H.G. Wells was a writer of science-fiction works-including The Time Machine and War of the Worlds-who had a great influence on our vision of the future. Born in England in 1866, H.G. Wells's parents were shopkeepers in Kent, England. His first novel, The Time Machine was an instant success and Wells produced a series of science fiction novels which pioneered our ideas of the future. His later work focused on satire and social criticism. Wells laid out his socialist views of human history in his Outline of History. He died in 1946. In 1895, Wells became an overnight literary sensation with the publication of the novel The Time Machine. The book was about an English scientist who develops a time travel machine. While entertaining, the work also explored social and scientific topics, from class conflict to evolution. These themes recurred in some of his other popular works from this time. Wells continued to write what some have called scientific romances, but others consider early examples of science fiction. In quick succession, he published the The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898). The Island of Doctor Moreau told the story of a man who encounters a scientist conducting the gruesome experiments on animals, creating new species of creatures. In The Invisible Man, Wells explores the life of another scientist who undergoes a dark personal transformation after turning himself invisible. The War of the Worlds, a novel about an alien invasion, later caused a panic when an adaptation of the tale was broadcast on American radio. On Halloween night of 1938, Orson Welles went on the air with his version of The War of the Worlds, claiming that aliens had landed in New Jersey. In 1891, Wells married his cousin, Isabel Mary Wells, but the union didn't last. Wells soon took up with Amy Catherine "Jane" Robbins and the pair married in 1895 after he officially divorced Isabel. He and Jane had two children together, sons George Philip and Frank. Wells remained productive until the very end of his life, but his attitude seemed to darken in his final days. Among his last works was 1945's "Mind at the End of Its Tether," a pessimistic essay in which Wells contemplates the end of humanity. Some critics speculated that Wells's declining health shaped this prediction of a future without hope. He died on August 13, 1946, in London.