Although his stilted language style irked me as I read, it is to be expected from a nineteenth century educated author. Wells’ predictions of Mankind’s progress in the 20th century and beyond are if nothing else accurate and therefore all the more amazing since The World Set Free was finished in 1912. No one before him expounded in such detail and so deftly. He wraps these forecasts in an interesting tale. The professional narration by Eric Jones is well worth the 1.99 and contributes to the British mood in the story.
Wells ventures the untenable prediction that the horrific force of atomic power alone brings Mankind to the irrefutable conclusion that he must reform his ways and think only of his place as a part of the greater striving of Man as a whole, a concept which correlates to his bent towards socialism. Untenable if only because men have employed and enjoyed the use of force to subdue one another, conquer one another and convince one another of the correctness of their beliefs and desires over all others.
What I found truly astounding is, although Wells attributes it wrongly to the Atomic bomb’s unimaginatively coercive destructive force, he predicts the freeing of Man’s attention from the day to day grind for survival into a virtual aesthetic utopia. Forecasting, what I have observed in my life, that men, women, individuals will have the chance in the future, circa our times, to express their innermost creative urges and focus on making things, aesthetic creations.
Finally as the story closes he very simply and boldy affirms his immortal inheritance, in the waning moments via his final major charater Marcus Karinen, the world educator who has come to prominence in the New World Order that has been set free. And that inheritance and its freeing is the key to Man’s continued progress towards being set free.