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The First Men in the Moon

H. G. Wells

Book Overview: 

Britain won the Moon Race! Decades before Neal Armstrong took his “giant leap for mankind” two intrepid adventurers from Lympne, England, journeyed there using not a rocket, but an antigravity coating.

Mr. Bedford, who narrates the tale, tells of how he fell in with eccentric inventor Mr. Cavor, grew to believe in his researches, helped him build a sphere for traveling in space, and then partnered with him in an expedition to the Moon.

What they found was fantastic! There was not only air and water, but the Moon was honeycombed with caverns and tunnels in which lived an advanced civilization of insect-like beings. While Bedford is frightened by them and bolts home, Cavor stays and is treated with great respect.

So why didn’t Armstrong and later astronauts find the evidence of all this? Well, according to broadcasts by Cavor over the newly-discovered radio technology, he told the Selenites too much about mankind, and apparently, they removed the welcome mat!

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .When at last things settled themselves in my mind again, it seemed quite beyond question that the moon was "down" and under my feet, and that the earth was somewhere away on the level of the horizon—the earth that had been "down" to me and my kindred since the beginning of things.

So slight were the exertions required of us, so easy did the practical annihilation of our weight make all we had to do, that the necessity for taking refreshment did not occur to us for nearly six hours (by Cavor's chronometer) after our start. I was amazed at that lapse of time. Even then I was satisfied with very little. Cavor examined the apparatus for absorbing carbonic acid and water, and pronounced it to be in satisfactory order, our consumption of oxygen having been extraordinarily slight. And our talk being exhausted for the time, and there being nothing further for us to do, we gave way to a curious drowsiness that had come upon us, and spreading our blankets. . . Read More