Friday, May 23, 2014

Free Download Science Fiction Classic - H.G. Well's The Country of the Blind, and Other Stories For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

Wells CountryOfTheBlindStories(1st edition).jpg
Grab It Right Over
Time and again I've returned to this particular short story collection of H.G. Wells as the basis for any number of old school campaigns. This particular collection has some real gems and lately I've not seen the amount of appreciation for this collection.
What is so special about a bunch of stories that originally appeared in various magazines during the 1900's?
 Well according to Wiki: 
The Country of the Blind and Other Stories is a collection of thirty-threefantasy and science fiction short stories written by the English author H. G. Wells between 1894 and 1909. It was first published by Thomas Nelson and Sons in 1911. All the stories had first been published in various weekly and monthly periodicals. Twenty-seven of the stories had also been previously published in five earlier story collections by Wells.
The title of this collection refers to one of Wells's best known short stories, "The Country of the Blind", which is included in this book.
Many of these stories can easily be adapted into your old school post apocalyptic campaigns as variations of the usual mutant monsters, plants, and hellish Armageddons. And more here's what's in this collection and why I've included it
All of these are from Wiki : 
  • "The Jilting of Jane" (Pall Mall Budget, 12 July 1894) 2 3
  • "The Cone" (Unicorn, 18 September 1895) 2 3
    A tale of revenge and violence this might make an excellent mini encounter for a factory or post apocalpytic community. 
  • "The Stolen Bacillus" (Pall Mall Budget, 21 June 1894) 1 3
    This one makes a very nasty little encounter with a party and the events depicted in this one will have PC's on the edge of their seats. 
  • "The Flowering of the Strange Orchid" (Pall Mall Budget, 2 August 1894) 1
    This  one is perfect for an encounter with a rather nasty mutant plant and the weirdness that follows it. 
  • "In the Avu Observatory" (Pall Mall Budget, 9 August 1894) 1 3
  • There's lots to use with this one and its easy to adapt.
  • "Æpyornis Island" (Pall Mall Budget, 27 December 1894) 1 3
  • "The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes" (Pall Mall Budget, 28 March 1895) 1
    A case of Mutation gone horribly wrong? A possible mini encounter. 
  • "The Lord of the Dynamos" (Pall Mall Budget, 6 September 1894) 1 3
    A post apocalyptic fix up mini encounter perhaps. 
  • "The Moth" (Pall Mall Gazette, 28 March 1895) 1 
    Another encounter with a mutant species and this time its an insect! 
  • "The Treasure in the Forest" (Pall Mall Budget, 23 August 1894) 1 3
    This mini adventure practically writes itself. 
  • "The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham" (The Idler, May 1896) 2 3
    A study in high weirdness and a possible Mutant Future style encounter 
  • "Under the Knife" (The New Review, January 1896) 2
    This one makes a great little quick mini encounter for adventuring. 
  • "The Sea Raiders" (The Weekly Sun Literary Supplement, 6 December 1896) 2 3
    Things are not so nice beneath the mutant filled waves. 
  • "The Obliterated Man" (New Budget, 15 August 1895 as "The Sad Story of a Dramatic Critic") 2 3
    Theater during the Shadow Years? 
  • "The Plattner Story" (The New Review, April 1896) 2 3
  • "The Red Room" (The Idler, March 1896) 2 3
     This one makes an excellent cross over point for a post apocalyptic campaign and a haunted mini demi plane with strong ties to the negative material plane. Other possibilities include an OD&D style haunting. 
  • "The Purple Pileus" (Black and White, December 1896) 2 3
    There's potential in this tale as a possible campaign opener for a POA game. Short sweet and to the point, this tale is easy to adapt. 
  • "A Slip Under the Microscope" (The Yellow Book, January 1896) 2 3
     Is there far more that hangs on the thread of this tale. A possible encounter during the shadow years?
  • "The Crystal Egg" (The New Review, May 1897) 4
    A super science device with deep connections to the War of the Worlds and the interactions of it with an ordinary fellow. Could there be a cult carrying out the sinster agenda of the Crystal Egg in the Wastelands? 
  • "The Star" (The Graphic, December 1897) 4
    There is far more going on here in this tale then many would expect. A dangerous tale that might happen in the wastelands. 
  • "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" (The Illustrated London News, July 1898) 4
    A branch in the road of mutation and its possible consequences as evolution and mutation merge in this tale? A good mini campaign. 
  • "A Vision of Judgement" (Butterfly, September 1899)
    Dangers plenty in this tale of high weirdness. A good mini encounter with far reaching implications in the wastelands. 
  • "Jimmy Goggles the God" (The Graphic, December 1898) 5
    Becareful what you gaze into out in the abyss of space and time. 
  • "Miss Winchelsea's Heart" (The Queen, October 1898) 5
  • A tale with heart and soul that could be a great mini encounter. 
  • "A Dream of Armageddon" (Black and White, May/June 1901) 5
  • Dangers aplenty in this tale that can take place in your favorite post apocalyptic campaign. 
  • "The Valley of Spiders" (Pearson’s Magazine, March 1903) 5
    One of my all time favorites with an encounter with some dangerous mutant spiders and a cold blooded murder out in the wastelands. 
  • "The New Accelerator" (The Strand, December 1901) 5
    A super science encounter gone wrong. A nice little mini encounter out in the wastelands. 
  • "The Truth About Pyecraft" (The Strand, April 1903) 5
    Becareful what you wish for and how it goes. A good mini encounter! 
  • "The Magic Shop" (The Strand, June 1903) 5
  • An encounter with the forces of super science and danger. Easily adaptable and very dangerous adventure among the urban wastes. 
  • "The Empire of the Ants" (The Strand, December 1905)
  • High mutant weirdness with the ants among the hills. A solid adventure into itself with themes similar to the Fifties classic 'Them'
  • "The Door in the Wall" (The Daily Chronicle, 14 July 1906)
    There are some doors that shouldn't be opened. This story goes into why and how it would make an excellent mini adventure. 
  • "The Country of the Blind" (The Strand, April 1904)
    A super science event with far reaching effects, this one makes a great quick encounter with a dangerous event. 
  • "The Beautiful Suit" (Colliers, 10 April 1909)
  • Another super science artifact that could ruin lives and makes a great encounter for PC's! 

 All in all this is one of my favorite HG Wells collections and not widely known today with some very short stories with far more reaching effects for PC's in your favorite old school games. More Wells very soon!
Happy Gaming! 


  1. An excellent resource, one that I have used quite a bit in building Wermspittle. There are some excellent stories in this collection. The Sea Raiders is a nice alternative to Innsmouth, Æpyornis Island could launch a campaign in itself...and The Valley of the Spiders is one of the best weird locales. The whole bunch of stories is rife and ripe with potential for gaming goodness. I'm re-reading Empire of the Ants all over again as I have found a couple of connections in there to other stories I missed previously.

    Great Post!

    Have you read any of Otis Adelbert Kline's stories? I'd love to hear what you thought of Kline's stuff in comparison to E.R.B.

  2. Glad you liked the post and one of my all time favorites of Wells. The whole book is a treasure and a great resource and I've got a whole article coming up on the subject of H.G. Well's The Country of the Blind, and Other Stories for Protodimension magazine.
    Empire of the Ants is perhaps one of the more underused classics from Wells and into itself a bit Lovecraftian in places.
    And yes I've read Kline extensively. I've got a few thoughts coming up soon on his works. Thanks and there's lots coming up!

    1. Very good news to hear that you have an article coming out! I look forward to reading it! And your thoughts on Kline will be fun to read as well. There's some interesting gaming-stuff in those stories...

  3. The way I see the Martians from both the Crystal Egg and the Star Begotten is almost on par with the 'Alien Presence' in Arthur C. Clark's 2001 a Space Odyssey. Another set of cosmic Gardeners moving across the solar system seeding worlds with their legacy before being wiped out. But was the world of Earth of the War of The Worlds their only effort? There were multiple invasions in newspapers of the day in Wells time. Some of these efforts were with completely different species of aliens. Could the 'Martians' all be the same species simply using different biological mechanisms to spread their 'cosmic legacy'? That's a possibility if we use the plane jumping that is so common in post apocalyptic gaming. This makes the Crystal Egg by Wells all that more compelling.
    Go to to grab the free old school horror/sci fi magazine for some great reading. They've got material for Call of Cthulhu, Dark Conspiracy, and more. Protodimension has some fantastic authors who do some great material and best of all it's free.


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