Wednesday, 30 March 2016

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.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I agree with the listing of alien invasion novels you made here. I would have included Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's FOOTFALL as well. That is a very interesting updating of the alien invasion theme.

    And one thing I remember from Anderson's "Soldier From The Stars" is how one character said the best way Earth could have avoided de facto conquest by the aliens would have been for the major Terrestrial powers to PAY the aliens to go away.


  2. Sean,
    FOOTFALL is in the next post. I was particularly pleased with the Wells-Lewis-Anderson sequence.
    Pay the Aliens! (It would have worked.)