I finished reading The Time Machine (1895) by H.G. Wells (or Mercury [Hg] Wells, as I started calling him) this past Friday. It is one of the seminal works of science fiction. I was amazed while reading it that Wells had these awesome ideas about selective breeding...did he read Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) or Mendel's Experiments on Plant Hybridization (1865)? If so, he took these principles to heart. If not, then he had an enormous imagination. Perhaps he discussed these works with friends and colleagues if he didn't read them.
BTW, it's a short novel that I recommend reading. It's such an engaging story that you just want to keep turning the page. If you've seen the earlier movie, then you'll see all the foreshadowing present in the novel. It just makes you hold your breath that much more.
Notes on the book:
I was really surprised on the socialist commentary. Wells thinks that the Capitalists have become the Eloi and the workers the Morlocks (see especially Chapter VII). I laugh at the prospect of the human race dividing into two species based on social class. I also like the ending and how it keeps the novel current.