Jul 21, 2011

The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells

This classic piece of early science fiction is nothing like what I thought it would be. No doubt, this is due to Hollywood-ized versions. Wells' work is not a heart-stopping, action-packed masterpiece. It is, instead, a study of how humanity would react to and be affected by a hostile alien invasion, which is also an easy allegory for First World technology assaulting a Third World country. The outcome? Wells imagines that humans become innately self-centered. They think only of themselves and their own survival, and perhaps even possible profit. Wells clearly sought to shake humanity from its complacency, to push scientific endeavor to the extreme, to prepare for a time when we realize we are not the be all and end all of life in the universe.

The message aside, the writing is typically late 19th Century, very heavy on narrative, with little dialogue. It's a tiny book, but not necessarily quick to read. However, I believe it to be a necessary read for any fiction lover, and especially for devotees of science fiction.

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