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-With Biography of H. G. Wells.
The War in the Air, a novel by H. G. Wells written in four months in 1907 and serialised and published in 1908 in The Pall Mall Magazine, is like many of Wells's works notable for its prophetic ideas, images, and concepts—in this case, the use of the aircraft for the purpose of warfare and the coming of World War I. The novel's hero is Bert Smallways, a "forward-thinking young man" and a "kind of bicycle engineer of the let's-'ave-a-look-at-it and enamel-chipping variety."
The War in the Air is a story of the awful devastation following a conflict between two first-class powers with the resources of the air at their command. It is one of the most brilliant and successful of Mr. Wells's studies in futurity.
This thrilling tale is H. G. Wells at his modernist, visionary best. In 1907, a naive Londoner named Bert Smallways finds himself an unwitting passenger on a fleet of German airships heading over the Atlantic to attack New York. What unfolds in characteristically Wellsian fashion is a clash of early flying machines that leaves Gotham in shambles and unleashes the terrible age of Total War. Uncannily relevant to our own era, The War in the Air remains a cornerstone of early science fiction.
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