HG Wells: War of the Worlds

Dec 2011
2,800
Late Cretaceous
#1
Ever since it appeared, firstly as a serial in Pearson's Magazine, followed by the Heinemann novelisation in 1898, Wells' story has been continually printed and re-printed. The alien invasion has likewise been a perpetual favourite amongst science fiction readers and writers ever since.

Adaptations of the book include cinema versions, comic books, a music album and, rather infamously, Orson Welles radio play which caused panic when listeners thought it was real.


 
Dec 2011
2,800
Late Cretaceous
#2
The scene of this invasion is Victorian Surrey and London, the cosy and comfortable world at the heart of the British Empire. The largest Colonial Empire the world had then seen, is itself the target of alien colonialism. Wells is in effect saying to his readers " how would you like it ?"

The scenes of panicked flight described in the book would become all too familiar in the 20th century;

Never before in the history of the world had such a mass of human beings moved and suffered together. The legendary hosts of Goths and Huns, the hugest armies Asia has ever seen, would have been but a drop in that current. And this was no disciplined march; it was a stampede--a stampede gigantic and terrible--without order and without a goal, six million people unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilisation, of the massacre of mankind.
This is Total War, which can only end with the annihilation of one side or the other.
 
Jul 2009
9,418
#5
The scene of this invasion is Victorian Surrey and London, the cosy and comfortable world at the heart of the British Empire. The largest Colonial Empire the world had then seen, is itself the target of alien colonialism. Wells is in effect saying to his readers " how would you like it ?"

The scenes of panicked flight described in the book would become all too familiar in the 20th century;

This is Total War, which can only end with the annihilation of one side or the other.
And of course the doom of the Martian invader was the unknown microbes to which they had no immunity. Do we really want to visit other planets and bring back 'things' we do not know about?

However, the novel is a favorite of mine from when I was about 12 (my sci-fi addiction period). Wells was a great writer.
 
Dec 2011
2,800
Late Cretaceous
#6
And of course the doom of the Martian invader was the unknown microbes to which they had no immunity. Do we really want to visit other planets and bring back 'things' we do not know about?

However, the novel is a favorite of mine from when I was about 12 (my sci-fi addiction period). Wells was a great writer.
I would be 12 when I first read it as well, Pike. Have read it numerous times since, it's a story I've never tired off.
 
Dec 2011
2,800
Late Cretaceous
#8
One of the Martian weapons was "Black Smoke", a poisonous gas used to overwhelm the human artillery;



a few years later and Wells' prediction becomes a reality;

 
Last edited:
Jul 2009
9,418
#9
^^ I recall there were also heat ray weapons on the fighting machines. That became a major component of many 20th c. science fiction movies.

I am going to have to read this novel again.
 

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