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 Post subject: Megawar of the Worlds DID Come Out!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:05 am 
Tripod King

Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:07 am
Posts: 262
Location: west-central Pennsylvanai
Some of us may remember how David Cian's promised novel "Megawar of the Worlds", which was to feature a rematch 100 years after the original invasion, was put off again and again, and then finally cancelled. Well, guess what, it came out after all! A bit over a week ago, I idly fed the title into Google to see if anything would turn up, and it did. Apparently it is not currently in the stores, but a fair number of copies are being sold by online used-book dealers like Alibris and Amazon. I promptly ordered a copy, and just got through reading it. It's a paperback, and I'm not sure if it ever came out in hardcover. The folks putting it out are a Berkeley, CA-based outfit called Publishers Group West. Prices for the paperback are listed as $6.00 US and $9.50 CAN, but if the thing's only available on the used-book market, that doesn't mean much.

I have an inkling of what might have screwed up the initial publication. Although touted as "Megawar of the Worlds", the copy I got had the title reduced to simply "Megawar". (Incidently, the new title makes no sense, as the new invasion is simply a lone scouting party of a dozen or so Martians landing in Wisconsin, to prepare the landing sites for the main invasion force, while a small commando team that has been training for just this sort of threat tackles them one-on-one and the government evacuates the surrounding area with the cover story of nuke-armed terrorists being discovered. The action, though exciting, is all low-level stuff, with no massive battles being fought.) Looks like Spielberg or someone else started getting protective of the "War of the Worlds" title again.

I can't describe much without spoiling the story for the rest of you. As advertised before the book was originally slated to be published, there are now human troops---but only a handful---with Fighting-Machines of their own. These are nothing like those the Martians originally had---there are no tripods in THIS invasion---but humanoid-shaped robot tanks of the sort familiar to sci fi fans and gamers in systems like Robotech and BattleTech. Each one houses a single soldier, is 15' tall, contains a number of weapons from machine guns to lasers, and even has a jet backpack enabling limited flight. The commandos also have nanotech suits, which are rather more effective. In keeping with sci fi tradition, though, the Martians still have the technological edge, and the means of defeating them doesn't appear until the bottom of page 171 (in a 193-page book).

Cian's trying to have it both ways, mixing the War of the Worlds with modern UFO lore. To hear him tell it (through a military briefing at the start of the novel), the novel and radio play were both exaggerated versions of real probing assaults, with the British and US authorities managing to contain the invaders until the germs did them in and covering up the entire affair each time. The Roswell Incident was a cylinder landing that went wrong, and the Martian technology salvaged from it went to---you guessed it---Area 51.

Aside from a couple chapters at a White House briefing room with the President and some aides, the novel is seen almost entirely from the viewpoints of the commando team leader and a female reporter who falls in love with him by accident while trying to weasel some juicy secrets out of him for her tabloid paper. If you like war stories with low-level, man-to-man combat instead of large-scale battles, you'll like "Megawar". Just don't let the advertising raise your expectations beyond that.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:50 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 3365
Location: N.Humberside.UK
Thanks for the info Alland, I am familiar with some of the Battletech books, having read the 'Blood of Kerensky' trilogy, they where OK but nothing to get excited about.
I do agree with you about authors jumping on the UFO lore band-wagon, it was something I considered doing with my Invasion of Earth comic, having the Martians back on Mars chose Roswell, New Mexico for their second landing site, but I decided the Roswell incident had been done to death.
If I see "Megawar of the Worlds" I'll get it but I don't think I'll go hunting for it.
Cheers.


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