Wednesday, 30 March 2016

More Martians And Invasions

The previous post traced a conceptual thread through Wells, Lewis and Anderson. We can also do this with Lewis, Bradbury and Heinlein. All three show immortal beings on Mars. In Lewis' Out Of The Silent Planet, Earthman travel to Mars with evil intent. In Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and Heinlein's Red Planet, human beings colonize Mars.

In Heinlein's Stranger In A Strange Land, a man raised by Martians founds a Terrestrial religion whereas Lewis' Elwin Ransom returns from Mars and Venus to become the Pendragon of Logres and the spearhead of extraterrestrial intervention.

In Heinlein's The Puppet Masters, as in Nigel Kneale's Quatermass II, alien invasion involves mental control whereas, in Jack Finney's Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, it involves body duplication and, in Larry Niven's and Jerry Pournelle's Footfall, it involves asteroid stikes.

In Olaf Stapledon's Last And First Men, Martians invade Earth and Terrestrials invade Venus and Neptune. In Sleeping Planet by William Burkett, extrasolars invade Earth but are soon defeated whereas, in the Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher, extrasolar invaders have ruled Earth for generations but are eventually overthrown.

And I think that Clifford Simak has some alien invasions?

Through Space With HG Wells And His Successors

In The War Of The Worlds by HG Wells, Martians invade Earth and Venus.

In Star-Begotten by Wells, Planetarium Club members discuss cosmic rays and Martians before one of their number summarizes and criticizes The War Of The Worlds, mistakenly attributing it to "'...Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, one of those fellows...'" (New York, 1975, p. 48), then proposes instead Martianization of human beings by cosmic rays.

In the Ransom Trilogy by CS Lewis, a scientist visits Mars and Venus, in the latter case as the spearhead of a planned demonic invasion. Lewis parenthetically comments that "...Mr Wells' Martians [are] very unlike the real Malacandrians..." (Voyage to Venus, London, 1978, p. 7).

In The War Of Two Worlds by Poul Anderson, Martians militarily conquer Earth but are being covertly manipulated by extrasolars.

In "Soldier From The Stars" by Anderson, humanoid extrasolars conquer Earth economically by selling their superior military services to the highest bidder among Terrestrial governments.

Later, I will add a few more alien invasions but I think that this is a neat progression through Wells, Lewis and Anderson. See here.