In London at the turn of the 20th century, H. G. Wells's time machine mysteriously appears--empty--in a squatter's flat. Whence did it come, and for what purpose was it sent? The answers to these questions--though not to an even greater mystery connected with the machine's appearance--are contained in a letter written by Wells on May 2, 1946, which falls into the hands of one David Lambert on the eve of the millennium. Lambert, an industrial archeologist, reads the letter foretelling the arrival of the machine and, half convinced the whole thing is a hoax, goes to the address Wells provides, where, at the appointed hour, the time machine materializes. Thus begins Ronald Wright's fine and fantastical novel A Scientific Romance.
Romance can refer to an affair of the heart; it can also describe a heroic tale of extraordinary events. In A Scientific Romance, Wright plays on both possible meanings as he weaves a tragic story of betrayal and lost love into a larger narrative of time travel. Lambert, having lost the woman he loved, is reckless enough to test Wells's machine himself, catapulting 500 years into the future, where he finds London--indeed, all of England--a deserted, semitropical landscape. As David explores the future, he also sifts through his own past, creating in this Möbius strip of time and relationship a chilling cautionary tale about the limits of science and human ambition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
English-born historian Wright, who lives in Canada, is the author of several celebrated works of nonfiction, including Time Among the Maya and Stolen Continents, but his first novel is such a triumph that it's a wonder he didn't get around to writing one earlier. The plot is something of a curiosity: English archeologist David Lambert stumbles upon a Victorian time machine?the very one, it turns out, that H.G. Wells described in his famous novel. When Lambert discovers that he may have the same disease that killed his lover, he lights out for the future: A.D. 2500, to be exact. There Wright creates for him a vivid, compelling world, a depopulated, tropical dream of what had once been England. The book's central drama is Lambert's struggle to excavate and uncover the exact nature of the calamity that erased London. At the same time, he sifts through the shards of his own unhappy personal history?which he is, of course, tempted to touch up a little with the help of the time machine. The narrative bristles with fascinating characters, both fictional and historical, and Wright furnishes it with a rich store of enthralling scientific Victoriana. His writing is charming, unpretentious and wonderfully literate. J.G. Ballard explored this same territory in his disaster novels of the 1970s, but never with Wright's psychological insight or pathos.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This novel is a great idea that was complicated by it's execution. There are multiple letters to different characters over many pages. Read morePublished on July 3 2012 by PawsAttraction
If you live by the philosophy that the real joy of any experience is in the journey towards its conclusion, then this book is for you. Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2007 by Don Eglinski
I came across this book when my english teacher was handing out a list of novles for us to choos from for our ISU, and I somehow ended up with this. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2006
First the concept - A man with an uncurable disease, discovers a time machine created by an associate of H.G. Wells. He decides to go to the future to seek a cure. Read morePublished on Dec 2 2002 by Michael A. Newman
I certainly wish Wright would write some more novels. He's mostly a travel writer, but has proven with this release that he's capable of a lot. Read morePublished on April 2 2001 by David Myers
Truly a fascinating premise...I've always wanted a time machine of my own, but the protagonist wastes his opportunity. So does the author. Read morePublished on June 6 2000 by V. Mike Smith
This is an enthralling read, beautifully written, and the story has stayed with me since I read it last year. Read morePublished on April 24 2000
Although the premise is interesting, Wright did not do justice to his own idea. The story is slow-moving and totally unbelievable. Read morePublished on April 9 2000
Although I describe this book as an imitation of Wells, I liked the story. The visual image of a London turned into a jungle alone made the book worth reading. Read morePublished on April 2 2000