A pioneer of science fiction, H. G. Wells (1866-1946) wrote thrilling adventures about time travel, space exploration, alien invasion, and scientific experiments gone awry. His tales of obsession, revelation, and discovery remain compellingly readable and relevant.
The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earthby H. G. Wells
Their tests produced a day-old chicken as big as a buzzard.
It all began with the research of two scientists, Mr. Bensington and Professor Redwood, into the principles of growth in living matter. The fruit of their labors was a substance known as Herakleophorbia IV, but their own private term for it was "The Food of the Gods" because of its very special properties.
Their tests produced a day-old chicken as big as a buzzard. And when the substance was consumed by rats, they grew bigger than horses. Then they started feeding the "food" to human babies...
Meet the Author
- Date of Birth:
- September 21, 1866
- Date of Death:
- August 13, 1946
- Place of Birth:
- Bromley, Kent, England
- Place of Death:
- London, England
- Normal School of Science, London, England
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The Food of the Gods now completes the sci-fi novels of Wells in my library. My favorite chapter of the book is Chapter III where the giant rats appear. This book isn't well known like the Time Machine or War of the Worlds yet it is very poignant because it focuses on the ethics of genetic engineering. Wells wasn't merely a writer of science fiction but a rabid social investigator. First published in 1904, the novel is very poignant because it reveals the human reaction to those who are different. Children who eat the Food of the Gods become giants and are treated as outcasts and menaces to society. The book ends with the giant's fate to be determined by a hostile world. Will they be accepted or driven to extinction like the Neandertals by modern man?
This book describes the story of some growth-increasing substance, the `Food of the Gods', which after its discovery by two british gentleman-scientists spreads out, partially by insufficiently supervised experiments, and partially intentional, and generates giant plants, giant wasps, rats and other animals, and giant humans. The threat by giant animals is brought under control, but the giant humans become a political issue, a politician starts a movement that blames all difficulties on the giants, and demands that all giants be killed; the movement spreads, sweeps aside the old political structures, and takes over the country. The book ends in the night before the battle against the giants, which the giants might or survive or not, but since they spread the substance everywhere, there will be always new giants. Like other Wells classics, it is a strong story, which carries over weaknesses in writing and gaps in the story.