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The Time Ships [Hardcover]

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel to Wells' masterpiece June 15 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a life-long fan of H.G. Wells, I must say that I avoided picking up Baxter's book for several years. I doubted that anyone could seriously improve upon the original novel. When I came across a relatively undamaged copy of "The Time Ships" in a used bookstore, though, I finally decided to give it a try. Needless to say, I became so engrossed in the story that I finished the five hundred plus page book in three days. Although Stephen Baxter appears to be a scientist by training, he is much better at seizing and maintaining the reader's attention than many authors I have recently read. While continuing the narrative voice of Wells' Victorian Time Traveller, Baxter radically expands the scope and depth of the original universe, incorporating many modern ideas about causality, parallel worlds, and quantum mechanics. The fact he does so without overwhelming the reader but instead inspiring a genuine sense of wonder and awe is an achievement in and of itself. Baxter also makes a number of allusions to Wells' other fiction, including the use of Plattnerite, land ironclads, and a vision of nuclear and conventional warfare between Britain and Germany in the first half of the twentieth century, all of which are amusing to those of us who recognize them as the story progresses. In the end Baxter doesn't so much surpass Wells as simply take the original tale to a whole new level, extending and reinterpreting it for a twenty-first century audience.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Why did you bother Stephen? March 15 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is my third SB novel, after 'Ring' and 'Titan' and I'm
truly sorry, but I don't know what all the fuss is about.
SB is heralded by New Scientist and no less than Arthur C Clarke
as the next new talent, but I'm at a loss to see why.
'Ring' was completely flat character-wise, 'Titan' a depressing
derge full of more science, descriptive dialog and little else,
and while 'The Time ships' may have been a valiant effort at a
tribute to H.G. why make a novel out of it?
The original story has it's place in SF history, and should be left there.
I don't see how anyone could possibly bring those old cardboard
characters and speculations about time-travel into the modern
era, and make a success of it. SB certainly didn't.
And ACC's quote...."The Time Ships is the most outstanding work of
imaginative fiction since Stapledon's 'Last and First Men'....."
(taken out of context) is just a complete joke !!
Probably the reason why SB gets such rave reviews from New Scientist,
is because he really knows his science, but that alone does not a novel make.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Tight Story Jan. 26 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It appears to me by reading this 535page novel... Baxter's whole intention was to close other minds to his philosophy of thinking... For instance, anyone who is an H.G. Wells, fan of THE TIME MACHINE... has always asked: "Where is the Time Traveller?" Baxter does give a clear cut account as to what happened. Many parts of this story tend to focus in on famous or just plain places of London... Descriptive locations in my opinion are not truly needed to tell a good story.
Another annoying thing was the way he opens and closes this novel... He opens it in a way which I felt closes the door for sequels on the original Time Machine Novel. I must say he was Clever.
The major turn off was the building of the story... Causality loops are good sci-fi yes... but to drag out such a loop for 535 pages... in clear description gave me a headache.
The whole intent of this novel in my opinion was to make it so that others who want to write about THE TIME MACHINE can't... because he tried to cover as many plot lines as possible with the Time Traveller. I am not saying Baxter is like Bill Gates... but to try to create a monopoly on H.G. Wells, original fiction is in my opinion bad taste.
The book starts out where Baxter himself... places himself in the novel briefly in the Author's note... He goes to a bookstore and his handed a few manuscripts of old writing. The Prologue starts right where Wells, novel ended with the young man watching the Time Traveller off. The Time Traveller's soul intent was to save Weena... Well he goes forward and notices that something is wrong... I won't give away much more other than... This... Look forward to intelligent Morlocks... Dyson Sphere... the years Moses... (Not Charlton Heston Moses...) Filby... Weena... Bond... (Not James Bond..) Ice planet...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative Dec 26 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had a great time reading this book. Steven Baxter tries to keep some of the characters (Weena, Morlocks, the narrator) and some of the plot, I guess maybe not to (upset) a lot of people, but his imagination is so vast that, by the end, the book sprirals off into a tale of cosmic proportions. I love time travel stories, and this is one of the best, imaginative and far-reaching in the tradition of the original novel. Baxter's concept of the gigantic world-ring around the sun is spectacular. His alternate-earth timeline is fascinating, as well as being a message to us all. I simply could not put this book down when I read it a few years ago. It remains on my shelf in a place of prominence so I can get to it again!
Baxter has a way of explaining the concepts of quantum physics and effortlessly weaving these concepts into his stories.
This is a very well-written book that holds together from start to finish, with clever plot-twists and imaginative scenes; I liked it better than the original.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
This is simply an excellent book, I like the way Baxter has striven to mold his story in the way HG Wells would have gone about it, with the benefit of modern views on the universe... Read more
Published on May 29 2002 by Puffin
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent time travel story!
I read this book in no time at all. It flowed together perfectly. The way Baxter writes, it makes you want to see what happens next. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2000 by Andrew S. Page
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the time to read
H.G. Wells told his original time travel tale in just over a hundred pages. Baxter took nearly 600 pages to spin his sequel. This is the only complaint I have for Time Ships. Read more
Published on May 30 2000 by Peter Dykhuis
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book
The Time Ships was the first Baxter book I picked up and boy was I in for a surprise. I can easily say it is one of the greastest books I have read (and I've read a lot of them). Read more
Published on May 27 2000 by Phase
5.0 out of 5 stars Old-time science fiction
If you like "modern" (for lack of a better term) science fiction, which is often intensely psychological and character-driven, then Baxter is probably not for you. Read more
Published on March 11 2000 by "bmills100"
4.0 out of 5 stars Wondrous and fascinating on many levels.
Well, well, well. A sequel to HG Wells' Time Machine. The main character starts out after having arrived home from his ordeal with the Eloi and the Morlocks in the future, but he... Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2000 by Brian Altmeyer (
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
Great book, wonderful ideas, and great reading, highly recommend it
Published on Jan. 22 2000 by netkat
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done!
Baxter does several wonderful things in this book. First, he does a tremendous job of continuing the tone of Wells' book. Read more
Published on Dec 31 1999 by "evenmere"
5.0 out of 5 stars A definite must-read for any true sci-fi reader
This is the first time I have ever read Stephen Baxter, and already I am anxious for more of his work. Read more
Published on Oct. 4 1999
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