Tuesday, March 1, 2011

First Men in the Moon - by H.G. Wells (Dystopian Moon!)

I wanted to write about some dystopian literature (opposite of utopian) because I am reading the fabulous trilogy, The Hunger Games. (UK edition)  But those are new books and I don’t blog about new books, so I checked on a couple of old favorites, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World.   Alas, not old enough!  They are not out of copyright, so they are not free and not inexpensive.  (One wonders why Amazon can’t take a dollar off for each decade, so that books from the 30’s would sell for a few dollars instead of the same price as a brand new book.)

So I reached further back into the past to the peculiarly titled First Men in the Moon (UK edition).  I have to say the book is a little peculiar too, but readable.  I read it as a child and not since.  At the time there were several books by Wells considered suitable for children and sold very cheaply in student editions.  That is probably why I read it, although I might have just kept going with Wells after reading The Time Machine.  In the course of doing this blog I sometimes wonder why I was picking up and reading the books I did when I was in grade school.  I think it is because the genre of children’s literature was not as well developed and “classics” were considered acceptable reading for younger readers. 

So it is probably not on anyone’s bucket list, but give it a whirl!
‘And then we had to discuss and decide what provisions we were to take - compressed foods, concentrated essences, steel cylinders containing reserve oxygen, an arrangement for removing carbonic acid and waste from the air and restoring oxygen by means of sodium peroxide, water condensers, and so forth. I remember the little heap they made in the corner - tins, and rolls, and boxes - convincingly matter-of-fact.

It was a strenuous time, with little chance of thinking. But one day, when we were drawing near the end, an odd mood came over me. I had been bricking up the furnace all the morning, and I sat down by these possessions dead beat. Everything seemed dull and incredible.

"But look here, Cavor," I said. "After all! What's it all for?"

He smiled. "The thing now is to go."

"The moon," I reflected. But what do you expect? I thought the moon was a dead world."

He shrugged his shoulders.

"We're going to see."

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