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|War of the Worlds
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1898
|This is the granddaddy of all alien invasion stories, first published by H.G. Wells in 1898. The novel begins ominously, as the lone voice of a narrator tells readers that 'No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's...'
Things then progress from a series of seemingly mundane reports about odd atmospheric disturbances taking place on Mars to the arrival of Martians just outside of London. At first the Martians seem laughable, hardly able to move in Earth's comparatively heavy gravity even enough to raise themselves out of the pit created when their spaceship landed. But soon the Martians reveal their true nature as death machines 100-feet tall rise up from the pit and begin laying waste to the surrounding
| land. Wells quickly moves the story from the countryside to the evacuation of London itself and the loss of all hope as England's military suffers defeat after defeat. With horror his narrator describes how the Martians suck the blood from living humans for sustenance, and how it's clear that man is not being conquered so much as corralled.
The novel helped launch the career of Orson Welles when he presented an adaptation of it on his radio program, 'The Mercury Theatre on the Air', on Oct. 30, 1938. The simulated news broadcast of a Martian landing in New Jersey, complete with regularly updated news bulletins, caused a widespread panic among listeners. Later radio adaptations also produced mass hysteria, including an incident in Ecuador that resulted in several deaths.
|BOOKS BY H.G. WELLS:|
The Time Machine
When a nineteenth-century scientist builds a time machine, his perilous journey into the far distant future leads to the discovery of a strange and terrifying new world.
|War of the Worlds|
As life on Mars becomes impossible, Martians and their terrifying machines invade the earth.
The social ascent of a shop assistant and his painful adaptation to the new standards forced upon him.
|The Island of Dr Moreau|
Following a shipwreck, a young naturalist finds himself on an island run by a mad scientist intent on creating a strain of beast men.
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