The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth

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Overview

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 ...

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1570020159 loose pages, some staining

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The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth

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Overview

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...

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570020155
  • Publisher: University Publishing House, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Pages: 207
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

H. G. Wells

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.

Biography

Social philosopher, utopian, novelist, and "father" of science fiction and science fantasy, Herbert George Wells was born on September 21, 1866, in Bromley, Kent. His father was a poor businessman, and young Bertie's mother had to work as a lady's maid. Living "below stairs" with his mother at an estate called Uppark, Bertie would sneak into the grand library to read Plato, Swift, and Voltaire, authors who deeply influenced his later works. He shoed literary and artistic talent in his early stories and paintings, but the family had limited means, and when he was fourteen years old, Bertie was sent as an apprentice to a dealer in cloth and dry goods, work he disliked.

He held jobs in other trades before winning a scholarship to study biology at the Normal School of Science in London. The eminent biologist T. H. Huxley, a friend and proponent of Darwin, was his teacher; about him Wells later said, "I believed then he was the greatest man I was ever likely to meet." Under Huxley's influence, Wells learned the science that would inspire many of his creative works and cultivated the skepticism about the likelihood of human progress that would infuse his writing.

Teaching, textbook writing, and journalism occupied Wells until 1895, when he made his literary debut with the now-legendary novel The Time Machine, which was followed before the end of the century by The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds, books that established him as a major writer. Fiercely critical of Victorian mores, he published voluminously, in fiction and nonfiction, on the subject of politics and social philosophy. Biological evolution does not ensure moral progress, as Wells would repeat throughout his life, during which he witnessed two world wars and the debasement of science for military and political ends.

In addition to social commentary presented in the guise of science fiction, Wells authored comic novels like Love and Mrs. Lewisham, Kipps, and The History of Mister Polly that are Dickensian in their scope and feeling, and a feminist novel, Ann Veronica. He wrote specific social commentary in The New Machiavelli, an attack on the socialist Fabian Society, which he had joined and then rejected, and literary parody (of Henry James) in Boon. He wrote textbooks of biology, and his massive The Outline of History was a major international bestseller.

By the time Wells reached middle age, he was admired around the world, and he used his fame to promote his utopian vision, warning that the future promised "Knowledge or extinction." He met with such preeminent political figures as Lenin, Roosevelt, and Stalin, and continued to publish, travel, and educate during his final years. Herbert George Wells died in London on August 13, 1946.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The War of the Worlds.

Good To Know

In 1891, Wells married his cousin Isabel. However, he eventually left her for one of his brightest students, Amy Catherine, whom he married in 1895.

Wells was once interviewed on the radio by an extremely nervous Orson Welles. The two are unrelated, of course.

Many of Wells's novels became film adaptations, including The Island of Dr. Moreau, filmed in 1996 by Richard Stanley and John Frankenheimer, and The Time Machine, filmed in 2002 by Wells's great-grandson, Simon Wells.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Herbert George Wells (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1866
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bromley, Kent, England
    1. Date of Death:
      August 13, 1946
    2. Place of Death:
      London, England

Table of Contents

Book I--The Dawn of the Food
1. The Discovery of the Food
2. The Experimental Farm
3. The Giant Rats
4. The Giant Children
5. The Minimificence of Mr. Bensington
Book II--The Food in the Village
1. The Coming of the Food
2. The Brat Gigantic
Book III--The Harvest of the Food
1. The Altered World
2. The Giant Lovers
3. Young Caddles in London
4. Redwood's Two Days
5. The Giant Leaguer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

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    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The best social commentary I've ever read!

    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?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    Another remarkable early SF by Wells

    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.

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