When an army of invading Martians land in England, the population is seized with panic and terror. As the aliens traverse the country in huge three-legged machines, incinerating everything in their path with a heat ray and spreading noxious toxic gases, the Earth's people must come to terms with the... prospect of the end of human civilization and the start of Martian rule.
Inspiring films, radio dramas, comic-book adaptations, television series and sequels, The War of the Worlds is a prototypical science fiction work that has influenced every alien story that has emerged since, and is unsurpassed in its ability to thrill, well over a century since it was first released.
We can't have any weak or silly. Life is real again, and the useless and cumbersome and mischievous have to die. They ought to die. They ought to be willing to die. It's a sort of disloyalty, after all, to live and taint the race.
A shell in the pit," said I, "if the worst comes to worst will kill them all." The intense excitement of the events had no doubt left my perceptive powers in a state of erethism. I remember that dinner table with extraordinary vividness even now. My dear wife's sweet anxious face peering at me from under the pink lampshade, the white cloth with it silver and glass table furniture—for in those days even philosophical writers had luxuries—the crimson-purple wine in my glass, are photographically distinct. At the end of it I sat, tempering nuts with a cigarette, regretting Ogilvy's rashness, and denouncing the shortsighted timidity of the Martians. So some respectable dodo in the Mauritius might have lorded it in his nest, and discussed the arrival of that shipful of pitiless sailors in want of animal food. "We will peck them to death tomorrow, my dear.