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War of the Worlds and other Science Fiction Classics

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The six novels collected in The War of the Worlds and Other Science Fiction Classics were all written at the turn of the twentieth century, and with them Wells helped to lay the foundations of modern science fiction. The Time Machine The Island of Dr. Moreau The Invisible Man The War of the Worlds The First Men in the Moon The Food of the Gods


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The six novels collected in The War of the Worlds and Other Science Fiction Classics were all written at the turn of the twentieth century, and with them Wells helped to lay the foundations of modern science fiction. The Time Machine The Island of Dr. Moreau The Invisible Man The War of the Worlds The First Men in the Moon The Food of the Gods

30 review for War of the Worlds and other Science Fiction Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    Treasury of World Masterpieces is just that - A MASTERPIECE.

  2. 4 out of 5

    David Cooke

    It is apparent after reading this collection why H.G. Wells is revered as one of the founding fathers of science fiction. However, as with any short story collection, some stories are more successful than others. The Time Machine: As a short story, this is probably the most complete. It captures well HG Wells' concerns about humanity, commercialism, knowledge, etc. through a thoroughly engaging story. The Island of Dr. Moreau: The worst story in the collection by far, this builds off the hubbub su It is apparent after reading this collection why H.G. Wells is revered as one of the founding fathers of science fiction. However, as with any short story collection, some stories are more successful than others. The Time Machine: As a short story, this is probably the most complete. It captures well HG Wells' concerns about humanity, commercialism, knowledge, etc. through a thoroughly engaging story. The Island of Dr. Moreau: The worst story in the collection by far, this builds off the hubbub surrounding Darwin's theories and foreshadows genetic engineering. However, the science is so faulty that it is hard to get past the ridiculousness. War of the Worlds: The first half the story is much more successful than the second, and it has a bit of Dickensian miraculousness at the end, but the aliens he creates in the story are surprisingly non-humanoid, and he does get into the challenges of an alien invasion. The invasion is a pretty stupendous read - I just didn't feel like it kept the momentum going very well. First Men in the Moon: This is the flip side of War of the Worlds for me, telling the story of a human invasion. The science behind how they achieve space travel is absolutely unusual and fascinating, and while physically it doesn't really make sense, it is just a conceptually elegant and wacky idea...in some ways, science fiction at its best. The aliens are in many ways less interesting to me than those of War of the Worlds, but the concepts of communication are expanded upon much more. He also really goes after some of the consumerism/scientism battles that feature in The Time Machine and Food of the Gods. The multiple, episodic endings wore on me a bit, but it was still a fun read. Food of the Gods: This foretells the challenges of genetically modified foods or synthetic biology and, in general, what happens when technology can get ahead of the scientists who create it. It also deals with government intervention, how scientists differ from both engineers and the human race (although a bit of a narrow, cliche look), and all sorts of other social stuff in addition to the sci-fi angle. Unfortunately, the implications of the technology aren't that great (kind of as bad as Dr. Moreau), but all of the stuff around it is interesting. Overall, I definitely recommend reading some of his works, especially First Men in the Moon and The Time Machine. It's fascinating to see how forward-thinking some of this stuff really was.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brian Burden

    Like the best SF The War Of The Worlds is worked out to a logical plan but appeals equally to the intellect and the unconscious. HG cycled round the parts of the home counties where he set the action, planning death and destruction. Bicycles were a relatively new form of transport, and cyclists considered themselves kings of the road. (I strongly recommend Wells's novel The Wheels Of Chance, written at much the same time, which describes how an apprentice in a drapery store saves up to buy one o Like the best SF The War Of The Worlds is worked out to a logical plan but appeals equally to the intellect and the unconscious. HG cycled round the parts of the home counties where he set the action, planning death and destruction. Bicycles were a relatively new form of transport, and cyclists considered themselves kings of the road. (I strongly recommend Wells's novel The Wheels Of Chance, written at much the same time, which describes how an apprentice in a drapery store saves up to buy one of these wonderful machines and embarks on a holiday full of adventure, romance, and comic incident.) The novel has three themes: The invasion of the 19th century by the 20th: The Martians deploy heat rays and suffocating "black smoke". Just a few years later, soldiers in the trenches would have to contend with flame-throwers and chlorine gas. The actual heat rays arrived later, in the form of lasers. The second theme concerns the effect of the invasion on human relationships. The narrator never anticipates that he will find himself obliged to commit murder, let alone murder a clergyman. In particular, the narrator's marriage is affected. He becomes separated from his wife not long after the invasion begins, and believes her dead until the closing chapters, when there is a joyous reunion. There is a subtext here relating to Wells's own first marriage with his cousin Isobel. Wells discovered early on that they were sexually incompatible and took up with his young student Amy Robbins, cohabiting with her while writing what would prove to be his first bestseller, The Time Machine, and marrying her as soon as his divorce came through. Even so, he loved Isobel very much and dreamed of a reconciliation. I'm sure Wells chose his words precisely when, at the end of the novel, the husband and wife who had believed each other dead meet unexpectedly in their deserted marital home and the wife's first words are "I came..." The third theme is a Jungian one. The Martians represent mankind's shadow self. The narrator's first sight of a Martian in the darkness of the recently opened cylinder is a pair of glowing eyes. In Jungian dream analysis, glowing eyes in the dark represent confrontation with the aspects of one's psyche one is least willing to acknowledge. The Martians seem entirely alien - boneless, octopus-like creatures - yet the narrator speculates that in the distant past they evolved from man-like beings, creatures, deprived by technology over the centuries of both humanity and beauty of form. According to Jung, such a dream confrontation may result in the dreamer being severely burnt (See C.G.Jung: Flying Saucers A Modern Myth Of Things Seen In The Sky). Wells would have been unacquainted with Jung's work back in 1897, but he seems to be saying in this novel that war comes from Man's shadow self. Well-paced and full of action and incident and invention, the novel works on a subliminal level to pack a powerful punch.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This omnibus is perfect for a first-time reader of Well's novels, however, the collection was *not* for me. The editor of this collection has taken six brilliant novels, and condensed them into short-story format, going so far as to remove entire chapters, scenes, dialogue, etc. and trying to add superfluous, choppy information that was not originally in the stories in order to fill out a poor facsimile. This is an inferior abridgement. Readers deserve wholesome material, not literary pap, and that This omnibus is perfect for a first-time reader of Well's novels, however, the collection was *not* for me. The editor of this collection has taken six brilliant novels, and condensed them into short-story format, going so far as to remove entire chapters, scenes, dialogue, etc. and trying to add superfluous, choppy information that was not originally in the stories in order to fill out a poor facsimile. This is an inferior abridgement. Readers deserve wholesome material, not literary pap, and that's what this omnibus has made of these classics. In short, this is something you could gift your high-schooler, but if you hope to curl up with the original works of Wells, look elsewhere! (Note: I was able to add unabridged editions of a few of these novels ["The Time Machine", "War of the Worlds", and "The Invisible Man"] for *free* from the Google Play Store)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Carbone

    Had this on my shelf for ages and really only read a story at a time when I felt compelled. Turns out I had read all the good ones in this collection, (first three stories) and the last three were just super meh to me and did not hold my interest at all! Even with War of the Worlds being the big one in here, it still was just meh.... definitely a case of certain classics just not hitting the way they would have at one point in the past. Appreciate what it did but I just enjoyed the first three s Had this on my shelf for ages and really only read a story at a time when I felt compelled. Turns out I had read all the good ones in this collection, (first three stories) and the last three were just super meh to me and did not hold my interest at all! Even with War of the Worlds being the big one in here, it still was just meh.... definitely a case of certain classics just not hitting the way they would have at one point in the past. Appreciate what it did but I just enjoyed the first three stories in here so much better.... so this collection gets a star for each of the stories I actually enjoyed!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Six stories made famous for their early (1800's) sci-fi influencers...but made more remarkable for the political, environmental and social messaging in each. Did anyone else read Food of the Gods and think about the ripple effects of DDT or Rachel Carson? Six stories made famous for their early (1800's) sci-fi influencers...but made more remarkable for the political, environmental and social messaging in each. Did anyone else read Food of the Gods and think about the ripple effects of DDT or Rachel Carson?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    This was definitely one of the best books I've ever read! Every story was interesting and unique. This was definitely one of the best books I've ever read! Every story was interesting and unique.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Carlisle

    While all of the stories are based on very interesting scientific ideas (especially for the time), the style of story varies. For my tastes, the more Wells sticks to the perspective of one character, the better. I thoroughly enjoyed The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The First Men in the Moon as they stayed closer to the action and the mystery by staying closer to one characters perspective. Don't let the slow starts fool you. It's just his way. The War of the Worlds is classic, alt While all of the stories are based on very interesting scientific ideas (especially for the time), the style of story varies. For my tastes, the more Wells sticks to the perspective of one character, the better. I thoroughly enjoyed The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The First Men in the Moon as they stayed closer to the action and the mystery by staying closer to one characters perspective. Don't let the slow starts fool you. It's just his way. The War of the Worlds is classic, although begins to feel long winded at times. And then there's The Invisible Man and The Food of the Gods. Wow. I didn't know someone could write about such an interesting subject, like invisibility, and seem so bored with it. For both of these stories, think horror/thriller meets Benny Hill. Okay, I know that sounds fun, but it isn't. Just when the invisible man is throwing a tantrum and threatening to bust some heads with his invisible fists, then we have to turn the story over to the Keystone Cops who trip over each other while Lucille Ball is outside yelling at Ricky. It's dark, brooding, mysterious stranger meets country bumpkins. I finished The Invisible Man because Wells' description of the invisible experience was great. But I was greatly frustrated with his insistence on diverting my attention to what the constable was eating for breakfast while his children did poorly in school. The Food of the Gods was all over the place. The science hook in this story was least interesting to me, it is the longest story of the bunch, and at times seems like Wells forgot what story he was writing. The characters in the story would come and go, to the point that I wasn't sure which ones I should be trying to remember. Wells will invest so much time on a supporting character, than dismiss them from the story in a sentence. I feel like I'm reading the rough drafts of his character studies, and every once in a while he'll get back to writing the story. The highlights of the story are the giant things. Literally. When commoners in Victorian England have a surprise run-in with a giant wasp, or a local militia gathers at night to battle a nest of man-sized rats. Then I feel like I'm watching a fun collage of 1950's horror flicks! But it drags. Oh, how it drags.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Martin McDonald

    *** SPOILER ALERT *** This review may contain SPOILERS It's taken me a long time to reach H. G. Wells but I'm glad I finally did. He's an excellent writer and, for all its occasional weaknesses, this set of his science fiction novels deserves a five star rating. The Time Machine is a seminal piece - one of the first modern science fiction stories - and Wells's vision of a future where humanity has evolved into two separate species, the one preying on the other, is frighteningly and lucidly painted *** SPOILER ALERT *** This review may contain SPOILERS It's taken me a long time to reach H. G. Wells but I'm glad I finally did. He's an excellent writer and, for all its occasional weaknesses, this set of his science fiction novels deserves a five star rating. The Time Machine is a seminal piece - one of the first modern science fiction stories - and Wells's vision of a future where humanity has evolved into two separate species, the one preying on the other, is frighteningly and lucidly painted. The weakest story of the set is The Island of Dr Moreau which, although well told and characterised, does little to expand the story beyond basic conflict. The Invisible Man has a fascinating and sinister title character, whose sudden swing to madness is vividly depicted. If, like me, you want to read these novels in the order they were written then The War of the Worlds is next. This really is Wells's masterpiece. He wastes no time in plunging into the story, pulls no punches about the savagery of the Martian invasion and takes time to empathetically explore the human conflicts involved in responding to a hopeless life or death struggle with a relentless and vastly superior enemy. The First Men in the Moon is a (scientific inaccuracies allowed for) vivid description of first contact between uncomprehending humans and an advanced race of aliens which, appropriately, goes disastrously wrong largely through misunderstandings and problems communicating. The last published of the set, The Food of the Gods, starts as a tour-de-force of Dickens-style comedy, turns to horror as the Food has an effect on animals which wreak havoc and death and finally becomes a tragedy when the giant humans it creates find they are unable to live peaceably with regular sized people. Highly recommended to anyone with the remotest interest in science-fiction or, indeed, late Victorian writing.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Donald

    H.G. Wells. What is there to say? Adulterer, plagiarist, one of the fathers of science fiction, father of wargaming, and a brilliant author. This collects six of his stories. I'd read The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds before, but the other three were new to me. They were, as with the rest of his stories, very, very good. Somewhat dated, but no less fun to read. I'd recommend this for anybody who likes science fiction. These books are classics, and for a very good reaso H.G. Wells. What is there to say? Adulterer, plagiarist, one of the fathers of science fiction, father of wargaming, and a brilliant author. This collects six of his stories. I'd read The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds before, but the other three were new to me. They were, as with the rest of his stories, very, very good. Somewhat dated, but no less fun to read. I'd recommend this for anybody who likes science fiction. These books are classics, and for a very good reason. And if you aren't familiar with his work already, for shame. You must correct this as soon as possible.

  11. 4 out of 5

    James Nance

    H. G. Wells weaves science fiction that is always thought-provoking, often delightful, and occasionally disturbing or ridiculous. In many places Wells uses his stories to promote a socialist agenda. This is most clear in "The First Men in the Moon," and less clear (or perhaps more subtle) in his other stories. The stories in this collection, ranked from my favorite to my least favorite, would be as follows: 1) The War of the Worlds 2) The Time Machine 3) The Invisible Man 4) The First Men in the Mo H. G. Wells weaves science fiction that is always thought-provoking, often delightful, and occasionally disturbing or ridiculous. In many places Wells uses his stories to promote a socialist agenda. This is most clear in "The First Men in the Moon," and less clear (or perhaps more subtle) in his other stories. The stories in this collection, ranked from my favorite to my least favorite, would be as follows: 1) The War of the Worlds 2) The Time Machine 3) The Invisible Man 4) The First Men in the Moon 5) The Island of Dr. Moreau 5) The Food of the Gods

  12. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    Great collection of six hugely influential works. Wells' novels are one of the foundations of modern science fiction. The Food of the Gods and The First Men in the Moon are weaker than the other four, but all are worth reading. This has everything - time travel, space travel, alien encounters, evil experiments. All have a touch of social commentary about Victorian England that's still relevant today, but all can be read and enjoyed as straight sci-fi adventure stories. Great collection of six hugely influential works. Wells' novels are one of the foundations of modern science fiction. The Food of the Gods and The First Men in the Moon are weaker than the other four, but all are worth reading. This has everything - time travel, space travel, alien encounters, evil experiments. All have a touch of social commentary about Victorian England that's still relevant today, but all can be read and enjoyed as straight sci-fi adventure stories.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Boulware

    /* As an avid Sci-Fi reader and follower, I've loved H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Jules Vern, Edgar Allen Poe, and many of the greats as far back as the day that I began to pick up books! This particular edition is an excellent addition to my collection. I would recommend that you make it yours as well. These stories are time encompassing classics that will never die. Till next time... Greg. "Twitter" https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorBoulwareG */ /* As an avid Sci-Fi reader and follower, I've loved H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Jules Vern, Edgar Allen Poe, and many of the greats as far back as the day that I began to pick up books! This particular edition is an excellent addition to my collection. I would recommend that you make it yours as well. These stories are time encompassing classics that will never die. Till next time... Greg. "Twitter" https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorBoulwareG */

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jason Pierce

    The Time Machine (Pending) The Island of Dr. Moreau (read 6/25/16-6/26/16) ★★★✰✰ The Invisible Man (Pending) The War of the Worlds (Pending) The First Men in the Moon (Pending) The Food of the Gods (Pending) The Time Machine (Pending) The Island of Dr. Moreau (read 6/25/16-6/26/16) ★★★✰✰ The Invisible Man (Pending) The War of the Worlds (Pending) The First Men in the Moon (Pending) The Food of the Gods (Pending)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Al

    An interesting idea for a book. Herakleophorbia a new kind of food given to things that still are in the growing process, that let the object grow constantly rather than in spurts. In human letting the grow to be 40 ft tall. Its got to be one of the most unique books i've read. A more thoughtout BFG. An interesting idea for a book. Herakleophorbia a new kind of food given to things that still are in the growing process, that let the object grow constantly rather than in spurts. In human letting the grow to be 40 ft tall. Its got to be one of the most unique books i've read. A more thoughtout BFG.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I've unfortunately lost the well loved edition I had as a kid, but between H.G. Wells and Edgar Allen Poe, it's a tight tie to say which was my favorite as a child. I reread their stories feverishly. These stories are classic. I've unfortunately lost the well loved edition I had as a kid, but between H.G. Wells and Edgar Allen Poe, it's a tight tie to say which was my favorite as a child. I reread their stories feverishly. These stories are classic.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kyle K

    The Time Machine - The Island of Dr. Moreau - The Invisible Man - The First Men in the Moon - The Food of the Gods - The War of the Worlds -

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ronald Vasicek

    My book also included "In the Days of the Comet". All these are excellent short stories. My book also included "In the Days of the Comet". All these are excellent short stories.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ambersioux

    One of the best Science Fiction writers in history!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    This set was how I was introduced to H.G. Wells. I believe my parents bought it in a discount bin, or something of that matter. These are by far his greatest works! All are a must read!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Smiley

    a great collection of stories by someone as nerdy as I.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Dau

    A very well rounded collection of science fiction.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Great compilation of HG Wells science fiction. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    It's H.G. Wells, need I say any more? The father of science fiction. It's H.G. Wells, need I say any more? The father of science fiction.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    Only read The Time Machine from this collection so far.

  26. 5 out of 5

    B

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather Jung

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jez Bigornia

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andi Katsina

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