Sunday, April 28, 2019

Fortnightly Book, April 28

The next fortnightly book is actually a double feature, The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells. The Time Machine was published as a serial in 1895 and then a bit later as a novel, when Wells was twenty-nine and trying to write a book in the style of Nathaniel Hawthorne; it was so successful, that it led Wells to write more fiction, and The War of the Worlds also soon published, in 1897 as a serial and in 1898 as a novel.

I'll be reading them in a Heritage Press (New York) edition, with ochre-yellow and Oxford Gray cover; from my grandfather's library. The Sandglass says it is a dos-à-dos, which is loosely right, but strictly speaking it is instead a tête-bêche: that is, it has no back cover, only two front covers. You read it front-to-back in one direction (for, say, The Time Machine), and then you flip it over and read it front-to-back in the other direction (for The War of the Worlds). It has a variety of illustrations (lithographs and drawings) from Joseph Mugnaini, most famous for his work with Ray Bradbury. It uses a Bell typeface.

The radio show Escape did an episode of The Time Machine, which I will certainly listen to. And, of course, Orson Welles used The War of the Worlds to give us the most famous radio episode in history, which I will re-listen to if I have the time.

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