Time Machine is a novel by H.G. Wells set in Victorian London documenting the amazing journey of a lone wolf scientist 800,000 years into the future of humanity. What he finds is not the utopia of advanced civilization he had hoped for but humans degenerated into the happy, simple-minded, and fragile Eloi who are descended from the upper class and the subterranean dwelling Morlocks. Over the course of history, Morlocks were trapped in an underground factory where they gradually lost their resistance to light, becoming a pale, ghostly tribe of cannibals that keep underground machines humming. They feed on the Eloi whom they hunt at night when they can escape the light. The protagonist must fight to get his time machine back from the Morlocks to return to his time.
I found the book to be a compelling read. The brilliance of this novel is how H.G. Wells frames the future. He doesn’t make wild guesses on the state of technology but instead extends history so far into the future that material comforts and economic system have transformed us into two separate races where technology no longer matters. It is a novel probably more relevant today than it was during its time as information technology and advances in agriculture and medication frees us to the point where we must seek our own ambitions and drives aside from that which would normally be stimulated from everyday survival and social dealings. Visions of utopia can become a living hell when it becomes reality.