Gollancz is set to publish a sequel to H G Wells’ science fiction novel The War of the Worlds, written by veteran science fiction author Stephen Baxter, 118 years after the original story was published.

In Stephen Baxter’s terrifying sequel, 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 how they lost last time. They target Britain first, since we resisted them. The massacre of mankind has begun.

First published in 1897, The War of the Worlds has become one of the most influential science fiction novels of all time, and the Orson Welles radio drama famously created a national panic in the United States

Stephen Baxter said “H.G. Wells is the daddy of modern science fiction. He drew on deep traditions, for instance of scientific horror dating back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and fantastic voyages such as Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. And he had important near-contemporaries such as Jules Verne. But Wells did more than any other writer to shape the form and themes of modern science fiction, and indeed through his wider work exerted a profound influence on the history of the twentieth century.”

Steven has written more than twenty novels in twenty different languages, and collaborated with Sir Terry Pratchett on The Long Earth novels. Stephen has also written an authorised sequel to The Time Machine by H. G. Wells to mark the centenary of the original’s publication, The Time Ships.

Gollancz said it will publish a hardback (£20) and e-book (£19.99) on 19th January 2017.

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About The Author

Olga Hughes is currently pre-occupied with fairy tales, fantasy, misanthropy, medieval history and the long eighteenth century. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts and is currently majoring in Literature and History at Deakin. She has contributed to websites such as History behind Game of Thrones, The Anne Boleyn Files and The Tudor Society.

2 Responses

  1. Underdogge

    This sounds as though it could be interesting. I have mixed feelings about a different author writing a sequel to another writer’s work (in general, not just in this case) but it need not always be bad – and of course “War of the Worlds” is out of copyright by now. It does seem that Mr Baxter is sincerely interested in the late H G Wells’ work and may have the skills to use the original as an inspiration for a work that is wothwhile in its own right. One unfinished novel that I liked was Mrs Gaskell’s “Wives and Daughters”. Mrs Gaskell died – I think unexpectedly – when she had almost finished the book. There were some pages of explanation from her Editor saying whom the heroine was to end up with; in this case I rather wish the Editor had engaged somebody to write an ending rather than the factual explanation. When the BBC dramatised the novel in the 1990s they finished the story where it would have ended had Mrs Gaskell lived rather than the abrupt ending of the book.
    I shall have to read Mr Baxter’s book and judge it for myself when it is published.

    Reply
    • Olga Hughes

      That’s interesting, I had no idea. We watched the BBC series for the first time this year, I came across it on Netflix. I wonder that the copyright holders have never hired anyone to finish the final chapters, there’s enough Jane Austen sequels about.

      Reply

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