The Story’s The Thing: HG Wells; The Time Machine and The Island of Doctor Moreau
Sometimes it’s hard to find things that you like. Recommendations from friends are always a good thing or asking people in libraries or bookstores can many times help you find new loves or new fandoms. My favourite way to find a new story or fandom is, well… current fandoms. My biggest current fandom obsession, as I mentioned in my last review, is Syfy’s Warehouse 13. Kara reviewed the show a few weeks ago, so I won’t actually go into my (many) loves of the show, but I will talk for a moment about HG Wells.
Stepping away from the fictional for a moment, HG Wells was a science fiction writer from the late 1800s, in many ways one of the fathers of the genre. Many things that Wells theorized actually have come true as history has progressed. So what, you might ask? Well, if you’ve never read any of Wells’ work, you’re missing out. In reading Wells’ most famous works, there are two that I would really like to highlight: The Time Machine and The Island of Doctor Moreau.The Time Machine (Check it out on Project Gutenberg!) is one of the more well-known classics of science fiction. The story is told through the voice of an observer-friend of the Time Traveler, marveling at the strange and fantastic tale that’s spun. The protagonist, only known as the Time Traveler, is a scientist who has created a time machine to explore the future. In the future, the Time Traveler finds a world completely different from our own, and in many ways different from most tales of the future. There aren’t any technological advances, just two distinct societies, one above ground, and one below. I won’t spoil any more, but it is very fascinating, even if you’re not that into science fiction. Wells writes about societies, and people, and what happens when societies deteriorate.
One of the lesser known of Wells’ works is The Island of Doctor Moreau. This book takes place almost entirely on a not-quite-deserted island. The Doctor of the title has been doing various ‘experiments’ on animals, attempting to create human-like creatures out of beasts. Wells explores the psychology of what it would take to create an actual sentient species out of… well, animals of unknown sentience. What happens on the island, and what happens to the beast-people, that’s for you to find out in the story. This particular book is a bit creepy, so if you have a low gross-out factor, it might not be the story for you, but really, it is a fascinating book.
So, really, go check out HG Wells, and find some new, albeit old stories. Do you have any stories that you’ve found through another fandom? Let me know in the comments!