One of the patriarchs of the science fiction genre, H. G. Wells (1866-1946) produced a vast collection of important works on the topics of scientific progress, politics, history and social commentary. One work in particular marked a watershed moment in the English author's career. With the publication of "When the Sleeper Wakes" in 1899, later republished under the title "The Sleeper Awakes," Wells gave the world its first dystopia novel. The story concerns a Victorian Englishman who falls into a trance, and awakens to find himself in a terrifying London of the future. In what is essentially a story of radical socialism gone bad, this new, mechanized London has been reduced to a highly regimented society of mental and physical slaves under a totalitarian, power-hungry group of elite. His subsequent novels, including "The Time Machine," "The Island of Doctor Moreau," "The Invisible Man," and "The First Men in the Moon," continue Wells' exploration of social progress and the dark potential of science and technology.
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January 01, 2013
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