PDF/EPUB H.G. Wells ☆ The Food of the Gods PDF/EPUB ✓ The Food ePUB ☆

What happens when science tampers with nature? A riveting cautionary tale with disastrous results reveals the chilling answerHoping to create a new growth agent for food with beneficial uses to mankind two scientists find that the spread of the material is uncontrollable Giant chickens rats and insects run amok and children given the food stuffs experience incredible growth and serious illnesses Over the years people who have eaten these specially treated foods find themselves unable to fit into a society where ignorance and hypocrisy rule These giants with their extraordinary mental powers find themselves shut away from an older traditional society Intolerance and hatred increase as the line of distinction between ordinary people and giants is drawn across communities and families One of H G Wells' lesser known works The Food of the Gods has been retold many times in many forms since it was first published in 1904 The gripping newly relevant tale combines fast paced entertainment with social commentary as it considers the ethics involved in genetic engineering


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    Originally published in 1904 The Food of the Gods by H G Wells is less well known than the author’s The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds but it is a highly philosophical and entertaining science fiction novel and one not to be missed And I’d suggest the SF Masterworks edition since there's an informative insightful Introduction by Adam RobertsThe storyline is simple two amateurish scientists Mr Bensington and Professor Redwood create a miracle substance accelerating growth in both plants and animals They carry out their experiment on a farm run by a Mr and Mrs Skinner feeding their “Herakleophorbia IV” to chicks The chicks grow to six times their normal adult size Unfortunately the slovenly Skinners are careless spilling the substance all over the ground and very quickly thereafter other plants and animals grow to monstrous proportions vines grass and gulp wasps Then even alarming news rats Newspapers run headlines about the monstrosities Bensington and Redwood know something must be done forthwith The scientists swing into action here are my comments coupled with a number of direct quotes from Chapter 3 The Giant RatsThe doctor one gathers stood up shouted to his horse and slashed with all his strength The rat winced and swerved most reassuringly at his blow—in the glare of his lamp he could see the fur furrow under the lash—and he slashed again and again heedless and unaware of the second pursuer that gained upon his off side Completely uninformed about recent developments with various animal life a country doctor returns home on his horse drawn carriage after delivering a baby only to be attacked in the early dawn by three giant rats One of the most vivid scenes in all of literature The way in which the narrator reports the unspeakable horror of such an occurrence passes over into humor Go up the street to the gunsmith's of course Why? For guns Yes—there's only one shop Get eight guns Rifles Not elephant guns—no Too big Not army rifles—too small Say it's to kill—kill a bull Say it's to shoot buffalo See? Eh? Rats? No How the deuce are they to understand that? Because we want eight Get a lot of ammunition Don't get guns without ammunition—No Bensington and Redwood lean on civil engineer Cossar just the Action Jackson to organize a hunting party to kill the giant rats Such an ugly turn of events An to think the two Brit scientists had no evil intentions with their growth formula than Laurel and Hardy Unfortunately Bensington and Redwood had hardly brains than those two famous film nitwits By five o'clock that evening this amazing Cossar with no appearance of hurry at all had got all the stuff for his fight with insurgent Bigness What is so striking is the enormity of the change in nature a change that will expand into global crisis and the reaction from this small band of bumbling Brits Hey why get the government involved when we can organize our own hunting party? Perhaps H G Wells is making a statement on the general state of human intelligence hardly above the level of the Three Stooges They left the waggonette behind and the men who were not driving went afoot Over each shoulder sloped a gun It was the oddest little expedition for an English country road like a Yankee party trekking west in the good old Indian days I so much enjoy the British author's swipe at the American frontier mentality I can clearly picture these eight men Redwood Bensington Cossar and the five men Cossar rounded up striding down the road on their rat hunt Redwood had kept his gun in hand and let fly at something grey that leapt past him He had a vision of the broad hind quarters the long scaly tail and long soles of the hind feet of a rat and fired his second barrel He saw Bensington drop as the beast vanished round the corner This encounter with the giant rats seven feet long from head to tail has all the making of a blockbuster B film Many are the movie posters featuring the attacking giant rats When things were a little ship shape again Redwood went and stared at the huge misshapen corpse The brute lay on its side with its body slightly bent Its rodent teeth overhanging its receding lower jaw gave its face a look of colossal feebleness of weak avidity It seemed not in the least ferocious or terrible Its fore paws reminded him of lank emaciated hands Except for one neat round hole with a scorched rim on either side of its neck the creature was absolutely intact And what is Professor Redwood's reaction to such a event? He chimes This is like being a boy again The immaturity of the current human population is one of the novel's abiding themes Cossar was on all fours with two guns one trailing on each side from a string under his chin and his most trusted assistant a little dark man with a grave face was to go in stooping behind him holding a lantern over his head Everything had been made as sane and obvious and proper as a lunatic's dream Cossar crawling through the giant rat holes shooting the giant rats makes for a spectacularly harrowing scene in a B film Oh incidentally the boy's adventure also includes dealing with giant waspsAlas Redwood feeds the “Boomfood” to his own son Likewise there are other children raised on the miracle formula Soon the world has to deal with baby giants and toddler giants and then fully grown giants forty feet tall as tall as a four story building With such sad giants inhabiting the planet sad because the little people become increasingly intolerant of their presence The Food of the Gods turns into a tale of pathos and high drama a tale of political corruption and general ineptitude in humans dealing with anything outside their conventional framework and worldview Also added into the philosophic mix is a topic of particular relevance in today’s world – genetic modification and the so called Frankenstein foods All in all there is good reason why The Food of the Gods is published as part of the SF Masterworks Highly recommendedBritish author H G Wells 1866 1946