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