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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:55 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:00 pm
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Location: Liverpool, UK
What is it about War of the Worlds that keeps us coming back for more?<br /><br />Like a lot of fans of War of the Worlds I discovered it through Jeff Wayne's Musical Version. I got hold of a copy of that album back in 78, when I was 8 years old. I played it back to back until the needle wore a hole in the record. It was the firt print run which didn't have the booklett but just one glossy sheet, with the Red Weed painting on it and the blurb.<br />I imediatly started asking questions about the story to my parents. Then I saw the book in the school library, it had the Album cover of The Fighting Machine burning the Thunder Child, for its front cover and I took it home. I read it in a day, something I hadn't been able to do with a book before. I go back to it every one or two years and re-read it. <br />Why? What is it about War of the Worlds that does this to me? I have read The Invisable Man, The First Men on the Moon, and The Time Machine and although I love those books, I have never felt the need to reread them. I may do one day but the fact is I'll never read them over and over again like War of the Worlds.<br />One of the main things I like about it is that its so influenced by its time as a story. <br />The timing and the themes and the Martians themselves all add up to a very unique and addictive flavour. <br />When I saw the 53 film I was greatly dissapointed by the departures from the Wells's novel. Of course as a Sci Fi Fan I enjoyed it as an alien invasion of the Earth strory but it wasn't War of the Worlds for me.<br />No snivaling Curate to show us that religion is not always a rock for the lost to grasp onto. No insight into The Martians at tall, apart from ther fact that they have zero common sense, tapping folks on the shoulder amid anhilalating them and expecting a hug. The martians are strangers, at the end we see that arm hanging out of the downed Fighting Machine. But I wanted to go in. Wanted to see some of the Martian side of things like in the book, albiet from human perspective.<br />Jeff Wayne got it right with his album, even with some lazy reworking of the story. The art was fantastic but a little wrong. In the games he's gone to far adding a number of different types of Fighting machine. I reckon these Fighting Machines, some of which have TWO LEGS and some of which just have to many, plus the nimble flying machines will make it into his CGI Movie. <br />The Pendragon version is sticking close to the book but hasn't the budget to really bring to life anything that can even remotely compete with that which is in your imagination. <br />Parramount like the George Pal version before it will be a great Sci Fi Invasion of the Earth story, but it won't be the War of the Worlds Movie that is just bursting to get out of that book.<br /><br />What is it about this book?


Bah bah black sheap April diamond spheres, Rigsby, Rigsby, Eight sided Pears.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:16 pm
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Location: Boston
Loz wrote:
What is it about War of the Worlds that keeps us coming back for more?...

What is it about this book?


Well, I'll give it a go.
For me, I was introduced to the story via the Pal movie. As a kid in the early 60s America, it shook my smug (albiet juvenile) confidence. "What if really superior beings decided to take the earth from us? What would we do if we couldn't stop them?"

It's pretty comfortable being the top of the food chain, and the citizen of a (if not the) world power. Seeing the powerlessness of what Cold War kids assumed was the ultimate trump card (the H-bomb), drove the point home. That scene was, IMHO, a good recast of the ThunderChild scene. Great-Hope weapon fails. For 60s Americans, it was "the bomb", not the navy.

Scenes of people turning on each other, instead of locking arms heroically, struck home too. The dark selfish animal side of man. I was somewhat annoyed (at age 8) with the kissy-kissy angle of Forrester and the Silvia character, but was, by then, pretty used to ignoring such 'adult' nonsense. But, when the martian touched her in the wrecked house, there was enough 'protect the women' hormone in there to make me jump.

From the Pal movie, I read the book. The book was far better, of course, as it lacked any kissy-kissy. I found it a bit distant and 'quaint' for its period and setting, but still very grippingly told in the first person style.

When I then rewatched the Pal movie, I could see where he tried to follow the book (did you notice the little light-beam "legs" the boomerangs stood on? I didn't until after reading the book), and where 50s Hollywood took over. Yes, I noticed that the Curate was missing in the house scene, which was too bad. It showed a man ill-equipped for the war and losing it altogether. (faith, btw, saves you from hell, not from death. The priest getting heat-blasted in the Pal movie seemed to try to pick up that thread)

For years, the Man on Putney Hill stayed with me as an early archetype of the bunker / survivalist mentality which the Cold War seemed to breed around me.

Wells captured a lot of humanity in his tale. The basic tale of aliens almost conquering mankind, is still powerful. We still like to feel we're too tough to take down. A movie like ID4 (as a loose adapation) only tries to flatter us that we are, after all is said and done, still too tough to take down. Wells didn't sugar coat it for us.

Maybe there's something about the taste of raw humility?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:47 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:00 pm
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Location: Liverpool, UK
Thats a great angle. I'd know about the Movie for years before I got to see it on a run of Sci Fi films that ran on BBC2 over several weeks. There is so much to love about it. Those green death rays that fire from the tip. The humming sound. The failure of the H bomb. <br />


Bah bah black sheap April diamond spheres, Rigsby, Rigsby, Eight sided Pears.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:00 am 
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Thers lots of dirrerent ways of looking at things isn't there??One of the messages on TWOTW to me is the powerful screwing over the weak.An infamous man once said that the powerful have the 'power' to do what they want.........and the weak,well............they have to except it. <_<


Bloody Martians nicked my bible..!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:28 pm 
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Martian War Lord

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A man once said to me - "Ye who play with marbles, may lose them one day, and have to instead play with seven sided triangles."<br /><br />


Bah bah black sheap April diamond spheres, Rigsby, Rigsby, Eight sided Pears.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:37 pm 
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This book to me Loz is simply the best piece of Sci-fi ever written and will never be supassed.Nothing will EVER come close to this and thats why i can't be doing with certain silly little prat film makers trying to STEAL(yes i see it as theft) it and bastardise it so they can 'cash in'.I would put them up against a wall...............BANG! :lol:


Bloody Martians nicked my bible..!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:57 pm 
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Martian War Lord

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Same here Curate. Nothing comes close for me. Dune and the Dune series are big faves of mine, even the new stuff his son and Kevin J Anderson are doing. But War of the Worlds is soooooooooooooo special.<br />And the fact of when it was written is a big part of this. Big Gun on Mars fireing an attack force in Cylanders is so much better than space craft, even if it is unlikely. The bit where the Martians cross from one pit to another under the sheild is just fabulous. So old fashioned but magnificant. The way the Martians don't have ceiled space suits is all part of the charm.<br />


Bah bah black sheap April diamond spheres, Rigsby, Rigsby, Eight sided Pears.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:16 am 
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:D :D :D ooooooooooooooooooooh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!love it......tickle my tummy


Bloody Martians nicked my bible..!


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 11:35 pm 
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People keep coming back to the novel because it was so well-written. Face it, "The War of the Worlds" is not only one of the best science fiction novels, it is one of the best novels of all time, ranking up with classics like "Moby Dick". His imaginative genius made up for a lot, including experience in life. For instance, Wells was never directly involved in warfare, while Ernest Hemingway was, and yet Wells' description of refuges in panic flight in "The Exodus From London" is far more gripping than Hemingway's account of the Italian rout after the Battle of Caporetto in "A Farewell to Arms".


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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 7:59 am 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:00 pm
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Good points. I'm on BBC Radio 5 tonight as a guest panalist from 11pm to 1am and if Liverpool win the match tonight then that will dominate the show but if not then we may be discussing Science Fiction. The reason being the show is airing from Liverpool tonight and Liverpool University has the largest collection of Sci Fi books in Europe. I'll try and get onto the War of the Worlds if I can and H.G. Wells.


Bah bah black sheap April diamond spheres, Rigsby, Rigsby, Eight sided Pears.


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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 8:15 am 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:01 pm
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Loz wrote:
Good points. I'm on BBC Radio 5 tonight as a guest panalist from 11pm to 1am and if Liverpool win the match tonight then that will dominate the show but if not then we may be discussing Science Fiction. The reason being the show is airing from Liverpool tonight and Liverpool University has the largest collection of Sci Fi books in Europe. I'll try and get onto the War of the Worlds if I can and H.G. Wells.


He he, don't forget a little site plug for eveofthewar.co.uk, if you can :a007:

Hope the broadcast goes well =D>


Lee
Eve Of The War Webmaster
http://www.eveofthewar.co.uk
"The War Of The Worlds Website"

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 10:34 am 
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Martian War Lord

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I'll try but I doubt I'll be able to get it in Lee.


Bah bah black sheap April diamond spheres, Rigsby, Rigsby, Eight sided Pears.


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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 10:45 am 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:01 pm
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Loz wrote:
I'll try but I doubt I'll be able to get it in Lee.


No probs mate :mrgreen:


Lee
Eve Of The War Webmaster
http://www.eveofthewar.co.uk
"The War Of The Worlds Website"

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