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I am absolutely shocked by the strident, outrageous, and embarrassingly ignorant responses of these readers (who, by the way, lack the courage to sign their indictments and condemnations). If some "invisible" critics don't even want their names attached to their own reviews, where's the value? I urge prospective readers to ignore these Griffens. No anthology can adequately represent a literary career as long and prolific as that of Wells, who wrote 1,000+ pages of short stories, dozens of novels and nonfiction works, hundreds of articles, and thousands of letters and public statements, not to mention the autobiographical and scientific writings. Saying the task is similar to anthologizing Dickens or Trollope is entirely inaccurate, since the breadth and quality of their nonfiction output was negligible comparative to their fiction, whereas Wells was one of the most astute, far-wandering, and all-encompassing intellectual and imaginative forces of his day. Right from the start, Huntington ought to be applauded for being bold enough even to attempt such an endeavor (Huntington's audacity and admiration Wells would surely appreciate). One of these critics says: "One wonders precisely who this 'reader' is for!" NO. One wonders if these "critics" spent enough time from penning their own masterpieces of destruction for their own sake to actually peruse the editor's introduction and prefaces to his selections. These critcs are eviscerating this anthology because it doesn't correspond to their own "inner" collections. Huntington clearly define THE H. G. WELLS READER as an introduction, i.e. for someone who is either totally unfamiliar with Wells or for someone who might think of him as having only "written that Martian book." In 496 pages the editor does a commendable job of presenting Wells. Not the entirety of Wells, which is impossible to accomplish in even a 1,000-page anthology (not the hot trend nowadays in publishing). But Huntington explains his intentions and criteria and even admits the unavoidable limitations inherent in any collection: "I have selected the texts for this anthology with an eye for quality and to what I see as the central issues and styles of Wells. In the case of such a prolific and varied artist, there is danger of dispersal and dilution. I have therefore confined the selection strictly to fiction." That seems as cogent and clear as any manifesto I've encountered. Huntington continues: "I have also narrowed this selection by limiting it to work Wells published in the first decade and a half of his writing career. Later Wells is a fascinating area [obviously the editor has read the totality of Wells prodigiously], but only to readers who already have a sense of what early Wells is about. If I have emphasized the scientific romances, it is with a sense of how it leads into social novels like TONO-BUNGAY [excerpted] and THE HISTORY OF MR. POLLY." Why critique the editor for including readily available work after praising him for not neglecting "work that is out of print." Shouldn't that be the range and purpose of introductory readers? In fact, even that reproach is misleading. A hefty portion of THE H. G. WELLS READER is gathered from currently o.p. works. of which the editor includes nearly all of two novels (THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON and IN THE DAYS OF THE COMET, the former only recently reprinted by Modern Library) and one complete novel (THE HISTORY OF MR. POLLY, presently unavailable from a U.S. publisher) as well as a sampling of short stories (including the masterpieces "Aepyornis Island" and "The Country of the Blind," two of Wells's most perfect and haunting tales). IN THE DAYS OF THE COMET is not now available. The editor also excerpts the excellent yet unfortunately o.p novels THE WHEELS OF CHANCE and THE FOODS OF THE GODS. Easily two-thirds of this collection is unavailable elsewhere. Where one would expect Huntington to include all or gigantic chunks of THE TIME MACHINE, he has selected a previously excised and startling episode of the Time Travellor's travels not in many editions. How can an editor not include a healthy dose from Wells's masterpiece, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS? Key events on Moreau's island and from Griffen's psychic deterioration are also represented. One would expect Morlocks, Beast People, and Invisibly Inspired Mischief to abound, but, refreshingly, one encounters an anarchist, Selenites, and the incomparable Mr. Polly. Not bad for 496 pages. If one accepts the editor's view of Wells as a genius and satirist of society and the human condition, then this reader suddenly exhibits a critical strategy and brilliant architectural arc. No longer is it a potpourri of science fiction and mockery of social mores, but an evolution of Wells's satire from its guise as science fiction to its heartfelt and radical comedic critique of contemporary society. I'd prefer reading anything in this anthology than such mediocre Wells's "larks" as BOON and BEALBY. Another critic states that "Wells is a fugitive in the history of the novel and a questionable presence in the development of social sciences." WHAT? "Fugitive in the history of the novel." What does that nonsense mean? He was one of the forerunners, not among the fugitives. No one was hunting H. G. Wells. Certainly not George Orwell, Joseph Conrad, Jules Verne, or Upton Sinclair. Not even, as far as I can ascertain, Tommy Lee Jones. A questionable presence in the development of social sciences? WHAT? Wells's radical theories, accurate predictions, and prescient and resonant insights proved crucial to many scientific disciplines, both "hard" and "soft," from biology to sociology and futurism. "It doesn't tantalize prospective readers." Should that be the purpose of readers? Methinks, this anonymous cowardly lion mistakes books for burlesques. Both "reviewers" are slamming this work for not following their preferred and personal table of contents, which is entirely unjust. If one wishes to find fault with THE H. G. WELLS READER, one might critique it for not having a larger page count (thereby making possible the inclusion or more stories or excerpts from later novels) or a better proofreader. Instead, these "reviewers" snipe for what's not there, rather than responding to the formidable introduction and succinct and priceless prefaces. I challenge anyone to compose a better biographical, aesthetic, and critical profile in under ten pages than what Hujtington manages in his introduction. This collection doesn't stink, just the supposedly informed "critics." Kudos, kudos, kudos to Huntington. Only wish it could've been longer.