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22nd August 2019
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My Science Fiction Life

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The War of the Worlds

1898

Book: The War of the Worlds

Author: H G Wells

Recollections...

Martain Maraudersarrow icon

sometime in school, doing my a levels, about 16, I think
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Powerfularrow icon

I got hold of a copy of the book several years ago, and was intrigued,having seen the 1953 movie version.
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Realistically terrifyingarrow icon

I did it for a gr. 12 Book report
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More recollections...

In Depth

The War of the Worlds

Possibly the single most influential science fiction work ever, there is hardly an idea or theme in H G Wells' seminal alien-attack novella that hasn't been plundered by other entries in the genre. The concept of aliens as a malign, invading force has been used so many times it has become a cliché.

Even the notion of the invaders suffering an ignoble, terrestrial end (in The War of the Worlds, the Martians are finally killed by the humble microbe) has been recycled, notably in Mars Attacks! and Signs. The imagery of the invading tripods has been raided for the AT-ATs in The Empire Strikes Back, The Matrix's sentinels and, of course, the TV series The Tripods. In other cases, Earth's resistance, as hinted at by the artilleryman in an alternative ending written by Wells, is used in V, Battlefield Earth and many other films and TV programmes. The novel has been made into a legendary radio play, numerous films, a musical, comic book series and a TV sequel - and still remains the archetypal depiction of an alien invasion.

Also on bbc.co.uk

Jeff Wayne, one of the contributors to My Science Fiction Life

My Science
Fiction Life on
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Interviewees from the show talk about The War of the Worlds



Watch a clip Jeff Wayne

Composer of The War of the Worlds album

Watch a clip Kevin Warwick

Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading



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