Masterworks Spotlight: The First Men in the Moon

It might not be one of the Father of Science Fiction’s most scientifically literate novels, but it remains a great favourite . . .

As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo landing, let’s step back in time to when walking on the Moon was little more than a fantasy, with The First Men in the Moon – in a new paperback edition with an introduction by Lisa Tuttle:

‘As we saw it first it was the wildest and most desolate of scenes. We were in an enormous amphitheatre, a vast circular plain, the floor of the giant crater. Its cliff-like wall closed us in on every side!’

Thanks to the discovery of an anti-gravity metal, Cavorite, two Victorian Englishman decide to tackle the most prestigious goal – space travel. They construct a sphere that will ultimately take them to the moon. On landing, they encounter what seems like an utterly barren landscape but they soon find signs that the planet was once very much alive. Then they hear curious hammering sounds from beneath the surface, and come face to face with the Selenites, a race of insect-like aliens living in a rigidly organised hive society.


The First Men in the Moon is available as an SF Masterworks paperback and an SF Gateway eBook. You can find more of H G Wells’ work via his Author page on the Gateway website and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.