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Roughly a century ago, H.G. Wells and Jules Verne virtually created the Science Fiction novel.  In a period of less than 4 years, Wells wrote three seminal classics of the genre: The Time Machine (1895), The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898).   The Invisible Man, which owes an obvious debt to Frankenstein, is based on one of the eternal themes of mankind and one of the perennial themes of Science Fiction.  First, it explores the nature of man by asking whether an invisible man would still be bound by normal morality.  Second, it develops the theme of science as a two edged sword; after initially conveying great power, scientific innovation turns on its wielder, driving him mad.  One hundred years later, this ambivalence about technology and scientific progress has remained a central part of our culture.

As in all of the best books of the genre he helped to create, Wells combines these speculations with an exciting, fanciful tale.  He and Verne truly set their successors a lofty standard to aspire towards.


Grade: (A-)


H.G. Wells Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: H. G. Wells
-ESSAY; On the Humble Childhood Beginnings of H.G. Wells: Claire Tomalin Recounts the Early Years of a Sci-Fi Pioneer (Claire Tomalin, November 8, 2021, LitHub)
    -REVIEW: of The Young H.G. Wells by Claire Tomalin (JP O'Malley, Independent ie)
    -REVIEW: of The Young H.G. Wells: Changing the World by Claire Tomalin (Heller McAlpin, WSJ)
    -REVIEW: of Young H.G. Wells (Charles Truehart, American Scholar)
    -REVIEW: of Young H.G. Wells (Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker)
    -REVIEW: of Young H.G. Wells (Hannah Joyner, Washington Independent Review of Books)
    -REVIEW: of Young Wells (Stephanie Burt, New Republic)

Book-related and General Links:
-REVIEW: ( Eddie Watts, Ed's Internet Book Review: Science Fiction/Fantasy)
    -etext: Wells, H. G.: The Time Machine (1895)
    -etext: Wells, H. G.: The Invisible Man (1897)
    -etext: Wells, H. G.: The War of the Worlds (1898)
    -Discovery Channel School: The War of the Worlds
    -REVIEW: Christopher Ricks: Games People Play (NY Review of Books)
     -REVIEW: of  H. G. Wells: Journalism and Prophecy 1893-1946 compiled and edited by W. Warren Wagar (Bernard Bergonzi, NY Review of Books)
     -REVIEW: of H.G. Wells Norman MacKenzie, Jeanne MacKenzie (Noel Annan, NY Review of Books)
     -REVIEW: of The Fabians by Norman MacKenzie and Jeanne MacKenzie (Frank Kermode, NY Review of Books)
     -REVIEW: of  H.G. Wells: Aspects of a Life by Anthony West (Brigid Brophy, NY Review of Books)
     -REVIEW: of The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction by Ursula K. LeGuin and edited and with introductions by Susan Wood (Julian Symons, NY Review of Books)