In this collection created exclusively for The Folio Society, legendary science-fiction writer Brian Aldiss selects and introduces a series of electrifying short stories.
The Time Machine & The Island of Doctor Moreau
Illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith
Introduced by Michael Moorcock
A stunning Folio edition of two of H. G. Wells’s most famous stories. Illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith and introduced by science-fiction legend Michael Moorcock.
The Time Machine – the novel of one man’s astonishing journey beyond the limits of the imagination – is regarded as one of the great masterpieces in the literature of science fiction. It was also the text that coined the very phrase ‘time machine’, which would go on to inspire countless writers and film makers to explore this fruitful new dimension. Winston Churchill was a particular fan, writing that when he read The Time Machine, he ‘shouted with joy’. It is produced here alongside The Island of Doctor Moreau, a darker story that foresaw future technologies such as genetic engineering and organ transplants. With these remarkable works, H. G. Wells asked the questions that speculative fiction would wrestle with for the next century and beyond. This lavish edition is in series with The War of the Worlds.
Bound in blocked buckram
Set in Founder’s Caslon
Frontispiece and 7 colour illustrations
9½˝ x 6¾˝
The Time Machine
‘The greatest science fiction story of the 19th century – and one of the greatest ever written’
- Simon Schaffer
When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year 802,701 AD, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realises that this beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. And they have every reason to be afraid. In deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity: the sinister carnivorous Morlocks. And when the scientist’s time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels, if he is ever to return to his own era.
The Island of Doctor Moreau
‘H. G. Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau is one of those books that, once read, is rarely forgotten.’
- Margaret Atwood
Edward Pendrick survives the sinking of his ship only to find himself stranded on a mysterious island riddled with secrets. The disgraced Doctor Moreau claims to be advancing the cause of science with his extreme vivisection experiments, and his Beast People, torn and grafted into new and painful shapes, certainly hold him to be a god. Yet when the line between beast and man becomes blurred, Pendrick must question everything he holds sacred about human nature. Both darkly thrilling and eerily prescient, The Island of Doctor Moreau remains a chillingly relevant read, holding up a mirror to modern fascinations with genetic modification and enhancement, and the potential consequences.
The grandfather of science fiction
‘Whatever Wells writes is not only alive, but kicking’
- Henry James
The impact of the work of H. G. Wells on the larger field of science-fiction literature cannot be overstated. The very concept of a machine that could propel a traveller through time; the ultimate destiny of humankind; the consequences of social injustice – all were essential building blocks that science fiction would use to imagine and explore multiple futures. The Island of Doctor Moreau, a science thriller reflecting the anxieties of a society coming to terms with Darwinism and a number of startling technological advances, paved the way for the technothrillers of the modern age – in its unflinching depiction of the soulless pursuit of warped science, it even seemed to predict the darker horrors of the Nazi regime. Influential author and editor Michael Moorcock has written a fascinating introduction to this Folio edition, placing these early, visionary works of Wells into the larger context of his career, noting that ‘Every author who considers writing a time-travel story must look first to Wells’.
Lavish book design
This beautiful edition, bound in buckram and blocked in gold, is a steam-punk tribute to the lavish book-design tradition of the 1800s. Artist Grahame Baker-Smith summons the spirit of the period with his atmospheric, fantastical illustrations, revealing the overgrown devastation of future Earth and the creatures of Doctor Moreau through the exquisite interplay of shadow and line.
About H. G. Wells
Born in Bromley, Kent, in 1866, Herbert George Wells – known as Bertie – was a prolific writer and dedicated socialist, often called the ‘grandfather of science fiction’ for his influence on the genre. The son of a shopkeeper, Wells was briefly apprenticed to a draper before winning a scholarship to the Normal School of Science, where he would study under the famous biologist Thomas Henry Huxley. The Time Machine (1895) was the first of his enormously popular ‘scientific romances’, and he would go on to write many more influential works including The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), The First Men in the Moon (1901) and The War in the Air (1908). In the early twentieth century, his work became less about predicting the future and more about preserving the peace of the present, and he produced the manifestos The War That Will End War (1914), The Outline of History (1920) and The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind (1931). He died in August 1946, having lived to see the end of the Second World War.
About Michael Moorcock
Michael Moorcock is one of the most important figures in British science-fiction and fantasy literature. His novels have won and been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Whitbread and Guardian Fiction Prize. In 1999 he was given the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award; in 2001, he was inducted into the SF Hall of Fame; and in 2007, he was named a SFWA Grandmaster. His tenure as editor of New Worlds magazine in the 1960s and ’70s is seen as the high-water mark of SF editorship in the UK and was crucial in the development of the SF New Wave. Born in London, he now splits his time between homes in Texas and Paris.
About Grahame Baker-Smith
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