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The cosmic perspective that his study of science sug- gested to him was presumably expounded in one of Wells's earliest essays, "The Universe Rigid." That essay was never published 12 and the manuscript is apparently no contributed to destroying that sense of "isolation." Significantly, however, the imperialistic enterprise in Africa was often rationalized in the terms of Social Darwinism. must be to [the Martians] at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. about a certain 'Universal Diagram' I proposed to make, from which all phenomena would be derived by a process of deduction.
10 See, for example, the comparison between the earth and Mars in War of the Worlds (1898): "We men . The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars." Atl Ed, 3: 215. gave me a frame for my first scientific fantasia, The Time Machine, and there was moreover a rather elaborate joke going on . (One began with a uniformly distributed ether in the infinite space of those days and then displaced a particle.
4 For a discussion of Wells's concept of "artificial" evolution and the influence of "Weismannism" on its development, we refer the reader especially to chapters 1 and 6. With very few exceptions, the journalistic pieces Wells published after 1898 have little to do with science per se. All of these are potentially of value— albeit in varying degrees— for understanding The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The First Men in the Moon, and Wells's other achievements in science fiction and for determining the progress of his thinking that led him to A Modern Utopia and his later social tracts.
x Copyrighted material Preface anthology (chapters 2-6). But besides their heuristic worth, not all the early writings are otherwise ephemeral.
For Wells, as for his contemporaries, the center of biological thinking had become the theory of evolution. 9 Of course, exploration of the "Dark Continent," especially in the 1880s, also 3 Copyrighied material Introduction: Outlines evolutionary theory, no place, not even an island, is exempt from the process of natural selection, which provides a basis of comparison— that is, connection— between any two geographical locations, no matter how far apart they might be.
In his early essays and reviews concerned with the teaching and popularizing of science, he consis- tently denigrates any pedagogy which seeks to inculcate mere fact without attending to the process of discovery "Scepticism . ." and "Through a Microscope." In addition, two essays included here were reprinted in other periodicals: "Zoological Retrogression" in Living Age 19 (Nov.
Wells ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Introductions, copyright © 1975 by The Regents of the University of California ISBN: 0-520-02679-9 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 73-91673 Printed in the United States of America Copyrighied material TO OUR PARENTS Sine quibus non Copyrighled material Contents Preface ix Acknowledgments • • • xm Abbreviations xiv I. Enormous Repudiations 13 "A Talk with Gryllotalpa"; "The Rediscovery of the Unique"; "The Flat Earth Again"; "The Limits of Individual Plasticity"; "On Comparative Theology" III. The Opposite Idea 105 "The 'Cyclic' Delusion"; "The Visibility of Change in the Moon"; "The Possible Individ- uality of Atoms"; "The Biological Problem of To-Day"; "The Rate of Change in Species"; "The Duration of Life"; "Death"; "Concern- ing Skeletons"; "Another Basis for Life" V. Wells's Writings 245 Tndex of Names 247 viii Preface This idea of a kind of "ground swell" in the ether, coming up from the uttermost bounds of space, recording itself as it passes our little eddy of planets in the swaying of our compasses, and in solar storms, and so going on into the illimitable beyond, appears to us to be so powerful and beautiful as to well-nigh justify that hackneyed phrase, "the poetry of science." "An Excursion to the Sun" 1 The primary purpose of this anthology is to make available in one volume a selection of H. Wells's hitherto unreprinted writings of the 1880s and 1890s relating to science and the sciences.
2 Together these essays, reviews, and fiction permit the reader to follow the outline of Wells's intellectual develop- ment.
Evolutio n and Ethics 179 "Ancient Experiments in Co-Operation"; "The Province of Pain"; "The Sun God and the Holy Stars"; "Bye-Products in Evolu - tion"; "Bio-Optimism"; "Human Evolution, An Artificial Process"; "Morals and Civilisa - tion" Appendix: A Selective Bibliography of H. Of the 28 pieces included here, 12 first appeared in the Saturday Review, 3 in the Pall Mall Gazette, 3 in the Fortnightly Review, 2 in the Science Schools Journal, 2 in the Gentleman's Magazine, and 1 each in Chambers's Journal, Knowledge, the National Observer, Nature, the New Review, and Science and Art.
Wells: Early Writings in Science and Science Fiction iiiini 70CD-NJT-U7WX H. Wells: Early Writings in Science and Science Fiction Edited, with critical commentary and notes, by ROBERT M. HUGHES UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS Berkeley • Los Angeles • London Copyrighted rrjajffij University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California University of California Press, Ltd. Revisions of the Future 47 The National Observer Time Machine: "Time Travelling: Possibility or Paradox"; "The Time Machine"; "A. 12,203: A Glimpse of the Future"; "The Refinement of Humanity: A. 12,203"; "The Sunset of Mankind"; "In the Underworld"; "The Time- Traveller Returns"; From the New Review Time Machine', from "I. Precarious Man 148 "A Vision of the Past"; "Zoological Retro- gression"; "On Extinction"; "Life in the Abyss"; "Intelligence on Mars" Contents VI. That these have not had the attention they merit is no doubt in part because the original printed versions are to be found scattered among a variety of publications.