Herbert George Wells was perhaps best known as the author of such classic works of science fiction as The Time Machine and War of the Worlds. But it was in his short stories, written when he was a young man embarking on a literary career, that he first explored the enormous potential of the scientific discoveries of the day. He described his stories as "a miscellany of inventions," yet his enthusiasm for science was tempered by an awareness of its horrifying destructive powers and the threat it could pose to the human race. A consummate storyteller, he made fantastic creatures and machines entirely believable; and, by placing ordinary men and women in extraordinary situations, he explored, with humor, what it means to be alive in a century of rapid scientific progress.
The BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys is now available in audiobook, starring Lenny Henry, Adjoa Andoh and Jacob Anderson.
From dark and foreboding classics to children's books that explore the cosmos, here are our favourite tales of time travel where characters get a chance the course of history.