The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

The War of the Worlds #1
SCIENCE-FICTION

rating



They came from outer space -- Mars, to be exact.

With deadly heat-rays and giant fighting machine they want to conquer Earth and keep humans as their slaves.

Nothing seems to stop them as they spread terror and death across the planet. It is the start of the most important war in Earth's history.

And Earth will never be the same.


This edition of War of the Worlds includes a Introduction, Biographical Note, and Afterword by James Gunn.

"I felt no condemnation; yet the memory, static, unprogressive, haunted me. In the silence of the night, with that sense of nearness of God that sometimes comes into the stillness and the darkness, I stood my trial, my only trial, for that moment of wrath and fear."

Hey, I finally get the addition of the rapidly growing red weed that's in one in favorite game of all time, SNES Zombies Ate my Neighbors. These martians weren't hunting cheerleaders though!



 While the wording style is eloquent, beautiful, it fails to hold rapt focus. I think the main issue is the story is so distant from characterization and mainly fills itself out by describing everything - martians, their instruments, the lands, the horrors, the pit.

There's a few pieces of dialogue but mainly the lone traveler is kept with the company of his own mind, but still the author tells us little. The character has a wife but little else is known besides his slightly philosophical nature and definite strokes of luck and fortune. He escapes much while others just happen to not make that same fortunate escape.

Being a classic written in another time, the science and plausibility isn't as advanced with its sketching as something today would be -- but it was incredibly inventive, especially for its time period. We've copied this work on art in so many ways since. Originality is something that shines for The war of the worlds - we can only hope to be suitable imitators.

On the surface it is a story about the doom of man when the sky opens to release those vicious Martians - but the author enjoys later telling tales of how the human race is doomed and sort of deserves it because we have doomed others, the earth, and been unmerciful to the land, animals, and those tribes or peoples different from us. Wells raises the point of mankind ruthlessly wiping out others due to greed and savagery, without our current day giving it ample remorseful respect.

Bringing up animals, here is one quote among many that points the same theme out --



"...an inferior animal, a thing that for any passing whim of our masters might be hunted and killed. Perhaps they also prayed confidently to God. Surely, if we have learned nothing else, this war has taught us pity -- pity for those witless souls that suffer our dominion."


 H.G. Wells keeps the philosophy strong by also taking pains to show that, while the Martians are a horrifying creation we have a right to fear, we ourselves are scary to animals and other races we've conquered.

Does compare the monstrosity of the Martians with mad of how we destroy the world or have taken no mercy in history on previous human tribes. When describing the horrors of the Martians feeding, the author then states, "The bare idea of this is no doubt repulsive to us, but at the same time I think that we should remember how repulsive our carnivorous habits would seem to an intelligent rabbit."

An interesting concept - especially because of the radio forecast that led to historic panic - and the creativity of its times. On the downside, the lack of characterization gives a lack of attachment for the reader other than sci-fi colored curiosity. Description only stays interesting up to a point.

I've seen that some find the ending anti-climactic, but I loved it. It's fitting, makes reasonable sense, was happy in its way, horrible in its way, suiting in its way.

"He had swept it out of existence, it seemed, without any provocation, as a boy might crush an ant hill, in the mere wantonness of power."



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