H. G. Wells
Biographical notes by Blake Wilfong

"The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn."

British author Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) was perhaps the true "father of science fiction". Everyone knows of his early SF novels The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898). But unlike Jules Verne before him, Wells also crafted many superb short science fiction stories--foreshadowing the form the genre would take in pulp magazines decades later. And the vitality and unrestrained imagination of Wells' writings makes them more readable today than Verne's.

Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, to lower-middle-class parents. Despite grave financial difficulties and a poor early education, Wells earned a Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, in zoology and geology from the University of London in 1890. This scientific background would prove invaluable to his writing, though he was already producing science fiction as he worked toward his degree. In 1888, he published The Chronic Argonauts (an early draft of The Time Machine) in the Science Schools Journal.

Wells also went on to write many historical volumes, literary novels and scientific texts, all of which he considered more important than his science fiction. Ironically, they are virtually forgotten today.

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