Jo Bennie's Reviews > The First Men in the Moon

The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells
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Jul 11, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: w
Read in October, 2010

I hadn't heard of this one before and I think it's overlooked, very brilliant thinking and again a reflection on the nature of society. Mr Bedford, a gentleman with debts who has fled to the south coast to escape bankruptcy and to write a play which he hopes will restore his finances, meets Mr Cavor, a brilliant scientist who is working on a substance that will block all forces, including gravity. The difference between the purity of Cavor's scientific mind and Bedford's avoricious nature are revealed by Bedford's quick realisation of the potential of a substance that can block even gravity but after Cavor succeeds in his creation and almost destroys the entire atmosphere of planet earth he instead creates a spaceship which via anti gravity takes Cavor and Bedford to the moon. Here Wells' imagination creates a fascinating world where the answer to the Moon's low night temperatures and airlessness is a society that lives beneath the surface in caverns stretching down to a core lunar sea. These Selentites shepherd the wonderful Mooncalfs on the surface during the lunar day and return at night, and each Selenites is individually physically and mentally tuned to their individual purpose, books replaced by Selenites with enormous brains that are repositories for knowledge, workers with great arms designed for their individual job, presided over by the Grand Lunar. Wells is pretty damning about human nature, Bedford's bloody humanity comes to the surface and he kills a number of the Selenites and escapes back to earth, but Cavor is recaptured and manages to communicate his experiences of Selenite society to earth by radio before making his own fatal mistake.
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