The time traveler goes back to the future to save Weena, the Eloi girl he met in The Time Machine. But instead of reaching the future he already knows, he reaches another future where the Morlocks are much more advanced, and where the Eloi don’t exist. Together with one of them, Nebogipfel, the time traveler goes on a journey that spans the entirety of time.
While not making a similar quantum leap like The Time Machine, The Time Ships raised the bar for concept-driven, time travel fiction. Personally, I like it even better than its famous predecessor, it’s full of neat ideas and concepts about time travel, yet always remains faithful to its source, and it has Nebogipfel, a good Morlock, one of Baxter’s most brilliant ideas. Baxter always could write non-human characters very well, and to me it wasn’t a surprise, that Nebogipfel was more interesting than the time traveler itself. What’s cool about Baxter’s sequel is how seamlessly it ties up to The Time Machine. Baxter writes as if he has channeled Wells ghost, and then spiced the mix up with something from himself. What comes out is a mix that has grandeur, yet always remains grounded in its characters. And the ending, that was just brilliant.