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The World Set Free

The World Set Free by H. G. Wells
By: (1866-1946)

Radioactive decay is a major theme in the novel The World Set Free, published in 1914. Wells explores what might happen if the rate of decay could be sped up. The book may have encouraged scientists to explore theories of nuclear chain reaction. It also served as a vehicle for Wells to develop his ideas on survival of the human race.

First Page:

THE WORLD SET FREE

H.G. WELLS

We Are All Things That Make And Pass, Striving Upon A Hidden Mission, Out To The Open Sea.

TO

Frederick Soddy's

'Interpretation Of Radium'

This Story, Which Owes Long Passages To The Eleventh Chapter Of That Book, Acknowledges And Inscribes Itself

PREFACE

THE WORLD SET FREE was written in 1913 and published early in 1914, and it is the latest of a series of three fantasias of possibility, stories which all turn on the possible developments in the future of some contemporary force or group of forces. The World Set Free was written under the immediate shadow of the Great War. Every intelligent person in the world felt that disaster was impending and knew no way of averting it, but few of us realised in the earlier half of 1914 how near the crash was to us. The reader will be amused to find that here it is put off until the year 1956. He may naturally want to know the reason for what will seem now a quite extraordinary delay. As a prophet, the author must confess he has always been inclined to be rather a slow prophet... Continue reading book >>


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