H. G. Wells, Science Fiction & Radical Visions

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#1
Anticipations:
H. G. Wells, Science Fiction and Radical Visions
8-10 July 2016
H. G. Wells Conference Centre, Woking, UK
Organised by the H. G. Wells Society


Plenary Speakers: Stephen Baxter and Lesley A. Hall

H. G. Wells was a novelist, social commentator and utopianist, and is regarded as one of the fathers of science fiction. His early scientific romances featured time travel, mad scientists, alien invasion, space travel, invisibility, utopia, future war and histories of the future: his mappings of the shape of things to come was an overture to over a century of science fiction.

We wish to mark the 150th and 70th anniversaries of Wells’s birth and death respectively by exploring his science fiction, his precursors and successors and his lasting influence upon the genre in print, on film, on television, on radio, online and elsewhere. This is especially appropriate because the event will be held at the H. G. Wells Conference centre in Woking, the town where Wells wrote The War of the Worlds. Many of his ideas on politics, science, sociology and the direction in which he feared humanity was going were contained in his early science fiction and ran through his later influential work.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:


  • specific individual or groups of novels/stories;
  • the connections between Wells’s fiction and nonfiction, including his political, utopian and scientific writings;
  • utopia/dystopia;
  • histories of the future;
  • precursors to Wells’s sf;
  • sf writers influenced by Wells;
  • sequels by other hands;
  • adaptations into other media.
Please send a brief biography and an abstract of 400 words for a twenty minute paper by [email protected].

Further details will be available from anticipations2016.wordpress.com.
For a list of Wells’s SF novels, short fiction and films scripts and futures studies see here.
 
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#4
BBC is making a Victorian-era War of the Worlds TV series
From the writer of the BBC’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
by Andrew Liptak@AndrewLiptak May 4, 2017, 6:27pm EDT

Earlier today, the BBC announced a number of new shows, including a three-part series based on H.G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. The show is scheduled to go into production next spring, and it appears that, unlike most modern adaptations, it will be set in the Victorian era.

The series will be written by screenwriter Peter Hartness, who adapted Susanna Clarke’s Victorian-era fantasy novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell for the network, as well as a handful of Doctor Who episodes. The North-West Evening Mail has some additional details, quoting Mammoth Studios Managing Director of Productions Damien Timmer as saying that while the film has been adapted many times, “no one has ever attempted to follow Wells and locate the story in Dorking at the turn of the last century.” The project was first announced in 2015, and today’s confirmation of production comes only months after the book entered the public domain.

The novel follows an unnamed narrator as he watches a series of shooting stars, which turn out to be vast metal cylinders containing Martian invaders. The aliens attack the assembled humans and begin a conquest of the planet, only to succumb to human diseases.

1938 radio playby Orson Welles shifted the location to the United States. Only a direct-to-video adaptation called H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds retained the period setting.

The War of the Worlds is one of the more important works of science fiction out there, and its period setting is important to the original story, as it’s part of an entire movement of fiction dubbed ‘invasion literature’, in which England is gallantly defended against hostile outsiders. It will be interesting to see how and if the series addresses the politics of the novel’s era, and how they relate to the politics of England and Europe today.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/4/15551306/bbc-the-war-of-the-worlds-tv-series-peter-hartness
 
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#5
This is a great book, catches the Wells style without being a pastiche.

'Art-Deco Martians': A Q&A with H.G. Wells' Sequel Writer Stephen Baxter
By Doris Elin Salazar, Space.com Staff Writer | August 30, 2017 07:49am ET

"The Massacre of Mankind" by Stephen Baxter is the authorized sequel to "War of the Worlds" by the H.G. Wells Estate. The new book was released on Aug. 22, 2017.
Credit: Crown/Penguin Random House
With his sequels to H.G. Wells' famed science-fiction novels, author Stephen Baxter creates what many fans desperately want after reading or watching a fantastic story: An answer to what happens next.

In honor of H.G. Wells' 150th birthday, Stephen Baxter wrote "The Massacre of Mankind" (2017, Crown), an officially recognized sequel to Wells' "War of the Worlds" (1898, William Heinemann).

In an interview with Space.com, Baxter revealed that his long admiration for the stories of H.G. Wells has lead him to develop the character of Julie Elphinstone, who must combat the new Martian threat in "The Massacre of Mankind," released in August. Baxter strives to make Wells' themes relevant for today's world and writes to pay homage to a pioneering figure of the science-fiction literary genre. [Best Space Books and Sci-Fi: A Space.com Reading List]


https://www.space.com/37978-war-of-the-worlds-sequel-new-book.html
 
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#6
Analysis of a largely forgotten Wells novel.

The Autocracy of Mr. Parham (1930)

I assume, though I have no proof, that the seed-idea for this intriguing political fantasia came from Wells's old and long-dead friend George Gissing. You'll remember that in New Grub Street (1891) Alfred Yule, hard-working literary journalist and domestic tyrant, nurses the dream of founding and editing his own literary review. When Alfred's wealthy brother dies, leaving his fortune not to Alfred but to Alfred's daughter Marian, Alfred becomes wincingly ingratiating with the girl. It's a very cleverly written episode, actually: Marian works as his amanuensis and researcher, and Alfred has hitherto been unfailingly strict: pedantic, distant, a martinet for family discipline. But when he thinks he might be able to persuade her to finance his magazine-dream he begins acting oilily out-of-character.

(Marian's inheritance also catches the eye of handsome but unscrupulous writer Jasper Milvain, whom Marian knows and loves. He proposes marriage, for mercenary reasons. This being Gissing it all goes, of course, wrong: Marian's inheritance is bound-up in dead Uncle John's investments, and these crumble when she tries to extract the money. Faced with the prospect of marrying a poor woman, Milvain backs off; and not only does Alfred not get to establish and edit his journal, ophthalmic disease robs him of his sight too. Poor old Marian loses her feller and has to devote herself to nursing her bitter old Dad). ...

http://wellsattheworldsend.blogspot.ie/2018/01/the-autocracy-of-mr-parham-1930.html

About This Blog
I am reading through the complete works of H G Wells, in chronological order. This blog is for my jottings, as I go along.

Adam Roberts.

http://wellsattheworldsend.blogspot.ie/
 

GNC

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#13
Anyone see The War of the Worlds this week, or were you all watching celebs eat insects? Took its time to get going, but I appreciated how creepy they made it, and a social progressive like Wells would have approved the emphasis on his anti-Empire theme, basically "See how you like it!" Eleanor Tomlinson certainly keeps you watching, don't think she's been on my radar before. Anyway, jolly good stuff.
 

GNC

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#15
Seems the Beeb's WOTW is both an adaptation and a sequel to the book, combined in one flashforward-strewn narrative. It's actually very satisfying, and subverts the modern "what a letdown!" reaction to the original's ending.
 

pandacracker

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#16
Seems the Beeb's WOTW is both an adaptation and a sequel to the book, combined in one flashforward-strewn narrative. It's actually very satisfying, and subverts the modern "what a letdown!" reaction to the original's ending.
I agree.

I like how the flashforwards show that the defeat of the Martians doesn't result in a glorious victory for the humans.
 

GNC

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#17
I agree.

I like how the flashforwards show that the defeat of the Martians doesn't result in a glorious victory for the humans.
A friend of mine has one complaint, however, he was just settling into the series and it ends next week! Really intrigued to see what they do, though. Great-looking show.
 

GNC

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#18
More of letting the story run its course than a thundering climax, but I really liked what they did with it - it was Wells' ending after all, just adapted into a Martian flesh-eaters concept. The whole thing was satisfyingly creepy, and the author would have enjoyed the reminder of why he wrote the book in the first place. Let's have The Time Machine next!
 
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