Introduced by Iain Sinclair
Illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith
‘A true classic that has pointed the way not just for
science-fiction writers, but for how we as a civilisation
might think of ourselves’
Spawning an infamous radio play that convinced listeners a real alien invasion was in progress, a musical, several films, a television series and countless literary spin-offs, The War of the Worlds remains one of the most significant and influential works of science fiction.
In his introduction to this edition from The Folio Society, writer Iain Sinclair describes The War of the Worlds as a kind of ‘prophetic dream’ in which Wells, with his rivers choked with the alien ‘red weed’ and the deadly
black smoke used by the Martians, seems to predict, among other things, chemical weapons and ecological disaster.
Award-winning artist Grahame Baker-Smith has provided seven colour illustrations that embrace the sheer pulp joy of an alien invasion: Martian war-machines loom out of the night, surrounded by an unearthly glow, and the ornate gold-blocked binding design nods to the fantastical machines that have come to be associated with the author.
Described by Brian Aldiss as ‘the Shakespeare of science fiction’, Wells was a prolific writer across many forms. Having lived in Woking, he took great delight in setting much of the invasion at the centre of this book there, remarking in a letter how he could ‘completely wreck and sack Woking – killing my neighbours in painful and eccentric ways’.
A peaceful night in Surrey is shattered when what is thought to be a meteor crashes into Horsell Common. Curious villagers approach the strange cylindrical object, only to be incinerated by a Martian heat-ray. Soon the invaders are sending out their terrible ‘tripods’, causing devastation throughout England as ‘intellects vast and cool
and unsympathetic’ gradually seek to eradicate the human race.
Bound in buckram blocked with a design by the artist. Set in Founder’s Caslon.
240 pages. Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations. Slipcase. 91/2″x 63/4″.
UK £34.95 US $57.95 Can $72.95 Aus $72.95
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