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52 Works of H. G. Wells

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It was in a swampy village on the lagoon river behind the Turner Peninsula that Pollock’s first encounter with the Porroh man occurred. The women of that country are famous for their good looks—they are Gallinas with a dash of European blood that dates from the days of Vasco de Gama and the English slave-traders, […]

The Sea Raiders

Story type: Adventure

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I. Until the extraordinary affair at Sidmouth, the peculiar species Haploteuthis ferox was known to science only generically, on the strength of a half-digested tentacle obtained near the Azores, and a decaying body pecked by birds and nibbled by fish, found early in 1896 by Mr. Jennings, near Land’s End. In no department of zoological […]

The Magic Shop

Story type: Sci Fi

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I had seen the Magic Shop from afar several times; I had passed it once or twice, a shop window of alluring little objects, magic balls, magic hens, wonderful cones, ventriloquist dolls, the material of the basket trick, packs of cards that looked all right, and all that sort of thing, but never had I […]

As I sit writing in my study, I can hear our Jane bumping her way downstairs with a brush and dustpan. She used in the old days to sing hymn tunes, or the British national song for the time being, to these instruments; but latterly she has been silent and even careful over her work. […]

I One confidential evening, not three months ago, Lionel Wallace told me this story of the Door in the Wall. And at the time I thought that so far as he was concerned it was a true story. He told it me with such a direct simplicity of conviction that I could not do otherwise […]

Three hundred miles and more from Chimborazo, one hundred from the snows of Cotopaxi, in the wildest wastes of Ecuador’s Andes, there lies that mysterious mountain valley, cut off from all the world of men, the Country of the Blind. Long years ago that valley lay so far open to the world that men might […]

The Beautiful Suit

Story type: Literature

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There was once a little man whose mother made him a beautiful suit of clothes. It was green and gold, and woven so that I cannot describe how delicate and fine it was, and there was a tie of orange fluffiness that tied up under his chin. And the buttons in their newness shone like […]

Empire of the Ants

Story type: Literature

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When Captain Gerilleau received instructions to take his new gunboat, the Benjamin Constant, to Badama on the Batemo arm of the Guaramadema and there assist the inhabitants against a plague of ants, he suspected the authorities of mockery. His promotion had been romantic and irregular, the affections of a prominent Brazilian lady and the captain’s […]

A Vision of Judgment

Story type: Literature

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I. Bru-a-a-a. I listened, not understanding. Wa-ra-ra-ra. “Good Lord!” said I, still only half awake. “What an infernal shindy!” Ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra Ta-ra-rra-ra. “It’s enough,” said I, “to wake—-” and stopped short. Where was I? Ta-rra-rara–louder and louder. “It’s either some new invention—-“ Toora-toora-toora! Deafening! “No,” said I, speaking loud in order to hear myself. “That’s the […]

A PANTOUM IN PROSE. It is doubtful whether the gift was innate. For my own part, I think it came to him suddenly. Indeed, until he was thirty he was a sceptic, and did not believe in miraculous powers. And here, since it is the most convenient place, I must mention that he was a […]

The Crystal Egg

Story type: Literature

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There was, until a year ago, a little and very grimy-looking shop near Seven Dials, over which, in weather-worn yellow lettering, the name of “C. Cave, Naturalist and Dealer in Antiquities,” was inscribed. The contents of its window were curiously variegated. They comprised some elephant tusks and an imperfect set of chessmen, beads and weapons, […]

Outside the laboratory windows was a watery-grey fog, and within a close warmth and the yellow light of the green-shaded gas lamps that stood two to each table down its narrow length. On each table stood a couple of glass jars containing the mangled vestiges of the crayfish, mussels, frogs, and guinea-pigs upon which the […]

The Purple Pileus

Story type: Literature

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Mr. Coombes was sick of life. He walked away from his unhappy home, and, sick not only of his own existence but of everybody else’s, turned aside down Gaswork Lane to avoid the town, and, crossing the wooden bridge that goes over the canal to Starling’s Cottages, was presently alone in the damp pine woods […]

The Red Room

Story type: Literature

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“I can assure you,” said I, “that it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me.” And I stood up before the fire with my glass in my hand. “It is your own choosing,” said the man with the withered arm, and glanced at me askance. “Eight-and-twenty years,” said I, “I have lived, and […]

The Plattner story

Story type: Literature

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Whether the story of Gottfried Plattner is to be credited or not is a pretty question in the value of evidence. On the one hand, we have seven witnesses–to be perfectly exact, we have six and a half pairs of eyes, and one undeniable fact; and on the other we have–what is it?–prejudice, common-sense, the […]

The Obliterated Man

Story type: Literature

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I was–you shall hear immediately why I am not now–Egbert Craddock Cummins. The name remains. I am still (Heaven help me!) Dramatic Critic to the Fiery Cross. What I shall be in a little while I do not know. I write in great trouble and confusion of mind. I will do what I can to […]

Under the Knife

Story type: Literature

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“What if I die under it?” The thought recurred again and again, as I walked home from Haddon’s. It was a purely personal question. I was spared the deep anxieties of a married man, and I knew there were few of my intimate friends but would find my death troublesome chiefly on account of their […]

I set this story down, not expecting it will be believed, but, if possible, to prepare a way of escape for the next victim. He, perhaps, may profit by my misfortune. My own case, I know, is hopeless, and I am now in some measure prepared to meet my fate. My name is Edward George […]

The canoe was now approaching the land. The bay opened out, and a gap in the white surf of the reef marked where the little river ran out to the sea; the thicker and deeper green of the virgin forest showed its course down the distant hill slope. The forest here came close to the […]

The Moth

Story type: Literature

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Probably you have heard of Hapley–not W. T. Hapley, the son, but the celebrated Hapley, the Hapley of Periplaneta Hapliia, Hapley the entomologist. If so you know at least of the great feud between Hapley and Professor Pawkins, though certain of its consequences may be new to you. For those who have not, a word […]

I. The transitory mental aberration of Sidney Davidson, remarkable enough in itself, is still more remarkable if Wade’s explanation is to be credited. It sets one dreaming of the oddest possibilities of intercommunication in the future, of spending an intercalary five minutes on the other side of the world, or being watched in our most […]

Aepyornis Island

Story type: Literature

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The man with the scarred face leant over the table and looked at my bundle. “Orchids?” he asked. “A few,” I said. “Cypripediums,” he said. “Chiefly,” said I. “Anything new? I thought not. I did these islands twenty-five– twenty-seven years ago. If you find anything new here–well, it’s brand new. I didn’t leave much.” “I’m […]

The Avu Observatory

Story type: Literature

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The observatory at Avu, in Borneo, stands on the spur of the mountain. To the north rises the old crater, black at night against the unfathomable blue of the sky. From the little circular building, with its mushroom dome, the slopes plunge steeply downward into the black mysteries of the tropical forest beneath. The little […]

The buying of orchids always has in it a certain speculative flavour. You have before you the brown shrivelled lump of tissue, and for the rest you must trust your judgment, or the auctioneer, or your good luck, as your taste may incline. The plant may be moribund or dead, or it may be just […]

The Stolen Bacillus

Story type: Literature

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“This again,” said the Bacteriologist, slipping a glass slide under the microscope, “is well,–a preparation of the Bacillus of cholera–the cholera germ.” The pale-faced man peered down the microscope. He was evidently not accustomed to that kind of thing, and held a limp white hand over his disengaged eye. “I see very little,” he said. […]

Floor Games

Story type: Literature

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Section I. THE TOYS TO HAVE The jolliest indoor games for boys and girls demand a floor, and the home that has no floor upon which games may be played falls so far short of happiness. It must be a floor covered with linoleum or cork carpet, so that toy soldiers and such-like will stand […]

Little Wars

Story type: Essay

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(A Game for Boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys’ games and books) With an Appendix on Kriegspiel By H. G. Wells CONTENTS I. OF THE LEGENDARY PAST II. THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN LITTLE WARFARE III. THE RULES– The Country […]

I–UGH-LOMI AND UYA This story is of a time beyond the memory of man, before the beginning of history, a time when one might have walked dryshod from France (as we call it now) to England, and when a broad and sluggish Thames flowed through its marshes to meet its father Rhine, flowing through a […]

I–THE CURE FOR LOVE The excellent Mr. Morris was an Englishman, and he lived in the days of Queen Victoria the Good. He was a prosperous and very sensible man; he read the Times and went to church, and as he grew towards middle age an expression of quiet contented contempt for all who were […]

A Deal in Ostriches

Story type: Literature

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“Talking of the prices of birds, I’ve seen an ostrich that cost three hundred pounds,” said the Taxidermist, recalling his youth of travel. “Three hundred pounds!” He looked at me over his spectacles. “I’ve seen another that was refused at four.” “No,” he said, “it wasn’t any fancy points. They was just plain ostriches. A […]

Here are some of the secrets of taxidermy. They were told me by the taxidermist in a mood of elation. He told me them in the time between the first glass of whisky and the fourth, when a man is no longer cautious and yet not drunk. We sat in his den together; his library […]

Through A Window

Story type: Literature

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After his legs were set, they carried Bailey into the study and put him on a couch before the open window. There he lay, a live–even a feverish man down to the loins, and below that a double-barrelled mummy swathed in white wrappings. He tried to read, even tried to write a little, but most […]

The Flying Man

Story type: Literature

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The Ethnologist looked at the bhimraj feather thoughtfully. “They seemed loth to part with it,” he said. “It is sacred to the Chiefs,” said the lieutenant; “just as yellow silk, you know, is sacred to the Chinese Emperor.” The Ethnologist did not answer. He hesitated. Then opening the topic abruptly, “What on earth is this […]

It is quite impossible to say whether this thing really happened. It depends entirely on the word of R.M. Harringay, who is an artist. Following his version of the affair, the narrative deposes that Harringay went into his studio about ten o’clock to see what he could make of the head that he had been […]

It is a moot point whether burglary is to be considered as a sport, a trade, or an art. For a trade, the technique is scarcely rigid enough, and its claims to be considered an art are vitiated by the mercenary element that qualifies its triumphs. On the whole it seems to be most justly […]

He sits not a dozen yards away. If I glance over my shoulder I can see him. And if I catch his eye–and usually I catch his eye– it meets me with an expression. It is mainly an imploring look–and yet with suspicion in it. Confound his suspicion! If I wanted to tell on him […]

The Valley of Spiders

Story type: Literature

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Towards mid-day the three pursuers came abruptly round a bend in the torrent bed upon the sight of a very broad and spacious valley. The difficult and winding trench of pebbles along which they had tracked the fugitives for so long, expanded to a broad slope, and with a common impulse the three men left […]

Filmer

Story type: Literature

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In truth the mastery of flying was the work of thousands of men– this man a suggestion and that an experiment, until at last only one vigorous intellectual effort was needed to finish the work. But the inexorable injustice of the popular mind has decided that of all these thousands, one man, and that a […]

The scene amidst which Clayton told his last story comes back very vividly to my mind. There he sat, for the greater part of the time, in the corner of the authentic settle by the spacious open fire, and Sanderson sat beside him smoking the Broseley clay that bore his name. There was Evans, and […]

“There’s a man in that shop,” said the Doctor, “who has been in Fairyland.” “Nonsense!” I said, and stared back at the shop. It was the usual village shop, post-office, telegraph wire on its brow, zinc pans and brushes outside, boots, shirtings, and potted meats in the window. “Tell me about it,” I said, after […]

Jimmy Goggles the God

Story type: Literature

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“It isn’t every one who’s been a god,” said the sunburnt man. “But it’s happened to me. Among other things.” I intimated my sense of his condescension. “It don’t leave much for ambition, does it?” said the sunburnt man. “I was one of those men who were saved from the Ocean Pioneer. Gummy! how time […]

The New Accelerator

Story type: Literature

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Certainly, if ever a man found a guinea when he was looking for a pin it is my good friend Professor Gibberne. I have heard before of investigators overshooting the mark, but never quite to the extent that he has done. He has really, this time at any rate, without any touch of exaggeration in […]

My friend, Mr. Ledbetter, is a round-faced little man, whose natural mildness of eye is gigantically exaggerated when you catch the beam through his glasses, and whose deep, deliberate voice irritates irritable people. A certain elaborate clearness of enunciation has come with him to his present vicarage from his scholastic days, an elaborate clearness of […]

The Stolen Body

Story type: Literature

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Mr. Bessel was the senior partner in the firm of Bessel, Hart, and Brown, of St. Paul’s Churchyard, and for many years he was well known among those interested in psychical research as a liberal-minded and conscientious investigator. He was an unmarried man, and instead of living in the suburbs, after the fashion of his […]

“You can’t be TOO careful WHO you marry,” said Mr. Brisher, and pulled thoughtfully with a fat-wristed hand at the lank moustache that hides his want of chin. “That’s why–” I ventured. “Yes,” said Mr. Brisher, with a solemn light in his bleary, blue-grey eyes, moving his head expressively and breathing alcohol INTIMATELY at me. […]

Miss Winchelsea was going to Rome. The matter had filled her mind for a month or more, and had overflowed so abundantly into her conversation that quite a number of people who were not going to Rome, and who were not likely to go to Rome, had made it a personal grievance against her. Some […]

A Dream of Armageddon

Story type: Literature

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The man with the white face entered the carriage at Rugby. He moved slowly in spite of the urgency of his porter, and even while he was still on the platform I noted how ill he seemed. He dropped into the corner over against me with a sigh, made an incomplete attempt to arrange his […]

The Cone

Story type: Literature

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The night was hot and overcast, the sky red, rimmed with the lingering sunset of mid-summer. They sat at the open window, trying to fancy the air was fresher there. The trees and shrubs of the garden stood stiff and dark; beyond in the roadway a gas- lamp burnt, bright orange against the hazy blue […]

The Star

Story type: Literature

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It was on the first day of the New Year that the announcement was made, almost simultaneously from three observatories, that the motion of the planet Neptune, the outermost of all the planets that wheel about the sun, had become very erratic. Ogilvy had already called attention to a suspected retardation in its velocity in […]

The Lord of the Dynamos

Story type: Literature

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The chief attendant of the three dynamos that buzzed and rattled at Camberwell, and kept the electric railway going, came out of Yorkshire, and his name was James Holroyd. He was a practical electrician, but fond of whisky, a heavy red-haired brute with irregular teeth. He doubted the existence of the deity, but accepted Carnot’s […]

A Moonlight Fable

Story type: Literature

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There was once a little man whose mother made him a beautiful suit of clothes. It was green and gold and woven so that I cannot describe how delicate and fine it was, and there was a tie of orange fluffiness that tied up under his chin. And the buttons in their newness shone like […]

The Diamond Maker

Story type: Literature

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Some business had detained me in Chancery Lane nine in the evening, and thereafter, having some inkling of a headache, I was disinclined either for entertainment or further work. So much of the sky as the high cliffs of that narrow canon of traffic left visible spoke of a serene night, and I determined to […]