Won­drous Hg Wells

Cel­e­brate the fa­ther of science fic­tion at Wells in Wok­ing, lo­cated in the town that in­spired him

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Event Horizon -

It’s been al­most a cen­tury and a half since HG Wells came into the world. Though he was born in Kent, our very own “fa­ther of science fic­tion” re­lo­cated to Wok­ing in May 1895, a place that in­spired many of his defin­ing lit­er­ary works, in­clud­ing The War Of The Worlds (he un­leashed a Mar­tian in­va­sion in Horsell Com­mon), The In­vis­i­ble Man, The Is­land Of Dr Moreau and The Wheels Of Chance.

Though he lived in the town for just 18 months (health prob­lems re­turned him to Kent, and he even­tu­ally passed away in Lon­don in Au­gust 1946 aged 76), Wok­ing pro­vides the per­fect set­ting for this cel­e­bra­tion of the au­thor’s 150th an­niver­sary. A month-long event, Wells In Wok­ing fea­tures live per­for­mances, art in­stal­la­tions, panel dis­cus­sions and much more, all tak­ing place across the town.

Among the events are a talk by Dr Keith Wil­liams, who will ex­am­ine The Time Ma­chine’s pre­dic­tions of the fu­ture, plus take a look at how the story was adapted for the screen. He will also delve into how Wells’s vi­sion of alien in­va­sion is nar­rated through a prophet­i­cally “cam­era-eyed” style in War Of The Worlds, while Pro­fes­sor Peter Beck re­calls Wells’s stay in Wok­ing, fo­cus­ing on what the au­thor did for the town – and how he changed per­cep­tions in the wider world.

Mean­while, over at the Sur­rey His­tory Centre, ex­hibit Wok­ing In Wells’ Time trans­ports vis­i­tors back in time to the year Wells moved to the bor­ough. We’re sure the au­thor would be more than proud.

Wells In Wok­ing takes place in Wok­ing un­til 1 Oc­to­ber. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.cel­e­brate­wok­ing.info/wellsin­wok­ing.

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