H. G. Wells wrote almost a hundred books, yet he is generally remembered for only a handful of them. He is known above all as a writer who heralded the future, yet throughout his life he clung to fixed attitudes from the Victorian past. He began his career as a draper's apprentice; by the age of forty-five he had secured an international reputation as the author of The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, Kipps and Tono Bungay; he went on to establish himself as an influential educator, polemicist and sage. In this book John Batchelor offers a readable introduction to Wells's huge and varied output as a writer and thinker. He guides the reader through the whole oeuvre, and argues persuasively that at his best Wells was a great artist: a man with a remarkable, restless imagination (not limited, as many critics have implied, merely to his early romances) and with a coherent and responsible theory of fiction.