History professor Richard Toye said the former prime minister was a closet science fiction fan who borrowed the phrase "the gathering storm," which he used to describe the rise of Naziism in pre-World War II Germany, from Wells' novel "The War of the Worlds," The Independent reported Monday. Toye said numerous similarities were also apparent between a speech made by the British leader and Wells's book, "A Modern Utopia."
"Churchill was definitely a closet science-fiction fan," Toye said. "In fact, one of his criticisms of 'A Modern Utopia' was that there was too much thought-provoking stuff and not enough action."
Toye said Churchill had written to Wells two days before delivering a famous Oct. 9, 1906, speech in which Toye says he borrowed from "A Modern Utopia."
"I owe you a great debt," Churchill wrote.