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The Inheritors, H. G. Wells and Science Fiction: The Dimensions of the Future

Dryden, Linda



In 1901 H.G. Wells published Anticipations, a provocative speculation on the future course of technology and on how social and political systems might evolve. In the same year, Conrad and Ford published their collaborative novel The Inheritors, a fantasy involving a race of individuals from the Fourth Dimension, the Inheritors of the title, who propose to transform society very much along the lines suggested by Wells. This paper examines the similarities between Wells's predictions and the intentions of Conrad and Ford's Inheritors for the future of humanity to argue that The Inheritors is the authors' response to conversations they had with Wells in the years prior to his challenging thesis in Anticipations. The central argument is that Conrad and Ford wrote their novel as an imaginative rebuttal to Wells's more outrageous predictions.


Dryden, L. (2017). The Inheritors, H. G. Wells and Science Fiction: The Dimensions of the Future. Conradiana, 49(2/3), 103-120.

Journal Article Type Commentary
Publication Date 2017
Deposit Date Mar 15, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2019
Journal Conradiana
Print ISSN 0010-6356
Electronic ISSN 1935-0252
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Issue 2/3
Pages 103-120
Keywords Anticipations, The Inheritors, Fourth Dimension, Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, H.G. Wells, science fiction
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