H. G. Wells (1866-1946)
“Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment.”—Ch. 1.
The invasion of earth by aliens from Mars, tripods attacking with Heat Rays and Black Smoke and the evacuation of London while people were terrorised in the surrounding countryside became one of the first internationally read modern science fiction stories.
Forty years after its publication, on the night of Halloween 1938, Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre on-air radio broadcast of the novel caused widespread panic in New York City. Wells’ masterpiece spawned more invasion literature and inspired numerous movie adaptations and print sequels.
The popular novel foreshadowed things to come for the human race: robotics, World Wars, warfare tactics including aerial bombing, use of tanks and chemical weapons, and nuclear power. Part prophet, part pessimist, Wells was a prolific author not just of science fiction but also fiction and non, utopian and dystopian short stories, travel sketches, histories, and socio-political commentary. While his most popular works tend to show a bleak future for humanity, he was not without his sardonic and wry wit:Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the human race.
- War of the Worlds (booksandblimps.wordpress.com)
- Invasion From the Stars: Operation Blue Beam & the Tides of the Nephilim War (12160.info)
- Edward Gorey’s illustrations for War of the Worlds (boingboing.net)
- War of the Worlds (moundstheatre.wordpress.com)
- Orson Welles Meets H.G. Wells in 1940: The Legends Discuss War of the Worlds, Citizen Kane, and WWII (openculture.com)