London: Macmillan and Co., 1906. 6 pp undated ads plus 8 pp ads dated "20.8.06." Original blind-stamped olive-green cloth.
First Edition of this tale typical of Wells's transition from his early science fiction to his later socialism: a comet passes very close to Earth, emanating a gas that changes people's attitudes and causes a "Great Change" in society. Wells received considerable flak for including sexual freedom in this "great change."
This copy is in the earliest obtainable state: it has an integral title leaf that includes the printer's imprint on the verso (later copies have a cancel title leaf that omits this imprint), and it has ad leaves dated "20.8.06". Only the British Library deposit copy has earlier-dated ads, 5.5.06 ("two months prior to publication" [Currey]), while some copies have later ads dated "10.10.06". Lastly, this copy has leaves that by our measurement bulk 2.8 cm (Currey cites only 2.6 cm and 3.0 cm).
It is a bright copy, in near-fine condition (the slightest of rubbing at the extremities); there is a half-title gift inscription dated 11 Sept 1906. Currey p. 519 (state B1); Wells Soc. 27; Hammond B10. Item #14621