“I wrote that book in order to clear up the muddle in my own mind about innumerable social and political questions, questions I could not keep out of my work, which it distressed me to touch upon in a stupid haphazard way, and which no one, so far as I knew, had handled in a manner to satisfy my needs.”
~ H.G. Wells, in the introduction to “A Modern Utopia”
I feel really ambivalent about this book.
I wouldn’t recommend the book to most of my friends. Well’s writing style would bore most modern readers. The stilted dialog, and his very preachy attitude, are very different from the sort of modern science fiction my friends and I read and discuss.
On the other hand, this book really made me think. Well’s vision of an ideal world is so different from mine! He was reacting to the things he disliked about life in 19th c. England, but some of the ‘cures’ he recommends for those problems would fit right in to my vision of Hell. I had fun teasing out <i>why</i> he proposed some of the stranger features of his utopia. As a result, I learned more about conditions in Victorian England than I ever did in history classes.