It’s worth mentioning that there is an H.G. Wells Society. It has an international membership, and aims to promote a widespread interest in the life, work and thought of Herbert George Wells. The society publishes a peer-reviewed annual journal, ‘The Wellsian‘, and issues a biannual newsletter. It has published a comprehensive bibliography of Wells’s published works, and other publications, including a number of works by Wells which have been out of print for many years.
I found several of the articles in The Wellsian relating to ‘The Time Machine’ useful in that they kept me on the right track regarding what’s significant in the story when I was putting the script and lyrics together. J.R. Hammond’s excellent little piece, ‘The Significance of Weena’, pp.19-22 No. 18, Winter 1995 was of particular interest to me as there aren’t many characters in The Time Machine and any additional information that could help flesh-out the two main players, Weena and The Traveller was most welcome. David J. Lake’s, ‘The Drafts of The Time Machine, 1894’, pp.6-13 No. 3, Spring 1980 was also good read too—it was fascinating to see how Wells kept constantly redrafting and redrafting his first novel, taking several years to perfect his unique scientific romance formula.
For the most part The Wellsian is a good read. I did find one dud article that left me completely non-plussed though, Darko Suvin’s piece, ‘The Time Machine as a structural model for science fiction’, pp.18-33 No. 1, 1976. Here’s a brief excerpt, the opening sentence in fact, “Let me begin by stating I am not an orthodox structuralist, if this catchword is taken to entail synchronic analysis…”. See what I mean? The rest of Suvin’s article is more like an excercise in analysis as a means unto itself, but his article was the exception, not the rule—the quality of the material within The Wellsian’s pages is, generally superb. On a final note, if, like me, you’re one of those die-hard Wells anoraks who can’t go through life without understanding all every detail of the mystic, Pagan and Christian symbolism within The Time Machine’s pages, then I can also highly recommend Hammond’s book, ‘H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine: A Reference Guide‘
I’m aware this post has been a little academic, a little dry in places, but do stay with me, as from now on I’ll be moving this blog up a gear (there is a pun, and it is intended) and my next post is going to feature some seriously cool artwork by resident Time Machine artist, Luke Gonet. Stay tuned.