The Door in the Wall:

And Other Stories

“Our business,” author Wells wrote to photographer Coburn, “is to see what we can and render it.” This marvel, first printed in 1911 as a limited edition by Mitchell Kennerly, with type designed by Frederic Goudy specifically for the project, presents the unprecedented collaboration between writer and artist, where both forms rise into a single work of art.

The eight stories here show Wells in various moods and foreshadow his celebrity. These are uncanny tales, resonating strangely, despite arising from ordinary thoughts, interactions, and memories. Wells shows just how fantastic the everyday can be, if one only pauses to reflect on missed chances, suggestions of what might have been, bleak premonitions of blessed futures whose utopian promise is destroyed by new forms of war.

Often called the father of modern science fiction, Herbert George Wells was an English novelist, journalist, sociologist, and historian. He is best known for novels such as The Time Machine (1895) and The War of the Worlds (1898), the former of which was immediately successful, and from whence he began a series of science fiction novels that revealed him as a writer of marked originality and an immense fecundity of ideas.

Alvin Langdon Coburn was an early twentieth-century photographer who became a key figure in the development of American pictorialism, a photographic aesthetic that aims to “create” an image rather than merely documenting a scene. He became the first major photographer to emphasize the visual potential of elevated viewpoints and later pioneered the field of abstract photography.