Old amazing Science Fiction; War of the Worlds

Scan0070 Every time I re-read this book I am amazed all over again. At the contemporary feel of the Martians and their evil stuff, the detailed observations that Wells makes, things like laser rays frying everybody, the intense scenes of the evacuation of London and so on. Also at the rational and deeply observant tone of the narrative. He’s not mean; his characters aren’t haughty or cynical. That in itself is refreshing but the amazing part is the technical imagination and the fact of the great unscrewing of the cylinder while people sit and watch in carriages. Everybody is on horseback or in horse-drawn carriages, there are no telephones, no television, and only the people n the area where the Martians first start devastating everything know it’s happening! Because word doesn’t spread, because there’s no TV, no phones, and well, the newspapers didn’t get the reports because they were written by hand and delivered by post or railway. This was written in, I think, 1897. No bug-eyed monsters here, no ET, just sloppy leathery things that use immensely tall stalking thin things like radio towers, what today we would compare to radio towers. It is all completely believeable, nothing improbable in the least. So, I am in admiration. It is really an outstanding and unusual piece of writing. ‘Far ahead of his time’ ain’t in it. that’s why I love re-reading it. The details surprise me every time. So I am writing a dystopia where there is almost no technology for the common people, they’re back to kerosene lanterns, things move by rail, and only the elite have remnants of our technology, the old technology. I was thinking that the comparison of people with kerosene lanterns as opposed to the upper crust with advanced computers would be confusing but maybe not. Be confused. What the hell.