Friday, July 25, 2008

Star Begotten by HG Wells

Star Begotten: A Biological Fantasia (Early Classics of Science Fiction): A Biological Fantasia (Early Classics of Science Fiction) by H.G. Wells

First published in 1937 it's an interesting novel, in which nothing really happens...instead the novel revolves around the concept that the world is changing and we can do nothing to stop it.

The main character Joseph Davis, is a writer of popular histories, brought up in a traditional conservative and religious way. Over hearing a conversation at his club one day, the concept of cosmic rays arises and with it the possibility of genetic mutations. This leads onto speculation about where these rays come from and what their purpose is.
"Suppose these cosmic rays come from Mars"
the one from
"a book called The War of the Worlds—I forget who wrote it—Jules Verne, Conan Doyle, one of those fellows".
"Suppose they say up there 'Let's start varying and modifying life on earth. Let's get at the human character and the human brain and make it Martian-minded' D'you see? Martian minds in seasoned terrestrial bodies."

This idea begins to obsess Davis, who begins to suspect his wife and unborn son are affected by these Martian rays. He begins to imagine what the Martians ultimate purpose is and what they would look like.

HG Wells makes it perfectly clear as the novel progresses that there are no cosmic rays or Martians, rather the spread of new ideas and attitudes.
Published in the pre-war years , it can also be read as a satire the changing world, with it's new ideas and unfolding political dramas and dangers.

I enjoyed this book...well worth a read.

1 comment:

Bobbi said...

Nice review! I've not read this one, but it has been on my TBR list for a long time. Maybe I need to get it out and read it. Thanks!