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I am considering writing a "history" of the Morlocks (based on the characters in the H. G. Wells novel). Question: Is this allowed, or do I need permission from his descendants?

  • Morlocks from H.G. Wells book are in public domain, but Morlocks from more recent works, like 2002 "The Time Machine" movie are not. While you are generally safe, there is a slim chance that copyright holders would think that you violate their copyright. – Alexander Jun 6 at 16:43
  • Consider: The Time Ships, a work by Stephen Baxter that was authorised by the Wells estate as a sequel to The Time Machine. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Time_Ships – Arkenstein XII Jun 9 at 21:21
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As of 2017, the collective works of H.G. Wells, including The Time Machine, are in the public domain. Not only that, Wikipedia also lists over a dozen stories based on The Time Machine, almost all of which were written before that date (I can only assume its US copyright expired much earlier) and only one of which is mentioned to have been authorised by Wells' estate.

Even if The Time Machine were still under copyright, you could still write that book, but you'd be limited to posting it on places like AO3 or FanFiction unless you could get permission from his estate to publish it - which is probably unlikely.

In any case, the answer is: Go for it!

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