A Conversation for The Scientific Romances of HG Wells

All's Wells's that done well...

Post 1


I think this was a good entry, particularily because HG Wells is my all-time favorite author. I have read all the books described in the entry, and they are very fairly represented, as well as accurately applied to modern life. To me, that is why I love Wells so much. He was able to take what he knows about modern science in his day, and extend it out into the future and discover what is possible. In someways, it's pessimistic, since it almost ends up badly for the protagonist, but it serves as a warning to science today. If he could imagine what we are doing today, what is there left for us to discover? The limits (and dangers!) are endless. Another good source for Well's prolific writings are his short stories. He wrote quite a few, as the muse moved him, as it were.

My favorite novel by him probably is The Island of Dr. Moreau. That book gave me the willies.

All's Wells's that done well...

Post 2

Mat Lindsay (the researcher formerly known as Nylarthotep...now he has a name, all he needs is a face)

"The War of the Worlds" still put the wind up me, the book foremost and the silly US film version to a lesser degree. The main frustration that I find with Wells is that he's somewhat like the SciFi Bram Stoker. His books and their themes have been plundered and profitted from over the course of the decades to the point where anyone in the street could recognise half-a-dozen of them and not know that they were written by the same man. And don't even get me started on the latest film version of "The Invisible Man." Samantha Mumba, he'd turn in his bloody grave.

I also tend to think that Wells and many other writers from his day and age have been denigrated by the literary moevments that came after them. For some reason the Modernists and Post-Modenists disdained of the fact that Wells and his fellow writers of Scientific Romance dealt in the business of scientific speculation rather than delving into the realms of stream-of-thought exploration (the primary culprit here being Victoria Woolf and her dismissive treatment of Wells in her essays on the subject of English literary style). The fall out of this was that while pretention and deliberate difficulty were praised in the following decades, the whole emerging SciFi genre was relegated to the status of pulp and ignored by the academic community.

This had a knock on effect for talented writers such as Philip K Dick and his contempories who were derided as mere hacks in their day. Just look at the world of literature, only now are writers of SciFi and fantasy fiction truly coming to be seen as equals to "proper" authors who write about the mundane facts of life.

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