Written by H.G Wells between 1895 and 1897, The War of the Worlds is the iconic story telling the battle of Earth's inhabitants against a Martian invasion. And now, more than a century after its writing, Stephen Baxter's sequel to the classic is going to print.
Publisher Gollancz is responsible for the deal, meaning that Baxter's story The Massacre of Mankind - commissioned by HG Wells estate - will be published in in the next two years.
The Bookseller reports a 19th of January 2017 launch of a £20 hardback and £19.99 e-book edition. However it's far from clear-cut, as The Telegraph reports a 2016 launch to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Wells' birth (and the 70th anniversary of his death).
What is for certain is the plot: Set in London during the 1920s the story brings a second more biologically informed/better prepared invasion of Earth by the Martians. And the Martians start the attack in Britain, because of the country's importance in the first book. We think we're right to assume it escalates from there!
We're absolutely sure the title is in the best possible hands with Stephen Baxter. Influenced himself by Wells, the author has written a slew of sci-fi and non-sci-fi titles including a sequel to Wells' own The Time Machine (called The Time Ships). The author's also collaborated with Terry Pratchett, Arthur C. Clarke, and has an impressive collection of awards to his name.
Baxter rightly feels privileged to work on the title, and as a fan himself others should well be in for a treat. He told The Independent.
Wells did more than any other writer to shape the form and themes of modern science fiction, and indeed through his wider work exerted a profound influence on the history of the 20th century. Now it’s an honour for me to celebrate his enduring imaginative legacy, more than a hundred and fifty years after his birth.
Good luck, sir - and happy writing!