The Island of Dr. Moreau
by H. G. Wells
Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge
Have you ever read Alan Moore's graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? It reads like a bunch of famous Victorian novels were thrown into a blender with the Justice League. Yes, it's as delicious as it sounds. Both Dr. Moreau and Prendick appear in the second volume. In the story, Moreau helps Allan Quatermain (from King Solomon's Mines) and Mina Murray (from Dracula) defeat the Martian invaders from another H.G. Wells classic, The War of the Worlds. As for Prendick, well, he's still a little loopy from the time he spent on the island. Other famous Victorian characters included are: Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde (Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde), Hawley Griffin (The Invisible Man), Captain Nemo (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), Lemuel Gulliver (Gulliver's Travels), Professor Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes), and way, way more. Do check it out.
Wells is one of the most famous science fiction authors because a lot of the stuff he wrote about in his fiction actually came true. He conceived of the atomic bomb back in 1914 with his novel The World Set Free. He thought of lasers in The War of the Worlds—years before Einstein's quantum theory would even make lasers feasible. He even came up with automated doors in his 1899 novel When the Sleeper Wakes. Automated doors in the age where horse-drawn carriages are still a way to get around? Where did he come up with this stuff?
Today, H.G. Wells is most famous for his science fiction stories, particularly The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The War of the Worlds, and The Invisible Man. However, H.G. Wells never considered himself a science fiction writer. Instead, he thought of himself more as a journalist and wrote many pieces outside of the sci-fi genre. For example, he wrote Ann Veronica, a novel about the women's suffrage movement at the turn of the century. He even interviewed Joseph Stalin. And, man, Wells was one tough interviewer.
Sometimes authors have a hard time putting a good book down, especially when it's one they're writing. H.G. Wells knew what we're talking about. He altered the original publication of The Island of Dr. Moreau at least five different times. Five times! At least the title stayed the same. Actually…
Okay, the title did stay the same once it was published; however, Wells originally intended the novel to come with the subtitle A Satirical Grotesque, which makes sense. It is a satire, but it can also get grotesque. Hmm, we kind of wish he'd kept the subtitle actually.