British born author H.G. Wells (War of the Worlds, The Time Machine), best known as the father of science fiction, was born on this day in 1866. From Writer’s Almanac:
It’s the birthday of science fiction writer H.G. Wells, born Herbert George Wells in Bromley, England (1866). He grew up poor, and failed at being a draper's apprentice and pharmacist's apprentice. Eventually, he ended up in teaching. He started writing articles about politics and science, and occasional short stories, and he was working on articles about the possibilities of extra dimensions when his editor suggested he turn the ideas from his articles into fiction. So in 1895, he published The Time Machine, a short novel about a protagonist called only The Time Traveler, who builds a time machine and finds himself in a world where people have evolved into two distinct species, the workers called the Morlocks and the useless upper class, the Eloi.The Writer’s Almanac entry is here. An Online Literature profile of Wells is here.
Wells was just 29 when The Time Machine was published. It was a big hit, and he became a prolific and popular writer. In the next three years, he wrote The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Wheels of Chance (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898).