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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells's 1898 classic -- the first and still the definitive alien invasion story -- has been described by editor extraordinaire James Gunn as "not simply a novel but the beginning of a genre."
What is at first believed to be falling stars or harmless meteorites turns out to be cylindrical Martian ships filled with nightmarish, tentacled invaders and their robotic war machines. When curious Englanders come to inspect the massive containers imbedded in the still-smoking countryside, metallic appendages emerge from the pits to kill every living thing in their path with strange heat rays. Then as the surrounding townships slowly devolve into chaos, the Martians begin constructing giant tripod war machines to track down and kill -- or capture -- as many of the human "inferior animals" as possible. The nameless narrator, trapped in a house almost completely crushed by the impact of a starship, watches in horror as the seemingly unstoppable Martians build their mechanical armies, kill hundreds with poisonous gas -- and begin snacking on captured humans!
Wells has been called the father of modern science fiction for good reason. Landmark works like The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds are just as compelling and wildly entertaining today as they were more than a century ago. Fans and historians of the science fiction genre who have yet to read Wells's classic tale of Martian invasion should definitely add this title to their reading lists. Paul Goat Allen