The year is 1893, and the workaday life of a young commercial traveller is enlivened by his ladyfriend, and she takes him to the laboratory of Sir William Reynolds building a Time Machine. It is but a small step into futurity, the beginning of a series of adventures that culminate in a violent confrontation with the most ruthless intellect in the Universe. The novel effectively binds the storylines of the H.G. Wells novels The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine into the same reality. Action takes place both in Victorian England and on Mars, as the time machine displaces the protagonists through space in addition to time.