The War of the Worlds

H G Wells

1898

war-of-the-worlds-H-G-Wells

The scientific community is in a frenzy when a strange jet of gas erupts from Mars after which a projectile can be seen heading towards Earth.  Though the general public remain largely unaware, the unnamed narrator of the book follows events through friends in the astronomical community.  Over the following weeks more projectiles are launched from the red planet.

The first projectile lands in Horsell Common not far from the narrators home.  The Martians within soon make it clear that their intentions are far from friendly by incinerating curious onlookers, before retreating back inside their cylinder to begin the construction of machines that will wreak more havoc.

The protagonist makes a desperate bid to put his wife out of harms way, but is separated and becomes a witness as the Martians begin the systematic destruction of mankind.

This is the Granddaddy of them all.  One of the first extraterrestrial invasion stories ever written.  Even if you know the outcome it’s worth a read.  The plot and setting are very different to any of the movie adaptations.

I believe a well- made movie following the original story would be great, as the contrast between Victorian England and the Martians ghostly technology would be visually stunning.

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