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Anticipations was written by H.G. Wells at the age of 34. He later called the book, which became a bestseller, "the keystone to the main arch of my work." His most recent biographer, however, calls the volume "both the starting point and the lowest point in Wells's career as a social thinker."

Taking the revolution in transport facilitated by the "mechanical revolution" as his point of departure, Wells told readers they were living through a reorganization of human society that would alter every dimension of life. An academic biographer has described the degree of accuracy of Wells's predictions as "certainly phenomenal."

The chapters of Anticipations appeared in Great Britain in the Fortnightly Review (April–December 1901) and in the United States in the North American Review (June–November 1901), and were published as a book in November 1901. Anticipations was "Wells's first non-fiction bestseller." The volume was reissued by Chapman and Hall in 1914, on the eve of World War I.

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