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The Country of the Blind and Other Science-Fiction Stories

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The Dover Thrift Edition: "The Country of the Blind" (1904) "The Star" (1897) "The New Accelerator" (1901) "The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes" (1895) "Under the Knife" (1896) "The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper" (1932) The Dover Thrift Edition: "The Country of the Blind" (1904) "The Star" (1897) "The New Accelerator" (1901) "The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes" (1895) "Under the Knife" (1896) "The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper" (1932)


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The Dover Thrift Edition: "The Country of the Blind" (1904) "The Star" (1897) "The New Accelerator" (1901) "The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes" (1895) "Under the Knife" (1896) "The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper" (1932) The Dover Thrift Edition: "The Country of the Blind" (1904) "The Star" (1897) "The New Accelerator" (1901) "The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes" (1895) "Under the Knife" (1896) "The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper" (1932)

30 review for The Country of the Blind and Other Science-Fiction Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    E. G.

    Biographical Note Introduction Further Reading Note on the Texts --The Lord of the Dynamos --The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes --The Moth --A Catastrophe --The Cone --The Argonauts of the Air --Under the Knife --A Slip under the Microscope --The Plattner Story --The Story of the late Mr Elvesham --In the Abyss --The Sea Raiders --The Crystal Egg --A Story of the Stone Age --The Star --The Man who could work Miracles --A Dream of Armageddon --The New Accelerator --The Truth about Pyecraft --The Country of the Blin Biographical Note Introduction Further Reading Note on the Texts --The Lord of the Dynamos --The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes --The Moth --A Catastrophe --The Cone --The Argonauts of the Air --Under the Knife --A Slip under the Microscope --The Plattner Story --The Story of the late Mr Elvesham --In the Abyss --The Sea Raiders --The Crystal Egg --A Story of the Stone Age --The Star --The Man who could work Miracles --A Dream of Armageddon --The New Accelerator --The Truth about Pyecraft --The Country of the Blind --The Empire of the Ants --The Door in the Wall --The Wild Asses of the Devil Appendix: H. G. Wells's Introduction to 'The Country of the Blind and Other Stories' Wells's London and Surrounding Region Glossary Notes

  2. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    Despite being universally recognized as one of the founding fathers of modern science fiction, H.G. Wells' fame rides largely on just four books - The Time Machine, Island of Dr. Moreau, War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man - published within a period of just three years, (1895-1898). And now I know why. This collection of short stories contains some clever ideas and a few interesting tales - most famous (probably) the title story - but in general they haven't aged all that well, (or at least Despite being universally recognized as one of the founding fathers of modern science fiction, H.G. Wells' fame rides largely on just four books - The Time Machine, Island of Dr. Moreau, War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man - published within a period of just three years, (1895-1898). And now I know why. This collection of short stories contains some clever ideas and a few interesting tales - most famous (probably) the title story - but in general they haven't aged all that well, (or at least not the dozen or so that I read before tossing in the towel). That said, I may at some point read his later novel, First Men In the Moon, since I have a copy of it in my massive Barnes & Noble anthology, H.G. Wells: Seven Novels, and I'm oddly curious to find out just why this is called "In" the Moon and not "On"the Moon. But otherwise, I think this is probably it for me and ol' H.G. That said, though - pretty amazing three years, right??

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    A slim little collection, quick and fun, done before I got tired of them. I've never read Wells before (I know! <>), and I was pleasantly surprised. There is a little bit of adjustment required (style so different from modern writing....), but once I settled in I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. There's a good chance I'll pick up some more Wells in the future. Holds up remarkably well given the date of origin! A slim little collection, quick and fun, done before I got tired of them. I've never read Wells before (I know! <>), and I was pleasantly surprised. There is a little bit of adjustment required (style so different from modern writing....), but once I settled in I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. There's a good chance I'll pick up some more Wells in the future. Holds up remarkably well given the date of origin!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Deanne

    Some really good stories, and some not so good. Did like the country of the blind, not overly long though it could have been made into a novel. There are hints of themes and ideas in his later and longer works. Have to admit I prefer his longer works.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Bladek

    Country of the Blind is one of those "what if" stories that sci-fi is so great at. In this case the question is "what would you give up for love." The answer apparently is "not my eyes." Country of the Blind is one of those "what if" stories that sci-fi is so great at. In this case the question is "what would you give up for love." The answer apparently is "not my eyes."

  6. 4 out of 5

    David Meditationseed

    Nice edition! Perhaps adaptability to the environment is not the only prerequisite for the survival of an individual, but indeed It is one of the most fundamental for species, or for any human society. To the individual who questions himself about freedom and beauty, for example, adaptability can mean coercion, censorship and unbearable suffering and to escape or to break free of it there is always the possibility of self-sacrifice in relation to his ideal or his happiness, even if the price is h Nice edition! Perhaps adaptability to the environment is not the only prerequisite for the survival of an individual, but indeed It is one of the most fundamental for species, or for any human society. To the individual who questions himself about freedom and beauty, for example, adaptability can mean coercion, censorship and unbearable suffering and to escape or to break free of it there is always the possibility of self-sacrifice in relation to his ideal or his happiness, even if the price is high - paying with his own life - there are several examples of this in the history of humanity and literature. This is a tale about an adventurer who arrives in a remote village completely protected where all its inhabitants are blind. Wells describes how from the adaptability of these people a whole culture was formed: the basis of belief, language, science and survival. Parallel to the arrival of the adventurer to this almost supernatural place, between unreachable valleys and huge icy mountains, there are 5 challenging relations of adaptation between the characters and society: 1. The adventurer who thinks of dominating this society, repeating for himself "in the land of the blind who has an eye is king" 2. the adventurer who begins to reflect between freedom, compassion and choices of an individual 3. how the blind society "sees" the adventurer and his stories about the vision and how the world would be for those who can "see" with the eyes. 4. The prejudices that can arise from both sides. 5. The love that can arise by ways that defy reason and cognitive senses. This is a beautiful tale that could be useful for discussion in anthropology, sociology, and philosophy classes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    In the summer of 1962 my mother went home for the first time since marrying Dad in 1947. My brother, Fin, and I went with her by boat from Duluth/Superior to Bremenhaven, Germany, then by train to Bremen, by DC3 to Copenhagen and by Caravelle to Oslo's Fornebu airport to be greated by her parents and two sisters. I was ten. Having refused to speak or respond to Norwegian since being humiliated in first grade by placed in special education--a misplacement they discovered when they met my heavily a In the summer of 1962 my mother went home for the first time since marrying Dad in 1947. My brother, Fin, and I went with her by boat from Duluth/Superior to Bremenhaven, Germany, then by train to Bremen, by DC3 to Copenhagen and by Caravelle to Oslo's Fornebu airport to be greated by her parents and two sisters. I was ten. Having refused to speak or respond to Norwegian since being humiliated in first grade by placed in special education--a misplacement they discovered when they met my heavily accented mother, my problem being English--I was a bit isolated overseas. Most everyone but Mormor spoke English, but that wasn't commonly spoken. During the many reunions of Mom's family and friends I turned, in boredom, to books. Morfar had been raised in the States and was fluent in English, his brother being Dad's father. He also had a lot of English books in his library and was quite pleased to have me read them. One, I believe, was this Wells collection which set me off on a Wells orgy for the rest of the summer. Frankly, I don't remember all of the stories from their titles. I do recall The Country of the Blind as, ah, a mind-opener in the sense of making me think new thoughts. What if other entities (I was already heavily into science fiction) regarded my sightedness like I regard ESP? What if someone with ESP tried to explain their clairvoyance to me?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pete daPixie

    Twenty three short stories from H.G. Wells, written early on in the writing career of Herbert George. Wells was the quintessential Englishman and this Penguin Classic collection of stories, mostly with English settings are late nineteenth century creations. Even so, over a century later, they have a timeless quality that sustained my interest. I'm not a great reader of fiction but 'The Country of the Blind & Selected Stories' are so very well written and concise that in these tales of mystery and Twenty three short stories from H.G. Wells, written early on in the writing career of Herbert George. Wells was the quintessential Englishman and this Penguin Classic collection of stories, mostly with English settings are late nineteenth century creations. Even so, over a century later, they have a timeless quality that sustained my interest. I'm not a great reader of fiction but 'The Country of the Blind & Selected Stories' are so very well written and concise that in these tales of mystery and imagination there is something of interest for most. Wellsian characters, some glimpses of his later science fiction novels, futuristic visions, tales of horror, the fantastic and some purely tongue in cheek fun narrative.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Norman Cook

    "The Jilting of Jane" (1894) • An unrequited romance. "The Cone" (1895) • A jealous ironworker seeks revenge on his wife’s lover. "The Stolen Bacillus" (1894) • An Anarchist steals a bacteriologist’s vial with plans to use it for terrorism. "The Flowering of the Strange Orchid" (1894) • An introverted orchid collector has an adventure with a mysterious orchid. "In the Avu Observatory" (1894) • An astronomer in Borneo is attacked by unknown animals. "Æpyornis Island" (1894) • A man stranded on an isla "The Jilting of Jane" (1894) • An unrequited romance. "The Cone" (1895) • A jealous ironworker seeks revenge on his wife’s lover. "The Stolen Bacillus" (1894) • An Anarchist steals a bacteriologist’s vial with plans to use it for terrorism. "The Flowering of the Strange Orchid" (1894) • An introverted orchid collector has an adventure with a mysterious orchid. "In the Avu Observatory" (1894) • An astronomer in Borneo is attacked by unknown animals. "Æpyornis Island" (1894) • A man stranded on an island has a strange relationship with a large, exotic bird. "The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes" (1895) • A man has vision at a distance, i.e., he sees the sights of an island half a world away. "The Lord of the Dynamos" (1894) • A racist story of a man who begins to worship an electric generator. "The Moth" (1895) • An entomologist’s feud with a rival extends into the supernatural when the rival dies. "The Treasure in the Forest" (1894) • Two racist treasure hunters are undone by their greed. "The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham" (1896) • Did Mr. Elvesham really transfer his mind into the body of young Mr. Eden? "Under the Knife" (1896) • A man experiences an out-of-body tour of the universe while sedated for a surgical operation. "The Sea Raiders" (1896) • Tentacled monsters from the deep terrorize a seaside community. "The Obliterated Man" (1895) • A new drama critic’s personality is affected by the actors he writes about. "The Plattner Story" (1896) • A man is transported to an Other-World for nine days where he can see but not be seen, then just as mysteriously returns, albeit inverted, like a reflection from a mirror. "The Red Room" (1896) • A man dares to spend a night in a haunted room. "The Purple Pileus" (1896) • In this sexist story, a meek man gains the courage to stand up to his uncontrolled wife by self-medicating with wild mushrooms. "A Slip Under the Microscope" (1896) • A college student wrestles with conflicts of class, politics, and relationships with his classmates. "The Crystal Egg" (1897) • An antiques dealer uses a crystal to remotely view a strange world that might be Mars. "The Star" (1897) • When a giant comet comes perilously close to Earth, will anyone survive? "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" (1898) • Mr. Fotheringay realizes that miracles sometimes have unintended consequences. "A Vision of Judgment" (1899) • Several people face the judgment and infinite mercy of God. "Jimmy Goggles the God" (1898) • A racist tale of a seafaring treasure hunter who is mistaken for a god by a primitive tribe. "Miss Winchelsea's Heart" (1898) • Mis Winchelsea, a snobbish young woman for whom appearances are everything, is unjustly jealous of her girlfriend’s new boyfriend. "A Dream of Armageddon" (1901) • Are a man’s vivid dreams of love in a future war real or imagined? "The Valley of Spiders" (1903) • Giant wind-borne spiders catch three horsemen in their webs, testing their courage. "The New Accelerator" (1901) • A scientist develops a tonic that speeds up one’s metabolism a thousand-fold, but doesn’t anticipate some of the side effects. "The Truth About Pyecraft" (1903) • An ancient weight-loss formula has more of an effect than Pyecraft bargains for. "The Magic Shop" (1903) • Little Gip and his father enter a genuine, proper magic shop. "The Empire of the Ants" (1905) • Intelligent ants threaten to conquer Brazil and then perhaps the rest of the world. "The Door in the Wall" (1906) • Is the door real or a metaphor for an entry into a more idyllic life? "The Country of the Blind" (1904) • In the Country of the Blind the one-eyed man is not necessarily king, and he must decide which is more important: sight or love. "The Beautiful Suit" (1909) • Be sure to wear your beautiful suit for only the most important occasions!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Darin

    As a collection of mostly science fiction tales from Wells, this short book departs from some of his more famous high adventure novels that he is known for. Here, Wells exercises his thoughts and predictions on science and the near and distant future. The result is a grab bag of stories ranging from the scale of the universe to potential asteroid impacts to artificially increased human abilities. Probably the best of these is the title story about an explorers encounter with an isolated group of As a collection of mostly science fiction tales from Wells, this short book departs from some of his more famous high adventure novels that he is known for. Here, Wells exercises his thoughts and predictions on science and the near and distant future. The result is a grab bag of stories ranging from the scale of the universe to potential asteroid impacts to artificially increased human abilities. Probably the best of these is the title story about an explorers encounter with an isolated group of people.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dish Wanderer

    Such wonderful stories. Delightful, delightful.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kent

    I love HG Wells' novels, but these short stories did not keep me turning the page. They have some good ideas, but not much of a twist or anything to keep you gripped. I love HG Wells' novels, but these short stories did not keep me turning the page. They have some good ideas, but not much of a twist or anything to keep you gripped.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    This edition has a strangely truncated table of contents, so I'll have to expand it myself. I ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: (by the editor, who also wrote the Introduction). II BIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE: I wish I hadn't read this. I don't really want biographical information about an author, unless it's a literary biography, covering only the stories in the book, and the circumstances under which they were written. III INTRODUCTION: (with footnotes). Again, most of this stuff seems to me to fall under the category This edition has a strangely truncated table of contents, so I'll have to expand it myself. I ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: (by the editor, who also wrote the Introduction). II BIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE: I wish I hadn't read this. I don't really want biographical information about an author, unless it's a literary biography, covering only the stories in the book, and the circumstances under which they were written. III INTRODUCTION: (with footnotes). Again, most of this stuff seems to me to fall under the category of 'none of my business'. IV NOTE ON THE TEXT: While this is a traditional part of 'classical' literature, I would say it was more than a little nitpicky. V SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY: ? Is this edition intended as a class text? If it's not, why all the researcher's info? VI A CHRONOLOGY OF H G WELLS: Here, too. Falls under the heading of 'too much background'. VII YET ANOTHER (MORE DETAILED) TABLE OF CONTENTS VIII THE JILTING OF JANE: This story at least admits the humanity of household servants. But it seems unable to recognize that there could come a time when nobody but the very rich would have any servants. IX THE CONE: This is an ugly story, in many respects. It smacks of the style of architecture known as 'Brutalism', in which all the undergirdings are emphasized and outlined. Such techniques may have a sort of grandeur, but no true beauty. Endoskeleton on the INSIDE, please. Also, the murderer is a particularly cruel psychopath. X THE STOLEN BACILLUS: More slander against anarchists. The 'terrorists' of their day, it was simply necessary to use the word 'anarchist' to stereotype all of the derogated class as unthinkingly violent, if not downright stupid. XI THE FLOWERING OF THE STRANGE ORCHID: Audrey II? XII IN THE AVU OBSERVATORY: At the time, it may have seemed plausible to posit unknown large vertebrates--in some parts of the world. Not so plausible nowadays, or course. XIII AEPYORNIS ISLAND: So what's an AEpyornis? A now extinct (as of 1773) ratite bird, aka the elephant bird. The notion that it might not be quite as extinct as described isn't quite so farfetched as all that--or wasn't at the time. Now, with its native habitat of Madagascar losing soil at such a rate that from space, it seems to be hemorrhaging, it's rather less likely. As for whether the creature would be implacably violent...well, some ratites are known to be hostile, and some are not. In Australia, for example, I was told that an emu CAN kick you to death, and a cassowary WILL. Was the AEpyornis as aggressive as a cassowary? Maybe. XIV THE REMARKABLE CASE OF DAVIDSON'S EYES: Was Davidson actually seeing a sunken ship--thousands of miles away? Personally I prefer Zenna Henderson's version, but then I usually DO prefer her version, if there is one. XV THE LORD OF THE DYNAMOS: This is pure racist (and imperialist) propaganda. XVI THE MOTH: Is the moth only Hawkins can see a vengeful ghost, an equally vengeful reincarnation, or just his own guilty conscience? XVII THE TREASURE IN THE FOREST: Botaniphobia (the fear of plants) seems, for some reason, to be commonest in the British. Especially this is true, it seems, of the fear of TROPICAL plants. XVIII THE STORY OF THE LATE MR ELVESHAM: Think Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin in All of Me. Except that in this case, the transmigration of souls is reciprocal--and is part of a plot for immortality. XIX UNDER THE KNIFE: The sort of near-death experience one has varies, based on what is known. This astrogation story has not aged well, because we now know much more. But at the time, it would have made a handy little lesson in what was known astronomically. XX THE SEA RAIDERS: I never have understood what people find so fearsome in cephalopods. There never has been, so far as I know, any authoritative account of violence against humans by octopoids. In fact, except for a few grainy photos and films, no one has ever even SEEN a living giant squid. Interesting sidenote--when I googled the supposed species name, one of the images was of a suspended sculpture I've walked under many times. XXI THE OBLITERATED MAN: The man in question is in serious need of a shrink, I'd say. And fast, too. XXII THE PLATTNER STORY: This is the story Dorothy L Sayers was referring to in her short story The Image in The Mirror. Plattner is said to have had his internal organs rearranged by travel through an alternate dimension. But where are the previous records? XXIII THE RED ROOM: The Red Room is said to be haunted, and few observers disagree. But the question is, haunted by WHAT? XXIV THE PURPLE PILEUS: "By golly, you were right! They ARE toadstools!". Or magic mushrooms, maybe? Note, by the way, that what's troubling the man is that the women are behaving like human beings, and not like footstools... XXV A SLIP UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Talk about your high-stakes testing! A man makes a mistake, confesses it, and is ruined thereby. XXVI THE CRYSTAL EGG: Is, it seems, a remote imaging device. But what if it's two-way? XXVII THE STAR: A fairly implausible Doomsday scenario. Not that it couldn't happen, of course. Just that it wouldn't be a surprise: people would have known about it centuries ago, and would have had quite a bit of lead time to work out a solution. Now if it were an impactor--we're still cataloging the PHOs (Potentially Hazardous Objects), and there's still a substantial risk that we'd miss one. It only has to happen once, after all. Or a couple of times, for subcritical, Tunguska size objects. XXVIII THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES: So why doesn't he just ask for what he needs--an understanding of what the consequences of actions are ahead of time? XXIX A VISION OF JUDGEMENT: It's not the grand, destructive sins that cause people the trouble--it's the petty, embarrassing ones. Sigh. Anyway, Game Over--and let's try this one more time, okay? XXX JIMMY GOGGLES THE GOD: I kept trying to make 'goggles' a verb. Another bit of racist, imperialist trash. I see this, and raise it with a picture I once saw: balloonists were making descensions into and ascencions out of sacred cenotes in northern South America. The local people had never seen a hot-air balloon--yet the children were coming out to act as ground crews: and they were wearing Incredible Hulk T-shirts. XXXI MISS WINCHELSEA'S HEART: Miss Winchelsea is the leader of a village women's group from the UK who are traveling abroad on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. She's looking for romance, as well as Italian art. One out of two ain't bad, I suppose. XXXII A DREAM OF ARMAGEDDON: A man dreams that a fatal battle is (or will be) his fault. Classic responsibility dream, I'd say. I often dream myself that the universe will end if I don't do something I'm not sure I can. Does this mean it's likely to happen? Well, it hasn't so far. As for the notion that a society civilized enough to have abolished war, but that still hasn't abandoned apparently meaningless relationship taboos, to the point where they will strip someone of influence and power if the transgressor fails to conform...I'd like to say I think that it's absurd. And it is, of course. But that doesn't necessarily mean it won't happen. XXXIII THE VALLEY OF SPIDERS: Arachnophobia redux. XXXIV THE NEW ACCELERATOR: Many of these stories are the sort of "It makes a hell of a mess, and we don't have to clean it up ourselves." type. Why SHOULD people take a drug that enables them to move much faster than before? Leaving aside the problems with navigation (All right, you can GO faster. You may even be able to THINK faster. But what about inertia and momentum?), what would be GAINED thereby? We're ALREADY doing things too fast, as it is. XXXV THE TRUTH ABOUT PYECRAFT: This is much more about the emotional problems of the sadistic, fat-shaming narrator than anything about Pyecraft. Out of interest, if the narrator's family has an antigravity formula, why aren't they USING it for things like spacecraft? XXXVI THE MAGIC SHOP: I'm less worried about the existence of the shop than about the judgmental attitudes of its keepers. XXXVII THE EMPIRE OF THE ANTS: "Well, Kendrick, still think I'm an alarmist?". Actually, I do. About a dozen gorillas marching with clubs isn't really that scary, come right down to it. And in this story, army ants are already scary enough. But if they can communicate by gestalt, and develop into intelligent colonies--tell me again why that's sure to be a bad thing? XXXVIII THE DOOR IN THE WALL: A boy begins having visions of a door in a wall. Except for the first time, he can't go through into the Elysian community on the other side of the door, because he has duties in our world. But finally, he chooses the door--right in the middle of a political campaign. The surprise ending isn't, much. XXXIX THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND: In said country, the one-eyed man is a freak, of uncertain value. There are two versions of this story in this volume (the second is Appendix 2). In both versions it's argued that the natives of the Country of The Blind have lost something irreplaceable. Around the same time the original version came out, Tesla was arguing that intelligence is a product of light, because we learn about the cosmos (almost) SOLELY by means of sight. Tesla himself was a little uneasy about this argument, because after all, was Homer not intelligent? Was Helen Keller? Tesla was only tentatively able to resolve the conundrum by arguing that, all right, blind people CAN be intelligent--but only because they're the descendants of people who could see--not a particularly convincing argument. Cf Varley's Persistence of Vision, for example. And I myself realized pretty early on that people with hypersensitive perceptions might not be able to distinguish signal from noise--or at least, not easily. There's a story in that, but I've never been able to finish it. The intolerance is not all on one side, of course. The inhabitants of the Country of The Blind ALSO don't seem to be able to tolerate difference. XL THE BEAUTIFUL SUIT: The man who wears the beautiful suit seems to be a little less than fully topped up. He's fatally delusional--and I'm not so sure it matters whether he dies happy. XLI APPENDIX 1: WELLS' ORIGINAL INTRODUCTION TO THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND, AND OTHER STORIES (1911) Wells discusses the problems with short story writing, and his selection process for the first edition of the anthology. XLII APPENDIX 2: THE 1939 VERSION OF THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND: In a late-life bid for kingship, Wells introduces a massive rockslide/avalanche to the story. Given the timing, it's not surprising Wells was a bit paranoid. In fearful situations, sensible people are afraid. What IS a little surprising is that he assumes his own (fore)sight is significantly better than other people's. Having read other essays, stories, etc from the time, I think he may have been underestimating people. Anyway, a warning's not much use unless you can propose a solution, even if all that amounts to is a Pythonesque "Run Away!", surely?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mark Schlatter

    [Note: This is a review of the Project Gutenberg edition, which I can't find on Goodreads. This version is considerably longer than 90 pages.] I believe this is my first reading of any Wells, and overall I thought he wrote too many of what I call "phenomenon stories" --- that is, tales where Wells describes a fantastical idea (e.g., being drawn up to the fourth dimension, intelligent ants, portals to Mars) but there isn't much if any plot. Some pieces are very good (I particularly liked "Under th [Note: This is a review of the Project Gutenberg edition, which I can't find on Goodreads. This version is considerably longer than 90 pages.] I believe this is my first reading of any Wells, and overall I thought he wrote too many of what I call "phenomenon stories" --- that is, tales where Wells describes a fantastical idea (e.g., being drawn up to the fourth dimension, intelligent ants, portals to Mars) but there isn't much if any plot. Some pieces are very good (I particularly liked "Under the Knife"), but I wouldn't strongly recommend this. And now, since I was reading this at a friend's suggestion, here are the notes I took to send to him when I finished: I. — THE JILTING OF JANE. A silly domestic tale. Not what I was expecting from Wells. II. — THE CONE. The equivalent of an EC horror tale --- turgid prose with an ending you can see a mile away. III. — THE STOLEN BACILLUS. Lighter prose with a good sense of energy, although the plot doesn’t make sense if you put any pressure on it. IV. — THE FLOWERING OF THE STRANGE ORCHID. A nice tale that works better because of the naivete of the protagonist. V. — IN THE AVU OBSERVATORY. Not really a story, just a description of a weird encounter. VI. — AEPYORNIS ISLAND. Man hatches a prehistoric dinosaur egg while on a desert island and ends up killing it. Kinda sad overall. Use of the n-word. VII. — THE REMARKABLE CASE OF DAVIDSON'S EYES. Less a story and more a description of a phenomenon, but a great description of a fascinating phenomenon. VIII. — THE LORD OF THE DYNAMOS. Not only use of the n-word, but focus on a “savage” who worships an electric generator and commits murder with it. Solid prose, but not worth the read. IX. — THE MOTH. Another EC-like tale about hubris coming back to haunt someone. Not bad, and a nice description of academic rivalry. X. — THE TREASURE IN THE FOREST. Ugh. A treasure sought by two Englishmen protected by three Chinese men, with a good dose of “yellow” prose. XI. — THE STORY OF THE LATE MR. ELVESHAM. A mind swap story (maybe the ur mind swap story?) of a dying older man taking advantage of a younger man. Completely obvious to a modern reader. XII. — UNDER THE KNIFE. Amazingly good. A description of a man under anesthesia that is a written version of the opening of the film Contact. XIII. — THE SEA RAIDERS. Killer squid/octopi. Another story that just describes a phenomenon with no plot. XIV. — THE OBLITERATED MAN. A fun piece about being taken over by theatre. XV. — THE PLATTNER STORY. A very strange tale that mixes the concept of the fourth dimension with an afterlife. Mysterious, but doesn’t resolve much. XVI. — THE RED ROOM. A well told but short ghost story. XVII. — THE PURPLE PILEUS. If you get high on mushrooms and act uppity with your wife, you gain her respect. Somewhat icky. XVIII. — A SLIP UNDER THE MICROSCOPE. Issues of student honor. Well told, but feels incomplete. XIX. — THE CRYSTAL EGG. Another phenomenon tale. XX. — THE STAR. Is this the first “humanity wiped out due to celestial object” tale? Points for having a global focus. XXI. — THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES. Kind of a “monkey’s paw” tale, but more focused on science. XXII. — A VISION OF JUDGMENT. A tale of the afterlife and what it might be like for all your sins to be read aloud. XXIII. — JIMMY GOGGLES THE GOD. Way too many uses of the n-word and discussions of savages in the midst of a treasure hunt. XXIV. — MISS WINCHELSEA'S HEART. A “could have had happiness if I wasn’t so snooty” romance. XXV. — A DREAM OF ARMAGEDDON. A strange “I dreamed the future” tale. I think I am happier when Wells treats these as fantasy (as he does here) instead of science, but the ending here seemed inconclusive. XXVI. — THE VALLEY OF SPIDERS. Yep, there are a lot of spiders. Why? I don’t know…. XXVII. — THE NEW ACCELERATOR. A very nice “phenomenon” story about hypermetabolism. Much like The Girl, The Gold Watch, and Everything or some Flash comics. XXVIII. — THE TRUTH ABOUT PYECRAFT. A monkey’s paw tale with fat-shaming! XXIX. — THE MAGIC SHOP. Oh, I think I’ve heard of this one before. Very atmospheric…. XXX. — THE EMPIRE OF THE ANTS. There are giant, intelligent, tool-using ants out there. XXXI. — THE DOOR IN THE WALL. Another story of the fantastic focused on regrets. XXXII. — THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND. A short story focused on proving the adage wrong and not that impressive. XXXIII. — THE BEAUTIFUL SUIT. Dreamy and the story most like an Oscar Wilde short story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Craig Williams

    An interesting collection of short stories by H.G. Wells. Some of them are even horror stories, a genre I didn't realize he indulged in! Many of them are high concept sci-fi pieces, akin to the kind of stories you'd see in the Twilight Zone, usually involving a man having a strange experience in time or space, sometimes induced by ingesting a potion and sometimes it's never explained. I would probably say that my favorite short story in this collection is "A Story of the Stone Age", about a coup An interesting collection of short stories by H.G. Wells. Some of them are even horror stories, a genre I didn't realize he indulged in! Many of them are high concept sci-fi pieces, akin to the kind of stories you'd see in the Twilight Zone, usually involving a man having a strange experience in time or space, sometimes induced by ingesting a potion and sometimes it's never explained. I would probably say that my favorite short story in this collection is "A Story of the Stone Age", about a couple who is banished from their tribe, but after the man figures out how to create the world's first axe, he becomes the most powerful human being on Earth. Anyway, lots of great stories in here worth checking out.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aravind Suyambu

    In 'The Country of the Blind' is the one eyed really the King? Earthlings experiencing a close fly by in 'The Star'. Imagine having a potion which makes you quicker than others in 'The New Accelerator'. Or getting the ability to see a distant land in 'Davidson's Eyes' or what your spirit might see in 'Under the Knife'. Imagine what will be the World like after 40 years in 'Brownlow's Newspaper'. All these nice stories take you elsewhere. In 'The Country of the Blind' is the one eyed really the King? Earthlings experiencing a close fly by in 'The Star'. Imagine having a potion which makes you quicker than others in 'The New Accelerator'. Or getting the ability to see a distant land in 'Davidson's Eyes' or what your spirit might see in 'Under the Knife'. Imagine what will be the World like after 40 years in 'Brownlow's Newspaper'. All these nice stories take you elsewhere.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Is Brighid

    H G Wells was excellent, as always. Under no circumstances read the drivel added by the commentator preceding & following the delightful short stories - hopefully the commentator had been condemned to purgatory fraught with dangling participles, run-on sentences, and split-infinitives.

  18. 4 out of 5

    rikapaprika

    this wasn’t horrible, and there were definitely more interesting short stories than others, but it wasn’t a page turner and i got bored pretty quickly. i found “The New Accelerator” the most fun to read out of the bunch

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Barstad

    Interesting stories A lot of imagination went into these stories with plenty of good and just enough evil to balance it out.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katharina

    My interpretation of "The country of the blind" is completely different from those of others My interpretation of "The country of the blind" is completely different from those of others

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brian Rector

    Primarily took this on to re-read Country of the Blind, but wow so many good gems in this collection. Thanks H. G.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Edwin Heller

    It is amazing how fresh and vibrant these stories are considering most of them were written over a century ago. I got this volume to read "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" but then kept reading until I had finished them all. Some stories are better than others but most are excellent. I would put them on par with my favorite contemporary short story writer, George Saunders, who I also highly recommend. It is amazing how fresh and vibrant these stories are considering most of them were written over a century ago. I got this volume to read "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" but then kept reading until I had finished them all. Some stories are better than others but most are excellent. I would put them on par with my favorite contemporary short story writer, George Saunders, who I also highly recommend.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joseph F.

    Like Edgar Allan Poe, the imaginative and eerie plot lines of Wells astounds me. And if his story lines don't get to you, then his writing style might. He is a master of science fiction, as these six stories attest to. The title story deals with a group of people who have become isolated from the rest of the world in a secluded valley. Over time they have lost the ability to see. After many generations they have forgotten all about what it is to see; it becomes a ability that is nonsensical to t Like Edgar Allan Poe, the imaginative and eerie plot lines of Wells astounds me. And if his story lines don't get to you, then his writing style might. He is a master of science fiction, as these six stories attest to. The title story deals with a group of people who have become isolated from the rest of the world in a secluded valley. Over time they have lost the ability to see. After many generations they have forgotten all about what it is to see; it becomes a ability that is nonsensical to them. Their world however becomes challenged when an explorer stumbles upon their little world. The Star deals with a space disaster that sends Neptune hurtling towards the sun. Will it hit earth? The Accelerator is a comical story about what it would be like if we can move faster than everyone else, and The Knife is a vivid description of a near death experience. The other two stories are good as well. This little Dover edition is edited by Martin Gardner. He has always been a favorite author of mine, with many books dealing with science and the debunking of junk science. He has a nice Afterward.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Muzzlehatch

    This is similar to, or perhaps takes the place of the Oxford World Classics edition. It's probably the best place to start on HG Wells' short fiction, containing the title story, his most well-known, and also many other masterpieces including the quite chilling realist revenge story "The Cone", a great example of his early comedic style in "The New Accellerator" and the story that is in my opinion his best, "The Door in the Wall." This is a story that is all atmosphere, sentiment and heartbreak; This is similar to, or perhaps takes the place of the Oxford World Classics edition. It's probably the best place to start on HG Wells' short fiction, containing the title story, his most well-known, and also many other masterpieces including the quite chilling realist revenge story "The Cone", a great example of his early comedic style in "The New Accellerator" and the story that is in my opinion his best, "The Door in the Wall." This is a story that is all atmosphere, sentiment and heartbreak; not typical of Wells but he carries it off in an extraordinarily powerful way in just a few pages. Certainly one of the most significant and influential stories of a door into another place.... At any rate, if you don't find something to love in the stories I've mentioned, or most of the others in this collection, you are probably not a Wells fan. This is a touchstone.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Hobbs

    Read so far: The Jilting of Jane--3 The Cone--2 *The Stolen Bacillus-- *The Flowering of the Strange Orchid-- *In the Avu Observatory-- *Aepyornis Island-- The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes--3 *The Lord of the Dynamos-- *The Moth-- *The Treasure in the Forest-- The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham-- *Under the Knife-- *The Sea Raiders-- The Obliterated Man, aka The Sad Story of a Dramatic Critic-- The Plattner Story--2 The Red Room--2 The Purple Pileus-- A Slip under the Microscope-- *The Crystal Egg-- *The Star Read so far: The Jilting of Jane--3 The Cone--2 *The Stolen Bacillus-- *The Flowering of the Strange Orchid-- *In the Avu Observatory-- *Aepyornis Island-- The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes--3 *The Lord of the Dynamos-- *The Moth-- *The Treasure in the Forest-- The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham-- *Under the Knife-- *The Sea Raiders-- The Obliterated Man, aka The Sad Story of a Dramatic Critic-- The Plattner Story--2 The Red Room--2 The Purple Pileus-- A Slip under the Microscope-- *The Crystal Egg-- *The Star-- The Man Who Could Work Miracles--3 *A Vision of Judgment-- Jimmy Goggles the God-- *Miss Winchelsea's Heart-- *A Dream of Armageddon-- The Valley of Spiders--3 The New Accelerator-- The Truth about Pyecraft--3 *The Magic Shop-- *The Empire of the Ants-- The Door in the Wall--2 *The Country of the Blind-- *The Beautiful Suit--

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    After having gotten to know H. G. Wells as one of the more progressive writers of his time, it was rather an unpleasant shock to see the degree of casual racism (nonwhites are not only primitive savages, but innately more dishonest and lacking the Christian morals of those honest, upstanding white people who only ever engage in honorable activities like murdering their best friends, carrying on affairs with their best friends' wives, and deliberately ruining their exes' weddings) and casual miso After having gotten to know H. G. Wells as one of the more progressive writers of his time, it was rather an unpleasant shock to see the degree of casual racism (nonwhites are not only primitive savages, but innately more dishonest and lacking the Christian morals of those honest, upstanding white people who only ever engage in honorable activities like murdering their best friends, carrying on affairs with their best friends' wives, and deliberately ruining their exes' weddings) and casual misogyny (a man who's suffering from "melancholia" has a Very Serious Disorder that's worthy of every sympathy, but man, those "hysterical" females are clearly out to make men's lives difficult just because they can) that was present in some of the works. I expect this sort of shit in a Lovecraft story, but was hoping for better from Wells.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

    Wells says himself in his introduction to this collection that he included "all the short stories by me that I care for anyone to read again ... Many of very questionable merit find a place." You can see what he means. Some of them are great, others are frankly tedious, but he was a pioneer of SF and horror stories so many of the themes that would have been groundbreaking at the time are ho-hum to us today. One thing I found interesting is how many of them are written in the first person in a sty Wells says himself in his introduction to this collection that he included "all the short stories by me that I care for anyone to read again ... Many of very questionable merit find a place." You can see what he means. Some of them are great, others are frankly tedious, but he was a pioneer of SF and horror stories so many of the themes that would have been groundbreaking at the time are ho-hum to us today. One thing I found interesting is how many of them are written in the first person in a style that is as if reporting facts. I wonder if some people at the time thought they were true, like the people who heard the radio adaptation of 'The War Of The Worlds' and thought that Martians were invading.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Darya Conmigo

    Being a devout fan of The Door in the Wall (which I've read some long time ago and which is not included in this volume), I expected more from Wells' other stories. The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes is comparable, and The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper is rather amusing, but everything else in this volume I didn't like as much. Also, there are times when Wells just gets overly descriptive for my taste, even for a writer of the beginning of the twentieth century. I still appreciated his Being a devout fan of The Door in the Wall (which I've read some long time ago and which is not included in this volume), I expected more from Wells' other stories. The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes is comparable, and The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper is rather amusing, but everything else in this volume I didn't like as much. Also, there are times when Wells just gets overly descriptive for my taste, even for a writer of the beginning of the twentieth century. I still appreciated his subtle sense of humor though.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Catie

    "Its phantasmal mysterious beauty held him for space, and then he was seized with a paroxysm of sobbing laughter..." "'There is no such word as see,' said the blind man after a pause. 'Cease this folly and follow the sound of my feet.'" "Were our worlds but the atoms of another universe, and those again of another, and so on through an endless progression? And what was I? Was I indeed immaterial?" "I can see at once how perfectly irrational and entirely natural it was." "Its phantasmal mysterious beauty held him for space, and then he was seized with a paroxysm of sobbing laughter..." "'There is no such word as see,' said the blind man after a pause. 'Cease this folly and follow the sound of my feet.'" "Were our worlds but the atoms of another universe, and those again of another, and so on through an endless progression? And what was I? Was I indeed immaterial?" "I can see at once how perfectly irrational and entirely natural it was."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Iurii Koretniuk

    This book is intense as the falling star rushing through the atmosphere. H.G. Wells could have reinvented the entire world when the borderline between science, reality and mystery disappears. These tories are just a fantastic myths of unconfirmed scientific events. You have here everything to become involved into the deeper research. And, yes, the Country of Blind is just a masterpiece, but you evolve into something you without noticing it.

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