The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter

MassacreI am currrently reading the exciting science fiction novel The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter. This is an officially sanctioned Sequel to the classic War of the Worlds by H.G.Wells. The book is set fourteen years (1920) after the events of the ‘The First Martian War’ when the Martians invaded England but were successfully defeated by the most surprising thing  (and not due to any human intervention). The book is told from the point of view of journalist Julie Elphinstone who starts off in the USA, but travels to the UK at the request of her Ex-Husband’s brother Walter Jenkins the narrator from the original book.

The world has moved on since the last Martian invasion and is a substantially different place because of the effect the last invasion had. Britain is now under Martial Law in case the Martians should ever return, and are led by Brigadier Marvin. Britain was not involved in The First World War which was known as the Schlieffen War and resulted in the Prussian Empire expanding with Germany now controlling large parts of Europe and also  having major influence in Britain.

Elsewhere Scientists have been watching the skies closely trying to predict if and when the Martians might return, while the military have acquired Machinery looted from the abandoned capsules and war-machines from the previous unsuccessful invasion. This has led to technological leaps forward using Martian technology. The military also intend to exploit the Martians vulnerability to earth germs. However Walter Jenkins, brings some worrying news and is sure that the Martians have learned and their technology has also evolved and adapted to cope with germs since the last invasion and that the Military are being far-too complacent. So Julie accompanies Philip, Harry Kane, Major Eric Eden and Burt Cook on a jouney to London. Sure enough shortly after Major Eric Eden, of the US ARMY makes an off-hand derisory remark about the Martians, ominous signs of launches on Mars are seen again, and the Earth finds itself coming under under an even bigger attack from Mars…

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