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Authors: Kevin J. Anderson

Tags: #Science Fiction, #General, #Adventure, #Fiction

The Martian War

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ACCLAIM FOR THE MARTIAN WAR

“I shall not reveal here the truth of our encounter with the Martians. I encourage you, dear reader, to purchase
The Martian War
and decide for yourself if you prefer the original tale offered by Mr. Wells, or this revelation of the facts. … You will find yourself greatly entertained.”—SFreader.com

“Ingenious… a tight, brisk tale that fits nicely into the mold established by the pulp writers of a century ago. … A worthwhile supplement to the renewed fascination in one of science fiction’s founding fathers.” —SciFiDimensions.com

“A terrific homage. … Fast-paced and action-packed.” —Harriet Klausner

“For a very different, utterly delightful reading experience, try [this] playful mix of fact and fancy
.”—Daily Yomiuri
(Tokyo)

“Wells and Anderson fans should be delighted
.”—Booklist

“Smoothly mixes Victorian sober rationalism with the fast pace of the period’s boys’ adventure yarns.”
—Publishers Weekly

“The author captures the spirit of the age in these linked tales that serve as seasonal witnesses to an age of invention and literary imagination
.”—Library Journal

THE
MARTIAN
WAR

ALSO BY KEVIN J. ANDERSON AND AVAILABLE FROM TITAN BOOKS

Captain Nemo: The Fantastic Adventures of a Dark Genius

COMING SOON

War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches

THE MARTIAN WAR

A THRILLING EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE RECENT ALIEN INVASION

As Reported by Mr. H.G. Wells

KEVIN J. ANDERSON

TITAN BOOKS

The Martian War

Print edition ISBN: 9781781161722

E-book edition ISBN: 9781781161739

Published by Titan Books

A division of Titan Publishing Group Ltd.

144 Southwark Street, London SE1 0UP

First Titan Books edition September 2012

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

Kevin J. Anderson asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work. Copyright © 2005, 2012 by Wordfire Inc.

Portions of the first two chapters have been previously published as “Scientific Romance” by Kevin J. Anderson in
The UFO Files,
edited by Ed Gorman & Martin H. Greenberg, DAW, 1998; and “Canals in the Sand” by Kevin J. Anderson in
War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches
, edited by Kevin J. Anderson, Bantam, 1996.

The Martian War
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library.

Printed and bound in the USA.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

PROLOGUE: CELESTIAL MECHANICS

1. Mr. Wells and Professor Huxley Observe the Leonids

2. Percival Lowell and Dr. Moreau Send a Message to Mars

PART I
: SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE

3. A Message from an Old Acquaintance

4. Impossible Discoveries at the Imperial Institute

5. Footsteps in the Corridor

6. An Uninvited Guest at the Symposium

7. The Martian Cylinder Opens

8. A Welcome Visitor and Unwelcome News

9. The Dissection of Interplanetary Specimens

10 The Unseen Saboteur

PART II
: THE FIRST MEN—AND A WOMAN—IN THE MOON

11. Adrift in Space

12. The Crystal Egg

13. Dr. Cavor’s Sphere Proves Its Mettle

14. Strange Cargo

15. The Gardens on the Moon

16. The Mutable Nature of the Martian Form

17. In the Hall of the Grand Lunar

18. The Martian Arrives in Boston

PART III
: MARS AND ITS CANALS

19. At the Martian Ice Caps

20. In the Lowell Observatory

21. The Master Minds of Mars

22. Mars as the Abode of Life

23. Enslaved with the Selenites

24. The Marks of Planetary Destruction

25. Scientific Investigations

26. The Eye of the Grand Lunar

27. An Unfortunate Discovery

28. Revolt on Mars

29. The Monster of Mars Hill

30. The Tripod Chase

31. A War of Worlds

32. The Stolen Bacillus

33. Professor Huxley’s Decision

EPILOGUE
: THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

34. Home Again, with a Story

To the imagination, genius, and sheer enthusiasm of

MR. HARLAN ELLISON,

who has raised the bar for all of us.

PROLOGUE

CELESTIAL MECHANICS

CHAPTER ONE

MR. WELLS AND PROFESSOR HUXLEY OBSERVE THE LEONIDS

1884

I
n chill November, the nights were as dark as the stars were bright.

Young Wells followed his professor up rarely used wooden stairs to the labyrinthine rooftop of the university hall. When he politely opened the access door for the older man, the damp air threatened fog or, worse, obscuring clouds. Yet he saw that the sky overhead was mercifully clear: a canvas on which to paint glorious streaks of light.

“The meteors will begin falling soon, Wells.” The old biology professor looked just as eager as his student.

The minarets and gables of London’s Normal School of Science provided a maze of nooks, gutters, and eaves
interspersed with sooty chimneypots and loose tiles. Daring students could climb out on ledges and hold secret meetings, even arrange assignations with willing girls from the poorer sections of South Kensington who could be sweet-talked with pleasant and cultured words.

Wells doubted that any of his classmates had ever climbed out for such a lofty purpose as his own.

T.H. Huxley’s creaking bones and aching limbs forced him to move with painstaking care along the precarious shingles, yet the famous man had a grace and surety about him. Wells knew better than to offer the professor any assistance. Although Thomas Henry Huxley was now an old man with yellowish skin and gray hair, the bright little brown eyes in his square face still held a gaze as sharp as a hunting falcon’s. In his youth, he had spent years as a surgeon and naturalist aboard a sailing ship, the
Rattlesnake
, collecting and documenting biological specimens from around the world, much as his revered colleague Charles Darwin had done. Huxley had been through storms and hostile landscapes, surviving harsh climates and unfriendly natives; he could certainly negotiate a rooftop, even one slick with moss and mist.

With a weary sigh, the professor eased himself down beside a grimy brick chimney, adjusting his black wool coat. Leaning back, he propped his head against a chimney and scratched his bushy white sideburns.

“Is this your first meteor shower, Mr. Wells? The Leonids are a good place to start.” Huxley’s booming voice was startlingly loud on the rooftop.

“I’ve seen shooting stars before, sir, but never actually … studied them. Even in my youth, I spent more time with my
nose stuck in a book than looking up at the sky.”

The old man gave a wheezing laugh. “Exactly as I expected.”

Huxley’s private conversational tone wasn’t much softer than the forceful oratory for which he had become famous. Whether he was lecturing students or shouting in vehement debate with pig-headed bishops, his confident delivery, wit, and obvious intelligence won him many friends, and created as many enemies.

A flash in Wells’s peripheral vision took him completely by surprise. “There, sir!” He gestured so rapidly that he nearly lost his precarious balance on the slanted roof. A streak of white light shot overhead then evaporated, so transient it seemed barely an after-image on his eyes.