In the Days of the Comet

The H. G. Wells series continues.

This one is a low point.

Raw Feed (1996): In the Days of the Comet, H. G. Wells, 1906.In the Days of the Comet

Essentially this is a long rant by Wells on the squalid, economically unjust, sexually irrational (to Wells that is) world of his contemporary England. I liked that part of the novel with its narrator ultimately setting out to murder his girlfriend and her upper class lover. The gripes and emotions of a poor, rather brash, young man who has a litany of socialist based complaints was quite realistic and convincing.

What was totally unconvincing was the changes wrought on human nature by the green gas of a passing comet, changes wrought just in time to prevent the narrator from carrying out his murders.

Wells returns to his theme of unconventional sexual and marital arrangements when the narrator enters into a menagé a trois with his two intended victims. Here Wells’ World State (to borrow the term from his A Modern Utopia – it’s called “The Change” here) is magically brought in by the comet.

Between 1906 and 1914, the year The World Set Free was published, Wells seems to have decided “The Change” would have to be brought about violently.


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