Our first line contest still has no winner, so I've cleared the votes and put up the two finalists. Please vote again so someone can be subjected to the awesomely bad torture that is my quirky giveaway. I promise, it'll be a fantastic way to spend an evening if drunk. Or nostalgic. Or both.
Todd Wheeler, faithful Vortex visitor, began his annual summer reading program this week. I've participated for two years now, and his personal quest to support literacy in his area has turned into quite the event. All readers need to do is visit his blog and fill out an ultra-speedy form when they finish reading a novel. For every 25 people who participate, Bear Pond Books will donate a book to the Children's Literacy Foundation. Prizes and surprises are lurking, too, so head over and participate as you're blowing through your to-be-read pile this summer.
Also, because I know you're chomping at the bit for more time-travel-in-the-media news, Britney Spears is in talks to play the lead role in The Yellow Star of Sophia and Eton, a time travel film in which Sophia creates a time machine and heads back to World War II, where she starts a romance. I know, right? Ass chaps and glitter gloss abound. H.G. Wells would be rolling in his grave at the horror.
Or would he?
All kidding aside...well, mostly...H.G. Wells is the meat of today's post.
Surprisingly, I just finished The Time Machine for the first time, and I have a confession to make. I skipped. Like a six year old in pig-tails, I did, over long, self-flagellating passages where Mr. Wells simply liked the sound of his own voice. I know I'm coming from a modern literary perspective and there were amazing attributes to his yarn, but at one time one of his many mistresses must have exclaimed, "Wellsey, your exposition on setting details proves your scientific, detailed genius. More, more!"
Britney would say, "Dear God, if I have to read about the fabric the future race is wearing one more time, I shall have to exterminate myself on my own perfume!"
Actually, what sparked the most interest to me was the short biography of H.G. Wells at the beginning of the Penguin Classics edition. It very politely alludes to his lifelong pursuit of love that was never fully realized. Of course, I wanted to dig deeper. Was it unrequited? Was he unable to balance his prophesies with love's enduring nature? Was inbreeding the one common ground he shared with Britney?
Penguin Classics left out a choice nugget. Apparently, H.G. Wells was the Hugh Heffner of Victorian England, engaging in wild, passionate, scandalous love affairs only to move on to the next woman. His sexual prowess revolved around a stable of women, with his first cousin-wife as matriarch, who would continue to intermingle, care for each other when ill, and support his forward-thinking, globally-acting need to spread his philosophies and seed in his time. So much for romantic notions. I did arrive at one conclusion, though: if my heroine ever returns via time travel to Victorian England, she should run into the hero distinguishable by his glorious bat-wing eyebrows. It worked for H.G. Wells, didn't it?
This is his Hair Club for Men pose. He doesn't look like a randy bugger, does he?
The chic magnet