H. G. Wells Society

There have been two groups called the H.G. Wells Society, both set up to support the ideas of Herbert George Wells (1866–1946).

Herbert George Wells in 1943
H. G. Wells in 1943.

1930s group

The first H.G. Wells Society was set up in 1934 to promote Wells' political ideas. Its members included Gerald Heard, Olaf Stapledon, Sylvia Pankhurst, Eden Paul [1] and Vera Brittain. [2] The group later changed its name to Cosmopolis, then the Open Conspiracy. In 1936, it merged with the Federation of Progressive Societies and Individuals.[2]

Later group

The later H.G. Wells Society, founded in 1960, is an international association composed of people interested in the life, work and thought of Wells and encouraging a wider interest in his writings and ideas.[2] The Society has published a comprehensive bibliography of Wells's published works, and has printed the following other publications, several of which were works by Wells which had previously been out of print for many years:

  • H. G. Wells, The Last Books of H. G. Wells: The Happy Turning and Mind at the End of its Tether, ed. G. P. Wells (1982).
  • H. G. Wells Society, A Comprehensive Bibliography, foreword by Kingsley Martin (1985).
  • H. G. Wells, The Discovery of the Future with The Commonsense of World Peace and The Human Adventure, ed. Patrick Parrinder (1989).
  • H. G. Wells, Select Conversations with an Uncle (Now Extinct) with Two Hitherto Unreprinted Conversations, ed. David C. Smith and Patrick Parrinder, foreword by Michael Foot (1992).
  • John Hammond, The H.G. Wells Society: A Short History (2000).
  • H.G. Wells, The Betterave Papers, ed. John Hammond (2001).
  • James Dilloway, Human Rights and World Order, 2nd edn (1998).

The Society's objective is "to promote and encourage universally an active interest in, and appreciation of, the life, work and thought of Herbert George Wells".

Its specific aims are:

Each year the Society organises a September conference where aspects of Wells's life and work are discussed. All members receive a triannual newsletter and an annual journal, entitled The Wellsian.

Over the years, the Society has accumulated a substantial collection of books and pamphlets by Wells, and an archive of press cuttings relating to Wells. In 2012 the Society donated 160 volumes from its collection to enhance the H.G. Wells Collection at Senate House Library, University of London. The Society is also closely associated with the Wells Collections at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and Bromley Central Library, South London, the former being the repository of the Wells papers.

The Society was founded by Dr. John Hammond, who served as president for many years. It has also boasted a number of distinguished vice-presidents through the years including Arthur C. Clarke, Michael Foot, Brian Aldiss, Christopher Priest and Stephen Baxter.


  1. ^ David C. Smith, H.G. Wells: Desperately Mortal: A Biography. Yale University Press, 1988 (p. 332–333)
  2. ^ a b c John S. Partington, The Wellsian: selected essays on H.G. Wells. Equilibris Publishing, 2003. ISBN 9059760018, (p. 10–12).


  • Information leaflets & Newsletters published by the H. G. Wells Society
  • The Wellsian, official journal, annually published by the H. G. Wells Society

See also

External links

Adam Roberts (British writer)

Adam Charles Roberts (born 30 June 1965) is a British science fiction and fantasy novelist. In 2018 he was elected Vice-President of the H.G. Wells Society.

Anthony West (author)

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

Brian Aldiss

Brian Wilson Aldiss, OBE (; 18 August 1925 – 19 August 2017) was an English writer and anthologies editor, best known for science fiction novels and short stories. His byline reads either Brian W. Aldiss or simply Brian Aldiss, except for occasional pseudonyms during the mid-1960s.

Greatly influenced by science fiction pioneer H. G. Wells, Aldiss was a vice-president of the international H. G. Wells Society. He was (with Harry Harrison) co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction Group. Aldiss was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2000 and inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2004. He received two Hugo Awards, one Nebula Award, and one John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He wrote the short story "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long" (1969), the basis for the Stanley Kubrick-developed Steven Spielberg film A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001). Aldiss was associated with the British New Wave of science fiction.

Christopher Priest (novelist)

Christopher Priest (born 14 July 1943) is a British novelist and science fiction writer. His works include Fugue for a Darkening Island, Inverted World, The Affirmation, The Glamour, The Prestige and The Separation.

Priest has been strongly influenced by the science fiction of H. G. Wells and in 2006 was appointed Vice-President of the international H. G. Wells Society.

Crux Ansata

Crux Ansata, subtitled 'An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church' by H. G. Wells is a (96 page) wartime book first published in 1943 by Penguin Books, Hammonsworth (Great Britain): Penguin Special No. 129. The U. S. edition was copyrighted and published in 1944 by Agora Publishing Company, New York, with a portrait frontispiece and an appendix of an interview with Wells recorded by John Rowland. The U.S. edition of 144 pages went into a third printing in August 1946.H. G. Wells, living in London under the regular bombings from across the English Channel, extensively attacks Pope Pius XII and Roman Catholicism, beginning his polemic with "Why do we not bomb Rome?"The book also forms a basic history of the Roman Catholic church and fulfils a positive propaganda role.

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.

Scientific romance

Scientific romance is an archaic term for the genre of fiction now commonly known as science fiction. The term originated in the 1850s to describe both fiction and elements of scientific writing, but has since come to refer to the science fiction of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, primarily that of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle. In recent years, the term has come to be applied to science fiction written in a deliberately anachronistic style, as a homage to or pastiche of the original scientific romances.

Simon James (academic)

Simon J. James is an English academic and specialist in late Victorian and Edwardian fiction, especially George Gissing and H. G. Wells. Professor of English Literature at Durham University, he is currently the Head of the Department of English Studies (2015-2018). He is the editor of The Wellsian, the journal of the H. G. Wells Society.

As well as publishing a book on George Gissing and writing many academic articles, he has also edited four H. G. Wells novels for Penguin Classics (The History of Mr Polly, Kipps, Love and Mr Lewisham and The New Machiavelli) and has written articles for the Times Literary Supplement and the Oxford Companion to English Literature.

Stephen Baxter (author)

Stephen Baxter (born 13 November 1957) is an English hard science fiction author. He has degrees in mathematics and engineering.

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 Open Conspiracy

The Open Conspiracy: Blue Prints for a World Revolution was published in 1928 by H. G. Wells, when he was 62 years old. It was revised and expanded in 1930 with the additional subtitle A Second Version of This Faith of a Modern Man Made More Explicit and Plain. In 1931 a further revised edition appeared titled What Are We to Do with Our Lives? A final version appeared in 1933 under its original title. Many of its ideas are anticipated in Wells's 1926 novel The World of William Clissold.

The book is, in Wells's words, a "scheme to thrust forward and establish a human control over the destinies of life and liberate it from its present dangers, uncertainties and miseries." It proposes that largely as the result of scientific progress, a common vision of a world "politically, socially and economically unified" is emerging among educated and influential people, and that this can be the basis of "a world revolution aiming at universal peace, welfare and happy activity" that can result in the establishment of a "world commonwealth". This is to be achieved by "drawing together a proportion of all or nearly all the functional classes in contemporary communities in order to weave the beginnings of a world community out of their selection." This will ultimately "be a world religion."

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 Soul Selects Her Own Society

The Soul Selects Her Own Society: Invasion and Repulsion: A Chronological Reinterpretation of Two of Emily Dickinson's Poems: A Wellsian Perspective is a 1996 science fiction short story by Connie Willis. It was first published in Asimov's Science Fiction in April 1996, but written for the anthology War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches, in which it was published in June 1996; it was subsequently republished in War of the Worlds: Fresh Perspectives on the H. G. Wells Classic (2005), in This is My Funniest: Leading Science Fiction Writers Present Their Funniest Stories Ever (2006), in The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories (2007), and in The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories (2013).

W. Warren Wagar

Walter Warren Wagar (June 5, 1932 Baltimore, Maryland – November 16, 2004 Vestal, New York), better known as W. Warren Wagar, was an American historian and futures studies scholar.

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.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.