Название:The Space Machine: A Scientific Romance (ClassicF.)
An elegant pastiche of The Time Machine and The War Of The Worlds, written in a Victorian hand reminiscent of Wells, the Space Machine starts off as a seemingly innocent Victorian-era romance then, through a quirk of fate, the two main protagonists are accidentally shot off to Mars and encounter the Martian monsters before their invasion of Earth. This may sound like heresy but I believe that Christopher Priest has surpassed Wells on a number of levels, most notably in describing the alien surroundings of the two main characters Edward Turnbull and Amelia Fitzgibbon with vivid descriptions of the Mars landscape and fascinating descriptions of the humans that inhabit Mars and the monsters that these humans have genetically created. Parts of the book reverberate with a sinister edginess, most notably in the heartbreaking desciptions of the "killing cubicles" that the Martian monsters use to drain human victims of their blood for the monsters cannabalistic sustenance. And who could possibly forget the images of the Thames Valley being clogged with the monstrous red weeds that the monsters bring with them and sow during their invasion of Earth ???
Countless twists also abound in the book. Most surprising (and most definitely enjoyable) is the inclusion of H.G Wells himself (known in the book as Mr Wells) as a third protagonist towards the book's ending !!! Christopher Priest uses the inclusion of "Mr Wells" to great effect, parts of Mr Well's observations read like subtle versions of the fascist mouthings of the Artilleryman of The War Of The Worlds and a comical gem .... the part where Mr Wells implies he disbelieves Edward's and Amelia's story of having been on Mars and plans to turn their story into a book. I just about fell out of my chair laughing fit to bust at this point.
All readers of intelligent sci-fi should acquaint themselves with this wonderful book at least once in their lives. Both a homage to, and reassessment, of early genre forms, The Space Machine is for the intelligent reader of sci-fi who appreciates the style and structure of Scientific Romance and is a book to be cherished. Possibly the greatest Scientific Romance ever written.
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