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First Men In The Moon



In 1964, the United Nations has launched a rocket flight to the Moon. A multi-national group of astronauts in the UN spacecraft land, believing themselves to be the first lunar explorers. However, they discover a Union Jack flag on the surface and a note mentioning Katherine Callender, which claims the Moon for Queen Victoria.




First Men in the Moon


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In 1899, Arnold Bedford lives in a romantic spot, Cherry Cottage, next to a canal lock in Dymchurch. His fiancée, Katherine Callender, known as Kate, arrives by car (driving herself), visiting the house for the first time. It is implied that Bedford is in financial difficulties by a letter about his rent being well past due. They meet a nearby neighbour, inventor Joseph Cavor, who wants to buy the cottage, just in case his experiments should damage it. Kate agrees to this on Bedfords behalf. Bedford begins spending time at Cavor's house, where the inventor has a large laboratory. He has developed a substance, Cavorite, that will let anything it is applied to or made of nullify the force of gravity. He plans to use it to travel to the Moon. Bedford has deeds drawn up and signed in Kate's name selling the cottage to Cavor for 5000...(in reality he is selling something that he does not own).


"After you got past the first couple of reels, it was a funny film", said Juran. "Lionel was a swell actor. I liked him very much. His performance added immeasurably to the picture's entertainment value. He played it tongue-in-cheek but being such a good comic actor he controlled himself and never went too far. He made a great team with Edward Judd. Their personalities, one against the other, were just perfect".[3]


The First Men in the Moon is a scientific romance by the English author H. G. Wells, originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from December 1900 to August 1901 and published in hardcover in 1901,[2] who called it one of his "fantastic stories".[3] The novel tells the story of a journey to the Moon undertaken by the two protagonists: a businessman narrator, Mr. Bedford; and an eccentric scientist, Mr. Cavor. Bedford and Cavor discover that the Moon is inhabited by a sophisticated extraterrestrial civilisation of insect-like creatures they call "Selenites". The inspiration seems to come from the famous 1870 book by Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon, and the opera by Jacques Offenbach from 1875. In that opera the word "selenites" is used for the first time for moon inhabitants.[4]


When a sheet of cavorite is prematurely processed, it makes the air above it weightless and shoots off into space. Bedford sees in the commercial production of cavorite a possible source of "wealth enough to work any sort of social revolution we fancied; we might own and order the whole world".[5] Cavor hits upon the idea of a spherical spaceship made of "steel, lined with glass", and with sliding "windows or blinds" made of cavorite by which it can be steered, and persuades a reluctant Bedford to undertake a voyage to the Moon; Cavor is certain there is no life there.[6] On the way to the Moon, they experience weightlessness, which Bedford finds "exceedingly restful".[7] On the surface of the Moon the two men discover a desolate landscape, but as the Sun rises, the thin, frozen atmosphere vaporises and strange plants begin to grow with extraordinary rapidity. Bedford and Cavor leave the capsule, but in romping about get lost in the rapidly growing jungle. They hear for the first time a mysterious booming coming from beneath their feet. They encounter "great beasts", "monsters of mere fatness", that they dub "mooncalves", and five-foot-high "Selenites" tending them. At first they hide and crawl about, but growing hungry partake of some "monstrous coralline growths" of fungus that inebriate them. They wander drunkenly until they encounter a party of six extraterrestrials, who capture them.[8] The insectoid lunar natives (referred to as "Selenites", after Selene, the Greek moon goddess) are part of a complex and technologically sophisticated society that lives underground, but this is revealed only in radio communications received from Cavor after Bedford's return to Earth.


Bedford and Cavor break out of captivity beneath the surface of the Moon and flee, killing several Selenites. In their flight they discover that gold is common on the Moon. In their attempt to find their way back to the surface and to their sphere, they come upon some Selenites carving up mooncalves but fight their way past. Back on the surface, they split up to search for their spaceship. Bedford finds it but returns to Earth without Cavor, who injured himself in a fall and was recaptured by the Selenites, as Bedford learns from a hastily scribbled note he left behind.


The influence of Wells's book is especially visible in Out of the Silent Planet, the first book of Lewis's Space Trilogy. There, too, a central role in the story line is played by a partnership between a worldly businessman interested in the material gains from space travel (and specifically, in importing extraterrestrial gold to Earth) and a scientist with wider cosmic theories.


Brian Stableford argues this is the first alien dystopia.[13] The book could also be considered to have launched the science fiction subgenre depicting intelligent social insects, in some cases a non-human species such as the space-traveling Shaara "bees" in the future universe of A. Bertram Chandler, in others (such as Frank Herbert's Hellstrom's Hive) humans who evolved or consciously engineered their society in this direction. Nigel Kneale co-adapted the screenplay (with Jan Read) for the 1964 film version; it is reasonable to assume that Kneale's familiarity with the work may have inspired the idea of the Martian hives which feature so significantly in Quatermass and the Pit, one of Kneale's most-admired creations.[original research?]


Jules Verne was publicly hostile to Wells's novel mainly due to Wells having his characters go to the moon via a totally fictional creation of an anti-gravitational material rather than the actual use of technology.[20]


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The First Men in the Moon is a science fiction novel written by the British author H. G. Wells. It was originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from December 1900 to August 1901, and first published in hardcover in 1901 by George Newnes. The novel tells the story of a journey to the moon undertaken by the two main protagonists: the impecunious businessman Bedford and the brilliant but eccentric scientist Dr Cavor.


The First Men in the Moon, 1st Printing, Painted Cover. Art by George Woodbridge/Al Williamson/Angelo Torres. (HRN 143, with 5/58 date). We climbed out of our sphere and dropped upon the untrodden soil of the moon. It was unreal and fantastic. With one small leap we could travel thirty feet. But while we practiced our leaps, moon plants grew wildly around us, erasing our sphere from sight. We were stranded on the moon, at the mercy of its inhabitants - the Selenites.Cover price $0.15.


The First Men in the Moon, 1st Printing, Painted Cover. Art by George Woodbridge/Al Williamson/Angelo Torres. (HRN 152). We climbed out of our sphere and dropped upon the untrodden soil of the moon. It was unreal and fantastic. With one small leap we could travel thirty feet. But while we practiced our leaps, moon plants grew wildly around us, erasing our sphere from sight. We were stranded on the moon, at the mercy of its inhabitants - the Selenites.


The First Men in the Moon, 1st Printing, Painted Cover. Art by George Woodbridge/Al Williamson/Angelo Torres. (HRN 153). We climbed out of our sphere and dropped upon the untrodden soil of the moon. It was unreal and fantastic. With one small leap we could travel thirty feet. But while we practiced our leaps, moon plants grew wildly around us, erasing our sphere from sight. We were stranded on the moon, at the mercy of its inhabitants - the Selenites.Cover price $0.15.


The First Men in the Moon, 1st Printing, Painted Cover. Art by George Woodbridge/Al Williamson/Angelo Torres. (HRN 161). We climbed out of our sphere and dropped upon the untrodden soil of the moon. It was unreal and fantastic. With one small leap we could travel thirty feet. But while we practiced our leaps, moon plants grew wildly around us, erasing our sphere from sight. We were stranded on the moon, at the mercy of its inhabitants - the Selenites.Cover price $0.15.


The First Men in the Moon, 1st Printing, Painted Cover. Art by George Woodbridge/Al Williamson/Angelo Torres. (HRN 167). We climbed out of our sphere and dropped upon the untrodden soil of the moon. It was unreal and fantastic. With one small leap we could travel thirty feet. But while we practiced our leaps, moon plants grew wildly around us, erasing our sphere from sight. We were stranded on the moon, at the mercy of its inhabitants - the Selenites.Cover price $0.15.


The First Men in the Moon, 1st Printing, Painted Cover. Art by George Woodbridge/Al Williamson/Angelo Torres. (HRN 167, with 12/65 date). We climbed out of our sphere and dropped upon the untrodden soil of the moon. It was unreal and fantastic. With one small leap we could travel thirty feet. But while we practiced our leaps, moon plants grew wildly around us, erasing our sphere from sight. We were stranded on the moon, at the mercy of its inhabitants - the Selenites.Cover price $0.15.


The First Men in the Moon, 1st Printing, Painted Cover on stiff paper. Art by George Woodbridge/Al Williamson/Angelo Torres. (HRN 166, with Fall 1968 date). We climbed out of our sphere and dropped upon the untrodden soil of the moon. It was unreal and fantastic. With one small leap we could travel thirty feet. But while we practiced our leaps, moon plants grew wildly around us, erasing our sphere from sight. We were stranded on the moon, at the mercy of its inhabitants - the Selenites.Cover price $0.25. 041b061a72


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