All Aboard for Ararat

All Aboard for Ararat is a 1940 allegorical novella by H. G. Wells that tells a modernized version of the story of Noah and the Flood. Wells was 74 when it was published, and it is the last of his utopian writings.[1]

All Aboard for Ararat
AllAboardForArarat
First edition (UK)
AuthorH. G. Wells
IllustratorJohn Farleigh (UK)
George Salter (US)
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
PublisherSecker and Warburg (UK)
Alliance Book Corporation (US)
Publication date
1940 (UK)
1941 (US)
Pages103

Plot summary

God Almighty pays a visit to Noah Lammock, a well-known author whom the outbreak of war has convinced that "madness had taken complete possession of the earth."[2] At first God is thought to be a mental patient from a nearby asylum, but his dignified air earns him a reception in the writer's study. God explains that he has been "surprised" and "disappointed" by humanity, and tells Noah Lammock: "What I propose is that you should construct, with my help and under my instruction, an Ark."[3]

Lammock is intrigued, but first, since God tells him that the Bible is "wonderfully trustworthy" and possesses "substantial truth," demands an accounting for his decision to destroy the Tower of Babel.[4] God has already explained that the creation of light entailed as well the creation of "a shadow," and "since I had come into our Universe as a Person, it is evident that my shadow also had to be a Person."[5] Now God explains that he and Satan panicked at the prospect of "Man keeping together on the plain of Shinar in one world state, working together, building up and up," and "together . . . acted in such haste that frankly the covenant with Noah and all that was completely overlooked."[6] God is repentant, however, and tells Lammock that still wants to "bring Adam into free, expanding fellowship with myself -- that old original idea."[7] Lammock takes pity, in part because he notices the deity is "quivering on the very verge of non-existence."[8]

God returns to Noah Lammock a week later, and, after some literary chit-chat that reveals that God is under the misapprehension that Noah Lammock is the author of The Time Machine, The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind, and World Brain, the two discuss the plan for the Ark. God is enthused about the potential of microphotography, having met Kenneth Mees, but Lammock demands to know: are they to "reinstate or do we start afresh?"[9] Lammock believes it is necessary "to begin over again," because the "primary danger" to the new world is "that the élite will become a self-conscious, self-protective organisation within the State."[10] "[I]t is a new religion and a new manner of life I am obliged to stand for."[11] "The core of the new world must be (listen to the words!) Atheist, Creative, Psycho-synthetic," he declares, but God can come along as "an inspiring delusion."[12]

Choosing a crew for the Ark is an enormous problem because no one Lammock knows seems to be equal to the task, but before he has resolved it he awakens to discover that he is already in the cabin of the Ark, which is "thirty days out."[13] An excerpt from the ship's log explains that a leak has delayed its landing, and that Jonah, a stowaway, has caused no end of problems. The novella ends inconclusively ("The final pages of this story do not appear to be forthcoming"[14]) with a further conversation between God and Noah Lammock. They agree that they "will make Ararat," and God says, "On the whole, I am not sorry I created you."[15] As for Noah, he declares: "No man is beaten until he knows and admits he is beaten, and that I will never know nor admit."[16]

Reception

Wells made a lecture tour in the United States in October and November 1940, and tried to arrange for the publication of All Aboard for Ararat to coincide with his tour.[17]

All Aboard for Ararat was praised by Graham Greene.[18]

References

  1. ^ Norman and Jeanne Mackenzie, H.G. Wells: A Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973), p. 428.
  2. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 9.
  3. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 25.
  4. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 22.
  5. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 19.
  6. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 43.
  7. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p.44.
  8. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 45.
  9. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 62.
  10. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 75.
  11. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 76.
  12. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 79.
  13. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 93.
  14. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 103.
  15. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 101.
  16. ^ H.G. Wells, All Aboard for Ararat (New York: Alliance Book Corporation, 1941), p. 102.
  17. ^ David C. Smith, H.G. Wells: Desperately Mortal: A Biography (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1986), p. 355.
  18. ^ Michael Sherborne, H.G. Wells: Another Kind of Life (Peter Owen, 2010), p. 331.
Anthony West (author)

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

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.

H. G. Wells bibliography

H. G. Wells was a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction. His writing career spanned more than sixty years, and his early science fiction novels earned him the title (along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback) of "The Father of Science Fiction".

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.

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 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.

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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