In this episode, Rob Wolf speaks with Stephen Baxter
, author of The Massacre of Mankind
(Crown, 2017), the alliteratively titled sequel to H. G. Wells
' alliteratively titled classic, The War of the Worlds
Baxter is the author of over 20 novels and dozens of short stories. He's won the John W. Campbell Award, the Philip K. Dick Award twice, and numerous British Science Fiction Association awards.
Few books (science fiction or otherwise) have had as large an impact on the modern imagination as The War of the Worlds
. Since it appeared as a serial in a British magazine in 1897, it has been adapted for movies (at least seven times), comics, television, video games and, most famously, in 1938 for a radio drama
by Orson Welles that reportedly caused some listeners, who confused fictional news for real, to panic.
In The Massacre of Mankind
, Baxter envisions new technologies adapted from salvaged Martian equipment, the takeover of much of Europe by Kaiser Wilhelm, and, of course, the eventual return of the Martians, now vaccinated against the Earth-bound bacteria that vanquished them the first time.
Rob Wolf is the author of The Alternate Universe and The Escape. He worked for many years as a journalist, writing on a wide range of topics from science to justice reform, and now serves as director of communications at a think tank in New York City. Read his blog or follow him on Twitter.