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The World Set Free [Paperback]

H. G. Wells , Herbert George Wells
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 13.66 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Feb. 18 2008
H. G. Wells wrote contemporary novels, social commentaries, history and is best known for science fiction. Before nuclear weapons were developed Wells imagined an atomic bomb, which was accurate. Wells looks at the role of energy and technology in man's development. Wells concludes that man must either retreat to an agricultural society or use science as the basis for a new cultural order.

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Product Description

From the Publisher

This book is a standard print version using a minimum of 10 point type in a 6 by 9 inch size and perfect bound - a paperback. As with all Quiet Vision print books, it use a high grade, acid free paper for long life. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Herbert George Wells's (1866-1946) career as an author was fostered by a childhood mishap. He broke his leg and spent his convalescence reading every book he could find. Wells earned a scholarship at the Norman School of Science in London. Wells's "science fiction" (although he never called it such) was influenced by his interest in biology. H. G. Wells gained fame with his first novel, "The Time Machine (1895)." He followed this with "The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), " and "The War Of The Worlds (1898)."
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
The problem which was already being mooted by such scientific men as Ramsay, Rutherford, and Soddy, in the very beginning of the twentieth century, the problem of inducing radio-activity in the heavier elements and so tapping the internal energy of atoms, was solved by a wonderful combination of induction, intuition, and luck by Holsten so soon as the year 1933. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Atomic Theory, the book it all started from. Feb. 23 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
In this book, Wells describes nuclear warfare and begins the descriptions of a possible future. He named uranium, "Carolinum" and talked about a chain reaction that would leave radiation behind so that nothing would survive afterwards, even if they did escape from the weapon itself. Dr. Szilard, the man who came up with the idea of splitting the atom with a nuetron, did so after reading, "The World Set Free". I say, NO KIDDING! Wells lays the idea right out in front of the world's face, laughing! It then goes on to describe future events that have occured, though in different times, and some which have yet to occur. He spoke of Carolinum (uranium), the atomic theory and its increadible source of power. He spoke of robotics and computers replacing people in the work place. This is where it all started folks. AND THIS IS JUST IN THE FIRST 100 PAGES! Trust me... it gets better :) If you wish yo know more on the theory and the bombs' construction, I refer you to Richard Rhodes. If you want to know the mind and the story that began this whole deal, read this book!!!!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A Man Ahead of His Time Aug. 1 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
H. G. Wells is not usually given enough credit for this particular book (in my opinion, his best). The focus is usually upon one of his other works such as The Time Machine. The World set Free is truly staggering in its scope, scale, and vision of the future. It is interesting to note how much Wells got correct about the future, and to see how much he did not. The fact that this book was written before World War I indicates his genius at seeing what might be possible and how this might come about. I cannot recommend this book more highly than by saying AN EXCELLENT, FASCINATING, GRIPPING PAGE-TURNER. A quick point about the original year of publication - if my memory is correct, it was originally published in 1910, rather than 1914.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
Ths work written in 1914 is not one of Wells' great works, but is of interest because it is
reputedly the first use of the words "atomic
bomb", and recognises the dangers of warfare
with a weapon of enormous destructive power
delivered from the air. It is remarkably prescient
in the light of the date of writing.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  49 reviews
190 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atomic Theory, the book it all started from. Feb. 23 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this book, Wells describes nuclear warfare and begins the descriptions of a possible future. He named uranium, "Carolinum" and talked about a chain reaction that would leave radiation behind so that nothing would survive afterwards, even if they did escape from the weapon itself. Dr. Szilard, the man who came up with the idea of splitting the atom with a nuetron, did so after reading, "The World Set Free". I say, NO KIDDING! Wells lays the idea right out in front of the world's face, laughing! It then goes on to describe future events that have occured, though in different times, and some which have yet to occur. He spoke of Carolinum (uranium), the atomic theory and its increadible source of power. He spoke of robotics and computers replacing people in the work place. This is where it all started folks. AND THIS IS JUST IN THE FIRST 100 PAGES! Trust me... it gets better :) If you wish yo know more on the theory and the bombs' construction, I refer you to Richard Rhodes. If you want to know the mind and the story that began this whole deal, read this book!!!!
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Man Ahead of His Time Aug. 1 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
H. G. Wells is not usually given enough credit for this particular book (in my opinion, his best). The focus is usually upon one of his other works such as The Time Machine. The World set Free is truly staggering in its scope, scale, and vision of the future. It is interesting to note how much Wells got correct about the future, and to see how much he did not. The fact that this book was written before World War I indicates his genius at seeing what might be possible and how this might come about. I cannot recommend this book more highly than by saying AN EXCELLENT, FASCINATING, GRIPPING PAGE-TURNER. A quick point about the original year of publication - if my memory is correct, it was originally published in 1910, rather than 1914.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE WORLD SET FREE by H. G. Wells Oct. 25 2010
By thepaxdomini - Published on Amazon.com
The World Set Free (recently reissued as The Last War) is a 1914 science fiction novel by H. G. Wells. When atomic bombs are developed and the world is threatened with universal devastation, its leaders are forced to rethink war, government, and society.

The World Set Free is remarkably prophetic, as Wells forecasts both nuclear war and the capacity for mutually-assured destruction. And while Wells misses the mark on the way atomic bombs work (his atomic bombs have the same explosive power as conventional bombs, but they just keep on burning), he certainly doesn't underestimate their destructive power.

This book feels like a novel only in the sense that it relates a series of fictional events. What few individuals appear here are scarcely characters in the literary sense - other than Egbert, none are developed in the slightest. This simply wasn't what Wells is trying to do - Wells is interested in the technology and its ramifications, and because that's what he focuses on, The World Set Free reads like a fictional history book, or perhaps like an outline for a longer novel. This keeps it from ever getting too interesting, and while it's a short book, it can be hard to get through.

In short, The World Set Free is an impressively-imagined but not very well-written piece of prophetic science fiction.
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Wells' greatest, first use of words "atomic bomb" Sept. 27 1997
By john@informed.co.nz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ths work written in 1914 is not one of Wells' great works, but is of interest because it is
reputedly the first use of the words "atomic
bomb", and recognises the dangers of warfare
with a weapon of enormous destructive power
delivered from the air. It is remarkably prescient
in the light of the date of writing.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read! March 8 2011
By BG - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent read far ahead of its time. It is both eerie and amazing to think of the gravity of social issues portrayed in context of the timeframe in which the book was written. It should be a required classroom read for high school students.
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