Ed Driscoll

The Remarkable Prescience of HG Wells' 'Opaque' Non-Fiction

The Onion’s A/V Club has some advice on how someone who’s never read H.G. Wells can best access his work. The simplest way in?  Start with “The Time Machine, War Of The Worlds, and The Invisible Man.” What to avoid? The A/V Club proffers this advice:

Where not to start: It’s rare to find a bookstore or library that stocks any of Wells’ non-fiction or realistic fiction. But while he wrote books worth reading in both genres, they don’t carry the immediate punch of his science fiction, and they often seem opaque to modern readers who can’t fully immerse themselves in the cultural mores of Wells’ time.

Hmm, that’s giving remarkably short-shrift to the man Fred Siegel of City Journal dubbed “The Godfather of American Liberalism.” (Though the A/V Club’s short-shriftery is not at all surprising.) In fact, much of Wells’ non-fiction seems much remarkably prescient right now — even worthy of inspiring a recent best-selling book title.