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The Time Ships

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  5,362 ratings  ·  324 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 Clarke, returns to the dis
Paperback, 520 pages
Published November 27th 1995 by Harper Voyager (first published January 1995)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Bionic Jean
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, sci-fi
Taking on the task of writing a sequel to H.G. Wells’ classic The Time Machine must have been like painting a target on his back. Having read Baxter’s Xeelee Omnibus I was very curious if Baxter can pull it off as the Xeelee books are very hard sci-fi with some very complicated scientific expositions (half of which went well over my head). His prose style in those books is readable but not so high on literary merit. In contrast The Time Machine is a beautifully written and fairly straight forwar ...more
Jul 06, 2008 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Cool because it's a sequel to The Time Machine; dull because it's written like a sequel to The Time Machine. A slow start that grows from intriguing to dull and back again, but Baxter's Hard SF misses the boat, er, ship, rather, when he mostly neglects Wells' primary social concerns for engineering sensawunda. Also, Morlocks probably don't call themselves Morlocks. ...more
May 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
This 'sequel' to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine was well done. Baxter starts off very much in Wells' style but while maintaining the fundamentals of the Time Traveler's character, he swiftly brings the story out of Wells' philosophical dystopian mode into the (equally philosophically tinged) modern idea of multiplicity resulting from quantum mechanics.

Some of the various histories were just as horrifying as the original world of the Eloi and Morlocks & some were Utopian though challenging to our
Nicholas Whyte
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it

This is a sequel to The Time Machine, authorised as such by the H.G. Wells estate. (I've had more dealings with the estates of deceased writers in the last week than I can remember from my whole life before the Worldcon.) I have previously mentioned that I always appreciate the breadth and scope of Baxter's vision - the commitment to sensawunda if you like - but that he doesn't always succeed in communicating it in a human way to me. I thought this book
Aug 05, 2011 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
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Yeah. Well, I finished it but I'm not sure why.

I love the work of H.G. Wells and I was interested in a book beginning at the point where Wells' The Time Machine left off. After all, there have been many such works and most of the have been interesting and a couple of have been downright brilliant.

Baxter got the "voice" of the times just right but, he didn't quite capture Wells. Wells wrote story which had interesting and original thought experiments for the times.

Wells at his wordiest cannot b
Storyline: 2/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing Style: 3/5
World: 3/5

An authorized sequel written on the centennial of what is perhaps the foundational science fiction book - how does one review such a thing? You could ask if it pays proper homage to the original, if it adequately captures the tone of the first, or perhaps if it builds on and betters what was originally there. And I'll address all of those in the process of this review. My overriding concern, however, when I started reading this, was whethe
Wayne Fenlon
May 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this authorised sequel to The Time Machine. Stephen Baxter really captured the original feel while also pulling in today's science into the mix. Some of this was way beyond me, but it didn't spoil the time I had. Really glad I read this one. Loved the different take on the Morlocks.

Solid 4 stars.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Narrative exposition is the insertion of important background information within a story. This story (an authorized by the Wells estate sequel to The Time Machine) is nearly all exposition, and much the worse for it. If you haven't read the original, do so - but skip this.

Yes, there is some action in this story, or rather should I say stories. Contained in this long volume are several stories strung together into one narrative. None of the brevity of the original. Herein you may find:

- Enemy Min
Robert Hamilton
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I picked up Time Ships mainly because I enjoy works by Stephen Baxter. I had no idea he was such a Wells enthusiast. Apparently Baxter is the Vice-President of the international H. G. Wells Society. I didn't know this when I bought the book, but it's an authorized (by the Wells estate) sequel to the H.G. Wells classic "The Time Machine".

The book is simply remarkable. Baxter really captured Wells use of language and vocabulary and the general tone of 1895. You would swear Wells himself had create
Mar 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, truly I did. But I just can't. I really liked the original Time Machine by H.G. Wells, so I thought I would like this one. I read the first 1/4 of this book and then skipped to the ending. It was good until *spoiler* they went back in time to see the narrators former self. The part I loved about the original Time Machine is that the world of the Morlocks and Eloi is believable, at least to me. This book by Baxter crosses from science fiction to fantasy, and had SO MUC ...more
Stig Edvartsen

Conflicted about this one. On one hand it really captures the tone and language from the original, but on the other hand it is....umm...kinda dull. I was never invested in what happened to the protagonist. Much in the same way he didn't seem to see the characters around him as people.

Dec 31, 2019 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Dustin by: Eugene Swanson (BookAholics Cafe)

Sometime in my youth (mid--late 90's,) I recall starting this, but for whatever reason, I never finished it. And now, of course, I no longer own a copy. Thankfully, e-books are much more affordable than physical editions.
Paul Wandason
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.


As a novel in its own right, this is brillia
Sandra Petojevic
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Fred Hughes
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
A thrilling adventure through time form the perspective of H.G. Wells.

Continuing on from the original premise of the time machine Well's sets out again into the future only to find that things have changed from his first venture, Why would history change ?

Soon he is on multiple time journeys eventually travelling back to the beginning of time.

Great read. Highly recommended
Tentatively, Convenience
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
Stephen Baxter's The Time Ships
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - April 29-May 10, 2019

For the complete review go here:

Sometime in the misty past few yrs I bought the "H. G. Wells Collection" by Doma Publishing for an absurdly low price like $5 & got the Kindle app to enable me to read it. I don't like reading off screens, even though I do it all the time. As such, I only took a brief glimpse at it. I considered reading all the Wells in chronolog
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
***light thematic spoilers***

This review won't be meaningful to you (none of my reviews are, hah) but this book was meaningful to me. It's a big, weird, long, hard sci-fi adventure story, and I missed an opportunity for a sick bathroom joke just now but decided against it for professionalism's sake

who am i kidding im not professional

I'm just gonna lay it out on the floor here, okay, I really enjoyed my time with this book. This is a review, but I can't quantify why, okay? Was it the weird, conte
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can't complain, it was very insightful and not like fantasy. It's what I expect from sci fi. Glad to have read this as a sequel to The Time Machine written 100 years ago, it really explored the ideas and universe much more, and after reading the Time Ships I was convinced that the Time Machine had been an incomplete book. It had more potential and this book actualized it. Not all of the parts are riveting to read and I could go with skipping some of the boring descriptions and narration of ins ...more
Francis Fabian
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ok, I enjoyed it. As you know this is the sequel to Wells' The Time Machine. Baxter attempts to write in the style of Wells' narrator and I feel he does an excellent job. It is a long book. But short chapters makes it go quickly. No spoilers but here are a few of the ideas encountered. Multiverse, parallel universes, infinity, dyson spheres (lots of them), super intelligent morlocks, super intelligent machines, etc. Lots of excitement. The last section of the book is very wordy about the above c ...more
Graham Clements
May 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
A sequel to HG Well's The Time Machine. If a novel could be called an epic, this is one. I doubt if any other novel has spanned such a vast period of time. It is written, I gather, in the style of the original with the main character having late 19th century attitudes. The pages appear to be even formatted to look like a book printed back then, with wide columns and a dense font. An incredible science backed imagination has been used to imagine how we might evolve if the time-line is changed. Th ...more
Thom Gore
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this was an enjoyable and imaginative book.
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a sequel to H.G. Wells time machine written 100? years later in the 1990s. I loved "the time machine." it created such a sense of scale and perspective on human life that has stayed with me even since I was a little kid. In that book, the time traveler (TT) travels to the year -800,000, has a bunch of crazy adventures with the Eloi and the Morlocks, then eventually travels 30 million years into the future to find only a dying star and some giant crabs before returning to the year 18 ...more
Chris Dibbern
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic novel which perfectly continues the original in style and spirit.
Jason Golomb
Mar 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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
This was a very unique reading experience, in the fact that Stephen Baxter wrote this as a kind of sequel to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, and adapted the style and speech mannerisms of that older work in order to enforce the illusion. It was well done, but that might not be for everyone because it is actually like reading an historical book, with its historical sensibilities, and use of "men" everywhere to denote humans, and exclamation points to express emotion, etc. It does create a lot of in ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Science Fiction &...: The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter (April 2017) 18 16 Apr 30, 2017 04:17PM  
The ending 1 14 Dec 20, 2016 04:40AM  
Time Travel: The Time Ships: August 2016 21 56 Aug 29, 2016 04:48PM  
Sci-Fi Group Book...: The Time Ships 7 37 Jul 16, 2016 02:00AM  
Space Opera Fans : The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter 26 33 Feb 05, 2015 07:06AM  

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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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“What do you expect? Look here: we’re dipping into History, like temporal tourists. People are generally obsessed by the surface of things – and rightly so! How often in your own Year do you find the daily newspapers filled with deep analyses of the Causes of History? How much of your own conversation is occupied with explanations as to the general pattern of life in 1873? …” 2 likes
“I quoted to him what I remembered of Charles Darwin: "'Judging by the past, we may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity...'"
"Darwin was right," Nebogipfel said gently.”
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