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Introduction Utopian Literature Dystopian Literature Utopian Communities



H. G. Wells. War of the Worlds. New York, London: Harper & Brothers, 1898.

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H.G. WELLS (1866-1946)
Wells was a social theorist and one of science fiction’s masters. A disciple of Jules Verne, Wells took dystopian fiction to a new level and foresaw twentieth-century inventions, concepts and ominous ramifications for society. Many of Wells’s works, among them The Food of the Gods, A Modern Utopia, In the Days of the Comet, and The World Set Free, were based on short-range sociopolitical speculation but were primarily concerned with the utopian organization of mankind as the sole alternative to the criminal waste and muddle of Victorian bourgeois society. Wells created Victorian nightmares that proved all too prophetic for the twentieth century.

In War of the Worlds, a radioactive meteorite lands near a small American town. Local power fails, watches stop, and a mysterious light emanates from the place where the meteorite fell. The next day, investigators find the posted guards have become mere powder and Martians have invaded the area. The 1938 radio broadcast or this story by Orson Welles was mistaken for an actual newscast.