Wednesday, November 16, 2016
The Great Martian War: Invasion
Following the initial Martian invasion on England, President Theodore Roosevelt tries to prepare the United States for the potential of another Martian incursion. As the possibility of another, stronger invasion is increasingly clear; The U.S. government tries to mobilize nations to share information and technology to defend humanity. Newly minted ordinance officer Andrew Comstock has been placed in charge of developing new technology that has to be tested on the fly in a race against time if humanity is to survive.
The Great Martian War: Breakthrough
The second of the three-part series covering the opening salvo of the Great Martian Invasion. US forces recover from the initial shock of the Martian invasion of the South-west and attempt to set-up a defensive line along the Mississippi. The best minds in the US try to come up with ways to defeat the Martians using the little captured technology available to them. Meanwhile, President Roosevelt tries to rally world leaders to aid in stopping the invaders.
These books are based upon the "All Quiet on the MartianFront" game system.
Washburn follows the preparations for and the early stages of the second wave of the invasion through the eyes of five characters who range from ordinary civilians up to the White House to a Martian commander. Their paths cross in interesting ways, and we frequently see the same events through different points of view. This becomes a major theme in the book: both humans and Martians learn from the first wave of the invasion, yet remain largely ignorant of the other race's tactics, motives, and technology. One can see a similar dynamic in the human response to the Martian threat, as departments of the American military and nations on the brink of the First World War devolve into tribalism in the face of a truly existential threat.
The true strength of the book is its pacing. Suspense reigns in the first half, as Americans struggle (often unsuccessfully) come to terms with the possibility of a second invasion and, when it comes, to understand Martian strategy. The development of technology is another major theme in the book. The Martians learn from their disastrous first wave, and come to earth determined to avoid the mistakes they made the first time. The historical earth of the early 20th century saw an arms race fueled by nationalism, and with the potential for Martian conflict, that race escalates even further, with the introduction of steam tanks and a Tesla electrical cannon. However, Washburn does not get bogged down in the details of engineering, and the machines never obscure the human (and Martian) elements of the story.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Saturday, November 12, 2016
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 Wells' book. He is sure that the Martians have learned, adapted, understood their defeat.
He is right.
Thrust into the chaos of a new invasion, a journalist - sister-in-law to Walter Jenkins - must survive, escape and report on the war.
The Massacre of Mankind has begun
The Martians are marshalling a fresh invasion force – and this time they’ve learnt from their mistakes. A newly-written sequel to H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, published 118 years after the original story, will join the catalogue of classic fiction given fresh life by contemporary authors.
Publishers Gollancz announced that Stephen Baxter, an award-winning author who has collaborated with Terry Pratchett, has been chosen to write a new sequel to one of the most influential science fictions works ever published.
First published in 1897, The War of the Worlds has spawned half a dozen feature films, a famous Orson Welles radio drama which created a national panic in the US and a hit record album and stage production adapted by Jeff Wayne.
Baxter promises that his sequel, The Massacre of Mankind, will tell an equally terrifying tale. Set in late 1920s London, the Martians return, and the war begins again. But the aliens do not repeat the mistakes of their last invasion. They know their vulnerability to microbial infections caused their demise last time. They target Britain first, since this nation led the resistance but “the massacre of mankind has begun.”