"The War In The Air", war novel written in 1907 by H. G. Wells, is often referenced because in it Wells so accurately anticipated lots of details of aerial warfare – dogfights, bombing raids, even what the earth looks like from up in the air – none of which existed or were possible when he wrote the book and when the most primitive flying machines had only just been invented.
In other words, it is a masterpiece of imaginative prophecy and another one of Wells’s books, in that it’s a real mish-mash of subject matter and tone.
Thus he chooses to recount the outbreak of this epic world war (sometime around 1914, i.e. in his then-future) and the triumph of the mighty German airfleet – via the adventures of the comic figure of Bert Smallways, keeper of a failed second-hand bicycle shop in suburban Kent. Bathos.