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WAR OF THE WORLDS [Hardcover]

Kevin Anderson
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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From Publishers Weekly

Martians! Percival Lowell may have been responsible for bringing them to Earth; Teddy Roosevelt evidently bagged one in Cuba; H.P. Lovecraft may have been one; and both Albert Einstein and Emily Dickinson seem to have played a role in defeating them. In this collection of stories that complement H.G. Wells's classic novel, these and other speculations are entertained by such well-known SF writers as Mike Resnick, Walter Jon Williams, Robert Silverberg, Connie Willis, Barbara Hambly, Gregory Benford and David Brin. One entry, Howard Waldrop's "Night of the Cooters," which concerns Martians and Texas Rangers, is a reprint. The 18 originals center on the reactions of various historical personages to the advent of Wells's invaders, including Picasso, Henry James, Winston Churchill, H. Rider Haggard, China's Dowager Empress, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Leo Tolstoy, Jules Verne, Mark Twain and Joseph Conrad. Anderson (Climbing Olympus, 1994) has brought together some solid stories here. But since the overarching plot line apes the Wells, variety and suspense take a back seat. The more successful pieces, then, are those like Waldrop's, or Willis's tale of Emily Dickinson's posthumous heroics, which parody the Wellsian universe. Overall, however, this is a far more literate and imaginative tracing of a Martian invasion than the one offered in Martian Deathtrap, reviewed below.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Leading sf authors Roert Silverberg, Barbara Hambly, Allen Steele, Gergory Benford, Connie Willis, and 14 others imagine H.G. Wells's Martian invasion from points around the world as written by notable 19th-century authors and personages such as Teddy Roosevelt, Picasso, Einstein, Tolstoy, Verne, and Mark Twain. The pieces were all commissioned for this anthology except Howard Waldrop's Night of the Cooters, in which the Martians face the formidable Texas Rangers. A rollicking good compilation, especially Willis's hilarious Emily Dickinson. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Editor Anderson has written several battle-driven Star Wars novels and seems ideally suited to oversee this unusual collection. With H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds as a point of departure, 19 stories commissioned for this volume report on the turn-of-the-century Martian invasion of Wells' tale as it is observed by famous persons throughout the world. Here is Teddy Roosevelt's journal recounting his hunting prowess against the alien invaders. A very young Pablo Picasso discovers singular artistic inspiration from witnessing the Martian menace in Paris. Jules Verne gives his own account of the invaders' final demise in his native France. Even Albert Einstein has a close encounter, using mathematical guile to foil one Martian's plans. The authors impersonating figures as diverse as Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, and even Emily Dickinson (despite the fact that she died 11 years before the Martians landed) include some of sf's best, from Robert Silverberg and Allen Steele to Gregory Benford and David Brin. A delightful, entertaining companion to Wells' classic. Carl Hays

From the Publisher

H.G. Wells's immortal novel The War of the Worlds describes an invasion of Earth from Mars through the fictional dispatches of a London newspaper reporter. Besides the struggle in England, the reporter mentions similar battles taking place all over the planet. Yet we have only been able to see one segment of the global catastrophe--until now.

In this deviously delightful collection, nineteen leading science fiction writers imagine Wells's Martian invasion from other locations--and through the eyes of his contemporaries, both authors and notable figures. From Jules Verne in Paris to Rudyard Kipling in India, from Teddy Roosevelt in Cuba to the Dowager Empress in China, and fourteen others, we see our fellow humans at war with the Martian menace.

Best of all, the real-life authors of these tales include some of the brightest stars in the science fiction firmament: Gregory Benford, David Brin, George Alec Effinger, Barbara Hambly, Mike Resnick, Robert Silverberg, Walter Jon Williams, Connie Willis, Dave Wolverton, and many others. All the stories were commissioned especially for this volume, with one notable exception: a reprint of Howard Waldrop's celebrated tale "Night of the Cooters," in which the invading Martians face their toughest Earthly challenge: the Texas Rangers.

Here is one of the most original and entertaining SF-anthology concepts in years, perfectly executed with poise, precision, and great good humor. Here is the Martian invasion that might have been, from the Earthlings best prepared to tell the tale. Copyright © 1996 by Kevin J. Anderson.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

No one would have believed, in these first few decades of the Twentieth  Century, how vastly human affairs could have been altered by a terrible  invasion from space.  That terrible onslaught from our planetary neighbors,  our enemies the Martians, has left great scars and wrought great changes upon  this green and blue world we call home.

My own chronicle of the Martian invasion that took place at the turn of our  century is well known and, I suspect, familiar to all readers.  In this  retrospective, however, I have compiled several reports from other notables  whose experiences during the Martian attacks may prove interesting and  enlightening to students of mankind's first interplanetary war.

Because of the great turmoil of the time, some of the dates contradict, as do  some of the events depicted here.  (Messrs. Verne and Picasso have refused to  speak with each other further on account of the discrepancies in their  accounts of the sacking of Paris.)  Due to the literary stature of Mr. Henry  James, I have also included his account of the siege of London, though I question his interpretation of events; his journals are purported to have  been written at the time, but I have no recollection of his keeping any  written record during our excursions.

As it has been through the ages, history lives in the memories of the  survivors, and sometimes those memories contain flaws.  

Nevertheless, these accounts deserve to be published--and let the future decide their worth.

Finally, I must thank my good friend, Monsieur Jules Verne, for his  assistance in obtaining several of these manuscripts, as well as providing an  Afterword to this volume. --Herbert George Wells --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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