The World Set Free
By Fabian Reimann
German artist and visual essayist Fabian Reimann (born 1975) has taken on Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog in extended research projects that blend history and science, fact and fiction—resulting in such books as 2012’s Another Earth Catalog and 2017’s Space Colonies.
With this publication, Reimann turns his attention to concepts of the world put forward by the ever-popular British science fiction writer H.G. Wells (1866–1946).
Wells’ novel The World Set Free, which was published in 1914, uncannily anticipated various future scenarios: World War I, aerial warfare over Europe, atomic bombs in 1956, the reconstruction of Europe and the emergence of a world government.
The book also includes social developments: descriptions of progressive gender equality, English as the international second language and the redundancy of money in the traditional sense. Many of Wells’ ideas have manifested in one form or another.
Reimann admires Wells’ speculative powers, but The World Set Free is not an unconditional veneration of Wells as a visionary. Instead it is a kind of collaboration between the two—a presentation of Wells’ multifaceted original text accompanied by an engaging visual essay by Reimann in response.
Foreword by Mark von Schlegell. With text by H.G. Wells
Designed by Fabian Reimann
Published by Spector Books, 2019
Softcover, 592 pages, 800 b&w images, 6 × 7.75 inches