H. G. Wells wrote "The Time Machine" in 1895; it was his first science fiction novel, and has remained one of his best. In "The Time Machine," a Victorian scientist develops a time machine and travels 800,000 years into the future, to an age when mankind has split into two separate species. One group, the spawn of capitalist ease and affluence, has been reduced to the mental and physical level of children; the other group has become feral after eons of industrial toil. Neither group is human any longer; culture and intelligence have died out forever. In fact, with the social tables turned, the "lower" orders now use their "betters" as a food source! Questions relating to human progress imbue "The Time Machine," as do questions relating to whether or not a world infested with problems truly is worse than a world without any trouble. H. G. Wells vision of human decline was subversive and eloquent, and offered a wry counterpoint to the Victorian cult of progress. The penultimate chapter -- in which the time traveler voyages 30 million years into the future, to an era when the sun is dying, humanity is long-extinct, and lichens have inherited the earth -- is heartbreaking. No doubt "The Time Machine" will outlive many other classics, for generations to come!