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.
Though H.G. Wells‘s The War of the Worlds might not have been the first story to feature Martians coming to Earth, it certainly is the most popular one and has been held up over the years as the ultimate Martian invasion tale. The story, first serialized in magazines in 1897 and then published as a novel in 1898, went on to yield various TV, radio, and film adaptations. Now, with the authorization of the H.G. Wells Estate, Crown Publishing brings us the official sequel with The Massacre of Mankind.
In The Massacre of Mankind: Sequel to The War of the Worlds, author Stephen Baxter picks up 14 years after the infamous Martian invasion on England that introduced the world to the aggressive aliens and their massive three-legged “tripod” fighting-machines. After learning the biological weaknesses of their invaders and studying their technologies, humans are confident now that they can combat any future extraterrestrial onslaught, however unlikely they believe that event may be.
Prolific science fiction author Stephen Baxter invites us to explore with him both real life science and space fiction in The Science of Avatar. There are lots of details sprawling in every direction, from speculation to established facts, in an almost scene-by-scene recount of the entire movie. He posits what our real world might be like in the year 2154, the year Avatar takes place.
We begin with Jake Sully leaving an ecologically devastated Earth, which we get the barest glimpse of in the film. Baxter explains to us what might have happened in an all too real account of ecocide, wherein Earth’s resources are depleted and space exploration offers the only hope of finding the resources we need to stay alive here. In the movie, this is the reason for the journey to Pandora.