Monday, May 7, 2012

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

Today's glimpse at my bookcase...

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells is one of the first science fiction novels I read and it remains a favorite. The first copy I read was the Airmont 1965 paperback. The cover price was fifty cents. The cover reminded me of the 1953 film starring Gene Barry that was already a fixture on television by the mid-60s. The second copy I owned was the 1969 Berkley paperback with an ominous red cover. I don’t believe the book has ever gone out of print and one edition currently available from Barnes & Noble sports a cover similar to the Airmont edition and more in line with those iconic Wellsian images.
 The War of the Worlds is far better than much of the science fiction being hawked today.  Whenever I meet a young writer interested in science fiction I always recommend this book. Originally published in 1898 the book has not lost its sparkle. Written in a first person narrative the story follows an unnamed protagonist after Earth is invaded by Martians. The story is presented as a factual account which lends realism to the narrative. A virtuoso piece of work, The War of the Worlds was filmed again in 2005 with Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg. The many other classics by H.G. Wells include The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr. Moreau, First Men in the Moon and Food of the Gods.

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