Books

Taking Wells Further

Hal Colebatch, Time Machine Troopers (Acashic, 2011), 172 pages, $23.99.  A sequel to H.G. Wells’s novel The Time Machine in which the Time Traveller enlists the aid of General Baden-Powell to overthrow the domination of the cannibalistic Morlocks would seem to invite a satire lampooning imperialism and the scouting movement. In the hands of Hal Colebatch, however, we are given something far different and deeper—an unselfconscious “ripping yarn” that subverts and demolishes Wells’s nihilistic determinism while defiantly championing Baden-Powell’s character and ideals. The unnamed narrator of Wells’s original novel tells us that the story concluded with a fictionalised account of…

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