Friday, 18 February 2011

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: The Shape of Things to Come - HG Wells

Release Date: 17/02/11


When a diplomat dies in the 1930s, he leaves behind a book of 'dream visions' he has been experiencing, detailing events that will occur on Earth for the next two hundred years. This fictional 'account of the future' (similar to LAST AND FIRST MEN by Olaf Stapledon) proved prescient in many ways, as Wells predicts events such as the Second World War, the rise of chemical warfare and climate change.


HG Wells has always been a bit of a guilty pleasure for myself, I’ve loved his War of the Worlds, I thoroughly enjoyed The Time Machine and have been entertained many a time by The Island of Dr Moreau. So when this title was rereleased in hardback by Gollancz, I felt it was time to reacquaint myself with this prolific author and to see what this title was about.

Whilst I hadn’t read this book before I was wondering exactly what I was letting myself in for with this title from his later period of writing and whilst a number of events had an echo within our own history you can see the authors political views coming through quite strongly as well as his idealised version of society. It is well written, the characters engaging and the concepts discussed will generate quite a varied number of discussions amongst readers and whilst many feel that they can avoid reading this due to the films that have been released they don’t do this title any real justice for the work that’s within. Definitely a title that I’d suggest that you read once as it is not only the shape of things to come (at least genre wise) but a title that will have influenced a great many of today’s writers who have taken Well’s torch and carried it proudly.

1 comment:

Dusky Literati said...

I haven't read this book by HG Wells. I will have to check it out.