Book Review: The ‘Time’ Machine or the ‘Space’ Machine? Christopher Priest Takes the Easy Road!

One is left with the distinct impression that Priest truly believes that if his version HG Wells classics were published in the 1880s – well-bred young men would be masturbating everytime there is mention of Amelia’s exposed ankles- to the back drop of a Martian invasion of Earth and nutty Professors who have convinced themselves that their ‘Time’ machine (which is only secondarily a ‘Space’ machine) is ‘not quite there’ whilst it l supposedly lays shimmering in and out of material existence whilst inhabiting a study in Richmond! Those motoring goggles may well come in handy yet – and not necessarily for motor driving! As Priest penned this tome in 1976 – he was probably influenced by the highly successful British science fiction series of ‘Dr Who’ (that also possessed an advanced machine – the ‘TARDIS’ – which funnily enough could also travel in both ‘time’ and ‘space’) and was reaching its creative peak with the actor – Tom Baker – at the helm! More to the point, the ‘love’ scenes, if we can call them that, seem as if the author quickly threw the two Wells novels together, and then realised his caper was up if he did not attempt to go back and at certain random points in the story literally ‘insert’ obviously ‘out of place’ amorous interactions to act as a type Pythonesque ‘camouflage’ – in the hope that the distraction will draw the attention of the audience away from the fact that the book contains ‘zero’ originality and no genuine labour on his part! If anyone does happen to invent a genuine time machine, perhaps the top of any list might be the necessity to go back to 1976 and hide all the pens in the Priest household – and thus save humanity from a genuine catastrophe!