My latest read is The time machine, by H. G. Wells.
The time machine is an old novel, and it reads like an old novel. Written in 1895, it was long time before any of the modern science discoveries, and long before any of the modern science fiction. I would dare to call it a precursor to many of the last century books, which have a much larger basis for imagination.
H.G. Wells comes up with a new idea, and at his time, it was very difficult to approach. Have to have in mind, that this is the time long before Einstein’s relativity, modern physics, not even Darwin’s evolution theory was fully accepted. Not even a full cartography of the world was completed.
The author doesn’t barge into technical explanations, like how the time machine could be possible, time travel, and such ideas, but abstracts them and presents them as facts, and comes up with an interesting imagination exercise for his time, to imagine how the Earth would look like in year 802,701, which is more than 800,000 years in the future from the present day. He avoids to imagine future technology, but focuses on the evolution of the human beings, or rather, involution. In his inception, humanity evolves into two distinct directions, and splits into two races, which are both much under current humanity (19th century) in all points, including intellect, knowledge, physical power, etc.
One of the races, the Eloi, is made of semi-innocent beings, with low intelligence and physical power, but focused on feelings, joy of living, and lack of worries. The other race, the Morlocks, live underground, and are somehow an evolution of the people near the machinery. We can see the influence of the British industrial revolution, and somehow the author presents the dangers of having people over automated, and the dangers of loosing one’s feelings, communication, joy of life, and other aspects.
The time traveler arrives to this future century and explores it for some time, even making a friend, Weena, whom he rescues from drowning. His relationship with Weena is simple yet affectionate, and he suffers at her death. He manages to return to his own time with an unbelievable story, and one that can change some points of view about the world we currently live in.
The future of the Earth is presented by Wells to segregate between emotions and possible outcomes, to split and show the possibilities of influencing the people into becoming something else than what they are. The whole future is an allegory of these feelings, and how a current human interacts with them. The fear of darkness, unknown, and the joy of light, sun, and positive emotions are what drives the future human beings, and the actual human beings preferences.
Overall a good imagination exercise, for more than a century ago, The time machine is superseded by most of today’s since fiction, however, it is an interesting and historically fun to read, in a purpose to actually see and understand people’s imagination of the future as it was a long time ago.