The War of the Worlds

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BINKER NORTH, 1898 - Fiction - 168 pages

The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author H. G. 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 that detail a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial 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 plot has been related to invasion literature of the time. The novel has been variously interpreted as a commentary on evolutionary theory, British imperialism, and generally Victorian superstitions, fears and prejudices.

At the time of publication, it was classified as a scientific romance, like Wells' 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 television series, and sequels or parallel stories by other authors. It has even influenced the work of scientists, notably Robert H. Goddard, who, inspired by the book, invented both the liquid fuelled rocket and multistage rocket, which resulted in the Apollo 11 Moon landing 71 years later.The narrative opens by stating that as humans on Earth busied themselves with their own endeavours during the 1890s, aliens on Mars began plotting an invasion of Earth to replenish their limited resources. In 1899 the narrator is invited to an astronomical observatory at Ottershaw where explosions are seen on the surface of the planet Mars, creating much interest in the scientific community.

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About the author (1898)

Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 - 13 August 1946) was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, satire, biography, and autobiography, and even including two books on recreational war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called a father of science fiction, along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.[5][6][a] During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web.[7] His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the Shakespeare of science fiction.[8] Wells rendered his works convincing by instilling commonplace detail alongside a single extraordinary assumption - dubbed Wells's law - leading Joseph Conrad to hail him in 1898 as O Realist of the Fantastic!.[9] His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and the military science fiction The War in the Air (1907). Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.[10] Wells's earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context.[11] He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he wrote little science fiction, while he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of journalist.[12] Novels such as Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, which describe lower-middle-class life, led to the suggestion that he was a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, [13]but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole. A diabetic, Wells co-founded the charity The Diabetic Association (known today as Diabetes UK) in 1934

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