Category Archives: H.G. Wells

Always Eat Your Meat

Once upon a time ahead The world began anew The animals we’ve known were dead Homo sapiens vanished, too Our kind may have disappeared But others still remained One race was brutish, to be feared The other, not the same The first ones-Morlocks, they were named Had bodies white as milk They hunted flesh, were beasts […] Continue reading

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Suicide and the Sovereignty of the Individual in The Island of Doctor Moreau

In the interest of fostering some continuity between this week’s reading and our pending discussion of H.G. Wells, I am interested in Foucault’s discussion of suicide as a way in which the individual might “usurp the power of death” (139). In T… Continue reading

Posted in biopolitics, Foucault, Galton, H.G. Wells, nineteenth century, Science Fiction, sovereignty, suicide, The Island of Dr. Moreau | Comments Off on Suicide and the Sovereignty of the Individual in The Island of Doctor Moreau

De-Sensitizing the Operating Room: Normalizing the “Unnatural” in The Island of Dr. Moreau

I say I became habituated to the Beast People, that a thousand things that had seemed unnatural and repulsive speedily became natural and ordinary to me. (The Island of Dr. Moreau, End of Chapter 15) I used to consider myself a very squeamish person. T… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, 19th Century, 20th Century, biomedicine, biopolitics, disillusion, dystopia, ethics, Ethics of science, H.G. Wells, history of science, role of scientists, Science Fiction, technology, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Visuality | Comments Off on De-Sensitizing the Operating Room: Normalizing the “Unnatural” in The Island of Dr. Moreau

Flashing a Glimpse of the Underworld

At a crucial turning point in H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine (1895), the time traveler, having descended one of the Morlock wells “ill equipped” and “even without enough matches,” wishes he had brought, not a torch or a weapon, but a camera: Continue reading

Posted in evolution, flash photography, H.G. Wells, history of science, Jacob Riis, Science Fiction, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Time Machine, Wells, H. G. | Comments Off on Flashing a Glimpse of the Underworld

How the Five-Men Tasted Blood: Ghosts of the Medusa in The Island of Dr. Moreau

While the mad scientist and his beast hybrids have become enough of a well-worn trope to be ripe for parody (see an example from Archer at the end of this post), I was impressed by how fresh and truly disturbing H.G. Wells’s vision of scientific hubr… Continue reading

Posted in Archer, Beastfolk, Dr. Krieger, Gericault, H.G. Wells, Hobbes, Lewis Petrinovich, Life of Pi, maritime law, Raft of the Medusa, Science Fiction, survivor cannibalism, The Cannibal Within, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Law, Wells, H. G., wreck of the Medusa | Comments Off on How the Five-Men Tasted Blood: Ghosts of the Medusa in The Island of Dr. Moreau

If We Could Go Back In Time…

Text by A.A. BENJAMIN, Game Demo by JO KIM, Characters by SPARLING Our fictional Once Upon A Time Machine video game proposal (<–see our powerpoint presentation here) had one obvious blunder. We had a cool game demo but treated our presentation as separate from the demo. As we talk about hyper-meditation in this English New Media course, […] Continue reading

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God and ethics in Dr. Moreau

As scientists push the boundaries of genetics, society faces ever more ethical questions.  Well before any of our modern ideas about genetics came about, however, there was H.G. Wells, who gave us a look at tampering with nature in his The Island of Dr. Moreau. The titular doctor, though not a geneticist, creates chimeras through extensive […] Continue reading

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The End of Reason and (Un)natural Selection in The Time Machine

It’s hard to imagine a more quintessentially post-Darwinian work of fiction than H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine (1895). To say the least, the protagonist of the story is a believer in Darwinian theory. It is as if Wells had envisioned placing Darwin… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, Darwin, Eloi, H.G. Wells, Morlock, natural selection, Pre-Raphaelites, Rossetti, The Bower Meadow, The Time Machine | Comments Off on The End of Reason and (Un)natural Selection in The Time Machine

Competition: can’t live with it, can’t live without it

Both Wells and Heinlein project a bleak future for mankind in The Time Machine and “by his bootstraps,” respectively. Through his portrayal of the Eloi and the Morlocks as devolved (with an emphasis on the “de”) forms of modern humans, Wells takes the pessimistic view that for all of our technologies, inventions, and advancements, we […] Continue reading

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