The War of the Worlds

first publication date:  1898
original title:  The War of the Worlds
original language:  English
main subject:  alien invasioncolonialism
published in:  Pearson's Magazine

The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells. It was written between 1895 and 1897, and serialised in Pearson's Magazine in the UK and Cosmopolitan magazine in the US in 1897. The full novel was first published in hardcover in 1898 by William Heinemann. The War of the Worlds is one of the earliest stories to detail a conflict between humankind and an extraterrestrial race. The novel is the first-person narrative of an unnamed protagonist in Surrey and his younger brother in London as southern England is invaded by Martians and is one of the most commented-on works in the science fiction canon.The plot is similar to other works of invasion literature from the same period, and has been variously interpreted as a commentary on the theory of evolution, imperialism, and Victorian era fears, superstitions and prejudices. Wells later noted that inspiration for the plot was the catastrophic effect of European colonisation on the Aboriginal Tasmanians. Some historians have argued that Wells wrote the book to encourage his readership to question the morality of imperialism. At the time of 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 numerous feature films, radio dramas, a record album, comic book adaptations, 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 reportedly caused panic among listeners who did not know that the events were fictional. The novel even influenced the work of scientists. Robert H. Goddard was inspired by the book, and helped develop both the liquid-fuelled rocket and multistage rocket, which resulted in the Apollo 11 Moon landing 71 years later. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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