Other Literary Forms
Beginning with The Time Machine: An Invention (1895) and ending with The War in the Air, and Particularly How Mr. Bert Smallways Fared While It Lasted (1908), H. G. Wells wrote nine fantastic, often futuristic novels, which he called scientific romances. Works like The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), and The First Men in the Moon (1901), which now fall under the rubric of science fiction, earned Wells the informal place that he shares with Jules Verne as a cofounder of that genre. Wells also wrote more than thirty realistic novels, of which the three most famous are Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul (1905), Tono-Bungay (1908), and The History of Mr. Polly (1910). His fiction became increasingly speculative and utopian (or dystopian) after 1920. Wells, assisted by specialists, wrote three encyclopedic works devoted to the history of the universe, to biology, and to economics. The first, The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind (1920), became a staple of home libraries throughout the world.