Friday, 20 January 2017

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: The Massacre of Mankind - Stephen Baxter

Release Date: 20/01/17
Publisher: Gollancz


It has been 14 years since the Martians invaded England. The world has moved on, always watching the skies but content that we know how to defeat the Martian menace. Machinery looted from the abandoned capsules and war-machines has led to technological leaps forward. The Martians are vulnerable to earth germs. The Army is prepared.

So when the signs of launches on Mars are seen, there seems little reason to worry. Unless you listen to one man, Walter Jenkins, the narrator of Wells' book. He is sure that the Martians have learned, adapted, understood their defeat.

He is right.

Thrust into the chaos of a new invasion, a journalist - sister-in-law to Walter Jenkins - must survive, escape and report on the war.

The Massacre of Mankind has begun


When you're asked to write a follow up to what many see as a classic of the genre, many authors would have baulked at the task, not only do you have to get the story right so that it fits into what has gone before but you also have to step into the authoritive voice of the writer of the original in such a way that the story feels like a continuation of the first.

What Stephen manages well here is to get that voice, he brings Well's Martians vividly to the 1930's as mankind seems doomed from the start as they learned from what had gone before. Its dark Science Fiction at its best and for me each page gave me something to relate too.

All round a cracking story with characters that stood. The fact that I reread the original Wells; story just before starting only added to the overall feeling of reading joy. A must read for Sci-Fi fans.

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