H.G. Wells actually traveled to Mars to stop a Martian invasion – who knew?
by Kevin Anderson, Titan Books
In his latest novel prolific author Kevin J. Anderson takes a leaf from Alan Moore’s influential League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics. The Martian War supposedly tells the “true story” behind where famous sci-fi author H.G. Wells got his ideas for his novels from: naturally some of it actually happened . . .
In this novel, fictional characters such as Wells’ Dr. Moreau and Hawley Griffin (a.k.a. the Invisible Man) rub shoulders with the real H.G. Wells as well as other historical figures such as T.H. Huxley and astronomer Percival Lowell(who first “spotted” canals on Mars).
Martian War tells the “true account” of the events behind Wells’ seminal 1898 War of the Worlds novel in which author Wells, his old varsity professor Huxley and his future fiancée travel to Mars to thwart an invasion by Martians. In a separate subplot Dr. Moreau and Percival Lowell discovers the real truth behind a Martian scout mission. All very post-modern indeed. Anderson even uses Wells’ descriptions of the moon instead of what Neil Armstrong really found there.
It all sounds like fun, but the book is a bit of a predictable slog. Strangely enough the Dr. Moreau subplot is a lot more compelling than the main going-ons on Mars. Maybe Anderson should have made the amoral yet dynamic Dr. Moreau the hero of the piece instead of staidly old Herbert George Wells. Who knows?
Predictable, but not without its moments.