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H. G. Wells, Modernity and the Movies

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H. G. Wells, Modernity and the Movies

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Author: Keith Williams
Publisher: Liverpool University Press, 2008
Series: Liverpool SF Studies: Book 36

1. Olaf Stapledon: Speaking for the Future
2. Anticipations
3. Utopian and Science Fiction by Women
4. The Detached Retina
5. Charlotte Perkins Gilman
6. Shadows of the Future
7. Tales of the Next Great War, 1871-1914
9. Female Rule in Chinese and English Literary Utopias
10. Look at the Evidence
11. The Angle Between Two Walls
12. The Great War with Germany, 1890-1914
13. View From Another Shore
14. Very Different Story
15. The Mechanics of Wonder
16. Deconstructing the Starships
17. Learning from Other Worlds
18. Demand My Writing
19. Narrating Utopia
20. Jules Verne
21. Speaking Science Fiction
22. Alien Plots
23. Ramsey Campbell and Modern Horror Fiction
24. The Time Machines
25. Communities of the Heart
26. Philip K Dick
27. A Dreamer and a Visionary
28. Rumors of War and Infernal Machines
29. Attending Daedalus
30. Transformations
31. The Country You Have Never Seen
32. Visions and Revisions
33. Shadows of the New Sun
34. Gateways To Forever
35. Science Fiction and Empire
36. H. G. Wells, Modernity and the Movies
37. Queer Universes
38. Plan for Chaos
39. Animal Alterity
40. Race, Ethnicity and Nuclear War
41. Gothic Science Fiction
42. Future Wars
43. Solar Flares
44. Locating Science Fiction
45. Singularities
46. Stanislaw Lem
47. The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film
48. Irish Science Fiction
49. Lemography
50. Surrealism, Science Fiction and Comics
51. Stanislaw Lem
52. Science Fiction Double Feature
53. Science Fiction Rebels
54. Hard Reading
55. Terraforming
56. Biopunk Dystopias
57. Excavating the Future
58. Sport and Monstrosity in Science Fiction
59. Sideways in Time
60. Dread Trident
61. Final Frontiers
62. Science Fiction and Psychology
63. Science Fiction and Climate Change
64. Biology and Manners
66. Futuristic Cars and Space Bicycles
67. Fighting for the Future

Book Type: Non-Fiction
Genre: Science-Fiction
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Synopsis

This book investigates Wells's interest in cinema and related media technologies, by placing it back into the contemporary cultural and scientific contexts giving rise to them. It plugs a gap in understanding Wells's contribution to exploring and advancing the possibilities of cinematic narrative and its social and ideological impacts in the modern period.

Previous studies concentrate on adaptations: this book accounts for the specifically (proto)cinematic techniques and concerns of Wells's texts. It also focuses on contemporary film-making 'in dialogue' with his ideas. Alongside Hollywood's later transactions, it gives equal weight to neglected British and continental European dimensions.

Chapter 1 shows how early writings (The Time Machine and short stories) feature many kinds of radically defamiliarised vision. These constitute imaginative speculations about the forms and potentials of moving image and electronic media.

Chapter 2 discusses the power of voyeurism, 'absent presence' and the disjunction of sound-image reproduction implied in The Invisible Man and its topical politics, updated in notable screen versions.

Chapter 3 extends this to dystopian warnings of systematic surveillance, broadcasting of celebrity personae and 'post-literate' video culture in When the Sleeper Wakes, a crucial template for urban futures on film.

Chapter 4 analyses Wells's belated return to screenwriting in the 1930s. It accounts for his 'broadbrow' ambition of mediating between popular and avant-garde tendencies to promote his cause and its mixed results in Things to Come, The Man Who Could Work Miracles, etc.

Chapter 5 finally surveys Wells's legacy on both small and large screens. It considers whether, as well as being raided for scenarios for spectacular effects, his subtexts still nourish an evolving tradition of alternative SF, which duly critiques the innovations and applications of its host media.


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