The War of the Worlds

by Herbert George Wells


The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author Herbert George Wells, first serialised in 1897 by Pearson's Magazine in the UK and by Cosmopolitan magazine in the US. The novel's first appearance in hardcover was in 1898 from publisher William Heinemann of London. Written between 1895 and 1897, it is one of the earliest stories to detail a conflict between mankind and an extra-terrestrial race. The novel is the first-person narrative of both an unnamed protagonist in Surrey and of his younger brother in London as southern England is invaded by Martians. The novel is one of the most commented-on works in the science fiction canon.
The book's plot was similar to numerous works of invasion literature which were published around the same period, and has been variously interpreted as a commentary on the theory of evolution, British colonialism, and Victorian-era fears, superstitions and prejudices. Wells later noted that an inspiration for the plot was the catastrophic effect of European colonisation on the Aboriginal Tasmanians; some historians have argued that Wells wrote the book in part to encourage his readership to question the morality of imperialism. At the time of the book's publication, it was classified as a scientific romance, like Wells's earlier novel The Time Machine.
The War of the Worlds has been both popular (having never been out of print) and influential, spawning half a dozen feature films, radio dramas, a record album, various comic book adaptations, a number of television series, and sequels or parallel stories by other authors. It was memorably dramatised in a 1938 radio programme directed by and starring Orson Welles that allegedly caused public panic among listeners who did not know the book's events were fictional. The novel has even influenced the work of scientists, notably Robert H. Goddard, who, inspired by the book, helped develop both the liquid-fuelled rocket and multistage rocket, which resulted in the Apollo 11 Moon landing 71 years later.
Excerpted from The War of the Worlds on Wikipedia.

person AuthorHerbert George Wells
language CountryUnited Kingdom
api GenreScience fictionWar
copyright CopyrightPublic domain in the United States.
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book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
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Reader: Cori Samuel
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