The War of The Worlds by H.G. Wells

The Martians decide to come to England for afternoon tea, but upon arriving, they realize that they’ve nothing suitable to wear. They channel Nikon and design a wardrobe that would make Thierry Mugler drool. The Victorians are aghast as the Martians flaunt WAY to much leg for polite society, and they actively shun their tentacle laden visitors. Thus begins the War of the Worlds greatest fashion war that the galaxy has ever seen.

Who will find victory on the runway? Will it be the Martians decked out in finery woven from deadly black smoke and glorious red weed or will the Victorians reign supreme in their bustles, bodices, waist coats, and top hats?

never tell, but I will say that H.G. Wells has spun a fine yarn of alien invasion, and I thank JRC-1138 for reminding me to read this book that I should have read years ago. It contained all of the anachronistic elements that stimulate me on an aesthetic level, and it truly did have moments that made my skin crawl (in a good way)…one particular scene that comes to mind is a certain Martian and its delectable human captive. I’m also quite fond of the red weed that invasively blankets the land (not unlike the Kudzu of the Southern United States), leaving the terrestrial landscape in an unfamiliar and discomforting state.


moif said...

I like the ambience of the book. The parts where the Martians have left their landing sites and are moving on London send chills through me. The way its described is brilliant; Really evocative.

Then, after an interminable time, as it seemed to us, crouching and peering through the hedge, came a sound like the distant concussion of a gun. Another nearer, and then another. And then the Martian beside us raised his tube on high and discharged it, gunwise, with a heavy report that made the ground heave. The one towards Staines answered him. There was no flash, no smoke, simply that loaded detonation.

I was so excited by these heavy minute-guns following one another that I so far forgot my personal safety and my scalded hands as to clamber up into the hedge and stare towards Sunbury. As I did so a second report followed, and a big projectile hurtled overhead towards Hounslow. I expected at least to see smoke or fire, or some such evidence of its work. But all I saw was the deep blue sky above, with one solitary star, and the white mist spreading wide and low beneath. And there had been no crash, no answering explosion. The silence was restored; the minute lengthened to three.

"What has happened?" said the curate, standing up beside me.

"Heaven knows!" said I.

A bat flickered by and vanished. A distant tumult of shouting began and ceased. I looked again at the Martian, and saw he was now moving eastward along the riverbank, with a swift, rolling motion,

Every moment I expected the fire of some hidden battery to spring upon him; but the evening calm was unbroken. The figure of the Martian grew smaller as he receded, and presently the mist and the gathering night had swallowed him up. By a common impulse we clambered higher. Towards Sunbury was a dark appearance, as though a conical hill had suddenly come into being there, hiding our view of the farther country; and then, remoter across the river, over Walton, we saw another such summit. These hill-like forms grew lower and broader even as we stared.

Moved by a sudden thought, I looked northward, and there I perceived a third of these cloudy black kopjes had risen.

Everything had suddenly become very still. Far away to the southeast, marking the quiet, we heard the Martians hooting to one another, and then the air quivered again with the distant thud of their guns. But the earthly artillery made no reply...

Cyan said...

That entire passage is extremely well written, as was the entire book. I know that my blog post was kind of silly, but really...the book was wonderful. I intend to read more H.G. Wells in the near future.

moif said...

None of his other novels come close in my opinion, but some of his short stories are really good. 'The New Accelerator', is one of my favourites and also a story he did, though I've forgotten the name, about a cave man who kills a bear and is the first man to ride a horse.

He also wrote some books about weird wars with giant land machines, tanks the size of fortresses and fleets of air ships, but these never have the same feeling of authenticity of TWOTW. In fact, most of his work comes across as being a bit childish, though by most accounts he was really intelligent. There is a book which has all his short stories in one volume. My friend Oleg has it, I could get you the title if you like