The Granddaddy of Modern Movie Blockbusters (and the Key to Unlocking an Entire Genre)

Recently I shared an often overlooked genre when it comes to classic literature on Pretty Literate Live. (Click here to watch.)

This genre is responsible for writing some of our favorite books-to-big-screen stories - big blockbuster movies starring even bigger Hollywood names. Movies like:

Independence Day (Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum)
Alien (Sigourney Weaver) 
Predator (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Richard Dreyfuss)
E.T. (Drew Barrymore)
The Tomorrow War (Chris Pratt)
Men in Black (Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones)
A Quiet Place (Emily Blunt, John Krizansky)
Avengers (staring literally everyone)
Edge of Tomorrow (Tom Cruise)
Cowboys and Aliens (Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford)
10 Cloverfield Lane (John Goodman)

Signs (Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix)

That genre, as you've likely guessed, is science fiction (sci-fi).

The credit for inspiring the genre most often points to one man in particular whose writings have influenced not only cinematic magic but also other sci-fi authors and {most surprisingly!} real-life inventors. From genetic engineering and laser weaponry to televisions and cell phones, this one classic writer has his fingerprints all over our modern society.

Do you know who he is? 

In case you're struggling to narrow your choices, here are a few clues to help you identify The Granddaddy of Modern Movie Blockbusters (and the Key to Unlocking an Entire Genre).

He was a -

  • science teacher (with A.A. Milne as his most famous student)
  • British writer (after illness necessitated that he stop teaching)
  • prolific writer across many genres
  • writer of over 114 titles in his lifetime! (more than 50 novels & dozens of short stories, as well as his works of non-fiction)
  • nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times throughout the 1920s-1940s
  • motivation to writers like Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frank Herbert, C. S. Lewis, and many more

Think you've figured out who the Granddaddy of Sci-Fi was?

If you guessed science fiction pioneering author Herbert George Wells (1866-1946), you guessed right!

I'm so excited to share my love of H. G. Wells with you because he is definitely one of my all-time favorite classic authors!

My first introduction to Wells' writing was about 20 years ago and completely by accident. Family read-alouds were new to our family and I picked up Wells' timeless 1898 classic The War of the Worlds on a whim while my oldest kids were still in elementary school. What young kid (and their mom!) could resist becoming enamored after learning that this late-Victorian era novel was turned into a radio broadcast many years later - one that seemed so real that it incited public panic! (Some in the listening audience believed an actual alien invasion had taken place. Isn't that awesome?!)

As I was researching which classics to feature inside the Monthly Book Box in 2022, The War of the Worlds was the easiest choice. And that realistic-sounding broadcast that was played over the airwaves 40 years later? That was an equally easy source of inspiration behind the novel treasure I paired with the book. (squeals!)

Like Surprises?

If you're someone that gets giddy about surprises, I invite you to check out The War of the Worlds Book Box this week. Not only are there only a couple left, but I will be unboxing The War of the Worlds Book Box on Pretty Literate Live next week, so time is running out if you want to be surprised when you open this classic book box. 

Not Big into Surprises?

Awesome! Join me on Facebook on Monday at 7pm Central when I unbox The War of the Worlds Book Box, a Pretty Literate FIRST. I will walk you through why I chose this particular edition of H. G. Wells' 1898 classic, explain the novel treasure/gift that perfectly pairs with the book, and let you know about all the extras included when you order The War of the Worlds Book Box. (Note: Quantities are only while supplies last. First-come, first-served. Item does not restock.)


I'd love to hear from you. Email me at


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1 comment

  • As an active member of the PL Classics Community, I DID guess who the author was. Not only is he a newly discovered favorite classic author of mine (not newly discovered because I had not heard of him, new because I had not read him) whose works inspired so many other writers, his work also inspired some very cool classic movies on their own, such as The Time Machine (which alien species the Morlocks figured in Stephen King’s book It as Ben’s personal nightmare horror) and The Invisible Man. Thank you for including Wells in our monthly book box selection and making me excited to read more of this wonderful author!

    Lynda A.

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