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Nov 04

War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
“By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are.  For neither do men live nor die in vain.”

War of the WorldsWar of the Worlds is an extremely well written, short science fiction novel by H.G. Wells, and is a part of our top 150 books and helped create the science fiction genre that is loved by millions today.  Originally written in 1898, War of the Worlds, still holds up remarkably well to modern times.  If it was written today all an author would have to do is just move the Martians to another planet and modernize the human army that is trying to fight them and you’d have a current story, which seems to be what Hollywood does every couple of years.

H.G. Wells paints a very scary and ultimately sad fact about the human race in this book.  If you buy into the fact that this is an allegory of imperialism, and the Martians are the British Empire and the humans in his story are aborigines then it is sad that one group of humanity can see another as vermin and try to wipe them out.  Unfortunately, humanity past is one long story of conquest, slavery, and even genocide.  If you take H.G. Wells story as just a science fiction story then seeing humanity as it weakest point is kind of scary when you read how the mass of humankind goes crazy like the artilleryman, curate, or the way the mob, the narrator’s brother has to face, behaves.  In either scenario H.G. Wells does not paint a very flattering picture of our human race as a whole.  At least Wells throws in a few bright spots like the narrator who is able to keep his wits about him or his brother who goes out of his way to help others.

War of the Worlds seemed completely logical to me after I finished reading it.  H.G. Wells does a masterful job in taking a very complex subject like an alien invasion, writing it in a way that makes the reader feel like it could actually happen, and then wrapping his story up in a completely logical way is brilliant.  I give the book four shells out of five because it is such a short story I wanted it to go on.
4 shells

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