Thanks to the discovery of an anti-gravity metal, Cavorite, two Victorian Englishman decide to tackle the most prestigious goal – space travel. They construct a sphere that will ultimately take them to the moon. On landing, they encounter what seems like an utterly barren landscape but they soon find signs that the planet was once very much alive. Then they hear curious hammering sounds from beneath the surface, and come face to face with the Selenites, a race of insect-like aliens living in a rigidly organized hive society.
First published as a complete book in 1901, The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells is the author’s 9th novel in a career of many. While his bibliography is much vaster than I realized, finally reading this book is significant to me because it belongs to a quintet of his books that, as far as I can see, continue to be fairly well-known to this day. The other four are, to a greater extent, The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, and The Island of Dr. Moreau. These are all significant to me personally because it was Wells that first got me into reading outside of what I was familiar with, my late grandparents nurturing this interest by purchasing three of these books for me. The First Men in the Moon is one that I’ve always remembered but never got around to picking up until very recently.Read More »
I did however finish reading The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells. I’ve had a feeling about this book for a while, and as it turns out it just might be my favourite Wells novel. There’s something so quaint about its notions of space travel that lend it a particular charm. Despite this, he also tries to make it as credible as possible based on the science of the time. The characters are also interestingly flawed and it takes a rather critical look at the nature of humanity compared to the aliens they discover upon the Moon, who are not exactly ideal themselves. The amount of depth was surprising for a book I thought would be a more Romantic tale of adventure, danger, and discovery. I will have a review up soon.
What I plan to read immediately next is a whole lot of Skeleton Crew. While I can pretend I’m starting another book with The Return of the King, I’ve been sitting on this book of short stories for too long and want to get it wrapped up now. Other than that, I intend to read Yoda’s Secret War by Jason Aaron et al, the fifth volume of the Marvel Comics Star Wars series that is currently ongoing. The end of this slump I’ve been in with reading is in sight. I just need to finish the two above novels and momentum can hopefully pick back up again.
What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
While I’m still technically reading The Lord of the Rings, I’ve finished The Two Towers! You can read my full review here. I invested as much time as I could over the weekend toward finishing it and will be taking another breather before I continue with The Return of the King. The book concluded following Frodo and Sam venturing further into the belly of the beast, which I ended up liking as much as the rest of that book despite my misgivings. What helped was focus being placed more on Sam’s experiences, who makes for a much more flawed yet relatable character than Frodo.
I’ve also started reading The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells, a story of space travel published in 1901. The science is not completely ludicrous, following its own imagined logic based on contemporary understanding, but it is absolutely fanciful at the same time. This is especially the case when you learn the spacecraft was constructed by a handful of guys using a coal furnace. It’s not trying to pass itself off as hard science fiction, though, even by the standards of Wells’ previous work. It’s actually a science romance (not the lovey kind), which I didn’t know until after I started it.
I read through Aliens: Dead Orbit by James Stokoe late last week, which you can read my full review of here. It didn’t surprise me too much in terms of story; in a lot of ways all Aliens stories are the same, especially if it’s a standalone. Despite this I think it was exceptionally well told, adding its own personal flare to the formula. Stokoe’s art is also really well done, elevating the book from good to great, in my opinion.
I’ve got the next slew of books I want to get through pretty well lined up, but I’m thinking I might read Circe by Madeline Miller, which recently came out, once I’m done with The Return of the King. I haven’t read her debut novel The Song of Achilles yet, but a friend of mine is a big fan of her work and the focus on the character Circe from The Odyssey has got me a lot more interested in this novel.
Recently, while having a conversation with a friend about books, the subject turned to reading what is generally considered to be “classic” literature. These are the books that are taught in high schools, university courses, and other academic circles. While I personally appreciate the academic reasons and approach to examining this kind of literature (which most people characterize as Literature proper), my friend brought up a very valid point: they’re not only a major chore to get through at times, but contain narrative devices and plot points that would be heavily criticized if done today.Read More »