The First Men in the Moon
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The First Men in the Moon is a 1901 scientific romance novel by the British author H. G. Wells.
The novel tells the story of a journey to the moon undertaken by the two main protagonists, the impecunious businessman Mr Bedford and the brilliant but eccentric scientist Dr Cavor. On arrival, Bedford and Cavor find the moon inhabited by an extra terrestrial civilization the two name as "Selenites." The novel can also be read as a critique of prevailing political opinions of the period, particularly of imperialism. The theme of a clash between civilizations is reminiscent of Wells' earlier and more famous work, The War of the Worlds. As in The War of the Worlds, it is hinted that the non-human civilization presented might reflect the way human society would develop in the far future. As such, the Selenite society depicted could be considered either a utopia or a dystopia, depending on which of its features one emphasizes. Brian Stableford argues this is the first alien dystopia.