Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jones - The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine was written in 1895. It was one of the first science fiction books ever written. H. G. Wells was referred to as "The Father of Science Fiction".

The story is basically about a man who travels into the future to prove to his colleagues that time travel exists. Is thrown into another world in 802,701 AD, to a strange land full of beautiful gardens and meets the Eloi people, a stem of the human race who are very gentle and fragile, but also very naive and speak in a very liquid tongue. They have the behavior of small children or pets. At night the Eloi people are scared to go outside, for the Morlocks well under the ground. They are the "working" class of society and look like large white apes and eat the Eloi people. They steal his time machine and throughout the story he is trying to retrieve it. At the end he ends up back at his house with two alien looking flowers as his only proof that it had ever happened. He then travels through time again to gain hard evidence, but never returns.

Deep down it is a political commentary, stating that if the human race doesn't change its ways, we will end up weak, naive and ignorant like the Eloi people. The Morlocks (working class) end up as the stronger ones.

Descriptions and imagery of fruit, flowers, and the passing of time in the sky reoccur throughout the novel. I also really like his description of the sky as he passes through time. Another image that pops into my head is The Palace of Green Porcelain. Which is what he called this place he kept seeing in the story that ended up being a museum in ruins that he later took shelter in.

1. Color vortex showing travel through time. modern or retro style

2. Numbers (years the time traveler traveled through) all over the cover. - modern or antique looking

3. Passing of time in the sky. - ambient/airy - photography/photoshop

4. The alien flowers he came back with. (only proof he has of the time travel) Feel this could be really beautiful if executed in the right way. Probably use photography or watercolor.

5. Mechanical gears. Not sure what I would do with this. Ran out of ideas. : /

I'm having a hard time generating ideas and thinking of things that aren't literal like time travel and machines.

or maybe should I go off the overall theme of the book, that we could end up ignorant and and lose all of our physical strength and general common sense/smarts?

The tale of 802,701 is political commentary of late Victorian England. It is a dystopia, a vision of a troubled future. It recommends that current society change its ways lest it end up like the Eloi, terrified of an underground race of Morlocks. In the Eloi, Wells satirizes Victorian decadence. In the Morlocks, Wells provides a potentially Marxist critique of capitalism."


  1. I think thumbs 2 and 5 are your strongest as far as conveying the time machine in the novel. I like the idea you have for the sky cover I just feel like it may need to be pushed more in some direction to let someone (who has never read it) know that it involves time travel. I think if you did thumb 2 with all the different years, you could still make the numbers interesting by playing with the type faces and colors (so you could still give it that retro look from thumb 1).

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  3. thanks! Yeah I like the number idea a lot too.

    But still.. I still don't feel completely satisfied with these ideas. I'm going keep thinking.

    If anyone has any ideas other than the ones I came up with, or variations, let me know!

    Or a simple way of conveying time travel.

  4. I am drawn the most to the 5th concept. I really like what you have going on for the cover. However, I feel like there could be something more that comes out of the unfolding of your cover/poster other than the gauge. I like the time gauge...I just think it could maybe be a part of a larger poster.

  5. I really like concept #2. I think showing all the different years gives the idea that you never know where the story might take you next...a real sense of mystery and intrigue.