No writer is more renowned for his ability to anticipate the future than H. G. Wells. His writing foresaw the aeroplane, the tank, space travel, the atomic bomb and the worldwide web; his fantastic fiction imagined time travel, flights to the moon, alien invasion and human beings with the powers of gods. Wells’s political writing argued for an end to war through the creation of a World State; at the height of his fame Wells was one of the world’s most significant public intellectuals, and, towards the end of his career, he became increasingly interested in universal human rights.

“All this world is heavy with the promise of greater things, and a day will come…when beings, beings who are now latent in our thoughts and hidden in our loins, shall stand upon this earth as one stands upon a footstool, and shall laugh and reach out their hands amid the stars.” —H.G. Wells