. I would not compare them though. This is steampunk. Hell, the author coined the term!
The story starts right after the dinner the narrator attended in The Time Machine. Edward Hocker leaves with Dr. Ambrose and gets dragged into a fight for saving mankind and Time itself.

There are more tropes in this story than it is necessary, but
Morlock Night follows Edwin Hocker, a guest of the Time Traveller from Orwell’s The Time Machine, as he walks the streets of 1892’s London fresh from the Time Traveller’s storytelling. He is met by a strange man identifying himself as Dr. Ambrose who asks Hocker to consider the implications of Morlocks and the Time Machine. After parting company, Hocker’s familiar London disappears in a cloud of explosives. In a flash the world has changed to a place overcome by the Morlocks described by the Ti ...more
Catherine Siemann
By now the Jeter/Blaylock/Powers origins of steampunk are legendary; I really didn't like Blaylock's Homunculus, and while I found Powers' The Anubis Gates wonderfully imaginative, overall I didn't care for it nearly as much as I did the darker and more ambitious early steampunk The Difference Engine (Gibson & Sterling) or Powers' own play with the Romantics and the lamia legend in The Stress of Her Regard.

So I approached this one nervously; was I going to strike out completely with the Orig
Morlock Night - The Seminal Steampunk Novel.

One could be terribly critical and use the correct terms, deconstruct the plot and characterisations explain exactly why one didn’t find a novel worthy, in terms others (and even ones self) probably wouldn’t fully understand.

Or one could get right to it: I didn’t like this book - and I really, really wanted to like it - but it was silly.

The first couple of chapters are a fine introduction and really rocket along, with the story picking up directly wher
Morlock Night is a sequel to H.G. Well’s Time Machine. The Morlocks have gotten hold of the time machine and are rampaging through time, bent on conquering Victorian London and the world. They are opposed by none other than Merlin and King Arthur. There is also a touch of Atlantis in this cocktail. Yes, the blood of the Atlanteans flows in English veins.

The clicheés of the times (Morlock Night was first punlished in 1979) do not end there. The lines of good and evil are also very clearly drawn.
After being challenged to write a novel themed on the legend of King Arthur, Jeter wrote this dark farcical romp as a sequel to HG Wells' The Time Machine. It's a fast paced adventure with an unlikely and somewhat unwilling protagonist who gets drawn into the battle against the Morlocks little by little. The story's narrator is enlisted by Merlin to restore the sword to Arthur in order to vanquish the Morlocks who have stolen the time machine and used it for their own ends. The setting is Victor ...more
Sandra Petojevic
It starts as a science-fiction novel with Mr Edwin Hocker finding himself in a parallell time line where the Morlocks has ockupated almost the entire Earth, but soon it turns out to be an intriguing fantasy novel in a chess-game allegory, with a nice mix of the legend of King Arthur and Merlin in it. And the description of the Eternity when time no longer exists is short but very suggestive. And yes, there will be an Arthur Redivivus with the sword Excalibur, but not in the easy way and (as quot ...more
I'm not a huge science fiction reader so can't really compare Morlock Night to other books of its kind. I actually decided to read it since it is known as one of the first Steampunk novels, a genre I haven't much explored. Not to give too much away, it's enough to say that the storyline is creative, being both a kind of sequel to H. G. Well's The Time Machine and also managing to bring in King Arthur, Merlin, Atlantis, and 19th-century London in a mix that is not exactly heady but more like quir ...more
Dawn Betts-Green
One of my very favorite books of all time is H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. I fell in love with time travel at about age 10 because of it, and all my obsessions with it and alternate history stem from that book. So when I discovered a sequel had been written, of course I immediately ordered it. For the most part, I enjoyed Jeter's vision of the traveler's aftermath. Some bits of it seemed a bit contrived, and the ending was far too rushed and neatly tied up. But it is time travel and alternate hi ...more
MB Taylor
I just finished reading Morlock Night. It’s an early steampunk novel by the man who is credited with coining the term (in 1987) and a sequel to H.G. WellsThe Time Machine (1895). In addition to Morlocks & Wells’ Time Machine, Jeter gives us Excalibur, Arthur, Merlin and Atlantean artifacts.

Unlike many contemporary steampunk novels, Morlock Night doesn’t revel in its steampunk-ness. It takes place (primarily) in 1982 London but (view spoiler)
My other experiences with 'steampunk' novels (primarily The Bookman, The Court of the Air, and Perdido Street Station) all had a certain exquisite density of ideas that added to the Victorian splendor of the writing. It wasn't enough for Stephen Hunt to (also) have an underground body of water beneath the city sewers and the ruins of an ancient civilization. He elaborates detail after detail on the concept, fitting the situation into his ornate worldbuilding. Then again, this also explains his 5 ...more
(Cross-posted to my sci-fi blog, Android Dreamer.)

With steampunk being the current "big thing" in science fiction and fantasy, I got an itch to go back and read some of the earliest instances of the genre. Call me a party pooper, but I think the steampunk of today has turned into nothing but an exercise in ridiculous fashion and totally gone away from actually telling a good story. Having previously really enjoyed K.W. Jeter's The Glass Hammer, I was intrigued by the idea of Morlock Night.

Roland Volz
This sequel to The Time Machine takes place almost immediately after the original book left off. It takes the logical progression of events from the original set-up: the narrator of Wells' book has just completed telling his story to his party guests and is about to journey back to the future to rejoin the Eloi.

Jeter takes the next logical steps. Assuming the morlocks were as intelligent as implied in the original story, he presumes that they use the Time Machine to launch an invasion the past.
In K.W. Jeter's novel Morlock Night, the Morlocks have stolen the Time Machine and used it to invade Victorian London. These Morlocks are much more formidable than those in The Time Machine - a clever, technological race with enough power to take over the entire world. They also get support from certain treacherous 19th century humans, especially a dark wizard named Merdenne. It is also revealed that the Morlocks living in their native time (the 8,028th century) have stopped allowing the Eloi to ...more
Chris King Elfland's 2nd Cousin
May 27, 2011 Chris King Elfland's 2nd Cousin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Steampunk Fans, Readers of Cherie Priest or Gail Carriger or Tim Powers or George Mann
NOTE: This review was originally published at The King of Elfland's 2nd Cousin on April 26, 2011. If you want more reviews like this one, please check it out!

The best science fiction is protean by nature, combining facets of just about every other genre and defying neat classification within the bounds of SFdom. K.W. Jeter’s Morlock Night straddles many sub-genre fences: Victoriana secret history, steampunk, and Arthurian legend. Originally published in 1979, the book is judged one of the prog
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit.

K.W. Jeter’s Morlock Night (1979) is often cited as the first novel to be categorized at “steampunk.” In a 1987 letter to Locus magazine, Jeter coined the term in an effort to describe the types of stories that he and his friends Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock were writing:

Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock an
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit.

K.W. Jeter’s Morlock Night (1979) is often cited as the first novel to be categorized at “steampunk.” In a 1987 letter to Locus magazine, Jeter coined the term in an effort to describe the types of stories that he and his friends Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock were writing:

Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock an
D.M. Dutcher
Good if you take it as it is, as wild pulpy yarn of a story. People who think steampunk is girls in hoop skirts and crinoline who build giant robots in their spare time might be a little disappointed, though.

Imagine what would happen if the inventor of the time machine got captured and eaten by the morlocks. They discovered how to use it, and traveled back in time to try and kill us all. Now add some crazy twists, like the only way to defeat them is to summon King Arthur and rescue Excalibur, an
Steve Joyce
Morlock Night is touted as one of the 1st Steampunk novels. I've sampled a fair to middlin' bit of Steampunk and while - I'm still going to approach it all with an open mind - here're my reactions to it all thus far.

Something usually doesn't sit quite right with me in these types of stories and I think I know part of the reason. Let's 1st go to the Maths Chalkboard.

Let X% be the percentage of words, phrases and references actually used in typical discourse during Victorian times that have falle
I'm currently working my way through the three seminal novels which provided the basis for the genre of fiction known as Steampunk, noted for its retro-technology, alternate-history focus - The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, Morlock Night by KW Jeter, and Homunculus by James Blaylock which I've yet to acquire, let alone read.

I hadn't read HG Wells' The Time Machine until just before starting Morlock Night (she admits, shuffling her feet slightly) and it's essential to do so, as Jeter's book is a 19
Fred Hughes
This is one of the earliest Steampunk stories.

It starts at the end of a night with HG Wells who has told his friends about his adventure with his time machine. Unknown to Wells is that the Morlocks he visited in Earth’s distant future have taken his machine and are busy planning an attack on Earth.

Our protagonist Mr Edwin Hocker was at the story telling session and is on his way home after drinking way too much. He is accosted by a very pale man who questions him on what Well’s stories are real
There are a few things that surprised me about this sequel to The Time Machine. The first is that we don't see anything of the Time Traveller. This story has little, if anything to do with the ideas of time traveling - as time travel is more of a device to deposit the ultimate evil in our midst. And not even the Morlocks are the main villains of the story. So this is a sequel that completely overlooks the main character of the original, the Time Machine, and the Morlocks. This story focuses more ...more
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Kevin Wayne Jeter (born 1950) is an American science fiction and horror author known for his literary writing style, dark themes, and paranoid, unsympathetic characters. He is also credited with the coining of the term "Steampunk." K. W. has written novels set in the Star Trek and Star Wars universe, and has written three (to date) sequels to Blade Runner.

* Doctor Adder

Series contributed to
More about K.W. Jeter...
The Mandalorian Armor (Star Wars: The Bounty Hunter Wars, #1) Hard Merchandise (Star Wars: The Bounty Hunter Wars, #3) Slave Ship (Star Wars: The Bounty Hunter Wars, #2) Infernal Devices The Edge of Human (Blade Runner, #2)

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“Over the vistas broke a cold gray light, such as seen in those false dawns that are neither night nor true morning, when the world and all its contents seem but shapes of mist, formed in vain hope and desire... If you awake from troubled sleep at such a time, you can only sit by the window and think of those that have been lost to you, those that followed your parents into those cold and heartless regions below the grass, silent and dark. Eventually, morning comes and the world resumes its solidity, but another tiny thread of ice has been stitched into your heart forever.” 2 likes
“I believe it " announced Tafe complacently.

"That my dear " said Ambrose "is because you grew up in a rough and violent world here just managing to live from day to day is easily considered a miracle. You are able to accept the truth no matter how astonishing its guise. Whereas our friend Hocker here is steeped in the overweening rationalism of his time and could mentally dismiss a mastodon in front of him if it happened to be wearing the wrong school tie.”
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