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H.G. Wells: The Science Fiction Collection

Length: 27 hrs and 15 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (2,075 ratings)

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"Wells was a genius: a prolific author who predicted the future, a visionary artist with a flair for big ideas and popcorn entertainment, and a master storyteller who laid the groundwork for science-fiction as a genre." – Eli Roth, film director and actor.

About the Performer

One of Scotland's greatest ever actors, David Tennant has won almost universal acclaim from audiences, critics and fellow professionals for his outstanding and award-winning performances on stage and screen. He is most well known for playing The Doctor in Doctor Who, his lead role in the ITV series Broadchurch and for his numerous wonderful stage performances with the RSC.

He is no stranger to audio work having created a rich and wide ranging back catalogue of audio narration work.

About the Performer

Hugh has been a member of the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, his most recent stage appearances being at Chichester Festival Theatre in Enemy of the People and Shadowlands.

His film credits include Notting Hill, Iris, The Monuments Men, Viceroy’s House, Paddington 1 & 2, The Corrupted and Downton Abbey. His many television projects include Daniel Deronda, Mr Stink, Twenty Twelve, W1A and Downton Abbey. He has made documentaries on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and on the last days of Jesus, Countdown to Calvary.

About the Performer

Jason Isaacs is a star of both stage and screen with BAFTA, Emmy, and Golden Globe–nominations to his name. He is best known for playing Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series. His sci-fi work includes playing Dr. Hunter Aloysius 'Hap' Percy in the Netflix supernatural series The OA, Captain Gabriel Lorca, the commanding officer of the USS Discovery in the first season of Star Trek: Discovery and also provided the voice of The Inquisitor, Sentinel, in Star Wars Rebels, the animated television series. He is a seasoned audio narrator.

About the Performer

Tony Award winning and Academy Award nominated actress Sophie Okonedo was born in London and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Sophie has worked in a variety of media including film, television, theatre, and audio drama. She received an OBE in 2010 and a CBE in 2019. Her recent performance as Cleopatra in the National Theatre’s Anthony and Cleopatra saw Sophie win Best Actress at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, What’s On Stage Awards and Critics Circle Awards, as well as being a current nominee for ‘Best Actress’ at the 2019 Olivier Awards

About the Performer

Alexander is well known for his lead role in Versailles and in BBC’s Merlin. Other TV credits include Barbarians Rising, Privates and Indian Doctor.

His theatre credits include; Richard III/Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare's Rose Theatre, York); La Ronde (The Bunker); Fortune's Fool (Old Vic); Macbeth (Park Avenue Armory, New York & Manchester International Festival); Britannicus (Wilton’s Music Hall);Emperor and Galilean (National Theatre); Hamlet (Sheffield Crucible); Cardiff Assembly (National Theatre Wales).

About Eli Roth

Eli Roth, burst onto the film scene in 2002 with his directorial debut Cabin Fever, Lionsgate’s highest grossing film that year. Roth’s follow-up film, Hostel which he wrote, produced and directed, earned him critical praise and was a massive worldwide hit, spawning a successful sequel, Hostel Part II, also written and directed by Roth.

As an actor, Roth has appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” segment of Grindhouse and Inglorious Basterds. He also appeared in Nicolas Lopez’s Aftershock, an earthquake thriller which he also co-wrote and produced. He is a lifelong HG Wells fan.

Behind the scenes with the performers

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Summary

He’s often been called the father of science fiction. Now, listen to H. G. Wells’ five science fiction novels in one definitive collection. Introduced by film director and H. G. Wells fanboy Eli Roth, the collection features unabridged recordings of the novels performed by Hugh Bonneville, Jason Isaacs, Sophie Okonedo, David Tennant and Alexander Vlahos.

The War of the Worlds narrated by David Tennant

When Earth is invaded by Martians in great mechanical tripods, terror ensues. They are equipped with heat rays and poisonous black gas, intent on wiping out the human race. During the destruction, one man’s story details the monstrous invasion and his struggle to find his wife in the devastation.

The First Men in the Moon narrated by Alexander Vlahos

A chance meeting between penniless businessman Mr Bedford and absentminded scientist Dr Cavor leads the two on a fantastical journey to the moon. However, they are unprepared for what they find: freezing nights, boiling days and sinister alien life. Will they be trapped forever?

The Time Machine narrated by Hugh Bonneville

Transported to the year AD 802,701, the Time Traveller encounters the peaceful Eloi, a beautiful elfin race of childlike adults afraid of the dark, and with good reason. Beneath the earth’s surface live the Morlocks, apish troglodytes who torment the Eloi. When the time machine is stolen, the Time Traveller must enter Morlock territory if he ever hopes to return home.

The Invisible Man narrated by Sophie Okonedo

When a strange man takes shelter at an inn, his skin covered from head to toe in bandages, he causes distrust. Griffin, a scientist, reveals that he has successfully managed to turn himself invisible, but alas without a way of undoing it. Desperate for a cure, his ailment drives him to many sinister actions, including murder. 

The Island of Dr Moreau narrated by Jason Isaacs

Edward Prendick, the single survivor of a shipwreck, is rescued by Montgomery in a vessel carrying a menagerie of savage animals. Taken to an uncharted island, he meets Dr Moreau - a brilliant scientist whose notorious experiments have caused him to abandon the civilised world. It soon becomes clear he has been developing these experiments - with truly horrific results.

Known as ‘The Father of Science Fiction’, Herbert George Wells’ writing career spanned over 60 years. He was a writer of novels, short stories, nonfiction books and articles. As a young man, Wells won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, sparking his infamous vocation as a science fiction writer. 

Public Domain (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about H.G. Wells: The Science Fiction Collection

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent narration; mixed content

The narration of each story was excellent - especially the outstanding reading of "The First Men in the Moon" by Alexander Vlahos. Perhaps the least famous of HG Wells' stories in this collection, Vlahos's energy made it a real gem. "The War of the Worlds" puts in a strong showing, with its ingenious ending still holding up, for me, as the most creative conclusion to an alien-invasion story. And Tennant's narration is as superb as you'd expect. "The Time Machine" is equally a riveting tale and as spellbinding in audiobook form as print. Bonneville reads with a suitable gravitas. The two more difficult stories are "The Invisible Man" and "The Island of Dr. Moreau". The central idea of each is not quite delivered by the text. The Invisible Man, perhaps due to having been serialised, waffles on at times over trivial events, and so loses some impact. The Island of Dr. Moreau builds up steam which then dissipates into a somewhat disappointing conclusion. Yet to be clear: the narration of Okenodo and Isaacs respectively both gave each story enough impetus that I wanted to hear them through to the end. Overall, I recommend this collection. The narration, and HG Wells' storytelling, will fully realise each story in your mind's eye.

34 people found this helpful

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I got lost

I love the stories in this book, but where one story finishes and another starts is anyones guess. I gave up trying to find a particular story. Why not label the chapters to make it user friendly.

24 people found this helpful

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shocking production

I have no idea who or what edited this but it's shockingly bad - so bad that I just can't listen to it. I endured 15 minutes of book 1 but that's enough and the whole lot is getting deleted. Editing is so important. It is an art and a skill. It can make or break any piece of audio. Sadly, it has broken this completely.

10 people found this helpful

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Hit and miss

Really enjoyed the war of the worlds and to a lesser extent, the men in the moon. But the invisible man was full of repetition and sounds like nobody paid attention in editing, this is. shame because Sophie's narration is otherwise excellent.

15 people found this helpful

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Brilliant!

Excellent performances of an amazing body of work from the quintessential sci-fi genius that is HG Wells. Some of these scientific ideas were conceived over a century ago & yet are still very relevant today. Whether it’s the controversial subject of genetic engineering, theories surrounding quantum physics: time and space, or even the age-old internal human conflict of ‘just because we CAN, does that mean that we SHOULD?’ This is definitely a thinking man/woman’s journey into the darker recesses of sci-fi & I loved it👍

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Some editing mistakes in the invisible man

Frequently repeated sentences in the invisible man recording. Still good books and well narrated. Hopefully audible will fix the problem

48 people found this helpful

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Brilliant stories!

Brilliant stories that I thoroughly enjoyed much more than when I’ve read them. The narration was fantastic. Felt the the narraters were really well chosen, my favourite being David Tennant doing War of the Worlds because I love the story but The Island of Doctor Moreau narrated by Jason Isaacs is award winning in my opinion - absolutely brilliant! x * Note to post production - I have given it 4 stars only because it’s appears you forgot to edit (or just did a very, very bad job of it) ‘The invisible man’! Reading errors & repeated lines (which everyone does) were left in all the way through and It sadly ruined what would have been a perfect collection to go back to time & time again. I think this should be sorted and purchasers sent the updated version.

110 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A worthy and worthwhile purchase

this was brilliantly performed and produced, the actors that they chose fitted their stories perfectly. If you have a love of science fiction and amazing storytelling then this is the audio book that you need. brillant, superb and compulsive listening.

5 people found this helpful

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EXCELLENT!

Genius writing, storytelling and excellent performances. A masterclass of storytelling for all writers and creatives today!!

5 people found this helpful

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Great stuff.

I'm very familiar with the stories but these narrators are just smashing, a really fresh experience listening to books I first read forty-odd years ago. Skip over Eli Roth's intro though, he has nothing much to say and less than that to add.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Westerner
  • 19-07-19

Quite Good

David Tennant was especially good narrating The War of the Worlds as was Jason Issacs doing The Island of Dr Moreau.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • lk
  • 24-06-19

Largely enjoyable.

Wells's mostly first-person, somewhat detached narration might be off-putting to some, so having a professional narrator can help break up any monotony. I'd not read War of the Worlds since high school, and had never read the others, that I can recall (although I'd seen the film adaptations). Of the lot, David Tennant gave the most animated and varied reading. It took a few minutes to get used to the tone he chose, which seemed targeted toward a younger audience, where, for some reason, I'd expected something more somber and mature. But he made it come alive and I enjoyed it very much. He appeared to be the most experienced narrator, building and releasing tension, pulling the listener into the story, where other appeared more to be impassively telling the story. Also, it made me really want to see a filmed adaptation set in the proper time period, with horses and carriages! What a marvel this would have been for a Victorian village! I rather liked Jason Isaacs' reading of The Island of Doctor Moreau. A sort of horror story, with ruminations about religion, morality and ethics, themes that are still relevant today, some even more so. Hugh Bonneville's reading of The Time Machine was fine. He felt like a scientist who was caught up in an experiment. Methodical, curious, professorial. Taking note of what he saw and experienced. I was unable to finish First Men in the Moon. It was interesting to hear the imaginings of an eighteenth century man about what the moon would be like, and how it would feel to be there, but it got tedious for me. I may go back and try again, but I have too many books in my queue for now. The Invisible Man is less sci-fi and more about what would happen if you had this condition or power. It's kind of more like a super-hero story which focuses on the villain. A negative observation about the production: There is an appalling number of editing errors in The Invisible Man. On numerous occasions, lines are repeated sometimes multiple times. Also, more than once, Sophie Okonedo stumbled on words; these mistakes should have been edited out. One or two errors can be overlooked, but, over time, the many errors became a big distraction, causing aggravation. There really is no excuse for this.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Trevor
  • 01-05-19

Absolutely Perfect!

Don't listen to that other review! It was made by a Caddy Old Sod! (sorry american) but in all honesty the review does not give it justice and feels more like an act to be able to return the book. I think it is absolutely beautiful! Tennant does a phenomenal job and in no way is it monotone or robotic. A large percentage of the book is inner monologue and he does have his accent out full bore which may have been too much for "some" listeners but it is NOT dull.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-11-19

fantastic utterly fantastic

all of the works contained in this bundle were amazing, im ashamed to say i have never been much of a reader so i havent had much of an appreciation for the works of men such as HG Wells outside of hollywood adaptation, but im happy to say audible has changed that, i listened to each of these strait through and every single narrator captured the emotion and had the vocal range to make you imagine the different characters. if you are concidering HG Wells, this is the one to get, amazing performance plus value, top notch all around

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer Baratta
  • 07-05-19

Awesome job from the narrators.

The narrators bring you into each story and don't let go until the next story. This book is for fans of Doctor who, Star wars and Science fiction fans.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Brianna Jeffries
  • 27-10-19

One small issue

I love this collection. HG Wells is one of my favorite science fiction writers. That being said. The narrator in the beginning makes and error. He says that blade runner was thanks to HG wells. When we all know that Philip k dick’s “do androids dream of electric sheep” was the inspiration for that movie. Other than that. Love it. Love everything about it. Buy it!!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James Clisby
  • 23-10-20

Definitely worth the listen!

I actually chose this as my first free book and I am NOT disappointed. The different narrators sell each story in their own way that makes them almost impossible to pause. As a long time fan of H.G. Wells, listening to his timeless works put to voice brings me joy I haven’t felt since first reading the stories as a kid. The Time Machine in particular is my favorite and it was a delight to hear it.

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  • Emshore
  • 15-09-20

Wonderful and enthralling collection

This is an amazing collection. Well's imagination and prose are brilliant and the performances are excellent. I enjoyed every minute.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Earthjedi
  • 04-09-20

Dated stories but still fun

Please note when these were written. Taking this into account helps the reader follow the story and makes it much more enjoyable.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tristan A Boysel
  • 02-09-20

skip the intro

the biggest drawback of this collection is the intro. I recommend skipping it and enjoying the book. I've never had an audiobook I didn't finish, but the intro on this one just about caused me to delete it before it got to the 1st story.