The Essential H. G. Wells: The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The First Men in the Moon (Summit Cla
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This collector-quality edition includes the complete text of five of H. G. Wells' science fiction classics - The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr. Moreau and The First Men in the Moon - specially selected for this collection because of their enduring influence on the science fiction genre, in a freshly edited and newly typeset edition. With a large 7.44x9.69 page size, this Summit Classic edition is printed on hefty bright white paper with a fully laminated cover featuring an original full color design. Page headers, modern design and page layout, and an original, newly written author biography discussing Wells' life, work and enduring literary significance exemplify the attention to detail given this volume. Herbert George Wells (September 21, 1866 - August 13, 1946), was born to domestic servants-turned shopkeepers. Teetering on the brink of poverty after an injury ended his father's income as a part-time professional cricketer, Wells' parents apprenticed him to a draper in 1881, but he was dismissed in 1883. He then became a pupil-teacher in a system where older students helped teach younger students. Despite a wholly inadequate education, Wells, a voracious reader, won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London where he studied biology under T. H. Huxley. Wells completed coursework in biology and physics, but left the school after the 1886-1887 school year, having failed geology and lost his scholarship. Although Wells is best known today for his science fiction works, his first published book was a biology textbook in 1893. The publication of The Time Machine in 1895 launched Wells' long and successful writing career, and over the next several years he published The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The First Men in the Moon and a host of other lesser-known works ranging from humorous social commentary novels to non-fiction and socio-political polemics. In 1920, he published his revolutionary Outline of History, which became the model for numerous twentieth-century outline texts in a variety of disciplines. Wells was an outspoken socialist and pacifist, although he supported Britain's entry into World War I and opposed efforts to bring about an early end to the war on unfavorable terms in 1916. He also endorsed eugenics, espousing sterilization of failure as a means of improving the quality of the human race. He was an advocate of world governance and a strong supporter of the League of Nations. Wells' works became increasingly political and didactic, and only his early science fiction novels are widely read today. But those novels provide timeless insights into science and society, are interesting for their often-accurate prediction of future events and scientific developments, and are easy to read and highly entertaining. Many of Wells' literary devices -- time travel, hostile aliens, mutant creatures, space travel -- are staples of science fiction today, but were unique and imaginative when presented by Wells. In literary circles, some of Wells' comic novels, virtually unknown to most readers today, are considered outstanding examples of 20th century British literature, and Wells is regarded as perhaps the pre-eminent exeplar of pre-World War I liberal optimism. Yet Wells also clearly shares the sense of dread of science and technology run amok that runs through Victorian and post-Victorian British thought, with mad scientists and mass destruction seemingly lying in wait for unwary humanity. Wells, Hugo Gernsback and Jules Verne are sometimes referred to as The Fathers of Science Fiction, and it is difficult to imagine what science fiction might look like today without Wells' contributions.


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