It has been 14 years since the Martians invaded England. The world has moved on — always watching the skies, but content that we know how to defeat the Martian menace. Machinery looted from the abandoned capsules and war machines has led to technological leaps forward. The Martians are vulnerable to Earth germs. The Army is prepared.
So when the signs of launches on Mars are seen, there seems little reason to worry. Unless you listen to one man, Walter Jenkins, the narrator of H.G. Wells’ book. He is sure that the Martians have learned, adapted, understood their defeat.
He is right.
Stephen Baxter’s newest novel, The Massacre of Mankind, is a direct sequel to H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds.
First, it’s very obvious that the author did a tremendous amount of research into the historical time period and has created what seems to a very realistic portrayal.
What Baxter also did an amazing job of was highlighting the differences that could have occurred had a Martian invasion actually occurred before the World Wars.
The advancements technology would have seen were sprinkled throughout the story in a way that felt organic.
Baxter has done a marvelous job of expanding upon the characters and relationships that Wells created in his masterpiece.
This novel captures more of a global scope of what a multi-planet war would look like than The War of the Worlds did, but it was handled expertly.
I absolutely love Baxter’s writing style and think it perfectly fits the tone of the story.
Fans of Wells’ original novel, as well as fans of science fiction in general, definitely should give Baxter’s novel a read. They won’t regret it.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About Stephen Baxter
Stephen Baxter is a trained engineer with degrees from Cambridge (mathematics) and Southampton Universities (doctorate in aeroengineering research).
Baxter is the winner of the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award, as well as being a nominee for an Arthur C. Clarke Award, most recently for Manifold: Time.
His novel Voyage won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History Novel of the Year.
Baxter also won the John W. Campbell Award and Philip K. Dick Award for his novel The Time Ships.
He currently is working on his next novel, a collaboration with Sir Arthur C. Clarke.
Baxter lives in Prestwood, England.