London and New York: Harper & Brothers, 1900. 2 pp undated ads. Original light brown cloth decorated in dark brown.
First Edition of this collection of five fantastic tales -- "The Crystal Egg," "The Star," "A Story of the Stone Age," "A Story of the Days to Come" and "The Man Who Could Work Miracles." "The Crystal Egg," for example, involves Martians -- like THE WAR OF THE WORLDS; an antiquarian shopkeeper discovers that by peering into a certain crystal egg at an angle of precisely 137 degrees, he can see, and ultimately communicate with, Martians who apparently sent the egg as a sort of Eye on Earth. Said communication ends when the shopkeeper is discovered dead in his shop, clutching the egg in his hand. The last story was the basis for the 1936 British film of the same title.
This British edition, though dated 1900, was actually published in late 1899; although the American edition is dated 1899, it is considered to have been issued later than this one. This is a very good-plus copy (spine a little darkened as is often the case, rear cover (and rear endpaper) damp-marked). Currey p. 524; Bleiler (Supernatural Fiction) 1678; Hammond C4; Wells Soc. 16. Item #15165