Thursday, 15 August 2019

Kickstarting Wells

H. G. Wells is probably my favourite genre fiction author of all time, and The War of the Worlds is very possibly my favourite genre novel of all time, and I don't know that either of those facts quite explains why I felt the need - let alone the right! - to come up with a sequel to it.  I mean, I'm not, as a rule, the sort of person who feels the urge to dabble in other writers' creations, or who wonders after every dangling thread in a story I love.  What happens to the narrator of The War of the Worlds after the book ends?  I mean, who cares, right?

The answer, apparently, is that I did, and enough so to write The Last of the Martians: what my good friend and trusted proof reader referred to as a Vietnam-era sequel to Well's classic, perhaps not entirely positively.  The thing is, as powerful as the book as, as chilling as the Martians are, I can't be altogether comfortable with the concept of an enemy that's just so damn alien that there's no hope of ever rationalising with them: that sort of thinking has led us, as a species, into too many dark places over the millenia, and that's never been truer than now.  So the story I wrote was an attempt to square that circle to my own satisfaction, while at the same time staying as true as I could to Wells's style and themes; no act of angry post-modernism this!  I guess my goal was an epilogue to The War of the Worlds that Wells might conceivably have written if he'd come to think that maybe, just maybe, the Martians weren't all and every one of them quite that bad.

Why does any of this matter?  Because I sold The Last of the Martians, that's why.  And more to the point, because the two volume anthology of Wells-ian fiction that it's due to appear in is being kickstarted at this very moment, and if that kickstarter should fail to fund, my story - along with plenty of other dabblings in Wells's many worlds - might not ever see the light of day, which would suck, frankly!  I don't think it's terribly likely to happen though, since the guys at Belanger Books know what they're about, and have been successfully putting out similar (though mostly Sherlock Holmes related until now) collections for a good long while.  And at time of posting, this one's already almost hit its deadline with the better part of a month to go.  So hey, don't fund it to help me out, fund it because it's an exciting project, and because you fancy a couple of volumes' worth of tales devoted to arguably the greatest science fiction writer ever to have lived.  If that sounds at all appealing, you can find the link here.

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