Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows takes a look at The Folio Society’s The Time Machine/ The Island Of Doctor Moreau by HG Wells…
The Time Machine/ The Island Of Doctor Moreau
Writer: HG Wells
Illustrator: Grahame Baker-Smith
The Folio Society
Arguably HG Wells’ The Time Machine and The Island Of Dr Moreau are among the most important in the history of the canon of speculative fiction. The Time Machine was originally published in 1895 while The Island Of Dr Moreau first came out back in 1896. I admit that while I am familiar with both stories thanks to film, I have never read either of these works in their original form before.
Originally published by The Folio Society in 2004, this luxurious hardcover reprints both of Wells’ seminal works in a beautiful edition. The Time Machine is very short, only 108 pages, and yet Wells manages to transport us to the unfamiliar worlds of the Eloi, the Morlocks and the giant crabs with such efficacy that it shows just what a talented writer he was. Anyone familiar with the film from 1960 starring Rod Taylor will be aware of the tale of the inventor who invents a time machine which takes him into the Earth’s future, who falls in with the Eloi, humans who exist merely as food for the Morlocks.
The illustrations by Grahame Baker-Smith on The Time Machine enhance the reading experience too while not being overly intrusive.
With The Island Of Doctor Moreau, we only have one illustration but the story is so compelling that it doesn’t matter. The tale of Prendick who finds himself shipwrecked on an island with the eponymous Dr Moreau and his second in command Montgomery, who have been indulging in some horrendous experiments to combine man with beast, is a morality tale with some exceptional turns of phrase and genuine drama. Moreau is ironically the biggest monster on the island but he does get his just deserts in the end.
Michael Moorcock’s introduction to both works is eloquent and intelligent and you can see just what a huge influence Wells has been on the writer’s work, although he has obviously created his own voice and moved away from Wells’ shadow. He puts both stories in context with his encylopaedic knowledge of science fiction and fantasy.
The Folio Society is the curator of quality modern and classic fiction and this edition is a beautiful respectful publication of two important stories, typeset and designed with the sort of loving care and attention to detail that we have come to expect from them. For fans of horror, science fiction and fantasy, The Folio Society’s The Time Machine/ The Island Of Doctor Moreau should be on their must-buy list.
The Folio Society edition of H.G. Wells The Time Machine andThe Island of Doctor Moreau, introduced by Michael Moorcock and illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith is available exclusively from www.FolioSociety.com