Los Angeles Herald-Examiner:
The writing is first-rate, the action,
though leisurely, moves with a massive momentum, and the characters are
The Times -- London:
This is an astonishing change of pace
for Mr Priest, and one which extends his powers in ways which reveal him
as one of the best and most persuasive young British writers.
A most amusing conceit -- and it
contains mighty battles, a delicious transformation of the Thames Valley
into a weed-clogged Martian canal, delightful period touches, and
certainly begs comparison with John Fowles's The French
A novel that is unusual for its kind, a
science fiction story with recognizable characters and a sense of style,
atmosphere and humour. Imaginative and full of amusing curiosities.
This tale has a refreshing quality
which, allied to the author's skill, can lift it away from nostalgia
into a class of its own. Super.
A first-class specimen. Subtitled 'a
scientific romance', it is set in the England of the young H.G. Wells,
and shamelessly follows his style of science fiction. The book as a
whole is a triumph, both witty and exciting, and I recommend it most
Times Literary Supplement:
This is an affectionate, lively pastiche
of H.G. Wells. It is thoroughly entertaining: Mr Priest has so
exuberantly ingenious an imagination of his own that one wonders why he
wanted to lean on Wells. 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.
Illustrated London News:
A really first-rate book, exciting,
original, and as tender in describing its human moments as it is
convincing in its descriptions of time travel.
Martin Amis in The
Don't let the title, dedication and coda
of The Space Machine fool you into thinking there's
something Wellsian about its stodginess: Mr Priest's last novel,
Inverted World, had exactly the same trouncing
prolixity. The new book starts likeably, with more of the charm of
Kipps than of The First Men in the Moon,
as the gawky hero courts the mad inventor's beautiful young ward. Then
the space machine appears, and the couple are launched into a
conventional Martian adventure and 300 pages of homicidal tedium.
It's not so much that Mr Priest is boring as that he is interested in
boring things: he couldn't drink a cup of coffee without telling you the
approximate radius of the saucer. His story collection, Real-Time
World, was full of racy ideas; but clearly he needs frenzied
editing at book length, and doesn't get it.
about The Space Machine
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