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Review - The Martian War

Posted by PatG on October 30, 2012 at 6:30 AM

The Martian Wars
Kevin J Anderson
Titan Books


H. G. Wells` War of the Worlds has seen many re-interpretations, continuations and imitations some done with an eye to making profit others to piggy back on Well's fame. The Martian War is neither. It is an homage carried out with respect and frankly a little fan boy adulation.


The tale is told in two interlinked threads. The first is a fairly classic Edisoniad in which the Young H.G. Wells, reporter and writer is drawn into a top secret cabal of the greatest minds on earth. They seek to defend the planet against the imminent threat of Martian invasion. From his initiation into the secret to interplanetary intrigue and war, it is a rip roaring adventure. Along the way the reader is introduced to every conceivable character from Wells` science fiction stories. Anderson even manages to refer to Well's unorthodox views on relationships without departing from a boys own paper rating. The whole thing channels the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift and of course Wells himself to create a well written adventure story.


Woven in with this is another, and to me, more interesting thread; the journal entries of Dr Moreau. For this thread, Anderson draws on Shelley (Mary not Percy) and Stoker then adds a dash of Poe and a touch of Lovecraft. Moreau works with Percival Lowell the astronomer and champion of the Martian Canals. Lowell wants nothing more than to make contact with the canal builders and with help from Moreau, goes to great lengths to do so. Moreau`s journal like his work, is dark and brooding and leads the reader to question the morality of some applications of science.


The two threads, the light and the dark are twisted together to create an entertaining and thought provoking story of heroism, horror and ultimately redemption. I enjoyed the book immensely and will be looking out for more of Anderson`s work.

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Patrick Gilliland (Steampunk Canada member PatG)

Patrick Gilliland is an unrepentant reader. He always has several small pyramids of books being read scattered about the house. While studying literature in university, he developed a like for Victorian novels and a dislike for Victorian poets. Currently his tastes run to 19th century history, traditional cookbooks and of course steampunk. When not reading or thinking about reading, he can be found in his man cave painting little lead martians. He denies responsibility for any pew pew or kerpow noises emanating form said edifice.


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