A new British coin commemorating pioneering science fiction author HG Wells has come under fire for presenting multiple errors, including the decision to give his famous “tripod” machine from “War of the Worlds” four legs.
The new £ 2 ($ 3.49) coin, issued to mark 75 years since Wells’s death, includes images from two of his most celebrated books and was described by the Royal Mint as a “chilling design” when it was unveiled on Monday. . .
But it was the coin’s inaccuracies that terrified the author’s fans. Several of Wells’s admirers reacted in horror to seeing a four-legged representation of the tripod, a war machine used by Martians in “War of the Worlds.”
“It’s honestly heartening to see Wells commemorated! I think most Wells people feel that way,” Adam Roberts, vice president of the HG Wells Society, told CNN.
“It’s just that given how famous titles like The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man are, and how influential they have been in science fiction and popular culture in general, it’s a bit surprising that the Royal Mint made such mistakes. elementals in which this currency is concerned, “he added.
As the name suggests, the tripod only had three legs in Wells’s novel. “How many people had to go through this? Did they know how to count? Do they know what the prefix” tri “means?” artist Holly Humphries asked on Twitter.
Fans were also disappointed by the appearance of a top hat, supposedly in homage to Wells’s book “The Invisible Man.” Scientist Griffin, the titular invisible man, “was not a gentleman and did not wear a top hat,” said Roberts.
“I suspect the designer was consciously or not influenced by DC Comics’ Gentleman Ghost, but it had nothing to do with Wells.”
And Roberts discovered another flaw, who said: “The legend written around the edge of the coin, ‘GOOD BOOKS ARE THE STORES OF IDEAS’, is not (although it is sometimes attributed to Wells by various internet dating sites) quote Wells “.
The Royal Mint defended its design but did not specifically respond to criticism, telling CNN: “The coin represents the artist’s interpretation of the various machines featured in The War of the Worlds and the Invisible Man.”
And Chris Costello, the designer of the coin, insisted that he was intentionally reinterpreting images of Wells’s works for a modern audience.
“The characters in ‘War of the Worlds’ have been performed many times, and I wanted to create something original and contemporary,” he said.
“My design is inspired by a variety of machines featured in the book, including tripods and handling machines that have five articulating legs and multiple appendages. The final design combines multiple stories into a stylized, unified composition that is emblematic of everything. HG Bueno (sic) works and fits the unique canvas of a coin. “
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“I think Wells would have been satisfied with the idea of the coin. Who wouldn’t? But mistakes would have driven him crazy,” Stephen Baxter, a science fiction writer who wrote a 2017 sequel to “War of the Worlds.” That was backed by Wells estate, he told CNN.
“You wouldn’t think you could go wrong with the Invisible Man, but he never wore a top hat in the book,” he said.
“But worse than that, the (tripod) limbs should have been flexible, realistic, not rigid rods. And I know Wells would have objected to that because in the book itself he takes a side look at the machines’ rigid leg drawings. , in a serialization of a previous newspaper, “Baxter added.
Wells is one of the most famous authors in the UK and is considered one of the founders of the science fiction genre.
“The War of the Worlds”, first published in its entirety in 1898, has been perhaps his most enduring work. The book inspired scientists like Robert H. Goddard, who created the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket, and has been adapted for film and television numerous times, including a 2005 Steven Spielberg blockbuster starring Tom Cruise.
In 2013, the Central Bank of Ireland apologized for misquoting James Joyce on a coin commemorating the author of “Ulysses.”