Among the seven full-length scientific romances written by Wells, three others were nearly as popular as The Time Machine. The Invisible Man tells the story of a young man who seeks power through the secret of invisibility, but discovers only isolation and insanity. The novel also shows the violence to which unbridled power can lead and the extent to which fear can overwhelm society.
In War of the Worlds, Wells shows ordinary people thrown into an extraordinary situation. His invading Martians come to life in passages filled with suspense and descriptive power, as they use nightmarish death-rays on the people of London. Eventually, after military defense has failed, simple earth-born microbes overcome the aliens. When this story was broadcast over the radio by Orson Welles in 1938, it seemed so realistic that it generated panic among many unwary listeners. In The First Men in the Moon Wells combines realistic portraits of two moon travelers with a tough sense of humor not usually found in scientific romances.
A 1960 motion-picture version of The Time Machine released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gives a good overall treatment of the plot, but makes the Eloi-especially Weena-more human than Wells’s text. The film was directed by George Pal and starred Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux, Sebastian Cabot, Tom Helmore, Whit Bissell, and Doris Lloyd.