War of the Worlds Novel Getting a Sequel… 119 Years Too Late


Okay, here’s something that is bound to have people divided. Author Steven Baxter, who is known for his hard science fiction novels, including The Long Earth series, which he co-wrote with Sir Terry Pratchett, is writing an official sequel to HG Wells’ War of the Worlds. 119 years after it was published in 1898. And, conveniently, two weeks after the copyright to the book expires.

So the question beckons: Why? Why write a sequel to pretty much the most respected sci-fi novel of all time? Greed, lack of ideas, and the downright arrogance of knowing that it will likely sell in droves due to the success of the original come to mind as likely reasons. The way that it is being branded as an “official sequel” is dubious as Wells himself may well have disapproved of the idea.

At least Baxter respects the original novel and wants to do right by it:

“HG Wells is the daddy of modern SF. He drew on deep traditions, for instance, of scientific horror dating back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and fantastic voyages such as Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726). And he had important near-contemporaries such as Jules Verne. But Wells did more than any other writer to shape the form and themes of modern science fiction and indeed through his wider work exerted a profound influence on the history of the twentieth century. Now it’s an honour for me to celebrate his enduring imaginative legacy, more than a hundred and fifty years after his birth.”

Called The Massacre of Mankind, it will be set in 1920s London, where the Martians resume their invasion, having grown stronger and better. I guess all the stuff about mankind working towards building a better world following the first invasion must not have meant anything if the aliens are just gonna come again, eh?

The Massacre of Mankind will be released on the 19th of January, 2017.

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