This edition includes artwork by Warwick Goble, commissioned by Pearsons Magazine in 1897, artwork by Alvim Corrêa for the L.Vandamme 500 copy limited edition in 1906 and cover art by Frank R. Paul, commissioned by Amazing Stories in 1927. "The War of the Worlds was the first science fiction story to treat extraterrestrial aliens realistically." - Isaac Asimov 1974 AD "The daring conception upon which this story hinges is not a mere bit of invention. The War of the Worlds is, as Mr. Wells has himself said of it, "the story of possibility, a piece of realism." Whether or not we agree with the author as to this, there is no denying the strange air of reality with which he has contrived to invest this astonishing narrative of the invasion of Earth by the inhabitants of Mars. It is a wonder story for "grown-ups," and one of the deepest interest and most fascinating style. It shows, more than anything, how helpless man's most formidable engines of war become when matched against forces of which we have had no previous knowledge." - Harpers Brothers 1898 AD
This is the granddaddy of all alien invasion stories, first published by H.G. Wells in 1898. The novel begins ominously, as the lone voice of a narrator tells readers that "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..."
Things then progress from a series of seemingly mundane reports about odd atmospheric disturbances taking place on Mars to the arrival of Martians just outside of London. At first the Martians seem laughable, hardly able to move in Earth's comparatively heavy gravity even enough to raise themselves out of the pit created when their spaceship landed. But soon the Martians reveal their true nature as death machines 100-feet tall rise up from the pit and begin laying waste to the surrounding land. Wells quickly moves the story from the countryside to the evacuation of London itself and the loss of all hope as England's military suffers defeat after defeat. With horror his narrator describes how the Martians suck the blood from living humans for sustenance, and how it's clear that man is not being conquered so much a corralled. --Craig E. Engler