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HG Wells Father of Science Fiction

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HG Wells has often been described as “The Father of Science Fiction” To what extent could HG Wells be said to have established the conventions of the science fiction genre. H. G Wells has often been referred to as the father of science fiction, I will analyse and explore this statement within this essay. The conventions contained within the book The War if the Worlds have been used in many books of the science fiction genre and are still being used today.

I will explore and decide for myself whether he is or isn’t. Wells obtained his science-orientated style of writing from his collage biology teacher; he then further went on to study biology in university, HG Wells Good vs. Evil convention- Wells seems to challenge mans assumption that men are “good” and Martians are “evil” In the situation that the Martians face; the global cooling of their planet Wells implies that we would do the same thing.

And before we judge of them too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought” this definitely challenges the role of man as good, also scientists in present time has considered inhabitation of another planet when the Earth has become unable to support life, “the thread of life that has began here will have streamed out and caught our sister planet” So maybe the Martians are more human than we first thought, also the natural instinct for every living being is to survive. This also indicates that Wells the future isn’t as bright as it could be.

He often shows this within his writing such as “we cannot regard this planet as being fenced in and a secure hiding place for man” A main convention that has been used by a lot of science fiction writers is extraterrestrial life. HG Wells has seemed to set the standards for aliens for many other novels, an example of the characteristics that have been passed down is; the grotesque image portrayed “the two large dark-coloured eyes, lank tentacular appendage” His image of the aliens may originate from his biology orientated past, this could also show what HG Wells thinks as the next step in evolution.

These characteristics have been found in a large number of alien images; especially the large dark eyes. Another piece of science fiction that shows this image of aliens is the movie independence day, the large eyes and tentacles have been used in so many books, films and even television series this is a firm piece of evidence indicating that HG Wells could be referred to as the “father of science fiction”

The horror’s of war is a large convention in HG Wells’s books, in war of the worlds this convention seems to be found a lot in his book; it also shows some insight to what he thinks as human beings as a whole. In the book when the Martians emerge and begin to kill, the human race seems to abandon social customs and decide to flee at any dispense, in the book it shows that many people where crushed under the feet of the crowd.

Also in the absence of government the citizens revert to more primitive instincts and loot shops for food, also when the curate and the narrator are blockaded in together the narrator became territorial and became the dominant person, he constantly had to defend the resources from the curator “I planted myself between him and the food” this is a prime example that when resources are in short supply even the most respectable of people can, and will result to the most basic instincts.

The aggression of the curate and his constant mental instability thickens the amount of the tension in the atmosphere “the threatened he would shout and bring the Martian’s upon us” this type of tension has also been passed down in films as the chance of being discovered by the threat that is pursuing you if by far the most effective way of creating tension. Once again these techniques that been passed along making Well’s more like the “Father” that people claim him to be.

Despite all these things nothing comes across more than the theme of that as humans in modern age we rely far to heavily of the police and military presence, if the military fails then we as a race are little more that lambs to the slaughter. This feeling of being absolutely helpless is by far the greatest fear shared by all humans, this is why we arm our selves with countless high developed weaponry to say “Don’t mess with us or we’ll wipe you clean from the earth” what keeps us safe is the presence of power, remove this and you get a instant panic frenzy, Wells easily observed this from us as human being and embedded it into his work.

Religion plays a part in the War of the Worlds by a considerate amount, I think that Wells interprets that religion will be ,so to speak, “our last line of defence” when all else fails people will almost always begin to turn to some form of god or “greater existence”. A torrent of half sane and always frothy repentance for his vacant sham of God’s service” this is what the curate degenerated into when all hope was seen to be lost, this may imply that Wells thinks religion will be for those who have lost hope in their own ability to control the situation and take comfort in that there is once again “Power” to the people as surely God would not let his creations perish in such a manner.

I have seen another example of this in Steven Kings “The Mist” a perfect example were a person of strong religious beliefs intends to sacrifice a girl in order to repent for the sins of humanity. However out of all these conventions that have passed down through other texts and media sources none can compare how realistic Wells made his books feel. By reading the texts it seemed that Wells’s scientific background helped beyond measure as he understood the environment he lived in so well he was able to interpret what people would most likely do.

This injection of real life themes and scenarios i. . the global cooling of Mars, evolution, life on other planets really relates to the reader and enables him/her to engage with the text to a point were it gets you thinking this really could happen. These ideas are what make HG Wells the Father of Science Fiction, although they may have been altered along time, you can find many examples of this blue prints for “the science fiction plot” in many modern day science fiction films, although Wells is long gone the impact of his work will leave a influence in many more films and books to come. Ultimately HG Wells is the true Father of Science Fiction.

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