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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, and a fascinating sci-fi book
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...
Published on 18 May 2004 by Kurt A. Johnson

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Not one of Wells' finest works, but interesting for the scientific speculation during the period in which it was written. It's a shame that the book only becomes interesting towards the end when the Selenite civilization is explained in its surreality. Until then, the story is a simple adventure under a slight political guise. Worth reading as a step towards the genesis...
Published on 15 May 2001 by Amazon Customer


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, and a fascinating sci-fi book, 18 May 2004
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic piece of Sci-Fi..., 20 Nov 2007
By 
Mr. R. G. Houston "reader" (Glengormley, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The First Men in the Moon (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
What can I say? This is a sci-fi masterpiece, pure and simple. Someone commented when they saw I was reading 'The First Men in the Moon': "What is the point in reading that now, after 1969?" or words to that affect. Completely unperturbed, I finished it and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Even though man has been to the moon, and indeed we plan to go back (and about time, too!), there is plenty of reasons to read this classic and contemplate its content. For example, although it has been proven that the moon is a dead world, this novel could very easily apply to another world - one beyond our solar system. Plus, what would it mean for space travel if an anti-gravity substance like Cavorite were developed? Read it, and draw your own conclusions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly great, 24 Nov 2004
I have always prefered to read Jules Verne over H.G.Wells because I prefer Verne's style of writing. I have often considered Wells' writing to be similar to reading a newspaper article. However I have a very different opinion of this great writer having recently read this book, which I have to say is now one of my faviourites of this genre.
I feel that the chracters Wells creates in this book are memorable, and crafted with skill. The plot is thoroughly entertaing, with Wells' ideas about getting to the moon very interesting. The inhabitants of the moon are really original characters in their own right and are unlike creatures that i have previously read about.
If you as a reader can get past the idea that two Englishmen are walking around on the moon without the need for respiratory equipment then you will thoroughly enjoy this book. The descriptions of the moon itself are wonderful and memorable. If you are a fan of early science fiction then you will certainly enjoy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Vintage Sci-Fi, 19 Jan 2000
By A Customer
I agree with the above reader. 'First Man In The Moon' is a wonderful piece of pre-space-age science fiction. Yes, of course it's dated, but in fact it's scientific gaucheness only adds to the charm of a good old-fashioned adventure story, and the main protagonists various exclamations and conflicts are very amusing indeed. It's also a constant surprise how much of what surely must have been purely conjectural physics at the time proved to be true once we 'got up there'. (Though I concede that the mists and giant cacti on the moon were a mite wayward of the mark!) Good fun.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars H.G. Wells at his best, 30 Nov 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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The title seems a little strange, but the Moon as imagined by Wells is inhabited by creatures living underground--thus, the title. The plot is typical of the author--a seemingly normal man happens to meet a man with strange scientific ideas, and he quickly finds himself an active participant in the grand designs of his new acquaintance. Mr. Bedford, our narrator, escapes to as quiet and isolated a space as he can find in order to write a play. His hideaway is visited every night by a strange little man with a penchant for humming. Accosting the man for his nightly interruptions, he learns that the man, Dr. Cavor, is a scientist working to find a means by which to nullify gravity. Seeing the possibility of great profit from such a discovery, the narrator quickly enlists as a scientific assistant. The serendipitous discovery of Cavorite results in the scientist's home being destroyed and the surrounding countryside buffeted and damaged by powerful winds. With the discovery now made, Cavor embarks on a monumental quest to reach the moon by creating a huge sphere--a coating of Cavorite provides the means of locomotion, and a complex system of blinds serves as the means for controlling the thing. With the blinds closed, all gravitational forces are blocked from the sphere; with one or more blinds open, the sphere is once again subject to the gravitational pull of the nearest large object. In this fashion, the intrepid explorers make their way to the moon.
The moon they discover is not barren; in daylight, a bevy of plants emerge from the ground only to wither and die as the lunar night returns. When the explorers lose their way, they are captured and taken underground. While Cavor wants to communicate with the Selenites, as he immediately dubs the lunar inhabitants, Bedford is more concerned with escape and eventually effects just that, having found the moon dwellers easy prey to his strong, earthgrown muscles. The two men search for the sphere, but Bedford is forced to escape the moon alone after learning that Cavor has been captured and presumably killed. Bedford returns to earth, tells his story to some incredulous beach dwellers, and then finds the sphere hijacked by a young boy (who flies off and is never heard from again). Thus, he has no way of returning to the moon, nor does he have the knowledge required to make more Cavorite. A short time later, Bedford is amazed to learn that Cavor is not dead and is in fact sending radio signals from the moon to the earth. The rest of the novel relates the story of Cavor's stay on the moon, culminating in a description of his interview with the Grand Lunar. In lunar society, each individual is assigned a certain job and is trained and even surgically altered to do that job and nothing else. Cavor's description of earthly society is a revelation to the lunar inhabitants; through his words, Wells seems to point out some of the follies of mankind, particularly war. Thus, the book ends on sort of a philosophical note, and one has to imagine that Cavor's speech reflects some of Wells' own views about humankind.
All in all, the book is interesting, well-paced, and enjoyable. The originality of Wells' idea is striking--rather than propel man to the moon by huge cannon or the like, he employs antigravity as a free, highly effective means to, in essence, repel the sphere from the earth. Of course, Wells' moon is a far cry from the moon as we now know it, but it does seem to fit well into the framework of thinking at the time, at least insomuch as Wells describes those contemporary scientific ideas. Though not the most recognized of his books, The First Men in the Moon may be the most original and visionary science fiction novel penned by this pioneering author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sci-fi classic, 4 April 2011
By 
Dr. Bojan Tunguz (Indiana, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The First Men in the Moon (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I've long been a fan of H. G. Wells' writing, but never paid much attention to some of his lesser known works. In the end I decided to read "The First Men in the Moon" and found that the book is quite good in its own right and makes for an engaging and gripping read. Even though the Moon does not hold the same fascination in our mind as to this day Mars does, and many of the "scientific" ideas presented in the book nowadays seem downright silly, the narrative is still very compelling and makes for a fascinating read. H. G. Wells is very good at developing an action-packed plot, and if we can somehow suspend over hundred years of new knowledge, the events and premises in the novel become very plausible. Another fascinating aspect of Wells' novels is the use of Sci-fi genre as a tool of social and political critique, and the last part of this book has a good dose of it as well. This may not be as good of a book as perhaps "The War of the Worlds" or "The Time Machine" are, but it still entertains and provokes thought after all this time has passed. I would strongly recommend it to all the classic Sci-fi fans out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Influential speculation, 16 Oct 2010
By 
Jo Bennie (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The First Men in the Moon (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I hadn't heard of this one before and I think it's overlooked, very brilliant thinking and again a reflection on the nature of society. Mr Bedford, a gentleman with debts who has fled to the south coast to escape bankruptcy and to write a play which he hopes will restore his finances, meets Mr Cavor, a brilliant scientist who is working on a substance that will block all forces, including gravity. The difference between the purity of Cavor's scientific mind and Bedford's avoricious nature are revealed by Bedford's quick realisation of the potential of a substance that can block even gravity but after Cavor succeeds in his creation and almost destroys the entire atmosphere of planet earth he instead creates a spaceship which via anti gravity takes Cavor and Bedford to the moon. Here Wells' imagination creates a fascinating world where the answer to the Moon's low night temperatures and airlessness is a society that lives beneath the surface in caverns stretching down to a core lunar sea. These Selentites shepherd the wonderful Mooncalfs on the surface during the lunar day and return at night, and each Selenites is individually physically and mentally tuned to their individual purpose, books replaced by Selenites with enormous brains that are repositories for knowledge, workers with great arms designed for their individual job, presided over by the Grand Lunar. Wells is pretty damning about human nature, Bedford's bloody humanity comes to the surface and he kills a number of the Selenites and escapes back to earth, but Cavor is recaptured and manages to communicate his experiences of Selenite society to earth by radio before making his own fatal mistake.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Classic tale, 14 July 2014
By 
Graham J. Lucas "Fuzzy Fez" (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
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Read this first, years ago. Good tale, always interesting to see previous generations ponderings on the future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good solid story line., 2 Sep 2013
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A classic story the goes deeper than the film of the same name. A fine example of early Sci Fi writing that draws the reader in and keeps you involved with the charater development.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cavor meets the Big Kahuna, oops Grand Lunar, 1 July 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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Everybody knows HG Wells is a popular science-fiction writer. Most people know of him through a few of his stories that have been produced as popular movies such as "The Time Machine", and "The War of the Worlds." However HG Wells was really more of a philosopher and a quasi-scientist than he was a writer.

This is one of his lesser known science fiction stories published in 1901. However as with most science fiction the story is only a vehicle to carry HG's philosophy and commentary on his Victorian Society to the reader. The story has many false starts and stops but takes the time to comment on such subjects as can a person actually be satisfied with a one-dimensional job?

Knowing that this was pre-Einstein it may be possible to believe in the technology and theories of the time. And then again as with many science-fiction or fantasy stories HG may have just been taking liberalities with realities.

One cute touch in this story is that the characters comment on Jules Vern's story of the man in the moon.
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Bedford bankrupt businessman who is making a comeback by writing a play, through a series of circumstances, teams up with Professor Cavor a recluse scientist who does not realize his own potential. Together they build a contraption, sphere, that can cut off gravity waves. What can they do with such a device? You guessed it! Let's all traveled to the moon.

Once on the moon Bedford and Cavor find that they are not alone. After a few adventures they are detained by the Moonies referred to mostly in this story as Selenites. The daring duo is restrained with chains of gold. Cavor looks at this is a reasonable precaution and also looks forward to communicating with the strange creatures. Bedford is more practical and knows what chains mean. This means it's time to escape an escape they do.

Will they be able to make it back to Earth and warn the people of the strange creatures? Or will they be caught and who knows what may happen to them in the long run.

Keep reading and learn of the society and nature of the Selenites.

The Future in America: A Search After Realities
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