H.G. Wells' In the Days of the Comet
This lesser known novel of H.G. Wells is less science fiction than his other works, and is more of a political commentary. He uses the comet as a device of rebirth rather than destruction. In the midst of a world war, the tail of a comet brushes the atmosphere of earth, causing everyone to lose consciousness for a few hours. When the world awakens, everyone has an expanded understanding of the meaning of things. The war is quickly ended and a new utopia is created.