A Dream of Armageddon

"A Dream of Armageddon" is a short story by H. G. Wells which was first published in 1901 in the British weekly magazine Black and White.

"A Dream of Armageddon"
AuthorH. G. Wells
CountryUnited Kingdom
Genre(s)Science fiction

Plot summary

The story opens aboard a train, when an unwell-looking man strikes up a conversation with the narrator when he sees him reading a book about dreams. The white-faced man says that he has little time for dream analysis because, he says, his dreams are killing him.

He goes on to tell how he has been experiencing consecutive dreams of an unspecified future time in which he is a major political figure who has given up his position to live with a younger woman on the island of Capri. The dreamer describes the island in detail, despite never having visited it, which impresses the narrator, who has actually been to Capri. The dreamer tells how his dream idyll comes to an end. While dancing, he is approached by an envoy from his own country who implores him to return and resume his old role before his successor brings about a war. However, this would mean leaving the woman he loves, and his dream self chooses love over duty.

For three weeks of dreams, the solicitor is present at the collapse of the paradisical island of Capri and the future world, while war draws closer and flights of military aircraft are described flying overhead. Global war finally erupts, and his dream life ends in worldwide catastrophe and personal tragedy: the dreamer sees his love killed and experiences his own death. At the very end of the story the protagonist reveals that despite being killed in his dream, he nevertheless carried on dreaming even as his body was being ravaged by "great birds that fought and tore."

Adaptations

An adaptation of "A Dream of Armageddon" was transmitted on the CBS drama program Escape, on 5 September 1948. A later adaptation, in two 30 minute episodes, was broadcast on BBC Radio 7 in 2008, read by Robert Bathurst.

Historical background

Historically, the Roman Emperor Tiberius withdrew to the island of Capri, leaving the actual governing of the Roman Empire to the ruthless Praetorian Prefect Sejanus; eventually, Tiberius moved to reassume power and destroy Sejanus and his supporters. This well-known historical episode might have inspired Wells' story.

Influence on later writing

Later, in the 1934 The Shape of Things to Come, Wells took up on a larger scale the literary device of a person able to dream of the future and relate his dreams in the present - and also in the latter work, the dreams concern a future of catastrophic global war. The same device was also used by others such as Edgar Rice Burroughs and Jack Williamson as the frame story of, respectively, The Moon Maid and The Moon Men and of The Legion of Space.

External links

2000X

2000X is a dramatic anthology series released by National Public Radio and produced by the Hollywood Theater of the Ear. There were 49 plays of various lengths in 26 one-hour programs broadcast weekly and later released on the Internet. Plays were adaptations of futuristic stories, novels and plays by noted authors. Producer/director Yuri Rasovsky and host/consultant Harlan Ellison won the 2001 Bradbury Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America for their work on this program.

A Vision of Judgment

Written in the late 19th century by H. G. Wells and first published in The Butterfly (September 1899), and collected in The Obliterated Man and Other Stories (December 1925), "A Vision of Judgment" is a short story in 9 sections. It portrays a Last Judgment in which God and the archangel Gabriel laugh at sinners and saints alike, embarrassing them until they flee "up the sleeve of God." After every human soul has taken shelter there, all of humanity, "enlightened" and "in new clean bodies," is given a second chance. God shakes them—or rather us—"out of his sleeve upon the planet he had given us to live upon, the planet that whirled about green Sirius for a sun," saying "now that you understand me and each other a little better. . . . try again.""A Vision of Judgment" has been reprinted in The Complete Short Stories of H. G. Wells, A Dream of Armageddon: The Complete Supernatural Tales., and various other collections and anthologies. Some of the publications were under the title "A Vision of Judgement."

Anthony West (author)

Anthony West (4 August 1914 – 27 December 1987) was a British author and literary critic.

Escape (radio program)

Escape was radio's leading anthology series of high-adventure radio dramas, airing on CBS from July 7, 1947 to September 25, 1954. Since the program did not have a regular sponsor like Suspense, it was subjected to frequent schedule shifts and lower production budgets, although Richfield Oil signed on as a sponsor for five months in 1950.

Despite these problems, Escape enthralled many listeners during its seven-year run. The series' well-remembered opening combined Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain with this introduction, as intoned by William Conrad and later Paul Frees:

"Tired of the everyday grind? Ever dream of a life of romantic adventure? Want to get away from it all? We offer you... Escape!"Following the opening theme, a second announcer (usually Roy Rowan) would add:

"Escape! Designed to free you from the four walls of today for a half-hour of high adventure!"

G. P. Wells

George Philip Wells FRS (17 July 1901 – 27 September 1985), son of the British science fiction author H. G. Wells, was a zoologist and author. He co-authored, with his father and Julian Huxley, The Science of Life. A pupil at Oundle School, he was in the first class to learn Russian as a modern language in a British school. He accompanied his father to Soviet Russia in 1920, acting as his Russian translator and exchanging ideas with Russian zoology students. He won an entrance Exhibition to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he became Senior Scholar in his first year of residence.Wells, a comparative physiologist, worked on invertebrates of several phyla. He determined their tolerance for changes in the salinity and the ionic balance of the surrounding water, and analysed the water relations of land gastropods.

For the latter part of his career he was a member of staff in the Zoology Department of University College London, eventually as professor. His range of zoological knowledge was notably wide, and his main research was on the behaviour of the lugworm Arenicola. He determined its habits by elegant experiments, and showed that the rhythm which controls many of its activities arises in the oesophagus. Such spontaneous rhythmic activity was shown to occur in many polychaetes.

He was known to all by his nickname, Gip, and appears by this name in his father's fictional story "The Magic Shop". He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1955.Wells also published the 1971 (and last) edition of his father's The Outline of History in the wake of Raymond Postgate's death in March of that year. Postgate had revised four previous editions following H. G. Wells' death in 1946, published in 1949, 1956, 1961 and 1969. He also edited and published H. G. Wells in Love, his father's account of his main extramarital love affairs.

H. G. Wells (crater)

H. G. Wells is a lunar impact crater that is located on the far side of the Moon, behind the northeastern limb. It lies to the south of the crater Millikan, and to the northeast of Cantor. Just to the southeast is the smaller Tesla.

This large formation is most notable for the extremely battered state of its outer rim. Little or nothing remains of the original rim, so completely has it been eroded and incised by smaller craters. As a result, the crater floor is now surrounded by a ring of irregular peaks and worn crater valleys. This rugged surroundings intrudes only part way into the interior, while the remaining floor is relatively level and in some places gently rolling. The interior is marked only by a multitude of tiny craterlets.

The writer H. G. Wells earned the right to have a Moon crater named after him by his well-known science fiction, including the novel The First Men in the Moon.

In the Abyss

"In the Abyss" is a short story by English writer H. G. Wells, first published in 1896 in Pearson's Magazine. It was included in The Plattner Story and Others, a collection of short stories by Wells first published in 1897. The story describes a journey to the ocean bed in a specially-designed metal sphere; the explorer within discovers a civilization of human-like creatures.

Joseph Wells (cricketer)

Joseph Wells (14 July 1828 – 14 October 1910) was an English cricketer and father of the noted author H. G. Wells.

List of science fiction short stories

This is a non-comprehensive list of short stories with significant science fiction elements.

New Horizons (book)

New Horizons is an anthology of science fiction stories edited by American writer August Derleth. It was released posthumously by the specialty house publisher Arkham House in a hardcover edition of 2,917 copies. While the title page gives the date of publication as 1998, the book was not actually printed and released until 1999. The book is an anthology that Derleth had planned in the early 1960s, but never published.

The Argonauts of the Air

"The Argonauts of the Air" is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1895 in Phil May's Annual. It was included in the collection of Wells short stories The Plattner Story and Others, published by Methuen & Co. in 1897.Written several years before the first flight of the Wright brothers, it describes the painstaking development of a flying machine, in the face of public amusement, and its unsuccessful trial flight over London.

Wells lived at one time in Worcester Park, where the machine is launched; he studied at the Royal College of Science, where it crashes.

The Cone

"The Cone" is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1895 in Unicorn. It was intended to be "the opening chapter of a sensational novel set in the Five Towns", later abandoned.The story is set at an ironworks in Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire. An artist is there to depict the industrial landscape; the manager of the ironworks discovers his affair with his wife, and takes him on a tour of the factory, where there are dangerous features.

The Country of the Blind and Other Stories

The Country of the Blind and Other Stories is a collection of thirty-three fantasy and science fiction short stories written by the English author H. G. Wells between 1894 and 1909. It was first published by Thomas Nelson and Sons in 1911. All the stories had first been published in various weekly and monthly periodicals. Twenty-seven of the stories had also been previously published in five earlier story collections by Wells.

The title of this collection refers to one of Wells's best known short stories, "The Country of the Blind", which is included in this book.

The Diamond Maker

"The Diamond Maker" is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1894 in the Pall Mall Budget. It was included in The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents, the first collection of short stories by Wells, first published in 1895.

In the story, a businessman hears an account from a man who has devoted years attempting to make artificial diamonds, only to end as a desperate outcast.

The Plattner Story

"The Plattner Story" is a short story by English writer H. G. Wells, first published in 1896 in The New Review. It was included in The Plattner Story and Others, a collection of short stories by Wells first published in 1897, and in The Country of the Blind and Other Stories, a collection of his short stories first published in 1911. In the story, a man recounts his experiences in a parallel world.

The Sea Raiders

"The Sea Raiders" is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1896 in The Weekly Sun Literary Supplement. It was included in The Plattner Story and Others, a collection of short stories by Wells published by Methuen & Co. in 1897. It was included in The Country of the Blind and Other Stories, a collection of short stories by Wells published by Thomas Nelson & Sons in 1911.The story describes a brief period when a previously unknown sort of giant squid, which attacks humans, is encountered on the coast of Devon, England.

The Stolen Body

"The Stolen Body" is a science fiction short story by H. G. Wells that was originally published in The Strand Magazine (November 1898); collected in Twelve Stories and a Dream (1903) and Tales of the Unexpected (1924); reprinted in Weird Tales magazine (November 1925) and was later reprinted in many collections and anthologies.

The Truth About Pyecraft

"The Truth About Pyecraft" is a British fantasy-comedy short story by H.G. Wells. It was originally published in The Strand Magazine (April 1903), and then included in the Twelve Stories and a Dream story collection, in 1903. It has been frequently reprinted.

Æpyornis Island

"Æpyornis Island", or "Aepyornis Island", is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1894 in the Pall Mall Budget. It was included in The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents, the first collection of short stories by Wells, first published in 1895.

In the story, a man looking for eggs of Aepyornis, an extinct flightless bird, passes two years alone on a small island with an Aepyornis that has hatched.

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