Christopher Priest

The Space Machine


Earthlight, 1999. ISBN 0 671 03389 1 [paperback 6.99; pp.363]. First published in hardcover by Faber. This edition is a joint publication with A Dream of Wessex (as 'Omnibus 1'). Also available in translation.

What they say

"Thoroughly entertaining ... It is now clear that Mr Priest is not going to trot round and round the same old orbit, but is a versatile, autonomous writer from whom we can expect nothing expectable." - Ursula Le Guin, TLS.

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Written as a tribute to H.G. Wells, The Space Machine conflates images from two of his greatest novels into a story that reveals something of Wells's own world. A young Victorian couple accidentally operate a time-space machine, and are flung not only into the future but also across the void of space. To return to their own time they have first to undergo great changes.