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Review by Mark L. Olson

The Time Ships

by Stephen Baxter

So, what happened after the Time Traveler left the 1890s to return to the far future of Eloi and Morlocks? H. G. Wells doesn’t tell us, but in The Time Ships, Stephen Baxter continues the Time Traveler’s narrative as he tries to get back to his Eloi love and the dark, degenerate future of the human race.

Baxter is always remarkably inventive and he certainly doesn’t lack for scope here as the Time Traveler tries to deal with the effect of his own travels on time.

The book begins in a very Wellsian mode — it’s easy to imagine that H. G. himself wrote the first half or so of the book — but as the story progresses and the Time Traveler gets further and further from Victorian England, the story begins to take on more of a Stapledonian flavor.

The Time Ships is a good book which manages to sustain the feel of Wells, while turning into a good modern hard SF novel of the super-science persuasion.

Highly recommended — this will be my first Hugo nominee for 1995.