Monday, 1 May 2017

Dystopian Fiction: The Time Machine

I've continued my foray into dystopian fiction, with H.B.Wells 'The Time Machine'.

Very short book, and the Morlocks were far more creepy in the original work as oppose to the films. Late last night I was unable to fall asleep until I had gone around checking the locks on the doors etc.

However, there is something dissatisfying with this dystopian fiction. It is a little older, and perhaps it was a time for rather disconnected intellectuals. Something in this book which was kept out of the films by good judgement (in my opinion) was that after he has spent some time with the Eloi and the Morlocks, the Time Traveller goes further into the future, and the story is just a bit stupid.

Missing from H.B.Wells conception of the universe is what might be called 'the emotional realm'. It is written from the perspective of a rather rational scientific approach and as a result things turn out in a way they do not in real life. Eccentric scientific theories take over the everything, effect everything and leave no room for real life that usually runs with a more emotional energy knitting everything together. (There is scientific precedence for this in string theory where emotional energy is known to complete strings and allow them to vibrate).

Put more simply; real life is made of intense passion and this is missing from Wells' conception of the universe. Any dystopian fiction might realise that that intense passion is very often negative. There is simply, no Islam in The Time Machine, 1984 or Brave New World (although Brave New World comes closer). There are no aggressive satanists. Passionate in their commitment to true evil. In the Time Machine, injustice has worked out because of a kind of subconscious mistake of nature, but we know in real life there are negative forces controlling, or attempting to control outcomes, from a position of malevolent planning (and, I should add, positive forces opposing them).

The Hunger Games capture this a little more with the abject cruelty of the games themselves and the egotistical, self righteous, ever vengeful anger of the governmental tyrants. The Hunger Games was written by a woman.

My next likely book is Stephen Kings 'The Stand'. Which is about 1300 pages long. It is the world after a plague has ravaged everything and then people start getting dreams of a 'dark prince'. Stephen King does at least capture that passionate evil of the negative.

Perhaps the reason negative religious passion is not captured in more fiction books is because of the response to Salman Rushdie. I'm sure there are plenty of good writers though that could knit together a story with that and other concepts.

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