When the young and penniless Mr. Bedford meets an eccentric scientist, Mr. Cavor, who doesn't realize the importance of his own inventions, it seems most fortuitous. Of greatest interest is Cavor's realization that he can create a substance that shields against gravity. Together, they come to the conclusion that, with this new substance, they can make ships to take them to other planets within the solar system. And so, with Cavor dreaming of scientific breakthroughs and Bedford dreaming of wealth, the two build such a ship, and set off for the Moon.
Arriving at the Moon, the two quickly realize what a strange and amazing place it is. During the lunar day, there is a breathable atmosphere on the surface of the Moon, and their investigations soon demonstrate that the Moon is inhabited by a race of intelligent beings. An insectoid race, the Selenites (or "Moonies" as Cavor whimsically dubs them) have a highly-organized caste system much like terrestrial ants. Can our heroes escape from the Selenites and return to Earth? And, what are the long-term affects of this new meeting of societies going to be?
H.G. Wells (1866-1946) is often remembered for his late-nineteenth century science-fiction, including The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds. This book was first published in 1900, and shows a different side of Wells. Whereas his earlier book were rather preachy, this book is more light-hearted, telling a cracking good story for its own enjoyment, rather than being a vehicle to teach a lesson.
Yep, this is a fun read, and a fascinating sci-fi book. As might be expected from such an old book, the "science" that Wells used is extremely out of date. But, if you are willing to practice a little suspension of disbelief, you will be treated to an excellent story. The story hangs together well with then current science, and shows you science-fiction from an entirely different angle. I really enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it to you.