Fans of popular science fiction author HG Wells are furious after a coin meant to commemorate the visionary novelist turned out to be printed with incorrect information about the writer.
The coin has been created by the Royal Mint in the United Kingdom with the aim of commemorating the English writer’s contribution to literature.
Known for his visionary novels and groundbreaking ideas that not only shaped early science fiction but have also stood the test of time, Wells’ works continue to be relevant even today.
It came as no surprise, thus, that when the Royal Mint printed a coin riddled with obvious errors, fans were up in arms.
The Mint used two two of his legendary books, The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man to draw inspiration for designing the coin.
The glaring flaw that fans couldn’t miss, however, was the depiction of the Martian attack in War of the Worlds.
Fans and followers of pop culture would remember the tripods that the aliens used to attack Planet Earth. In the coin, however, the Martian space ship is shown to be walking on four legs.
The irony of Wells’ famous Martian Tripod being depicted on a coin commemorating the writer was not lost on the internet. Taking to microblogging site Twitter, artist Holly Humphries wrote that as a fan of Wells and The War of the Worlds, she was appalled to find the ‘TRIpod’ being depicted with four legs.
This is a new commemorative HG Wells £2 coin for 2021. Now, as someone who particularly likes one of his very famous stories, can I just note that the big walking machine on the coin has four legs?
The man famous for creating the martian TRIpod.
— HolBolDoArt🏳️🌈 The Four-Legged Tripod (@HolBolDoTweet) January 4, 2021
While the tripod error was unforgivable enough, the makers of the coin even failed to get the second detail from The Invisible Man right. According to the book, the Invisible Man wore a distinctive hat with a wide brim, a point that Wells has often mentioned in the book. The minted version of the cult sci-fi hero, however, appeared to be wearing a top hat.
The innacuracy was pointed out by HG Wells’ biographer, sci-fi writer and professor of 19th century literature Adam Roberts.
Adding to Humphries’ tweet about the incorrect Tripod, Roberts wrote, “…not only did Wells’ Tripods have *three* legs, Griffin, his invisible man, does not wear a top hat (he arrives at Iping, face bandaged under a “wide-brimmed hat"). So it’s two for two."
Several people have tweeted this into my timeline, so I might add: not only did Wells' Tripods have *three* legs, Griffin, his invisible man, does not wear a top hat (he arrives at Iping, face bandaged under a "wide-brimmed hat"). So it's two for two. https://t.co/3HhuhWHd1Z— Adam Roberts (@arrroberts) January 5, 2021
Despite rampant trolling on social media, the designer of the coin Chris Costello has defended his creation. According to a report in Times of India, the artist said that the design was not inaccurate but intentional as the artist wanted to create something orginal and contemporary with Wells’ rich legacy.
“My design takes inspiration from a variety of machines featured in the book - including tripods and the handling machines which have five jointed legs and multiple appendages. The final design combines multiple stories into one stylized and unified composition that is emblematic of all of H.G. Well’s work and fits the unique canvas of a coin," he said.