The H. G. Wells Society recently announced the inaugural Giles Hart Prize, in memory of the Society's former chairman, for an essay that makes an outstanding contribution to Wells studies. The prize was awarded to Professor Steve Ellis in the Department of English.

The competition was open to papers concerning any aspect of Wells's life and work. Possible themes that people were invited to write about included: Wells's science fiction; Wells and the novel; Wells, utopia, politics and the World State; Wells and science; Wells and his contemporaries; Wells and gender; Wells and the Empire; Wells and the history of the book.

The judges commented, 'Of the four entries, we felt that this is the one that breaks new ground in Wellsian studies, turning our attention to Wells's neglected late works and offering considered analyses of novels such as The Holy Terror and Babes in the Darkling Wood in relation to his non-fiction works of the time such as The Fate of Homo Sapiens. We feel this is a worthy winner and would like to encourage more entries that depart from the most familiar (and by now very well researched) parts of the Wellsian canon.'

The essay will be published in the 2012 issue of The Wellsian, the annual, peer-reviewed, learned journal of the H. G. Wells Society.