Last year saw the U.S. release of the novel The Massacre of Mankind, a sequel to the classic War of the Worlds that was authorized by the H.G. Wells estate. This week, the paperback edition of the book was released by Broadway Books, so now’s your chance to check it out if you haven’t already.
In this sequel, author Stephen Baxter presents a new tale set 14 years after the famous Martian invasion of England. Humans are living under the assumption that a subsequent alien attack is unlikely, but just in case, they’ve studied their Martian enemies and are confident they can triumph in any future battles.
Baxter’s story is recounted by journalist Julie Elphinstone, a survivor of the First Martian War who appeared in The War of the Worlds. She is also the sister-in-law of the original book’s narrator, named here as Walter Jenkins, the man who now believes a better-equipped Martian force is coming to attack Earth.
As you can guess, the aliens do return and they too know their enemy much better now and plan to continue their assault beyond England to the rest of the world.
You can read my full review here of The Massacre of Mankind: Sequel to The War of the Worlds.
A sequel to the H.G. Wells classic THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, brilliantly realized by award-winning SF author and Wells expert Stephen Baxter
It has been fourteen years since the Martian invasion. Humanity has moved on, always watching the skies but confident that we know how to defeat the alien menace. The Martians are vulnerable to Earth germs. The army is prepared. Our technology has taken great leaps forward, thanks to machinery looted from abandoned war-machines and capsules.
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 first incursion was merely a scouting mission, a precursor to the true attack””and that the Martians have learned from their defeat, adapted their methods, and now pose a greater threat than ever before.
He is right.
Thrust into the chaos of a new worldwide invasion, journalist Julie Elphinstone””sister in law to Walter Jenkins””struggles to survive the war, report on it, and plan a desperate effort that will be humanity’s last chance at survival. Because the massacre of mankind has begun.
Echoing the style and form of the original while extrapolating from its events in ingenious, unexpected fashion again and again, The Massacre of Mankind is a labor of love from one of the genre’s most praised talents””at once a truly fitting tribute to a classic and brainy, page-turning fun for any science-fiction fan.
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