Introduction by Arthur C. Clarke
Commentary by Jules Verne and an anonymous reviewer from "The Critic"
No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own. Thus begins one of the most terrifying and morally prescient science fiction novels ever penned. Beginning with a series of strange flashes in the distant night sky, the Martian attack initially causes little concern on Earth. Then the destruction erupts ten massive aliens roam England and destroy with heat rays everything in their path. Very soon humankind finds itself on the brink of extinction. H. G. Wells raises questions of mortality, man's place in nature, and the evil lurking in the technological future questions that remain urgently relevant in the twenty-first century.
Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide.
About the Author
Herbert George "H. G." Wells (21 September 1866 - 13 August 1946) was an English writer, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing textbooks and rules for war games. Wells is sometimes called "The Father of Science Fiction," as are Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.[a] His most notable science fiction works include The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau. Wells's earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of "Journalist." Most of his later novels were not science fiction. Some described lower-middle class life (Kipps; The History of Mr Polly), leading him to be touted as a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole.
Arthur C. Clarke is considered to be the greatest science fiction writer of all time. He is an international treasure in many other ways: An article written by him in 1945 led to the invention of satellite technology. Books by Mr. Clarke--both fiction and nonfiction--have more than one hundred million copies in print worldwide. He lives in Sri Lanka.
"From the Trade Paperback edition."
“The creations of Mr. Wells . . . belong unreservedly to an age and degree of scientific knowledge far removed from the present, though I will not say entirely beyond the limits of the possible.” —Jules Verne