The Works of H. G. Wells (Atlantic Edition)/Preface to Volume 6

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"The First Men in the Moon" was first published as a serial in 1900, in America in Mr. John Brisben Walker's Cosmopolitan Magazine, and in England in the Strand Magazine. It is an imaginative spree. Except for Cavorite, that substance opaque to gravitation, the writer has allowed himself no liberties with known facts; there is no impossibility in the tale. There are no doubt details of a high degree of improbability but nothing that a properly informed science student can contradict flatly. The book had the honour of a review in Nature by Professor Turner, who discussed its ingenuities very sympathetically. It is probably the writer's best "scientific romance."

Bound up with this are some early stories that come conveniently here as a sort of transition to the two early novels in the next volume. The Euphemia Papers are very early writings indeed. For the most part they were written as contributions to the Pall Mall Gazette in 1893-4. They are the stuff of which novels are made. "A Slip under the Microscope" was done for the Yellow Book about the year 1895, and is obviously related genetically to "Love and Mr. Lewisham." "Miss Winchelsea's Heart" came into my head to tell my friend George Gissing on the Pincio one spring morning in 1898.