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Gollancz Signs Stephen Baxter to Write Sequel to H.G. Wells’ THE WAR OF THE WORLDS

Several years ago, I read (and thoroughly enjoyed) Stephen Baxter’s novel The Time Ships, the authorized sequel to H.G. Wells classic time travel novel, The Time Machine (a novel ultimately about Social Darwinism). It looks like Baxter is once again writing a sequel to an H.G. Wells classic: Gollancz just announced that Baxter has been commissioned to write a sequel to The War of the Worlds, Well’s classic novel of a Martian invasion on Earth (and social commentary on Imperialism).

Baxter’s sequel will be called The Massacre of Mankind and it sees the Martians returning to Earth to finish what they started. Readers can expect to read it in January 2017.

Press release follows:

Gollancz sign up sequel to The War of the Worlds from leading SF novelist

Gollancz is delighted to announce the acquisition of World rights to The Massacre of Mankind. Gollancz Commissioning Editor, Marcus Gipps, bought world rights from Chris Schelling of Selectric Artists.

The Massacre of Mankind is a sequel to one of the most famous and influential SF books ever – The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells. The novel is written by the multi-award-winning co-author of The Long Earth novels with Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter.

Marcus Gipps, Gollancz Commissioning Editor and the editor overseeing the book, said, “Steve has a great track record of collaborating with other authors, from Arthur C. Clarke and Alastair Reynolds to Terry Pratchett. I’ve seen early material from this remarkable new project, and can’t wait to unleash Steve’s new Martian terror upon the world.”

First published in 1897, The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells has been both popular (having never gone out of print) and influential, spawning half a dozen feature films, radio dramas, a record album, various comic book adaptations, and a television series.

In Stephen Baxter’s terrifying sequel, set in late 1920s London, the Martians return, and the war begins again. But the aliens do not repeat the mistakes of their last invasion. They know how they lost last time. They target Britain first, since we resisted them last time. The massacre of mankind has begun.

Steve Baxter said: “HG Wells is the daddy of modern SF. He drew on deep traditions, for instance of scientific horror dating back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and fantastic voyages such as Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726). And he had important near-contemporaries such as Jules Verne. But 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 twentieth century. Now it’s an honour for me to celebrate his enduring imaginative legacy, more than a hundred and fifty years after his birth.”

The Massacre of Mankind will be published in hardback, £20, and eBook, £19.99, on the 19th January 2017.

Stephen Baxter is the pre-eminent SF writer of his generation. Published around the world he has won awards in the UK, US, Germany and Japan. He has written more than twenty novels, published in more than twenty languages. His previous works include, The Time Ships, an authorised sequel to The Time Machine by H. G. Wells to mark the centenary of the original’s publication. The Medusa Chronicles, a co-authored novel with Alastair Reynolds inspired by Arthur C Clarke’s short story ‘A Meeting with Medusa’ will be published by Gollancz in March 2016.

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.
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