The Sleeper Awakes – H. G. Wells
It is certainly an easy assumption to make that the readers of H. G. Wells‘ novel, „The Sleeper Awakes,“ will agree that it is a truly wonderful production. Mr. Wells has devoted himself strictly to the weird and fantastic, and with great success in every case. This book is of the same character, but it is told so vividly, it is wrought out with such life-like detail, that the reader forgets that the book is only the product of a novelist’s fancy, and lives for the time intent on the strange scenes and customs and peoples of London in 2100. „When the Sleeper Wakes“ is a story of the future. Its plot is not remark able, but the realistic detail with which it is worked out is. Graham, the sleeper, goes into a trance at the end of the nineteenth century and sleeps for two hundred years. During all this time his small fortune continually increases, and when Graham awakes he finds that he has become the owner of more than half the world. His awakening is the signal for a general uprising in the sleeper’s favor, led by one Ostrog. The sleeper escapes from the glass cage in which the councilors of the city have imprisoned him, joins Ostrog after an exciting chase over the great glass roof that covered the whole of London, and the councilors are defeated after a bloody battle along the moving ways. “ The Sleeper Awakes“ was at its time in all respects the most daring and successful novel of the future yet written, and for those who like this sort of fiction, it only remains to be said that here is a treat in store for them.
The Sleeper Awakes.
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Biographical sketch of H. G. Wells (from Wikipedia):
Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946), usually referred to as H. G. Wells, was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, satire, biography, and autobiography, including even two books on war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called a „father of science fiction“, along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.
During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of airplanes, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web. His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the „Shakespeare of science fiction”. His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898). He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.
Wells’s earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he wrote little science fiction, while he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of journalist. Novels like Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, which describe lower-middle-class life, led to the suggestion that he was a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay(1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole. A diabetic, in 1934, Wells co-founded the charity The Diabetic Association (known today as Diabetes UK).
(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)
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