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H.G. Wells is like the Plato of science fiction, and The Time Machine might be his Republic. If you add up all the "firsts" in these books it would be daunting, especially because we haven't gotten very far past time travel, alien invasion, mad scientists and genetic mutation in the sci-fi genre.
An inventor living in Victorian England develops said machine and travels to the year 802,701 A.D.. There he finds two distinct races of beings: the Eloi, lithe, androgynous and child-like, they are the result of millennia of communistic living; and the Morlocks, the pale, apelike, underground dwelling creatures who are industrious and brutal. The Time Traveler's theory (which mirrors Wells' socialist tendencies) is that the two groups are the evolutionary ancestors of the leisure class and working classes. But after some run ins with the Morlocks he discovers an awful secret that will force him to revise his theories once again.