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H. G. Wells
The World Set Free is a novel written in 1913 and published in 1914 by H. G. Wells. The book is based on a prediction of a more destructive and uncontrollable sort of weapon than the world has yet seen. It had appeared first in serialised form with a different ending as A Prophetic Trilogy, consisting of three books: A Trap to Catch the Sun, The Last War in the World and The World Set Free.He predicts nuclear warfare years before research began and describes the chain reactions involved and the resulting radiation. He describes a weapon of enormous destructive power, used from the air that would wipe out everything for miles, and actually used the term “atomic bombs.”This book may have been at least part of the original inspiration for the development of atomic weapons, as well as presenting many other ideas that would ultimately come to pass. Some ideas may still be coming, including a one-world government referred to as The World Republic, that will attempt to end all wars.This was an unusual book which at times is written in a very historical textbook-like manner in some distant future looking back upon our times. In other places, the narrative becomes more story-like and focussed upon certain individuals who have an impact on major events. This book is renowned for Wells’ predictions of global warfare, the use of planes in battle and the development of nuclear weapons. It also places a strong emphasis on a social move towards gender equality and predicts genetic engineering. This book also very graphically describes the violent consequences of war very well. This novel of science fiction is truly a classic, highly deserving of a five star rating. Written about the late first decade of the 20th century, it predicts a new, peaceful world with unlimited energy, as a result of nuclear (or more incorrectly, atomic) energy. A new world government is formed out of necessity, because atomic bombs have made war unthinkable and obsolete. The world remains devastated due to the Last War using atomic bombs, but a bright future awaits in an era of peace and unlimited energy. An eerily similar scenario was to become reality approximately 30 years later, with the the discovery of the nuclear pile in 1939, and the first nuclear bombs about six years later. Although the “new age of peace,” unfortunately never materialized, the new atomic technology did prevent another world war. Leo Szilard, and other early atomic scientists involved in the Manhattan Project (the secret war time project the develop the atomic bomb), had read and been inspired by this book. Remember, this novel was written when the atom was merely a hypothesis, and the neutron was years away from discovery. Anyone interested in the history of nuclear energy and/or physics should definitely read this book.
Acerca de H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells (Gran Bretaña, 1866-1946). Periodista, ensayista y novelista mundialmente conocido por sus obras de ciencia ficción. Una figura fundamental del pensamiento occidental del siglo XX.
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