Friday, 21 September 2012

HG Wells Birthday 21/12/1866 - Science Fiction

Science Fiction

I have always liked this particular genre. In fact one of the books we studied at 'O' level was 'The War of the Worlds' by HG Wells. It sparked off a number of years of me reading nothing else. I tried Philip K Dick, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham and everyone of them stretched my imagination and entertained me royally. In fact because of those authors I hankered after trying to write SF and it may be that I tackle that genre at sometime in the future all I require is the inspiration.

Herbert George "H. G." Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing textbooks and rules for war games.
His most notable science fiction works include The War of the WorldsThe Time MachineThe Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau.
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 the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of "Journalist." Most of his later novels were not science fiction. Some described lower-middle class life (KippsThe History of Mr Polly), leading him to be touted as 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. Wells also wrote abundantly about the "New Woman" and the Suffragettes (Ann Veronica).
What a character Wells was, and to say his books were written so long ago they have endured and leant themselves to being made into films.  This statue erected as a tribute in the town of Woking is one of his tripods from War of the Worlds.
But Wells wasn't just a scientist and writer he was also an artist. One of the most interesting ways that Wells expressed himself was through his drawings and sketches. One common location for these was the endpapers and title pages of his own diaries, and they covered a wide variety of topics, from political commentary to his feelings toward his literary contemporaries and his current romantic interests. During his marriage to Amy Catherine, whom he nicknamed Jane, he penned a considerable number of pictures, many of them being overt comments on their marriage. It was during this period, and this period only, that he called these pictures "picshuas".
His political views were  socialist and he was a member of the Fabian Society and projected those ideas into some of his works like The Time Machine and History of Mr Polly  are examples.
All-in-all he took an active part in his own life and I believe that is reflected in the depth and breadth of his collected works. I heard a well trodden statement about age the other day and it was simply 'age is just a number'. That simple statement is so full of important meaning. We humans are locked into behaviours associated with age we even use the term 'act your age' but really that is meaningless and in some ways insulting. We even celebrate certain ages in life and relationships which is okay but what we should avoid, in my opinion, is tagging behaviours to age. The body will slow down by itself without any encouragement from mental stresses brought about by age related expectations.

There many examples of people working to a great age, running marathons into their nineties and so on but you still see some folk who retire and die! Wells lived to the age of 80 and wrote for around 60 of those years. No matter what your age if you feel you want to do something then you should. I have been writing continually for 3 years if I manage to write for another 57 years then I will be 119 when I stop!   My daughter made an interesting statement the other day. She said,
"It is believed that people will live until they reach 150 years of age and those people have already been born!"

Could you be one of them?

God Bless