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SFE: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

H G Wells

Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) was a UK journalist, social critic and author, the most important of all nineteenth-century sf writers in the UK and in America as well, where his early work beginning with The Time Machine (1895) was widely published in contemporary editions. These novels and stories were particularly important in the evolution of Genre SF in America, through the purchase in the 1920s of several tales by Hugo Gernsback for republication in Amazing and elsewhere, where they were promoted as models for what would soon be called science fiction (a term Wells did not apply to his own work). Throughout his UK career, until at least 1940, he remained central to the evolution of the Scientific Romance, his influence on J D Beresford, S Fowler Wright, Olaf Stapledon, Arthur C Clarke and later authors being unmistakable, though an author like Stephen Baxter may trace the primary line of influence through Stapledon. Within the genre as it developed, Wells was frequently described, beside or instead of Jules Verne, as the Father of Science Fiction.

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