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The Time Ships

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  5,052 ratings  ·  286 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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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,052 ratings  ·  286 reviews

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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.
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.
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
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
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.

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
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
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
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
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
Thom Gore
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this was an enjoyable and imaginative book.
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 chron
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
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, sci-fi, own
Well how does one review their new favorite sci-fi novel of all time? I can't. This novel was such a perfect story for me I was enchanted and bewildered during the whole read. I personally love adventure stories and time travel the most and this tale captured both perfectly!

Next to Peter Hamilton's "Pandora's Star", Frank Herberts "Dune", Stapledon's "Star Man" series and Dan Simmons "Illium" this is a book I will re-read again and again. True masterpiece of sci-fi in my opinion. ❤
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Fuzzy Gerdes
Dec 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
The tone of the story and the main character was very similar to the original time machine. I was bored through a lot of the book with the many scientific descriptions and lack of any actual plot. The book was way too long and I found myself skimming whole pages where nothing happened. I was also disappointed by the end, it didn't really wrap anything up for me at all.
2 out of 5 stars.
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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!
Dan Henne
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can't imagine writing a sequel to another author's book......And to pick H.G. Wells classic The Time Machine......And to actually make the story great. Wow. Great read.
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Science Fiction &...: The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter (April 2017) 18 15 Apr 30, 2017 04:17PM  
The ending 1 12 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 32 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.”
More quotes…