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In the Days of the Comet (Bison Frontiers of Imagination) Paperback – September 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0803298255 ISBN-10: 0803298250

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Product Details

  • Series: Bison Frontiers of Imagination
  • Paperback: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803298250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803298255
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,697,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

H. G. Wells (1866–1946) is one of the most influential figures in the history of science fiction. His books include The Sleeper Awakes and The Last War, also available in the Bison Frontiers of Imagination series. Ben Bova, an award-winning science fiction writer, is the author of several influential series and such acclaimed novels as Jupiter, Moonrise, Return to Mars, and Venus.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mike Smith on March 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a kid, I must have read "War of the Worlds" and "The Time Machine" two dozen times apiece. H.G. Wells appealed to the most fantastic parts of my imagination, and he still does. As a kid, I also read this book once, "In the Days of the Comet," but I don't remember being quite as impressed.

As an adult however, I have re-read "War of the Worlds" and "The Time Machine," and while I still enjoyed them, found them to be more along the lines of paperback thrillers. When I re-read this book, however, I found a treasure.

This book tells the story of a world changed by a comet--a comet that passes by the earth and allows everyone to see themselves and one another as they truly are. It affects everything from relationships, to the structures of towns, to how people look at one another. It allows the world to become truly socialist in a non-political way. It shows the world as what it could be if only everyone viewed one another as equally important as one's self. It is not a political manifesto, because by its very premise it suggests the impossibility of such a wondrous happening and of such a change. It is not a violent, dynamic book that hurtles itself forward the way "War of the Worlds" and "The Time Machine" do--it is a gentle, thoughtful look at people, at people's motivations, at the problems of the world, and at a wish to be better than we have been.

It is also astoundingly well written. That's what hit me the most about it. It is full of powerful phrases, poetic sentences, and clearly expressed ideas and metaphors. As an adult, I recommend this book as one of Wells's very best.

It's a treat that I plan to re-read yet again.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
H.G. Wells was a known socialist for much of his life, although his opinions seemed to have change after the rise of the Stalinist Soviet Union. This book, with the misleading title, is NOT science fiction in the classic sense. However, this 1906 Wells' work is clearly an effort by Wells to show why the world should become socialist. He constantly ridicules the capitalist world by pointing out how capitalism breeds social classes which in turn breeds an unequal lifestyle among human beings. The rich get all the benefits of life, while the poor are left in squalor. Perhaps Wells' best illustration of this comes late in the book when the mother of the main character tells how her daughter died because she couldn't afford to pay the doctors who demanded their fee up front. Wells' also tries to convince the reader that socialism will not mean an end to the family, although it apparantly will mean the end of the single family home, all of which are destroyed in several! English cities by the socialists in this book. In fact, Wells claims people will find true love as a result of socialism because people will no longer think they are better than others. If you are looking for something in the realms of WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE INVISIBLE MAN or THE TIME MACHINE, this book is not for you. If you are a die-hard Wells fan you will probably enjoy this look into Wells' socialist ideas.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
I first read this and saw that it was a Utopian Novel which was much more positive than others I had also read(by Orwell,for instance).However,I can see now that,although highly disguised through the science-fiction and humanity,this was Wells' own Socialist ideas of the world.Wells is an author whose works can be read as either science fiction,human interest or social commentary.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on August 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I thought that I was familiar with most of Well's body of work, until I stumbled over this unique novel.

First of all, do not be put off by the first part of this book- it is intended to be depressing. It is meant to paint the pettiness, ugliness, and just plain bloody-mindedness of human society in 1906. It does this quite well for I almost set the book aside several times in disgust. It is all unpleasantness after unpleasantness in the life of a working class young man (obviously modeled largely after the author's youth.) Even the fact of the approach of the great comet is almost mentioned only in passing as a minor occurrence.

Then everything changes when the comet hits. Mankind is transformed. That is to say that all of mankind is suddenly mentally and spiritually enlightened and awakened. I've read nothing quite like it in literature. The first part of the book makes it jump out at you all the more. All the meanness, pettiness, guile, and evil evaporate in the human species. The story of how these enlightened men put an end to want, injustice, and war around the world is breathtaking and inspirational. Wells attributes this to a chemical change in earth's atmosphere, but there is a surprising amount of spirituality also incorporated (surprising for Wells.)

All of this reminded me of the change that is said to occur when a human soul leaves the material world and enters the astral. All of the old heaviness and stupidity drop away. Only the highest of what it means to be human remains- the old ego dies. Even in the story everyone speculated if perhaps they were not dead and transported to a different world. Some even declared that this great Change was the Second Advent.
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